With the iPhone 14 release now just about four months away, we already have a pretty clear idea about what Apple’s next-gen iPhone is going to bring to the table. Suffice it to say, if you thought last year’s iPhone 13 lineup offered incremental improvements, the iPhone 14 may be just the device you’re been waiting for.
Not only can we expect to see a new design that does away with the notch, but the iPhone 14 might also usher in one of the biggest advancements in iPhone camera performance we’ve ever seen. And this, believe it or not, is just the tip of the iceberg.
As a quick aside, you might recall Tim Cook’s promise about doubling down on product secrecy a few years ago. Well, despite Apple’s best efforts, the company’s supply chain is simply too vast to make such a herculean task achievable.
And so, this year, as in years past, we already have a semi-clear idea bout what Apple’s upcoming iPhone will offer, a good few months before its official unveiling.
iPhone 14 is removing the notch
The iPhone X design represented a complete re-imagination of the iPhone form factor. Gone was Touch ID and in its place was an edge-to-edge display with Face ID. And to make room for Face ID and other sensors, the iPhone X introduced us all to the notch.
The notch was controversial upon its release, to say the least. Many people at the time, including myself, found it to be unseemly and decidedly un-Apple-like. But after a few days of use, the notch simply faded into the background.
The notch design has served Apple well, but it’s no secret that Apple has long been eying ways to roll out an iPhone with no notch at all. In other words, Apple is ultimately hoping to release a device with a true edge-to-edge display.
In light of the above, the iPhone 14 may represent the first step on Apple’s path towards that goal.
According to several credible reports, the space occupied by the notch will be getting a lot smaller on the iPhone 14. In its place will be a hole punch and pill design cutout. The end result will likely look similar to the photo below.
Incidentally, the design above will reportedly be exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro models. The design, however, will likely be standard across the entirety of Apple’s iPhone lineup in 2023.
The new design should provide users with a tad more screen real estate.
iPhone 14 lineup – 4 new devices with no iPhone Mini
The iPhone Mini, on the surface, represented a form factor many iPhone users were clamoring for. It was affordable, compact, and offered all of Apple’s latest and greatest mobile technologies.
But for whatever reason — perhaps people were more enamored with the more wallet-friendly iPhone SE — iPhone Mini sales have always been tepid. In fact, the iPhone 12 Mini, upon its release, accounted for just 6% of all iPhone sales in 2020 and 2021.
As a result, Apple this year is reportedly axing the iPhone Mini model entirely, with the iPhone 13 Mini being the last of the lineup.
In light of that, Apple’s 2022 iPhone 14 lineup will consist of 4 devices — an iPhone 14, an iPhone 14 Max, an iPhone 14 Pro, and an iPhone 14 Pro Max. The iPhone panel leak below also provides us with a look at how the designs will differ slightly between the Pro models and the rest of the lineup. Again, recall that the new pill-design cutout will be an iPhone 14 Pro exclusive.
Size-wise, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models will boast 6.1-inch displays, while the iPhone Max models will have 6.7-inch displays. From the picture above, you may also note slightly smaller bezels on the Pro models. Rumor has it that the iPhone 14 Pro Max bezels will be 1.95mm thick, compared to 2.42mm on the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Also, note that the displays themselves will reportedly be a tad taller than the iPhone 13 models.
Apple’s iPhone 14 camera may be an absolute game-changer, according to several sources. Most notably, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the iPhone 14 camera will “elevate mobile phone camera photography to a new level.”
Specifically, the iPhone 14 Pro may feature a 48-megapixel wide-angle sensor on the rear. The sensor is said to be 20% bigger than the sensor on the iPhone 13 Pro. All told, the iPhone 14 Pro camera will deliver crisper photos with more vivid detail, less noise, and more dynamic range. There are also reports that we’ll see a discernible improvement in low-light photography with the iPhone 14.
Kuo’s note reads in part:
We believe that the new 2H22 iPhone may support direct 48MP output and 12MP (four cells merge output mode) output simultaneously. With 12MP output, the CIS pixel size of the new 2H22 iPhone increases to about 2.5um, which is significantly larger than the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, and larger than existing Android phones, and close to the DSC level.
Bloomberg adds that “the new 48-megapixel sensor for the wide-angle camera (which is essentially the “main” camera on the iPhone) will be exclusive to the Pro models.” Meanwhile, the entry-level iPhone 14 models will still feature a 12-megapixel sensor.
