India’s local manufacturing push spurs 2 billion mobile unit shipments

India’s ambitious push for self-sufficiency in mobile phone assembling is yielding results. India shipped 2 billion domestically assembled smartphones and feature phones between 2014 to 2022 as part of its Make in India initiative, according to a new research, as the world’s second largest handset market pushes to become self-reliant with its growing manufacturing infrastructure.

A staggering 98% of all mobile phone shipments within the Indian market in 2022 were domestically produced and 16% of the production was exported, according to Hong Kong-headquartered market and research firm Counterpoint, compared to a mere 19% in 2014, the year Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration assumed office.

It took India just two years to assemble the last 500 million smartphones and feature phones, Counterpoint said, a milestone that has cemented India’s position as the world’s second-largest mobile phone producer.

In recent years, New Delhi has opened its wallet to provide incentives to firms in a bid to spur domestic production.

“The government now intends to capitalize on its various schemes to make India a ‘semiconductor manufacturing and export hub.’ Going forward, we may see increasing production, especially for smartphones, as India gears to bridge the urban-rural digital divide and also become a mobile phone exporting powerhouse,” said Tarun Pathak, Research Director at Counterpoint in a statement.

About 200 smartphone and feature brands are assembling in India today, up from just two before 2014, he told TechCrunch. India is assembling roughly 1.8 times more smartphones than Vietnam and about a quarter of China’s output, he said. China, India, and Vietnam are the top three smartphone manufacturers.

“India has come a long way in mobile phone manufacturing,” said Pathak. “Local value addition in India currently stands at an average of more than 15%, compared to the low single digits eight years ago. Many companies are setting up units in the country for manufacturing mobile phones as well as components, leading to growing investments, increasing jobs and overall ecosystem development.”

India has also benefited as many Western companies scramble to look for a backup to China as the world’s factory floor. Even though India is drawing hardware companies to increase their footprint in the nation, current administration officials contend that the South Asian market might have been better off if the preceding ruling parties had performed more diligently.

A senior Indian minister last month blamed the previous governments’ strategic and political vision and “a big dose of incompetence” as significant contributors to the country’s underdeveloped semiconductor industry. “India has missed the bus repeatedly on electronics and semiconductors. There was a lack of strategic and political vision and a big dose of incompetence,” said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, deputy minister for IT.

“Fairchild semiconductors, which is the precursor to Intel, came to India in 1957 for a packaging unit and we chased them away. That packaging unit went on to become Asia’s largest packaging hub in Malaysia. We set up a fab for silicon and germanium transistors that had shut down. India’s major VLSI facility, Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL), perished, as a mysterious fire in 1989 halted production until 1997. In 1987, India was just two years behind the latest chip manufacturing technology. Today, we are 12 generations behind — this is how far behind as a nation on semiconductors,” he said.

Smartphone shipments continue to decline as secondhand and premium markets thrives

The smartphone market has been in decline for the last few quarters, and that’s not surprising given global economic condition. A pair of reports from analytics firms Counterpoint and Canalys suggests that the trend is continuing, even though there are signs of recovery in the future. The reports note that buyers are still looking for cheaper options, either through the refurbished market or companies offering discounts for their older models to clear stocks.

The smartphone market has registered a decline for the eighth straight quarter with an 8% year-on-year dip, according to a report by analytics firm Counterpoint. Canalys’ report suggests that the dip for Q2 2023 was 11% with a streak of six quarters of negative growth.

Samsung led the pack because of strong sales of its mid-range Galaxy A series. While Apple held the second spot, the iPhone maker had the biggest Q2 market share ever, according to Counterpoint. China-based incumbents Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo took third, fourth, and fifth spots. Both Canalys and Counterpoint reports noted almost similar market shares for these phone makers.

Image Credits: Counterpoint

Counterpoint also noted that the premium phone market — which includes devices with a $600+ wholesale price tag — showed great growth. Premium phones captured more than 20% of the market in terms of shipment for the first time. This goes hand in hand with a good quarter for Apple with most of its devices priced above $600. Counterpoint said that the company registered a 50% year-on-year growth in India — with the country on track to becoming the fifth biggest contributor to global iPhone sales.

While the overall smartphone market is still declining, a report published earlier this year noted that the refurbished phone market grew by 16% year-on-year. This means consumers are more willing to buy a used device at a lower rate than a brand-new device.

