Busted A17 Bionic chips could drive the iPhone 15 Pro's price up

iPhone 15 Ultra render via 4RMD
(Image credit: 4RMD)

Hot off of Apple analyst Ming-Chu Kuo's Twitter feed is this potent tidbit of info about the upcoming iPhone 15 that may scare some. According to Kuo, we could see a significant price hike thanks partly to Apple not having to pay chipmaker TSMC for any defective 3nm chips. 

TSMC produces the new advanced 3nm process chips for Apple but does not charge them for nodes with defective chips thanks to a special deal with the maker of the mega populate iPhones. Kuo states, "Apple has always asked TSMC to provide the world's latest advanced node production services. Because the latest advanced node has many defective chips in the early production stage, Apple has always purchased finished goods. And TSMC allocates most of the cost of defective chips to the selling price of each finished chip." 

Hence, the cost of iPhones tends to rise yearly, and the same will be valid for the iPhone 15 lineup and its A17 bionic CPU. 

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iPhone 15 could see a massive price hike!

According to Kuo's Tweet, "There are two ways that customers buy chips from TSMC: finished goods buy and wafer buy. The vast majority of deals are wafervbuy because TSMC's yields are good enough to ignore the cost of defective chips." Although Apple is special, and they cornered the 3nm process chip market a while back, they ask TSMC to provide them with " finished goods" with the company eating the cost of defective chips. 

We're all excited about the upcoming iPhone 15 and 15 Pro and have been pondering all of the upgrades we will see, thanks in part to the potency of the A17 Bionics 3nm process chipset. However, we're just regular consumers like you and wonder if the latest and greatest chipset will make the iPhone 15 cost prohibitive. 

Sure, there may be a massive camera performance upgrade and improved battery life, but is that enough to entice consumers to spend top dollar for a new device? Also, with other makers like OnePlus getting ready to-launch devices that could blow the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro away while being more affordable, is it worth shedding a limb to afford the upcoming iPhone 15? Also, with what we know so far, there will be no iPhone foldable for a while, and the foldable market is exploding, with Samsung owning that market but facing a coming challenge from Xiaomi starting next week. 

The smartphone marketplace is expanding exponentially, and although Apple's ecosystem is beloved by its devotees, it could start facing severe competition from brands that are taking risks and being more innovative. 

Mark Anthony Ramirez

Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.