iPhone 13 chip goes into production and Android phones will need to seriously up their game

What the A15 Bionic means for your next iPhone – and the other hardware upgrades we expect

The A15 Bionic for the iPhone 13 is now in production
(Image credit: Apple)

The silicon shortages currently plaguing the electronics industry don’t seem to be affecting Apple: production of the new A15 Bionic Processor for the iPhone 13 has begun, and they’re going to be made in big numbers.

That’s according to DigiTimes, which reports that Apple’s chip supplier TSMC has begun producing the silicon wafers for the A15 Bionic. The report says that TSMC intends to ramp up production pretty quickly, producing the A15 in even greater numbers than the A14 that powers the current iPhone 12 lineup.

The A15 will be made using a 5-nanometre process, which is the same as for the current A14: while Apple does intend to make ever more densely populated processors, a 4-nanometre A-series isn’t on the cards until 2022. If previous generations of Apple Silicon are any indication, that means the main improvement in the A15 is likely to be improved efficiency and better performance. But that’s not the only improvement we expect to see in the iPhone 13.

iPhone 13: better cameras, a smaller notch and an always-on display

Multiple rumours indicate that the iPhone 13 is going to have some useful and important upgrades. One of the most interesting is the adoption of sensor-shift image stabilisation across the entire iPhone 13 range. At the moment you can only get the tech in the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Sensor-shift stabilisation is much more precise and effective than the lens-shift stabilisation used in most optical stabilisation systems, and because the stabilisation is in the sensor rather than in the lens it works with whatever lens you put in front of it.

That’s not all we expect to see in the iPhone 13. Leaks and rumours predict a smoother, 120Hz display and the long-requested introduction of always-on display elements: while iPhones have had OLED displays since the iPhone X, Apple hasn’t followed the likes of Samsung and taken advantage of their low power always-on capabilities. The infamous notch is expected to become smaller too, and we’re also expecting more colours to match the new iMac 24-inch (2021) and rumoured MacBook Air (2021).