Both reports throw a lot of jargon to indicate recovery, but the gist is that manufacturers are trying hard to get rid of their old device stock through various discounts and sales schemes. This could pave the way for demand for newer models and fuel market recovery.

Canalys says that it has seen increased marketing activity from phone makers for its upcoming launches. Plus, it said that companies like OPPO, Vivo, Transsion, and Xiaomi are pushing their sub-$200 models through retail channels, which could be key to growth in countries like India.

Analysts didn’t specify a timeline for when we will see the recovery of the market. But they indicated that smartphone companies are taking measures like buying components in large quantities to fight price hikes and inflation.

Apple leads charge as India’s smartphone exports double in record surge

India’s smartphone exports have more than doubled, reaching over $11 billion in the fiscal year that ended in March, according to trade data examined by the industry body India Cellular and Electronics Association and government officials, underscoring the South Asian market’s growing ambition to become a global hardware manufacturing hub.

Smartphone exports of $11.2 billion figure surpasses New Delhi’s target of $9-10 billion even as Chinese smartphone makers, who commanded over two-thirds of all local shipment in India just two years ago, contributed little to the exports.

Apple made up almost half of the total exports with an estimated $5 billion to $5.5 billion, as per industry analysts. Samsung Electronics, the South Korean giant, ranked second with about $4 billion.

The surge in smartphone exports can be attributed to New Delhi’s concerted efforts and substantial financial incentives, which aim to encourage smartphone manufacturers to expand their operations in India as the South Asian market races to bolster local infrastructure.

Last year, Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, initiated the production of the iPhone 14 in India, marking the first time the country assembled Apple’s latest model. This move is part of Apple’s aggressive strategy to diversify its supply chain network beyond China, where Covid restrictions and other factors highlighted the risks of relying heavily on a single nation.

According to analysts at JP Morgan, Apple is set to further expand its manufacturing capabilities in India, with plans to produce 25% of all iPhones by 2025. In another sign of its growing ambitions in India, the world’s second largest smartphone market, Apple is set to open its first two retail stores in the country next week.

“With the doubling of exports of smartphones to more than $11 billion, India is well on its way to become a leader in the mobile device market of the world and play a major role in India’s electronic exports. This is a major win for PM Modijis Make in India program,” said Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in a statement.

Apple leads charge as India’s smartphone exports double in record surge by Manish Singh originally published on TechCrunch

Xiaomi’s 13 Pro flagship has a 1-inch sensor

The Xiaomi 13 Pro flagship made a global debut today at Mobile World Congress (MWC)  in Barcelona. With this device — which was launched in China in December — the company is banking on a one-inch main sensor, Leica lenses and 120W fast charging. This is, in essence, a Samsung Galaxy S series competitor.

Cameras have long been a major differentiating factor in today’s flagships. Xiaomi is using a massive one-inch Sony IMX989 50-megapixel sensor with f/1.9 aperture to get the best and brightest photos in all lighting conditions. A couple of phone manufacturers including Vivo and Sharp have already included this sensor in a few devices. The camera is capable of video recording in 8K resolution — 4K resolution at 60 fps if recording in Dolby Vision.

There’s also a 50-megapixel telephoto camera with a “floating lens” element, which results in a 3.2x lossless zoom. Plus, the device has another 50-megapixel ultrawide sensor. The 13 Pro has a 32-megapixel front camera with a night mode and dual-framing (0.8x and 1x) modes.

All those cameras and their Leica lenses are placed in a massive square housing on the back. While we’ve seen plenty of square camera bumps, the size really makes this one stand out.

Apart from the camera system, the Xiaomi 13 Pro’s spec sheet standard fare for a 2023 Android flagship. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, 6.73-inch WQHD+ AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and 1,900 nits of peak brightness, support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG HDR standards, 12GB LPDDR5X RAM and USF 4.0 storage.

Xiaomi’s latest flagship has a 4,820 mAh battery that can be charged in minutes through a proprietary 120W charger. However, these charging bricks are huge and bulky. The device supports also 50W wireless charging with compatible charging pucks along with 10W reverse charging if you quickly want to top up your earbuds.

The 13 Pro will be available in ceramic white and ceramic black colorways with 256GB and 512GB storage variants. It will be available in Europe from March 8, starting  at €1,200 ($1,373). Along with the new flagship, the company also launched the Xiaomi 13, with a starting price of €999 ($1,056) and the Xiaomi 13 Lite with a starting price of €499 ($527).

