This huge iPhone 15 feature is all about the Apple Vision Pro — but it's so much more (report)

Apple Vision Pro and iPhone 15
(Image credit: Future)

With the Apple Vision Pro being announced at WWDC, Apple is set to bring a huge upgrade to the iPhone 15 for super seamless integration. 

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a new Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip is in the works that would turbo boost key continuity features between the smartphone and headset.

Could this new chip in question be called the U2? If so, it would be a dramatic improvement over what people currently associate with that name (I still haven’t forgiven the band for tainting my iTunes library with their free album).

With or without U (WB)

Apple Vision Pro

(Image credit: Future)

So, assuming this new UWB chip will be called U2 (so I can make the most of that band reference in the sub headline), let’s dive into what Kuo has said.

It's likely that the upgraded chip will see a similar change in production process to what we’re seeing in the upgrade from M2 to M3, or A16 to A17 bionic — a reduction in transistor size so the company is able to cram more onto the same size die, and improve performance while reducing power consumption.

However, unlike the more minor update from 5nm to 3nm that we are seeing in the aforementioned Apple silicon, this change will be far greater — with a considerable from in scale from 16nm to 7nm. (Which could result in both a doubling of the chip's speed and power efficiency.)

Currently, the U1 chip is responsible for driving key features like "Find My", "Handoff", "AirDrop", and more. With this upgrade, Kuo claims it won’t just improve the performance across the board, but also be critical to the integration between Apple’s products and the upcoming Vision Pro.

This would correlate with a recent patent that shows a significantly improved Continuity mode between an iPhone and a VR/AR system. With the patent, Apple is relying on the advanced eye tracking of Vision Pro to identify things you look at on your iPhone, and use gestures to expand it seamlessly to a larger virtual display.

But to pull this off would require a vastly improved UWB chip, which is the very thing Kuo is banking on happening in the iPhone 15.


Apple Vision Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

The current U1 chip does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to interoperability between Apple devices. A significant upgrade to this would bring huge gains in performance, alongside increasing the speed of that seamless integration between the iPhone 15 and Apple Vision Pro.

Looking further ahead, Kuo has also claimed that the iPhone 16 will be the first to get Wi-Fi 7 technology, which will be key to “Apple’s integration of hardware products running on the same local network and provide a better ecosystem experience.”

Does this mean the Vision Pro will be one of Apple’s first gadgets to get the updated Wi-Fi standard? Maybe. But outside of the material benefits iPhone 15 users will feel with a new Ultra Wideband chip, this is a clear sign of the company bringing its smartphones into the mixed reality fold.

Jason England
Content Editor

Jason brought a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag, and he is now the Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.