Yes, it’s that time of year already. It might feel like summer has only just arrived, but we could be as little as six weeks away from Apple’s next iPhone. This annual event heralds the start of autumn, and with it, the busy run-in to Christmas.
Of course, we don’t know that for a fact. As ever, Apple is yet to breath a word about the iPhone 14. But seeing that almost every iPhone in recent years has launched in September, an event next month is a dead cert.
So what? you might be thinking. Won’t it just be more of the same? Yes and no. Because while some new iPhones only involve minor tweaks on what’s come before, the iPhone 14 is set to have some major changes. We’re talking a new design, new cameras, new processors, and even a new variant in the iPhone 14 Max (farewell, iPhone Mini).
Excited? We don’t blame you. Let’s run down the latest rumours and find out everything you need to know about the iPhone 14.
iPhone 14 release date: September?
Apple never confirms a new product ahead of launch. But consider this: almost every iPhone since 2012’s iPhone 5 has launched in September, with a new iteration launching yearly. So it’s a smart bet that we’ll see the iPhone 14 this September.
The question is, when? Apple typically favours the first or second Tuesday of the month, so chances are we’ll see it on either Tuesday 6th or Tuesday 13th September. iDropNews reckons it will be the latter.
The iPhone 13 launched on Tuesday 14th September 2021, so 13th seems a safe bet for the iPhone 14.
Apple holds its events at its Apple Park HQ in Cupertino, California. They usually start at 10am Pacific Time, which is 6pm GMT.
That’s the launch date, but what about the actual on-sale date? When will we be able to buy it?
Pretty soon after, if past iPhones are anything to go by. The handsets typically hit shop shelves a week or two after being announced. Though certain models might be in short supply.
Analyst Ross Young said recently that the iPhone 14 Max (the newest member of the line-up) isn’t where it should be in this stage of the production process. That doesn’t guarantee shortages or delays, but it doesn't bode well. Watch this space.
iPhone 14 price: not cheap
The iPhone has never been cheap. If you want a more wallet-friendly iPhone, you should opt for the iPhone SE, but even that is out of the reach for many. But the full-fat iPhone is even pricier.
The iPhone 13 starts at £679. With the cost-of-living crisis, everything is getting more expensive, from the weekly shop to petrol, from a pint of beer to a McDonald’s cheeseburger. We would expect the iPhone 14 to have a similar price tag to the iPhone 13. Or if it does get more expensive, we wouldn’t expect a premium of more than £20 or so.
Remember, these are “from” prices. £679 currently gets you the iPhone 13 Mini with an entry-level amount of storage. If you want a bigger, more powerful iPhone with more space for photos, videos, music and the like, it’s going to cost you.
Opt for the top-of-the-range iPhone 13 Pro Max with 1TB of storage, and you’ll pat £1,549. Ouch.
One report claims we could see price rises for certain models. iDropNews claims higher prices are being discussed at Apple. While the standard iPhone 14 would start at the same $799 (or £779 in the UK) as the iPhone 13, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max would both see price tags of $100 more than their iPhone 13 equivalents.
Because the iPhone mini variant is reportedly for the chop, to be replaced by a bigger, pricier iPhone 14 Max, it will push up these prices. But another analyst reckons even the standard iPhone 14 will cost more than the iPhone 13.
There’s no consensus on price yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised by a small price rise on at least some models.
The upside? The iPhone 13 range should come down in price, in keeping with previous years. So you could pick up a slightly older phone for a bargain.
iPhone 14 design: the same but different
Let’s be honest – sometimes a new iPhone isn’t all that different from the existing model. Sure, Apple adds a new feature here and there, and maybe upgrades one area slightly, but the new model often looks identical to the current one. Put them side by side, and most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference.
Not with the iPhone 14. This year’s model is reported to have a whole new look. It’s rumoured to have titanium edges, which would not only change the look but make it stronger than past iPhones, too. There’s talk of the handset getting a “complete redesign”, according to respected Bloomberg analyst Mark Gurman.
Before we get too into the detail, let’s focus on the line-up as a whole. It’s widely rumoured that the iPhone Mini variant is for the chop due to disappointing sales. In its place will be a new iPhone 14 Max – this should have the same-sized 6.7-inch screen as the iPhone 14 Pro Max, though it won’t have the 120Hz resolution of the Pro models. The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro should stick with 6.1-inch screens.