At present, Xiaomi is in a peculiar spot, globally. The company has fallen behind Apple, Oppo, Vivo, and Honor in China. India, where the phone maker has dominated the phone shipment ranking for the past few years, has conceded the top position to Samsung in the last quarter. It has also faced challenges in the South Asian country with the departure of top executives, anti-china sentiment, and tax investigations from regulatory bodies. Amid all this, Xiaomi really wants to deliver a winner.

Read more about MWC 2023 on TechCrunch

Xiaomi’s 13 Pro flagship has a 1-inch sensor by Ivan Mehta originally published on TechCrunch

China smartphone market slumps to 10-year low in 2022

After a decade of frantic growth, China’s smartphone market is hitting a speed bump as COVID-19 roils the world’s second-largest economy.

The country’s smartphone shipments dropped 14% year-over-year in 2022, reaching a ten-year low, according to research firm Counterpoint. It was also the first time that China’s handset sales had slid below 300 million units in ten years, according to Canalys. Even in December, which has historically seen seasonal jumps in sales, China recorded a 5% quarter-to-quarter decline in smartphone shipments.

The three-year-long stringent “zero-COVID” policy that disrupted businesses and dampened consumer confidence, coupled with macroeconomic headwinds, spelled an end to China’s years of double-digit growth. Troubles mounted when the abrupt relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in early December resulted in a surge in cases, further adding pressure to the waning economy. Last year, China’s GDP grew 3%, its lowest in decades other than 2020.

Alibaba’s annual shopping bonanza in November offered some clues to China’s weakening spending power. The event, which is often compared to Black Friday and seen as a bellwether for the country’s consumer appetite, did not disclose its final sales number in 2022 for the first time since its inception in 2009.

There was one winner in this gloomy time. Apple finished the year with an all-time high market share of 18% thanks to “its aggressive promotions” and “resilient” demand in the high-end segment in China, according to Canalys. Its ascent also coincides with Huawei’s fall from grace in the premium handset market since U.S. sanctions cut off its access to high-end chipsets.

Apple’s relationship with China remains a delicate one. The country is not only one of its biggest markets but has been the manufacturing backbone that created the world’s most valuable company today. In the past few years, however, COVID-related disruptions, such as a rare worker protest at a major Foxconn plant that delayed production, prompted the hardware juggernaut to rethink its supply chain strategy. The Wall Street Journal reported in early December that Apple was looking to relocate some of its supply chains out of China to other parts of Asia, including Vietnam and India.

India, in particular, is expected to play a bigger role in Apple’s supply chains as the firm plans to expand its manufacturing capacity in the country to produce 25% of all iPhones by 2025, according to JP Morgan analysts.

In Q4, the top smartphone brands in China by shipment were Apple, Vivo, Oppo, Honor (which was spun off from Huawei following U.S. sanctions on the parent firm), and Xiaomi.

China smartphone market slumps to 10-year low in 2022 by Rita Liao originally published on TechCrunch

Smartphone woes continue as global market dips 9%

More doom and gloom for smartphone manufacturers, as global smartphone shipments experience the third consecutive decline this year. Per numbers from Canalys, shipments dropped a lowly 9% last quarter, marking the worst Q3 for the category since 2014.

Apple is a rare bright spot among the numbers, with some positive growth as the rest of the top five posted declining numbers from the same time last year. Samsung remains in first place, with 22% of the overall market, while Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo round out the top five.

If you’ve followed the category with any regularity, none of this will come as any surprise, of course. Following years of explosive growth, numbers plateaued and began dropping off, due to aspects like pricing and market saturation. Things, naturally, were only accelerated by the pandemic, courtesy of lockdowns and economic struggles. Since then, supply chain shortages, inflation and the like have only served to exacerbate the situation.

Image Credits: Canalys

“The smartphone market is highly reactive to consumer demand and vendors are adjusting quickly to the harsh business conditions,” says Canalys Analyst Amber Liu. “For most vendors, the priority is to reduce the risk of inventory building up given deteriorating demand. Vendors had significant stockpiles going into July, but sell-through gradually improved from September owing to aggressive discounting and promotions.”

For now, at least, the category shows no signs of future improvement.

Smartphone woes continue as global market dips 9% by Brian Heater originally published on TechCrunch

Cloudflare launches an eSIM to secure mobile devices

Are smartphones ever entirely secure? It depends on one’s definition of “secure,” particularly when dealing with corporate environments. Most companies with bring-your-own-device policies install apps or agents on workers’ smartphones to help secure them, leveraging the management capabilities built into operating systems like Android and iOS. But those might not be sufficient.

