The iPhone 14 is still months away, but credible leaks regarding the next set of flagship phones from Apple started early and are continuing at an ever more rapid pace.
The rumors started before the iPhone 13 launched with some of the leaks and rumors about that phone spilling over to the iPhone 14. While there’s no shortage of iPhone rumors, we are going to hone in on the strongest sources, to ensure 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.
iPhone 14 release date
While Apple never gives much advance warning regarding the iPhone event, it is a creature of habit and the early 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 projected 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.
YouTuber Lewis Hilsenteger (Unbox Therapy) offered up a first look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max in May, using a replica that he claims came from a third-party case maker based on the schematics for the device. It largely follows the leaks we’ve seen elsewhere with a slight increase in thickness for the body and the camera array.
The other notable change on the replica is the aforementioned elimination of the notch in favor of the “Pill + hole” design. Obviously, this is just a dummy unit, so we don’t get any insight into how the OS would handle the new design. As with all rumors, take this with a grain of salt as there’s no way to verify the authenticity of Hilsenteger’s source, but he does have a reasonable track record and access to sources that make this plausible.
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 display
Rumors regarding the displays on the standard iPhone 14 models have been scarce, but there have been several leaks pointing to an always-on display for the Pro models. This appears to be a lock following the announcement of iOS 16 at WWDC 2022, as the team at 9to5Mac uncovered evidence for an always-on display in the iOS 16 beta code. This would be a perfect fit for the updated notification system coming in iOS 16, but again it may be something only iPhone 14 Pro owners get to enjoy.
The biggest display feature we would love to see trickle down to the standard iPhone 14 is Pro Motion, the 120Hz adaptive display tech introduced on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, but that may be asking too much as Apple looks to maintain its price points with escalating component costs.
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 saw with the A15. A recent Macworld article attempted to quantify it and came up with a 15% CPU boost, a 25-30% GPU jump, and the most dramatic change a 50% increase in memory bandwidth.
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 and a recent DigiTimes asserted that only the Pro models would be getting a bump to LPDDR5 RAM, while the standard models will once again use LPDDR4X RAM.
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. Those that can’t stand the notch are also likely planning the party to celebrate its demise already if those rumors hold true.
We’ll be eagerly following along for any additional leaks on the iPhone 14 as we are now just over a few months away. If you are wondering if those Pro upgrades will be worth it, we’ve also taken a closer look at the iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro based on what we know so far.