iPhone 14 might not be the only iPhone to use older tech

An iPhone 12 mini from the front, on a table
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Rumors suggest that the iPhone 14 will be weaker than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and it sounds like in 2022, only the Pro iPhones will get Apple's newest chipset. But one leaker thinks that's just the start of something new.

Ming-Chi Kuo is a big name in Apple leaks, and in a Medium post, they've said "the latest processor chip will be exclusive to iPhone high-end models in the future." So while we've heard that only the iPhone 14 Pro will get the A16 Bionic chip, it sounds like only the 15 Pro will get the A17 and so on, with the non-Pro mobiles lagging a year behind.

This would mean quite big things for Apple's standard iPhones - if they use older tech, perhaps their status as a rival to flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S22 could be threatened.

According to a previous rumor, Apple is changing its smartphone chipset strategy purely so it can focus on making more components for its computers and laptops, with the M2 Macs taking priority.

While Kuo is a big name, they're not always right, so take this with a pinch of salt for now - we don't even have confirmation that the iPhone 14 will use the A15 chip just yet. But according to this report, Apple has a clear plan in mind.

Analysis: a focus on the Pro iPhones

Since Apple started making iPhone Pro models, they've clearly stood above the standard devices - they typically have more rear cameras and better-looking screens.

It sounds like Apple is focusing even more on the Pro phones with the chip changes, and according to Kuo, this is an intentional shift - Apple knows more people will now opt for the devices. Kuo says Apple is "significantly boosting the shipment proportion of new iPhone high-end models in 2H22 to 55-60% (vs. 40–50% in the past)."

This will likely continue if Apple continues to give its Pro phones the better chips, and as Kuo points out, it's also great for the brands like Sony and LG that make components for the Pro devices (both those brands make camera parts).

Of course, on the other hand, it does make the non-Pro iPhones less appealing, so we'd hope to see a price cut for these models if they're to remain worthwhile. Otherwise, our list of the best iPhones might see fewer new additions each year.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.