A report early this week from Nikkei Asia revealed that production on at least one of Apple’s 2022 iPhone models is running behind schedule due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns in China. According to Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu, the iPhone 14 Max was the model in the report. If you haven’t been keeping up with all the leaks and rumors, the iPhone 14 Max is the 6.7-inch model that will replace the iPhone 13 mini.
iPhone 14 Max delay could be on the table
Pu says Pegatron stopping production during the latest lockdown in Shanghai is the reason for the iPhone 14 Max delay, MacRumors reports. As a result, the iPhone 14 Max won’t enter mass production until late August.
Nikkei’s sources claim that all four iPhone 14 models are in the engineering verification test (EVT) phase of production right now.
MacRumors explains that Apple usually completes this step and moves on to the verification phase by the end of June. After that, assemblers such as Foxconn and Pegatron start the new product introduction (NPI) phase. In this phase, they’ll sketch out the manufacturing process for the designs of the new phone models. There’s then a final verification process before the factories start mass production on the latest iPhone.
Apple hosted its big fall event last year on September 14th. If Apple plans to hold this year’s event around the same time, there could be problems. The company might have less than a month to produce enough iPhone 14 Max units for launch.
Pu says the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max are still on track to start mass production in early August. This might lead to a scenario similar to the release of the iPhone 12. In 2020, Apple waited until October to announce its latest iPhone series. Due to a number of production issues, Apple ended up staggering the release of the new models. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro launched weeks ahead of the iPhone 12 mini and 12 Pro Max.
What will the new iPhone look like?
This week, Front Page Tech host Jon Prosser shared updated renders of the iPhone 14 Pro. As expected, it does feature a pill-shaped hole and hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera and Face ID. But that’s really the only significant design change.
There were rumors that Apple might increase the thickness of the iPhone to eliminate the camera bump. Based on these renders, that didn’t happen.
The big question is whether or not all four models will feature the new notchless design. Most rumors are pointing to this being a Pro-model exclusive, but, as noted above, mass production is still a few months away. It might be another month or so before we know for sure, but don’t expect big changes for the non-Pro models this year.
More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.