New iPhone 14. No mini… but another Max. iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. No iPhone flip or fold. At least not year. But maybe an iPhone SE 3… or 2 1/2. Something?
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First up — maybe literally first up… as in as soon as this spring — new iPhone SE. Kinda. Not the same leap as the iPhone 5s-based SE in 2016 to the iPhone 8-based SE in 2020. Because only two years later and not four. So more the small step of same iPhone 8 enclosure but with new A15 processor and Qualcomm 5G model. Probably the X60 that’s in the iPhone 13, because it’s way more efficient than the previous model… and if this is the way Apple’s going, they’ll need it. The iPhone SE 2 was already challenged when it came to battery life, so unless Apple amps up the capacity, they’re going to need all the chip efficiency they can. That, and an updated single camera system, because of course.
And, as much as some Home button lovers will be ecstatic that Apple is holding onto this design at least one generation longer, there are also fans of the more modern design desperate for Apple to move the SE onto the iPhone XR or 11 platform. Full screen. No Face ID. Touch ID in the power button. And I’d love to see it… I’m just not sure we’ll see it this soon
Now I know it seems like the iPhone 14 has been leaking for years already, but that’s mostly been the Pro. Which I’ll get to in a minute. The regular 6.1-inch iPhone 14 we actually don’t know a whole lot about yet. Except that it’ll still be OLED, still have a Notch, and almost certainly debut Apple’s next-generation silicon, the A16. Maybe still Bionic. I guess we’ll see how truly happy Apple is with that architecture at this point. Moving to TSMC’s 4 or 3 nanometer process will help with both efficiency and performance, depending on how Apple chooses to spend and save on that new transistor budget. Maybe ARMv9 too, though I continue to believe that’s more about catching up to Apple’s silicon than helping push it further. It should boost vector though, which could be interesting depending on where Apple takes their neural engines next. And, of course, a better image signal processor for improved Cinematic Mode and more.
The iPhone mini sounds like it’s two and done, at least for now. Twitter and tech YouTube just aren’t a viable-enough market, especially when it’s split between SE and mini, cheap and small.. instead of one model that’s both cheap and small. But maybe Apple will experiment with that segment again in the future.
Instead, reports point to a lower cost Max. A non-Pro Max. An amateur Max? Either way, anyway, instead of a 5.4-inch iPhone 14 mini, a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max. Which should legit be terrific for everyone and anyone who wants or needs a bigger display, who uses their iPhone as a primary computing device. Or just wants the bigger battery without the bigger pro price. Especially with that more efficient A16 chipset and next-general Qualcomm x65 5G modem. Some are hoping Apple will bring 120Hz ProMotion to the non-Pro lineup. 120Hz RegularMotion? And never say never, but so far Apple’s kept that as one of the big value ads for Pros, and it’s hard to see that changing until there’s something even better for Pros. Like 240Hz ProMotion. The human eye probably peaks out at 480Hz, so we’re really only just beginning.
Because it probably won’t be flipping or folding. I mean, eventually, but Apple’s been working on hinged phones since at least 2011, and proper folding phones for the last couple of years now, but they apparently still don’t think the technology is ready for prime time. They’ve certainly had the equivalent to the Galaxy Fold and Flips 1, 2, and 3 in the labs. They’re just going to keep it there, in the labs, until they think they’ve got something durable and affordable enough to ship to mainstream customers in the hundreds of thousands of units. And it sure doesn’t sound like that’s an iPhone 14 Flip or Fold, at least not yet.
Now, iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, that’s a total different story… those there have been a ton of reports about. And yes, there’s still plenty a trip twixt a leak and ship, but so far we’re hearing titanium rails instead of stainless steal, to help reduce the weight added by the extra battery. Also, a hole punch instead of a notch, with the infrared camera, flood illuminator, and dot projector buried beneath the display, and only the RGB camera remaining, staring back at us. That’ll go in-display as well at some point, when it can better shoot betwee the OLED sub-pixels, at least enough for machine learning to correct for. But not today. As to the in-display fingerprint reader that’s been rumored for years now, it’s really hard to say. Apple has been working on an acoustic system, and has access to Qualcomm’s ultra-sonic patents, which should be way better than optical kind some others have been using. But at this point, I’d settle which just getting it back iPad Air style in the power button as well.
The camera system is finally supposed to be getting a 48 megapixel sensor. That’ll give it 8K video as well as 4x binned 16 megapixel photos with even more light. Maybe better zoom as well, to match the macro mode we got in the 13, although a true periscope zoom sounds like it’s still another year away. Also, a bump up to 8GB of memory to support that new camera and it’s 8K ProRes video. Maybe even a 2 TB version to record that…. What… 12 to 24 GB per minute footage?