That’s what Cloudflare argues, anyway, in the pitch for the new services it’s launching this week. Today, the company announced Zero Trust SIM and Zero Trust for Mobile Operators, two product offerings targeting smartphone users, the companies securing corporate phones and the carriers selling data services.

Let’s start with Zero Trust SIM. Designed to secure all data packets leaving a smartphone, Zero Trust SIM — once launched in the U.S. (to start) — will be available as an eSIM deployable via existing mobile device management platforms to both iOS and Android devices. It’ll be locked to a specific device, mitigating the risk of SIM-swapping attacks, and usable either in a standalone configuration or in tandem with Cloudflare’s mobile agent, WARP.

In a recent email interview, Cloudflare CTO John Graham-Cumming made the case that Zero Trust SIM can accomplish what VPNs and other secure layers can’t: cell-level protection. A SIM card can act as another security factor, and — in combination with hardware keys — make it nearly impossible to impersonate an employee, he argued.

“Zero Trust SIM provides defense in depth. A VPN layer is one of those components, but doesn’t remove the need to still deploy cellular connectivity across all of your mobile devices today, and traditional ‘AnyConnect-style’ VPNs do nothing to stop attackers moving laterally once they’re inside the VPN,” Graham-Cumming said. “We continue to see organizations breached due to challenges securing their applications and networks, and what was once a real-estate budget is quickly becoming a ‘secure my remote and distributed workforce’ budget from an IT security perspective.”

Specifically, Graham-Cumming said that Zero Trust SIM will enable Cloudflare to rewrite DNS requests leaving a device to instead use Cloudflare Gateway for DNS filtering. It’ll also support validating every host and IP address before it reaches the internet and identity-based connectivity to services and other devices, and it can be used as a second factor for authentication, he added.

While pricing hasn’t been decided, Zero Trust SIM — which will launch in the next few months — will be treated as a part of Cloudflare’s Zero Trust platform from a billing perspective — Graham-Cumming says it’ll be an extension of the per-seat pricing Zero Trust customers have today. He expects that most devices will be compatible, and even more once Cloudflare begins providing physical SIM cards for the service, which it plans to do in the near future.

“Our intent is to start in the U.S., but quickly work to make this a global service — running a global network is a core part of what we do,” Graham-Cumming said. “Although we’re early in development here, we’re already working on parallel initiative in the industrial internet of things (IoT) space (e.g., vehicles, payment terminals, shipping containers, vending machines). The Zero Trust SIM is, itself, a foundational piece of technology that unlocks a lot of new use cases.”

On the subject of IoT, Cloudflare today previewed a platform for IoT devices — aptly called IoT Platform — with the goal of providing a single pane-of-glass view over a fleet of connected devices. Meant to compete with IoT management services from Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, Cloudflare’s offering handles ordering, provisioning and managing cellular connectivity and security for IoT.

Every packet that leaves each IoT device can be inspected, approved or rejected by policies customers create before it reaches the Internet, cloud, or other devices, according to Cloudflare. Moreover, devices can be locked to a specific geography to ensure that sensitive traffic doesn’t reach public channels.

More information will be available in the coming months as the formal launch of IoT Platform approaches, Cloudflare says.

Cloudflare had less to share on the Zero Trust for Mobile Operators front. A carrier partner program, Zero Trust for Mobile Operators will allow service providers to offer subscriptions to mobile security tools from Cloudflare’s Zero Trust platform, Graham-Cumming said. Interested operators can sign up starting today for more information.

One presumes that Zero Trust for Mobile Operators — and, for that matter, the new Zero Trust SIM — is pilot in what could become a lucrative line of business for Cloudflare beyond WARP, which the company launched on a freemium model three years ago. According to Allied Market Research, the global mobile security market was valued at $3.3 billion in 2020 and could reach $22.1 billion by 2030.

IoT Platform makes sense for Cloudflare, too, given the robustness of the IoT market. According to one source, enterprise IoT spending grew 22.4% in 2021 to $158 billion as tailwinds like supply chain challenges strengthened. The segment’s rife with incumbents, but Cloudflare’s evidently betting it can throw around enough weight to make a sizeable dent.

