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Rumor mill: The global chip shortage has tech giants sweating over whether they'll be forced to delay their products. For Apple, which has been hit by component supply problems in the past, its iPhone 13 line looks pretty safe—assuming a report that TSMC has started production of the handsets' A15 chipsets is accurate.
We heard back in April that Apple had "postponed" production of its new MacBooks and iPads as it struggled with suppliers to secure internal parts at "key" points in its assembly line. Component shortages reportedly caused problems with iPhone 12 production last year, and there were fears that the iPhone 13 line could face the same issues. It appears, however, that Cupertino can breathe easily.
DigiTimes reports that TSMC has already begun manufacturing the A15 Bionic chips set for use in the next iPhones, which suggests that the devices will be ready for Apple's usual mid-to-late September release window—the pandemic meant the iPhone 12 line launched in October and November. The publication also claims there will be more demand for the A15 than its A14 predecessor.
The A15 Bionic SoC is expected to be built on a refined version of the same 5-nanometer process utilized by the A14 Bionic, so we can expect some performance, graphics, and power efficiency improvements, though they're unlikely to be vast.
Previous rumors claim the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will use low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) technology for better efficiency and come with 120Hz support. The lineup is expected to feature a smaller notch and larger battery, but following the iPad in dumping the Lightning port for USB-C is unlikely to happen this year.