Apple iPhone 14: Release date, leaks, price, and more

Apple is expected to launch the new iPhone 14 in late 2022, but this one got an early start on the rumor mill, with the first bits of news coming in before the iPhone 13 had even made its debut. But, as a release so far out, the little bits we have heard are likely to evolve and change over the coming year. Phones take a long time to build, and conditions like the ongoing pandemic and chip shortage could still force a change in plans before launch, so take everything here with a pinch of salt.

For now, here’s everything we expect so far from the next iPhone 14:

Cameras

XLeaks

Kuo previously shared that Apple is considering a 48-megapixel camera for the iPhone 14. The company has stuck with 12MP for the last few iPhones, so a 48MP main camera would be a pretty huge increase and allow for tricks like oversampling, which phones like the Pixel 6 and Galaxy S21 already use. A report from Bloomberg adds further color to this, clarifying Apple plans on differentiating the iPhone Pro line from the regular iPhone by limiting the newer, higher-resolution camera to the iPhone 14 Pro line.

This means the iPhone 14 and 14 Max would keep the same capable 12MP cameras that we see in the iPhone 13. Google is predicted to be doing the same thing with the Pixel 6a and reusing a smaller-resolution camera for its cheaper phone — a sensible, cost-saving measure that preserves value for the more expensive models, especially when one considers the bifurcation going on in the chipset arena as well. The 12MP cameras will be good enough for most users, and those who want the best camera possible would be buying the Pro models anyway.

That being said, Apple is likely to improve the front cameras for all the iPhones. “The front camera of four new iPhone 14 models in [the second half of 2022] would likely upgrade to AF (autofocus) [and] about f/1.9 aperture (vs. iPhone 13’s FF (fixed-focus) and f/2.2). AF support and a lower f-number can provide a better shallow depth-of-field effect for selfies or portrait mode. In addition, AF can also enhance the focus effect for FaceTime/video call/livestreaming,” Ming Chi Kuo said. A report from Korea IT News adds that these new “high end” sensors were originally planned for the iPhone 15 but are being moved forward and sourced from a South Korean supplier, with a  further one from Kuo noting that it has a six-element lens to replace the current five-element lens being used. Apple first used a six-element lens in the iPhone 7’s main camera. This would allow the iPhone’s front camera to capture more light and produce sharper selfies. There’s no word on megapixel count, a front where the iPhone still lags behind compared to the vast majority of Android phones (even acknowledging that larger numbers do not necessarily equate to better photos).

Kuo also says that the new iPhone could support 8K video, further pushing Apple ahead as a mobile videography champion. This is also probably going to be limited to the iPhone 14 Pro series if true. It’s also interesting because Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 specifically supports 8K HDR video recording and a slew of other AI-enhanced features for smartphone photography. The ball is in Apple’s court now to respond with its own in-house Bionic chips.

One other camera upgrade for the iPhone 14 is rumored to be autofocus support in the ultrawide camera. While Apple already implemented this for the iPhone 13 Pro, it would come to all models in the iPhone 14 lineup, allowing even those who purchase the cheaper iPhones to capture sharper wide shots.

The iPhone 14 probably won’t have the periscope camera we see in the Pixel 6 Pro, according to Kuo. Apple is testing a periscopic telephoto lens, but that’s likely to make a debut with the iPhone 15 in 2023.

Pricing and release date

Front Page Tech

As with all Apple iPhones in the recent past, the next iPhone is expected to launch in or around September 2022. Whether Apple will hold a virtual event like the past two years or have its first in-person launch in years is something we can’t say for now.

Pricing-wise, it’s not clear if Apple will keep the same pricing structure as the current iPhone lineup, or if it’ll move the regular iPhone size down a tier to fit in the rumored iPhone 14 Max. One report says that the new iPhone may be slightly more expensive than the iPhone 13 due to all-around better cameras. Particularly, the selfie camera is said to cost three times as much as the module Apple employs now. That’s almost certain to trickle down to customers one way or the other.

Either way, Apple may well start the iPhone at around $700 or $800, with prices going to the mid $1,000s, depending on the configuration.

iOS 16

At WWDC 2022, Apple finally announced iOS 16, the software that will power the new iPhones. There’s a lot packed in this new update — even things that Apple did not spotlight. Headlining the update are updates to the lock screen and Messages app. These will delight users as iOS finally gets almost as customizable as Android with its flexible focus-mode-based lockscreen themes, interactive widgets, and repositioned notifications. Undo send and edit message will keep you from sending ill-timed messages, and TapBack spam is banished to the ether as Apple improves SMS reactions support. At the same time, system apps like Mail, Maps, and Safari see updates to bring features we’ve seen in Google’s apps complete with a privacy spin from Apple.

Sharing is also a huge focus for Apple, with SharePlay and iCloud Shared Photo Library coming to the Messages and Photos apps respectively.  Finally, new accessibility features like Live Text will make using an iPhone a lot more comfortable for people with visual impairments.

Models

Taylor Frint/Digital Trends Graphic

Apple has shipped multiple iPhone models since the iPhone 5S, and the iPhone 14 is expected to be no different. Unlike the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 12 before it, however, the 14 is predicted by multiple analysts to be discarding the 5.4-inch iPhone 14 Mini model.

Instead, Apple may instead release a new iPhone 14 Max, a 6.7-inch version of the regular iPhone 14 (and equip both with the currently iPhone Pro-exclusive 120Hz ProMotion displays). This will be the same size as the current iPhone 13 Pro Max model and offer a bigger screen and a larger battery, and is perfect for those who want a large screen iPhone experience, without paying a premium for the Pro model’s better camera.

Specs

Apple is expected to be making a few quality-of-life tweaks with the iPhone 14. There’s likely going to be a new A16 chip to replace the A15 introduced with the iPhone 13 and iPad Mini, though it’s not yet clear what part of the iPhone experience Apple will prioritize with this chip.

More interestingly, Apple is said to be dividing the processor of the new iPhone between the A16 for the iPhones 14 Pro and Pro Max, with the iPhone 14 and 14 Max sticking with the tried and true A15 as per Ming-Chi Kuo.

Only two Pro models would upgrade to the A16 processor, while the 14 & 14 Max will remain the A15. All four new models will likely come with 6GB RAM, with the difference being LPDDR 5 (14 Pro & 14 Pro Max) vs. LPDDR 4X (14 & 14 Max). https://t.co/tHcszIz6gX

— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 13, 2022

Kuo also adds that Apple would be shipping all four devices with 6GB of RAM. This counters earlier reports that the iPhone Pro devices would ship with 8GB of RAM. This report came first from analyst Jeff Pu at Haitong International Securities before being retracted. A later rumor on Korean site Go to Source