Cloudflare launches an eSIM to secure mobile devices by Kyle Wiggers originally published on TechCrunch

Huawei offers satellite SOS in China where Apple’s is unavailable

A day before Apple unveiled its highly anticipated satellite-powered SOS feature for iPhone 14, Huawei announced its own equivalent.

The Chinese telecoms equipment and smartphone giant said its flagship Mate 50 series will support texting via satellite communication. The feature is made possible by Beidou, China’s own navigation alternative to the U.S. government-owned Global Positioning System.

Sending messages via satellite signal isn’t a particularly new technology. But it’s the first time this feature of Beidou’s has been implemented in consumer-facing smartphones, Huawei said. Users will be able to send messages and their geographic coordinates using a special app and generate a map of their path, all the while cellular connection is unavailable.

The SOS communication feature is perhaps more useful in the U.S. where it’s easy to go off-the-grid — either because people choose to while camping or simply because cellular signals are not covered. Anyone who’s tried to seek real wilderness in China knows how often they end up on 5G-covered paved ways (with stairs and handrails!) instead of trails inside spectacular national reserves.

This new buzzy satellite function won’t likely save Huawei from its own troubles. The behemoth’s market share has taken a hit globally ever since the U.S. cut it off from core Android services and advanced chip supplies. It’s suffered at home, too, as it fell out of the top five brands in China last year, according to data from Counterpoint. Apple ranked fifth in Q2 in China with 13% of the country’s shipment volume.

Apple’s SOS satellite option is only available in the U.S. and Canada for now, while Huawei’s only works in mainland China. The divide has led a Chinese tech analyst to allude to the technological decoupling between the U.S. and China: “This situation [of the two handset giants each providing the SOS feature in their own country] is a metaphor for our world today.”

But ties between the two tech superpowers have been harder to untangle than many have expected. As the New York Times reported this week:

More than ever, Apple’s Chinese employees and suppliers contributed complex work and sophisticated components for the 15th year of its marquee device, including aspects of manufacturing design, speakers and batteries, according to four people familiar with the new operations and analysts. As a result, the iPhone has gone from being a product that is designed in California and made in China to one that is a creation of both countries.

Huawei offers satellite SOS in China where Apple’s is unavailable by Rita Liao originally published on TechCrunch

UK’s FocalPoint raises $17M for its software-based approach to repairing the flaws of GPS

GPS in its many regional flavors has become a ubiquitous feature in phones, smart watches, cars and other connected devices, but for all the location-based features that it helps enable (mapping being the most obvious) it has a lot of shortcomings: it can be slow and inaccurate, it can contribute to faster battery drain, and as people are discovering, it can be manipulated or exploited in unintended and alarming ways.

Today, a UK startup called FocalPoint that’s building software to improve GPS’s operations, accuracy and security is announcing a round of funding to continue building out its tech — which today works up to 4G and will in future also work with 5G and WiFi — and to roll out the first commercial deployments of its system with early customers. Use cases for the tech include more accurate location for smartphone apps for navigation or location tracking (for example for running and other sports); to help companies with their navigation services (for example for transportation or fleet management); and for better GPS security overall.

Based in Cambridge and founded as a spinout from Cambridge University, FocalPoint has raised £15 million ($17 million), part of a Series C round that it expects to total £23 million ($26 million) when fully completed. Molten Ventures (FKA Draper Esprit) — which led a £6 million Series B in 2021– and Gresham House are the two investors in so far. Ramsey Faragher, the CTO and founder, said that the other investors, which include a major U.S. automotive brand that is a strategic investor, will be closing in the coming weeks.

FocalPoint about a year ago had another notable business development that is helping put the startup on potential customers’ radar: last September, it appointed Scott Pomerantz as its CEO. Described as a “living legend in GPS” Pomerantz previously founded Global Locate, one of the first companies to bring GPS to the mass market, with its tech used by Apple and others. That startup eventually got acquired by Broadcom.

Speaking of Apple, FocalPoint’s focus on better GPS is coming at a timely moment. Just yesterday, the iPhone giant announced its newest Apple Watch models, featuring much more accurate GPS using a multi band approach on devices touting newly extended battery life. It is a signal of the priority that device makers are putting on improving GPS, and investments that they would be willing to make to do so, and thus the opportunity for startups offering new and more effective approaches to crack the market.

