Apple may be technically ahead of most smartphone brands this year, mainly because the A12 chip that the iPhone series will use in 2018 is built on an upgraded 7nm process. This lead may last until next year.
Sources from the supply chain said that most brands are unlikely to use chips with less than 10nm process technology in a short period of time. According to Digitimes, the four major chip makers have postponed or shelved plans to offer the Android brand a 7nm process.
The report pointed out that because the process technology below 10nm requires huge capital investment to provide facilities, many foundries have slowed down their investment, and chip makers without production lines will adhere to the 14/12nm process for cost reasons.
According to informed sources, both Qualcomm and MediaTek have delayed the release of 7nm chip solutions from the planned 2018 to 2019. This means that only Apple chip maker TSMC has 7nm process capability, but Samsung has announced plans to develop its own 7nm process to recapture Apple’s A-series chip orders.
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Apple used to distribute chip orders to Samsung and TSMC, but TSMC beat Samsung in its 10nm process and has been Apple’s only supplier since the iPhone 7 was introduced.
Macworld recently said that the 7nm process is one of the key factors that this year’s new iPhone (iPhone XS) is 20% to 30% faster than the iPhone X.
It is worth to mention that Apple has sent out an invitation letter for its September 13th event Where it is expected to launch three 2018 iPhones including the 6.1-inch iPhone LCD version, the 5.8-inch iPhone XS, and the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Plus.