With the larger camera hardware, we can also anticipate a slightly thicker camera bump, as evidenced in the leaked schematics below:
It’s worth noting that the biggest iPhone 14 camera improvements will naturally be exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro models.
Better battery life
iPhone battery life is already remarkable, but the iPhone 14 may take things to a new level. While a drastic increase in battery life isn’t likely, or even necessary, a report from earlier in the year suggests that 5G radio frequency (RF) chips in the iPhone 14 will be more power efficient.
What’s more, the component itself is said to be smaller, which may allow Apple to use the extra space for a slightly bigger battery.
When it comes to battery charging, the iPhone has long trailed behind several Android rivals. With the iPhone 14, Apple may finally be making some huge improvements in this regard. Whereas the current iPhone 13 can charge via Apple’s 20W USB-C Power Adapter, there’s a rumor we might see a 30W option this year.
To be clear, you can already buy a 30W charging brick directly from Apple for use on the iPad and iPhone but it’s incredibly bulky. To this end, Apple’s rumored 30W charger would be a Gallium nitride (GaN) charger. This type of charger allows for a much smaller form factor, which is encouraging given the current size of Apple’s 30W charging brick.
And notably, this rumor originates from Ming-Chi Kuo, who has historically had a stellar record with respect to Apple rumors.
Fast charging is obviously convenient, but it can also degrade battery life more quickly. It remains to be seen if this is a sacrifice Apple deems appropriate.
And if you haven’t purchased an iPhone in a while, it’s worth reminding you that Apple doesn’t include charging bricks in the box anymore. Apple made this change with the iPhone 11 a few years ago. Apple claims its decision is for environmental purposes, but others believe it was more of a financial decision.
Apple’s entry-level iPhone 14 models will reportedly boast 6GB of RAM. The Pro models, however, may ship with 8GB of RAM. As it stands now, the entry-level iPhone 13 models have 4GB of RAM.
A16 chip but the A15 will also stick around
Interestingly, we’ve seen rumors suggesting that only Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro models will ship with a brand new A16 processor. The regular iPhone 14 line may still ship with the A15 Bionic. At this point, it’s unclear if this is being done purposely to differentiate the iPhone 14 Pro or if it’s simply a function of ongoing chip shortages currently plaguing the industry.
There are reports the iPhone 14 will offer support for Wi-Fi 6E. This will provide users with improved transmission speeds, lower latency, and a reduction in interference.
“Wi-Fi 6E extends the capacity, efficiency, coverage, and performance benefits of Wi-Fi 6 into the 6-GHz band,” Kevin Robinson of the Wi-Fi Alliance told Wired recently. “With up to seven additional super-wide 160-MHz channels available, Wi-Fi 6E devices deliver greater network performance and support more Wi-Fi users at once, even in very dense and congested environments.”
Note that this will only be available for users who have routers that support the Wi-Fi 6E standard.
No Touch ID
Despite a swirl of rumors, an under-the-display Touch ID sensor isn’t in the cards for the iPhone 14. Personally, I don’t think this feature is necessary given how great Face ID is, but Apple is reportedly exploring this type of feature for future iPhone models.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the earliest we might see an iPhone with an embedded Touch ID sensor is 2025.
iPhone 14 colors
The full breadth of iPhone 14 colors purportedly came to light this week via a post on the social media website Weibo. Originally referenced via MacRumors, here are what the 2022 iPhone color schemes may be.
The iPhone 14 will be available in black, white, blue, red, and purple. The black and white models will be called Midnight and Starlight, respectively.
The Pro models, meanwhile, will be available in these colors: Graphite, silver, gold, and purple. Hopefully, the actual color options will be a bit more expansive and include some sort of green variant.
iPhone 14 Pricing
iPhone pricing is typically something that’s hard to predict. While supply chain sources can provide details about upcoming iPhone designs and features, iPhone pricing typically remains solely in the purview of Apple executives and marketing team members.
That notwithstanding, we have heard some iPhone 14 pricing rumors that are worth sharing. Specifically, Apple’s new iPhone lineup may be $100 more expensive across the board. If true, this is likely due to pricier internal components. So there is a chance that the iPhone 14 Pro may start at $1,099. Similarly, the iPhone 14 Pro Max might start at $1,199. You will, however, certainly want to take this rumor with a grain of salt.
Apple will likely introduce its new iPhone lineup at a special event in early to mid-September. Of course, this assumes no sudden supply chain surprises. Following that, we’ll likely see the iPhone 14 arrive in stores towards the end of the month.
More iPhone 14 coverage: Read our ultimate guide on the iPhone 14 here