Apple's 2nm chip plans for iPhone 17 series in doubt

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A few days back, a report surfaced that Apple will move to 2nm chips next year. Its iPhone 17 Pro and iPhone 17 Pro Max were said to arrive with a 2nm processor manufactured by TSMC. However, a fresh rumor has cast doubts over the accuracy of this report. It says TSMC is in no position to begin 2nm mass production before the second half of 2026. Effectively, this upgrade won’t materialize before the iPhone 18 series.

TSMC may not make 2nm chips for Apple iPhones before 2026

Last year, Apple became the first smartphone company to use a 3nm chip. Its iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max featured TSMC-made A17 Pro. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus used the 4nm A16 Bionic. Android phones with 3nm chips are expected to hit the market at the end of 2024 but a wide adoption may not come before 2025. In the meantime, rumors suggest Apple plans to move to 2nm iPhone chips as early as 2025.

The latest such report came from the reputed Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. It said TSMC, based in Taiwan, will manufacture Apple A19 Pro for the iPhone 17 series on its 2nm process node. However, a Vietnamese freelance coder identified as Nguyen Phi Hung on X claims this isn’t happening. “This is 1000000% false information,” Hung said on X. “Mass production of TSMC 2nm will take until the second half of 2026,” they added.

This means the iPhone 17 series in 2025 will continue to use a 3nm processor. TSMC will reportedly use its improved second-gen process node for this year’s A18 Pro for the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max. The A18 Bionic for the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will also be made on the same process node. It is unclear if the Taiwanese chipmaker will introduce a third-gen version next year for the iPhone 17’s processors.

Samsung has a chance to beat Apple to the 2nm race

If this report is accurate, the iPhone 18 series in 2026 will be the first to feature Apple’s 2nm processors. On the other hand, Samsung is expected to start 2nm mass production at the end of 2025. The Korean firm aims to introduce its 2nm chips with the Galaxy S26 series in early 2026. TSMC’s delay might help it beat its arch-rival to the 2nm race. That’s if it manages to secure healthy 2nm yields in time to begin mass production in 2025. We are less than four months into 2024, so a lot could change but the time we enter 2025.