iPhone 15 tipped for better battery life thanks to new Apple A17 chip

The iPhone 14 series in an Apple Store
The iPhone 14 series in an Apple Store (Image credit: Apple)

One of the improvements coming in 2023 with the iPhone 15 could be better battery life, with Apple's chip maker of choice TSMC (the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) promising increased efficiency with its next generation of silicon.

As per Bloomberg, TSMC has announced the move to chips made using a 3 nanometer manufacturing process, which is a jump from the 5 nanometer process currently used. Essentially, the smaller the number, the more tightly packed the elements of the processor are going to be.

Crucially, TSMC says that their new chips are going to use around 35% less power, as well as being faster in terms of performance. That should relate to better battery life for devices made by TSMC's partners – including the successor to the iPhone 14 made by Apple.

Chips with everything

There are some caveats here: Apple designs the Bionic processors found inside the iPhone, so it may choose to engineer the improvements that 3 nm offers in a different way rather than maximizing power efficiency.

However, the signs look good that the A17 Bionic chip – widely expected to make its debut in the next round of iPhones – will offer better performance without as much power draw. There's plenty of time for TSMC to perfect its manufacturing process before it starts work churning out iPhone 15 handsets.

If Apple follows this year's plan though, only the Pro models of the 2023 iPhone will get the new silicon. The standard iPhone 15 and the follow-up to the iPhone 14 Plus, if there is one, will most likely get the A16 chipset instead.

Analysis: the rumors are ramping up

The iPhone 15 rumors – like the one above – have already started rolling in, and they'll only increase in number as we go through 2023. No other handset attracts the same kind of attention and anticipation as the Apple flagship, even when we don't get huge year-on-year upgrades.

One upgrade that might be coming with the iPhone 15 range is a "state-of-the-art" camera sensor that's better at capturing pictures and video in challenging conditions. Considering the cameras on the iPhone are already very good, that sounds promising.

There's also been talk of certain iPhone 15 models coming with solid-state power and volume buttons. That's a rumor that's been floating around for years, but it sounds as though 2023 could be the year when it actually happens.

What isn't yet clear is how many iPhone 15 devices we'll get, or what they'll be called. The emphasis in terms of improvements is once again expected to be on the Pro models, and there has been speculation that Apple is working on a new super-powerful, super-expensive iPhone 15 Ultra handset.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.