iPhone 15 Pro Max may get a big specs bump with 3nm Apple A17 chipset – here’s what it means
Reports that Apple strategically bought out entire TSMC 3nm supply means huge potential gains for Apple fans
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Apple cuts off competition
💰 A new report says Apple has purchased 100% of TSMC’s 3nm chip supply
🤔 It’s likely the new chips are set for iPhone 15 Pro series and next MacBooks Pro
⚡️ 3nm chips will likely mean more powerful, yet less battery-hungry chips
Apple threw its massive pile of cash at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), buying its entire stock of new 3nm chips, according to a new paywalled DigiTimes report (via MacRumors).
It’s been expected that Apple would switch to the new process for some time. The current iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max use a 4nm process, and prior to that, Macs using Apple’s M1 chip were on a then-new 5nm process. And with each shrink in process size, both power and efficiency gains mean processors eke out more power while generating less waste heat than previous-gen chips.
That means the chips aren’t just more capable; they’re also less demanding on the battery, leading to longer overall life. They allow computers to run quieter – see the 2022 MacBook Air M2, which has no fan at all – and keep smartphones from heating up quite so much.
The Shortcut is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
iPhone 15 Pro Max specs: 3nm for iPhone & more
Given the rumored redesign we’re expecting to see for the iPhone 15 Pro Max release date, it’s possible Apple is expecting inflated sales of its new phones, but that’s not all Apple will need the new 3nm chip for. A report from prominent supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in January said the next MacBooks Pro with Apple’s presumptive M3 Pro and M3 Max chips will be on a 3nm process and will debut in the first half of 2024.
It was expected prior to that that we would see the new MacBook Air 15-inch release date coming in late 2023, which would make it possible it would also see a 3nm M3 chip, but more recently, another reliable analyst, Ross Young, alleged Apple is gearing up to release the bigger Air much sooner, making M2 necessarily the newest processor that could drive that laptop, assuming Young has his story straight.
That said, Young’s MacBook Air 15-inch launch date rumor was followed up by another DigiTimes report, which said Apple will release a second 15-inch MacBook Air later this year with a spec bump to the new M3 processors. That seems dubious, but recent news that Apple is pushing its VR headset debut back to WWDC could mean it’s looking to beef up its Spring event, which hasn’t yet been announced but which tends to happen in March every year.