Apple plans to equip the iPhone 16 series of smartphones with upgraded hardware that could improve their AI performance, according to a report. The successors to the company’s 2023 iPhone 15 lineup could be equipped with an enhanced processor, in time for iOS 18. Previous reports have suggested that Apple is working on several new AI features that could be included with its next operating system update. Rival Samsung recently released the Galaxy S24 series of smartphones that are also equipped with AI features.

An Economic Daily News report (in Chinese) states that Apple will upgrade its purported A18 chips — expected to arrive on the iPhone 16 series — with an upgraded Neural Engine. Alongside the A18 mobile processor, Apple’s next-generation M4 chips are also expected to feature a new Neural Engine with “significantly” more cores.

The latest iPhone 15 models are equipped with a Neural Engine with 16 cores — this was the case for the iPhone 14, iPhone 13, and iPhone 12 series. Meanwhile, the iPhone 11 and iPhone XS models featured an 8-core Neural Engine, while the older iPhone 8 series had only two Neural Engine cores.

The increased number of cores could be the reason why some of some of the rumoured AI features coming with the iOS 18 update will reportedly be limited to the latest iPhone 16 series. However, it’s also worth noting that Apple has managed to improve the performance of its Neural Engine on recent iPhone models without upping the core count.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said last November that the iOS 18 update was expected to help Apple sell its next generation of smartphones. The company has also confirmed that it is working on new features powered by AI. The successors to the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max models are expected to be unveiled in the second half of 2024. 

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