Does Apple have the right not to include the A16 Bionic chip in the iPhone 14?

iPhone 13 Pro running iOS 16

With each new generation, smartphone companies include the latest and most advanced technologies in their devices. This includes the latest chip, camera, software, and more. But this year, with the launch of the iPhone 14 series, Apple put an end to that.

In 2022, only Pro models of the new iPhone will get the new A16 Bionic chip, while the standard variants will get the A15 Bionic chip last year with the iPhone 13 series. As expected, this caused a lot of controversy among fans. But is Apple’s decision justified? Does it really matter which chip you use? Let’s find out.

Why iPhone 14 doesn’t have an A16 Bionic chip

Removing features from iPhones is no stranger to Apple. In 2017, it removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 to sell AirPods. In 2018, it removed Touch ID from the iPhone 8 to push Face ID on the iPhone X. In 2020, it removed the charging brick and earbuds from the iPhone 12 retail box for environmental reasons, which “accidentally” saved him billions of dollars. Do you see a pattern here?

When Apple removes a particular feature from the iPhone, it does so with the deliberate intention of increasing its profits by either increasing revenue, reducing costs, or both. With the iPhone 14 lineup, Apple seems to be repeating that strategy.

Putting the older A15 Bionic chip together with the five-core GPU in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus lowers the production cost for those models — saving costs and increasing profits. The making of the latest A16 Bionic chip exclusively for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max tempts buyers to buy the more expensive high-end models – driving up revenue.

Does it matter if you don’t get an A16 Bionic chip?

Now that we understand why Apple has not included the A16 Bionic chip in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, let’s ask the big question: is this decision justified? Well, there are two sides to this story, so let’s talk about both.

On the other hand, Apple is really right not to include the newer chip because it kept the price of the standard models the same as last year while keeping other improvements like better battery life, better camera performance, and satellite connectivity.

And as I learned from our comparison of the iPhone 13 Pro Max to the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the A15 Bionic chip is really powerful — more powerful than any other OEM chips. In real life, most people won’t be able to tell any meaningful difference between the A15 and A16 Bionic chips, so don’t panic about the performance difference on paper.

On the other hand, this decision is still wrong for several reasons. First, it means that people who have kept their iPhones for several years will now have to upgrade a year earlier than they usually do to keep up with the increasing performance demands of modern apps, games and services.

Second, although casual users won’t notice the difference in performance, enthusiast gamers and power users will inevitably do so after a while – if not immediately – of using the iPhone 14. And this gap will continue to widen over time.

Also, let’s not forget that the processor is one of the most expensive part of the phone, if not. Therefore, Apple’s choice to use the older A15 Bionic chip may mean that the iPhone 14 may not retain its value in the resale market as the iPhone 13.

Older chip on a brand new iPhone

What we hate most about Apple’s decision is the impact it could have on the tech industry. It’s common knowledge at this point that whatever Apple does, other tech companies will usually follow suit within a few years, if not immediately.

Buying a smartphone today is already a less exciting experience than it used to be, and this move by Apple is making matters worse. We absolutely hate that Android device manufacturers copy this move and stop including the latest chips in their flagships.

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