Apple expects AI features to boost iPhone 16 sales | iPhone 15 Pro Max pictured

Apple appears to be expecting iPhone 16 sales to substantially outstrip those for last year’s model. A new supply-chain report says that the company has boosted its A-series chip order from TSMC by 10 million.

However, suggestions from some quarters that Apple has changed its chip strategy this year, giving all four iPhone models the same chip, are misleading …

Apple expecting very strong iPhone 16 sales

Chinese site CTEE reports that Apple has ordered TSMC to prepare between 90M and 100M chips for this year’s iPhone 16 line-up.

The supply chain revealed that Apple has raised the order of A18 chips […] It is estimated that the sales will be 90 million to 100 million.

This contrasts with a range of 80M to 90M last year, and suggests the Cupertino company is expecting significantly more sales for the iPhone 16 line-up than for last year’s iPhone 15 range.

A change in chip naming approach

For the iPhone 15, Apple gave the two Pro models a new chip known as the A17 Pro, while the base and Plus models got the previous year’s A16 chip.

This year, all models are set to be powered by a chip labelled A18, leading some to suggest that Apple is changing its chip differentiation strategy, and giving all four models the same chip.

However, what we’re actually expecting is just a change in naming convention.

We’re expecting the base and Plus models to get a slightly updated version of the A17 Pro chip, but labelled as an A18. The iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max will get a new chip, labelled the A18 Pro, with significant advances in AI and graphics capabilities.

Apple Intelligence will for sure drive sales

It would make sense for Apple to expect a significant bump in sales of this year’s iPhones. The headline new feature of iOS 18 is, of course, Apple Intelligence.

The only two current iPhone models which will support this are the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. So anyone with a less-powerful model – even last year’s base iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus – is going to need to upgrade to take advantage of the new AI capabilities.

All four iPhone 16 models will support AI. Given this, a 10M increase in sales over the iPhone 15 line-up seems eminently achievable.

Check out this piece for a complete list of all Apple devices which will support Apple Intelligence.

iPhone 15 Pro Max photo by Rohan on Unsplash

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Apple expects AI features to boost iPhone 16 sales by 10M units – 9to5Mac

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