The notch has long been hated by iPhone users. This is the little cutout at the top of the screen which houses the front-facing camera and sensors. It’s been necessary on every full-screen (i.e. no home button) iPhone since the iPhone X. But Apple is set to give this a redesign.
Rumours have surfaced of new ‘hole punch’ displays, which would be smaller and less intrusive than the current notch. Apple wouldn’t be the first to use this design – Samsung uses hole punches on its Galaxy S22 range.
If you want these new cutouts, you’ll have to pay extra. They’re only expected to feature on the two Pro models of iPhone 14 (iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max). The standard non-Pro variants are said to stick with the current notch.
The Pro models are said to have slimmer bezels, too (the bezel is the border around the edge of the screen). That should give the screen more impact, while also potentially slimming the devices down a little.
However, while the devices might be narrower, they could actually be fatter than their iPhone 13 counterparts. That’s because the Pro models could have a fatter camera bump due to their more powerful snappers (they’re said to have 48-megapixel cameras, up from 12-megapixel on the current models).
iPhone 14 screen: always-on?
The big news regarding the screen? It might be always-on. That would mean you could see basic information like the time and battery life without having to wake your phone.
However, it’s likely this feature would be reserved for the two Pro models, and not the iPhone 14 and 14 Max.
The Pro variants are also rumoured to have higher refresh-rate screens than their non-Pro siblings. A 120Hz refresh rate – rumoured for the Pro models – would refresh the screen an astonishing 120 times a second. Which is twice that of the 60Hz screens rumoured for the non-Pro models. That would mean smoother video with less artefcating and blur, which would be especially noticeable during high-speed action like gaming.
Lastly, the Pro models are rumoured to have a more advanced form of OLED panel. Rumours say that the ‘material set’ of the OLED screens in the Pro models will be of a higher quality, meaning better performance and more efficient displays (which could mean longer battery life). The non-Pro models are said to stick with the panels used in the iPhone 13 range, which aren’t exactly shabby.
iPhone 14 specs: more, more, more
If you were hoping for more power from this year’s iPhones, you might be in luck. The iPhone 13 uses the same A15 Bionic chipset as the wallet-friendly iPhone SE, so it’s a safe bet that Apple will give the iPhone 14 range a more powerful brain.
But maybe not every new iPhone will get more power. Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts the new A16 chipset will debut only in the two Pro models, while the non-Pro variants will stick with the A15 Bionic.
The A6 Bionic is thought to be one of the first 4nm chips, which would be a serious jump in power compared to the iPhone 13. That would mean smoother graphics, quicker responses and slicker 3D maps.
Kuo also reckons every model in the iPhone 14 family will have 6GB of RAM. Apple doesn’t publicise the RAM of its phones, but the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini have 4GB, while the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have 6GB. If this rumour is true, that would be a spec boost for the non-Pro models.
We could see faster data transfers, too. One rumour claims the 14 Pro models will have a Lightning connection which supports USB 3.0 speeds – that’s up to 5Gbps, up from 380Mbps currently available. That would mean much faster transfers for files like hi-res video and large photos – creative professionals rejoice!
Apple has reportedly tested an iPhone with a USB-C port, and it will have to offer this in Europe by autumn 2024 due to recent regulation (though not in the UK since we left the EU). But expect it to stick with Lightning ports for the iPhone 14.
Storage? We’re expecting the same options as the current range, from 128GB to 1TB.
And it’s rumoured that Apple has abandoned plans to integrate a Touch ID fingerprint sensor into the iPhone 14’s screen, so expect a firm focus on the more convenient Face ID facial recognition.
iPhone 14 camera: three times the power
The main change slated for the iPhone 14 Pro’s camera is a more powerful main shooter. It’s said to boast 48 megapixels, three times as many as the iPhone 13 Pro’s 12 megapixels. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple needs this higher resolution for use with augmented reality applications. (Apple is rumoured to be working on an augmented reality headset to launch soon.)
The iPhone 14 Pro, Max and Pro Max are all rumoured to boast triple-lens cameras, while the standard iPhone 14 will apparently make do with a dual-lens shooter.
Kuo also notes that all four iPhone 14 models will support 8K video recording, something that Samsung’s Galaxy S handsets already offer. Apple could also follow its arch rival in offering a periscope zoom lens (something it has already patented). Is Apple playing catch-up? Or will its version be more compelling? Not long to wait until we find out.