Apple’s highly anticipated iPhone 14 event is upon us! Wow, where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday I was ranting about how the iPhone 13 upgrades suck, and just like that, we’re already trekking into iPhone 14 territory — let’s hope I don’t feel compelled to write another “Apple, your upgrades aren’t cutting it!” piece.
Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone 13 is one of the best phones on the market. However, we were crossing our fingers for more of a major generational leap from the iPhone 12, but ultimately, the iPhone 13’s upgrades mostly catered to a niche market (i.e., on-the-go professional cinematographers and photographers) — not the average Joe.
With all the cool things I heard about the iPhone 14, I urged readers to suppress their desires to buy the iPhone 13 and wait for its successor. With the Apple event right around the corner, soon I’ll know whether I made the right recommendation. Don’t let me down, Apple!
That being said, here are the things I want to see at the upcoming Apple event.
1. The disappearance of the dreaded notch
That notch has got to go. The market is awash with stunning Android phones with waterfall displays achieving extraordinary screen-to-body ratios, but the iPhone, supposedly an upmarket device, is still sporting an unsightly panel dip. Get it together, Apple!
If you’re a part of the “I dOn’T evEn noTice it’S theRe!” brigade, I don’t want to hear it. You also won’t notice the funky odor in your room — until someone walks in and drops dead after taking a whiff. In the same way, Apple loyalists are often too attached to acknowledge the iPhone’s flaws, making them “nose blind” to its stench.
As it turns out, my wish for a banished notch may be coming true. According to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 14 Pro models will feature a pill-and-hole design that houses the selfie camera and Face ID hardware. Woot!
If you were hoping that Apple would keep that eyesore — er, I mean “notch” — on the display because you feel it’s a part of the iPhone’s differentiating identity, look on the bright side! After Apple ditches it, you no longer have to hear that tired “I don’t want an iPhone because of the notch!” excuse ever again. It’s a win-win for both sides!
2. 120Hz refresh rate for lower-tier iPhones
The lower-tier iPhone 13 variants, the iPhone 13 mini and the iPhone 13, don’t feature ProMotion, which allows the display to skyrocket to a refresh rate of 120Hz. Perhaps Apple did some market research and determined that most people don’t give a hoot about adaptive refresh-rate displays, so they didn’t prioritize the feature. On top of that, high refresh-rate screens consume power like nobody’s business. If you asked consumers whether they’d prefer a zippy panel or longer battery life, I’d bet money that they’d opt for the latter.
However, for many who have grown accustomed to using 120Hz displays, 60Hz feels sluggish, lethargic, and dare I say it, passé. It’s also unbecoming of the iPhone to still rock a 60Hz display while Android competitors — cheaper ones at that — offer 90hz to 120hz screens. In other words, less-visible brands shouldn’t be overshadowing Apple in the display-specs department. Unfortunately, according to the rumor mill, Apple has no plans to add ProMotion to the iPhone 14 base models. Bummer!
3. The return of Touch ID
One of the most satisfying aspects of the iPhone SE series is the home button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The tantalizing vibrations that occur as you unlock the device or log into apps are damn-near addicting.
No, I don’t want the home button to return, but man, I absolutely adore the haptics from the iPhone SE 2022’s Touch ID. The current-gen iPhone’s sole biometric authentication method is Face ID, which can be inconvenient. Whether they’re saddled with mask mandates or cold-weather gear, it’s not conducive to many users’ lifestyles. Granted, Apple has taken steps to make Face ID more mask friendly, including iOS upgrades and allowing users to unlock their iPhones with an Apple Watch, but many are still beseeching Apple to bring back Touch ID.
There is evidence that Apple plans to add an under-display fingerprint sensor to future iPhones, but tech pundits are uncertain about whether it will be featured on the iPhone 14 or its successors. Apple could also go the iPad Air route and add Touch ID to the power button on the iPhone 14, but I’m not holding my breath.
4. Give us that darn USB-C port
They say hate is a strong word, so that’s why I’ll be using it. I hate, no I loathe, Apple’s proprietary Lightning port. Firstly, it’s pricier and slower than USB-C. Secondly, I travel often, so it’s nice to bring one universal charging cable that can power all of my devices.
For example, I recently flew to San Francisco, and I was relieved that I only needed to bring one cable for my Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy S22 Ultra, and Galaxy Watch 4. I planned on bringing my iPhone SE 2022 to test Apple Wallet’s support for Clipper tickets at the BART fare gate, but the thought of lugging yet another charging cable turned me off. “Oh please!” you may be thinking, “one tiny little Lightning cable won’t kill you.” If you’ve seen how I pack (I like to bring my whole closet with me), you’d realize that it would have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Fortunately, European legislators are #teamKim on my disdain for the Lightning port. Lawmakers ruled that all iPhones sold in the EU must include the universal USB-C port by autumn 2024, which means that the iPhone 14 may be the last phone to sport a Lightning port. I can’t help but feel a little bit of schadenfreude over this decree — I know that Apple is fuming. Haha! Seethe!
5. No price hike
Apple is reportedly ditching the iPhone mini and adding a “Max” tier, so the iPhone 14 lineup should be as follows: iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The starting prices for all four are expected to be $799, $899, $1,099 and $1,199, respectively. If this price speculation holds true, the iPhone 14 will be the lone model to maintain its price point. The positive spin is that the iPhone 14 Max will be the cheapest large screen iPhone ever, but that’s cold comfort for mini fans.
As much as we would love to see iPhone pricing hold steady, this is Apple we’re talking about, and with inflation kicking our butts, the iPhone Is14 will likely be more expensive. Kuo threw a wrench into the iPhone 14 price predictions in mid-August, claiming that the iPhone 14 series’ average selling price will increase by 15% due to the "iPhone 14 Pro's price hikes and higher shipment proportions."
Apple is notorious for taking on a “We don’t care about your opinions! We do what we think is best” strategy when it comes to its iProducts, so chances are high that the Cupertino-based tech giant will only manifest a fraction of this wishlist. Sometimes, Apple’s we-know-better-than-you tactics work. After all, it is an industry-leading expert in smartphone tech. It’s behind the world’s fastest mobile processor, its iOS upgrades are elite, and its camera hardware (and software) are unmatched.
Still, it would be nice if Apple listened to its consumers every now and then. We got a taste of an Apple that listens to its customers at WWDC 2022, but we want more. A little Touch ID doesn’t hurt, so give the people what they want!