No, that headline isn’t a typo; I’m writing about the iPhone 14 despite it being over a year away from launching and we haven’t even seen the iPhone 13.
Among the endless crashing waves of iPhone 13 leaks and rumors hitting our shores are the occasional bits of iPhone 14 flotsam and jetsam. Gathering all of these scraps together has added up to a meaningful picture of what we could see from Apple’s flagship phones in 2022. Of course, take these rumors with a grain of salt and apply a few extra shakes to a phone that will not be released for over a year. If we hone in on the strongest sources, there is a reasonably high level of confidence that these rumors and leaks are accurate.
With all of 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.
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.
While that change sounds credible, there are too many other factors in play for us to make a reasonable projection on the pricing for the full lineup. Samsung reducing the price of the Galaxy S21 series this year may have moved the needle for other manufacturers following pricing moves with the Galaxy S20. With the exception of foldables (which aren’t selling in any volume), it does seem that the current pricing is what the market land at.
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. While there is speculation that the catalyst could be an under-display camera (like what we will see in the Galaxy Z Fold 3 this year), Kuo believed Apple would use a hole-punch camera on high-end models, suggesting only the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will nix the notch.
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 won’t be ready for the iPhone 13, but didn't rule it out for next year. 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.
iPhone 14 specs
The only 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 presumably 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 next 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.
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 without reading the tea leaves and instead going off of sources with a strong history of multi-year projects 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.
In a similar vein, the iPhone 14 will deliver other tech to Apple fans that Android fans have been enjoying for a couple of years now. That includes an under-display fingerprint reader and more minimally invasive front-facing cameras.
We’ll be eagerly following along for any additional leaks on the iPhone 14, particularly as the iPhone 13 is announced and we get a clearer picture of the feature updates Apple didn’t quite manage to address in 2021.