As Faragher explained to TC, GPS development to date has largely been based around chipsets embedded in the devices using it, which has meant that improving services by and large have depended on new versions of that hardware. That’s a big hill to climb, however, when considering the embedded market of legacy chips and the process of rolling out next-generation hardware: There were 1.8 billion GPS chipsets shipped as of 2019, with the total projected to grow to 2.8 billion by 2029. Smartphones account for the bulk of those numbers, but autonomy, road and drone devices are growing the fastest.

Along with that, GPS relies on using one or another of two radio bands; typically one produces better positioning than the other but it does so at a cost of draining battery life in the process.

FocalPoint is working on a software-based solution, Faragher said, which he said means that the chipsets themselves do not necessarily need to be swapped out or upgraded to implement its faster approach.

It’s working on algorithms, he said, which are aimed at understanding the directions of satellite signals, using this to gain better understanding of exact location of a device — a process that not only improves the accuracy of a location, but helps to identify when a signal is potentially getting spoofed to appear in one place when it’s actually somewhere else. This is carried out using the band that is less battery-intensive, which previously had been deemed to have poorer positioning performance. “The higher performing signal has always been more computationally intensive,” he said, which is why it impacts batter life. “We can make the lower quality, lower-battery-intensive signal better.”

There are other approaches aiming for the same outcome, but Faragher said they have been too costly and clunky.

“Only military antennas have been able to detect movement like this before,” he said, with those antennas coming in the form, of satellite dishes that are the size of a dinner plate and cost around $10,000 each — a big expense when hundreds need to be used across a wider mobile network. “What we are offering is a military-grade feature for the cost of software upgrade,” he said. “We synthesize expensive antennae.” this could help reduce the cost of other components and this resonates. End expense off a component
There are two different frequencies used by satellites, more computationally intensive for the higher performing signal. So we can make the lower quality battery use signal better than then more expensive signal.

Companies that have worked with FocalPoint to test how its software works are a key to where the company is aiming its business: the startup partnered with Google and its Android team to test how its software could improve location of users for its mapping software in a trial that the two companies ran in London.

“We demonstrated to Google that before using our technology, it couldn’t use the lower quality GPS band for its in-house mapping technology,” he said. That in-house tech is what Google would use for any navigation service, including for Google Maps as well as its devices. He said that Google’s approach, which looks at how signals bounce off buildings to figure out location, is useful with the higher GPS signal but not the lower one, therefore being a stronger drain on battery life. “We could make that lower band work.”

Faragher would not comment on whether it was working with Google, or any other specific companies, during the interview.

“Existing GPS technologies are no longer fit for purpose and we’re proud to continue our support for FocalPoint in its mission to revolutionise the accuracy of GPS and other global navigation satellite systems and in doing so, solve the issues faced by business and consumers with imprecise and unsafe receivers,” said David Cummings, a venture partner with Molten Ventures, in a statement. “We’ve been impressed with how the team has continued to build and expand since its Series B funding round last year, and are thrilled to support FocalPoint in this next exciting chapter for the company”.

UK’s FocalPoint raises $17M for its software-based approach to repairing the flaws of GPS by Ingrid Lunden originally published on TechCrunch

Apple unveils the A16 Bionic, its most powerful mobile chip yet

At a jam-packed event in Cupertino this morning, Apple revealed details of the chip powering the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max: the A16 Bionic. The successor to the A15 Bionic (which can be found in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus), it packs more transistors — 16 billion, manufactured on a 4nm process — and components specially-designed to accelerate AI and other tasks across smartphone apps and iOS.

Apple says that the A16 Bionic has a multi-core processor with six high-performance and two efficiency cores, a five-core GPU and a 16-core neural engine for performing up to 17 trillion operations per second. The company further claims the high-performance cores use 20% less power compared to the A15 Bionic’s performance cores, while the efficiency cores use a third of the power of unnamed competitor chips.

The GPU has up to 50% more memory bandwidth, and overall, Apple says that A16 Bionic is upwards of 40% faster than rival chipsets.

Other standout features include a custom image signal processor that powers the iPhone 14 Pro’s camera system. The processor, GPU, neural engine and image signal processor in the A16 Bionic work together to support the new camera hardware and perform up to 4 trillion operations per photo. Meanwhile, a new display engine enables 1 Hz refresh rates, high peak brightness, features like always-on display and antialiasing to smooth out rough edges in display graphics.

read more about Apple's fall event, September 7, 2022

Apple unveils the A16 Bionic, its most powerful mobile chip yet by Kyle Wiggers originally published on TechCrunch