The iPhone 14 is still months away, but we already have a number of credible leaks regarding the next set of flagship phones from Apple.
These started before the iPhone 13 launched with some of the leaks and rumors about that phone spilling over to the iPhone 14. Of course, take these rumors with a grain of salt and apply a few extra shakes for a phone that will not be released for several months. However, if we hone in on the strongest sources, there is a reasonably high level of confidence that these rumors and leaks are accurate.
With that preamble aside, here’s a look at everything we’ve gathered on the iPhone 14 so far, including the expected release date, pricing, design, specs and more.
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iPhone 14 release date
There hasn’t been a whisper regarding the announcement of the iPhone 14 yet because, of course, there wouldn’t be. But in this regard, Apple is a creature of habit and the middle weeks of September are almost unquestionably when it will launch. Excluding the iPhone 12, Apple has stuck to an announcement between September 7 and September 12 every year going back to the iPhone 5 in 2013.
iPhone 14 price
The one solid iPhone 14 pricing rumor comes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who projects that the iPhone 14 will include the “lowest price ever” for a large iPhone. This is due to the introduction of an iPhone 14 Max, which he claims would be a sub-$900 6.7-inch iPhone. The demise of the iPhone mini has been widely projected, with the four phone lineup moving to two 6.1-inch and two 6.7-inch phones.
If that proves true the rest of the lineup would likely hold steady with the iPhone 14 at $799 (the iPhone 14 Max at $899) and then the iPhone 14 Pro models at $999 and $1,099, respectively.
iPhone 14 design
While Apple is unlikely to move away from the basic iPhone 12 design, perhaps the biggest iPhone 14 rumor comes from the oft-reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who indicated in a research note (reported on by MacRumors) that Apple may finally eliminate the notch with the iPhone 14.
This idea has garnered additional support with Ross Young of Display Supply Chain Consultants showing off what he refers to as a "hole + pill" design for the front-facing camera. Although Ross specifies that this would be limited to the Pro models.
We now believe Apple will have a hole + pill design on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models. The smaller hole will not be invisible...The two hole concept will be unique to Apple, like the notch, not similar to all the pill models from Huawei...Let's see those new renders pic.twitter.com/Udt8cTKzPZJanuary 12, 2022
The main challenge is maintaining the security of Face ID with the reduced form factor. A Bloomberg report differs slightly on this point, claiming Apple will merely further shrink the notch on the iPhone 14, but eliminating it entirely is still further away.
Bloomberg added that an in-display fingerprint reader could be ready for the iPhone 14. There has been considerable support for this rumor with Kuo forecasting the inclusion of an under-display fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 14 in the same analyst note regarding the large iPhone 14 pricing. More recently a claim from iDrop News indicated that the under-display fingerprint sensor was chopped from the design again based on supply chain reports.
A set of renders released in September by Front Page Tech offered a potential look at the iPhone 14 with a centered hole-punch camera and near flush rear cameras as the two most notable features.
iPhone 14 specs
The biggest spec update of note so far regarding the iPhone 14 is about the A16 Bionic processor. Keep in mind that name may be in flux. Ignoring the name, the rumor suggests the processor will move to a 4-nanometer process from the current 5nm process of the A14 Bionic and the iPhone 13’s A15 Bionic. That should lead to a larger performance jump than we will see this year along with improved power efficiency.
Some have projected a move to 3nm this year, but the general consensus is that only the iPad will be ready for that jump and that the iPhone won’t see it until either 2023 or 2024.
However, if you are considering the iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Max you should stow your A16 party hats as Ming-Chi Kuo believes only the Pro models will be getting the new chip.
The other potentially significant rumor centers on improved battery life based on a smaller 6nm 5G radio and a potentially larger battery as well. The iPhone 13 already righted the battery life wrongs of the iPhone 12, so another step forward for battery life on the iPhone 14 could put it well ahead of the competition.
iPhone 14 cameras
The cameras have the potential to be one of the most significant year-over-year upgrades for the iPhone 14. Once again, citing a Ming-Chi Kuo investor note, he believes the iPhone 14 Pro will adopt a 48MP primary wide-angle camera. While Apple has done a better job of improving the quality of its 12MP sensors, like Google, it hasn’t moved beyond the outdated resolution.
That’s far from the only update though; the Pro models could also introduce a periscope zoom lens akin to what we see in Android flagships like the Galaxy S21 Ultra. This one is admittedly a bit more tenuous. Kuo cited it as likely in the past and the most recent positive sign for it was a patent granted to Apple for a “folded camera” for small devices spotted by PatentlyApple. While this feels inevitable, it’s possible that the folding camera won’t be ready for the iPhone 14.
Another camera rumor that seems to keep getting kicked down the road is the addition of sensor-shift optical image stabilization to all four models. This technology gives dramatically improved image stabilization that enhances video and low-light photos. It was first introduced with the iPhone 12 Pro Max and, while rumors pointed to its inclusion on the entire iPhone 13 lineup, most agree that it will be limited to the Pro models this year.
iPhone 14 outlook
That’s the sum of what we have so far on the iPhone 14 while sticking to sources with a strong history regarding Apple products.
While it’s far from a complete picture, there are some incredibly compelling updates in there. In particular for those who have been impressed by Apple’s computational photography, but felt left out of some of the camera hardware breakthroughs happening on the Android side.
We’ll be eagerly following along for any additional leaks on the iPhone 14 as we are now roughly half a year away.