The iPhone 15 Pro might not be as powerful as we’d hoped

The iPhone 14 Pro facing forwards, held in a hand at an angle
The iPhone 14 Pro (Image credit: Future)

Most signs so far had pointed to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max getting a significant power upgrade over their predecessors, with more RAM and a vastly faster chipset. But a new leak suggests the improvements might not be as substantial as we thought.

This comes from leaker @URedditor (via 9to5Mac), who claims that the A17 Bionic chipset we’re expecting to power these phones will have six CPU cores and six GPU cores. That’s the same number of CPU cores as the A16 Bionic in the iPhone 14 Pro line, but one additional GPU core.

Additionally, the A17 Bionic is said to have a maximum clock speed of 3.70GHz, which is up from 3.46GHz in the A16 Bionic.

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Those aren’t tiny upgrades, particularly coupled with the 3nm manufacturing process we expect this chipset to be built on (and which is also mentioned here). That change in process could in itself lead to greater power and efficiency, but even with that combination of changes, this doesn’t sound like a vast improvement.

Indeed, in a reply to someone, @URedditor says that “they only want these things to be slightly better, just barely enough to justify the upgrade in some people’s eyes.” So it sounds like they don’t think much of the changes here.

The worst is yet to come

The bad news doesn’t end with the chipset either, because while some leaks had suggested the iPhone 15 Pro line would get 8GB of RAM, this latest leak mentions 6GB, just like the current models. @URedditor directly addresses this, saying “I’ve only seen 6GB so far; 8GB seems unlikely (but maybe not impossible).”

So if this leak is right, then we might see a fairly small chipset upgrade and no change to the amount of RAM.

Still, there’s reason to be hopeful. After all, other leaks have suggested both that there will be more RAM, and that the A17 Bionic will be extremely powerful. So it’s possible that this latest leak is wrong, or that those changes to the chipset will make a significant difference.

Even if we don’t see vast upgrades though, our iPhone 14 Pro review and our iPhone 14 Pro Max review found no issues with the power of those phones. In fact, they’re still among the best phones on the planet, so arguably the new models aren’t in desperate need of a big performance boost.

We should have a clearer idea of just how powerful the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will be on September 12, as that’s the most likely iPhone 15 release date, going by leaks and rumors.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.