Will the iPhone 14 still have the lightning port? What about the notch? Will it connect to satellites? Let’s look at all the credible rumors, days before Tim Cook steps on stage to give us the iPhone 14!
The iPhone launch this year around is a rather special one. In three full years (ever since the iPhone 11), it’s the first time Apple has invited fans, journalists, and experts back to the Steve Jobs Auditorium for a keynote event. A lot has happened in those three years too – Apple’s filed patents for solar connectivity, they’ve patented various folding displays, and speculators have even mentioned that 4 years in, the company is prepared to transition away from the notch. Moreover, we’re also dealing with EU legislation that will make USB-C mandatory for all phones sold in the region. So with just 40-something hours till the new iPhone drops, let’s do a quick recap on everything we know, everything we think we know, and everything we wish we knew more about!
4 new iPhone models, but with a twist
Perhaps the one thing we can say with a degree of certainty is that Apple won’t be launching more than 4 variants of their latest flagship model. In the past two years, Apple has unveiled two regular and two Pro variants of the iPhone, with the iPhone Mini being a surprisingly new experiment on the company’s part. Following what seems like lackluster sales, it’s rumored that Apple will kill their Mini project and stick to a regular and a Max size structure for both the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Pro. Moreover, this is the one rumor we’re all fairly confident about because Apple sends out dummy units to third parties to design cases for the new iPhone as soon as it drops. These mockups have leaked online, confirming the rumors, and sadly, the demise of the Mini.
Goodbye Notch, Hello Pill
Although this might be the most noticeable and awaited upgrade on the iPhone, it’s yet another example of Apple being one of the last few to jump on a trend. while Apple surely set the trend with the notched display, they held onto it for a staggering 4 years. As the world trudged through a pandemic with face masks becoming the de facto norm, Apple stuck firmly to their FaceID guns, offering not so much as even an in-screen fingerprint reader. The notch prevailed for nearly 1500 days, but it seems like Apple’s keen on looking forward.
The iPhone 14 Pro is rumored to switch to a ‘pill-shaped’ cutout that will house the camera, the receiver, indicator buttons for an active camera or microphone, and perhaps a sensor or two for FaceID, if Apple still plans on sticking to that technology. There hasn’t been any word on in-screen fingerprint readers yet, so it’ll be interesting to see what tech Apple unveils with the iPhone 14 Pro as far as security systems go. Sadly though, the new pill design won’t carry forward to the regular iPhone 14, which will still sport the infamous notch, according to many speculators and experts. The regular iPhone 14 will even continue to use the A15 Bionic chip (albeit with a few performance bumps), since even the world’s most valuable company can’t shake off the effects of a global chip shortage.
The cryptic starry Apple logo on the invitation
Apple is known to hide crucial clues in their invitation, playing along with the hype and rumor train just to keep people on edge. This year, the company revealed their invites featuring an Apple logo made out of stars. The internet was instantly divided into two parties – a group of people who believe this to be an announcement that the iPhone camera will now boast of an ‘astronomy mode’, while the others used this as confirmation of the fact that Apple would announce the iPhone’s ability to connect to Low Earth Orbit satellites for better connectivity. This particular rumor has me absolutely divided too, because I think an ‘Astronomy Mode’ is a cool feature, but the satellite connectivity may end up being much more practical as a solution. The satellite connectivity may affect the iPhone’s sales in different countries, however.
The iOS 16 lock screen is a BIG clue
With widgets coming to the lock screen, it was just a matter of time before people began digging around to find out why Apple decided to have a massive change of heart. The company isn’t known to make such odd changes to formats that work – it’s why menu widgets came to iOS and iPadOS home screens years after Android implemented it. The lock screen customization options, however, indicate a new ability in upcoming iPhones – an always-on display. Apple’s managed to successfully pull this off in their Watches, and it seems like that proof of concept is ready to be carried onto Apple’s most popular product ever. The smartphone screen is valuable real estate, and it seems like the Apple design team has only just begun embracing the fact. How an always-on screen would affect the phone’s battery, however, is something we’ll have to wait and watch out for.
Time to bid AdiEU to the Lightning Port?”
This might just be the most controversial rumor yet, because even though Apple’s been a long-time supporter of the USB-C protocol (the Mac, Mac Mini, iMac, MacBook, and iPad all have it), however Apple’s weird pearl-clutching with the lightning port on the iPhone has been absolutely baffling… and the EU isn’t having it. European Union lawmakers passed strict legislation that will force all smartphones sold in the region to adopt a single global standard, USB-C, which disproportionately affects Apple the most because every other smartphone launched in the past 2 years has already moved to USB-C. It isn’t entirely clear whether Apple plans on being bullish on the Lightning port, much to the chagrin of EU lawmakers, or whether Apple plans to cave to their demands. The EU accounts for a massive share of all iPhones sold globally (in 2021, Apple sold 241 million iPhones globally, of which about 56 million were sold in Europe), so Apple’s pride and profits are at absolute odds here. It’s unclear whether Apple plans on cutting the EU out of the iPhone 14 rollout or launching custom USB-C iPhones just in the EU, but either way, it isn’t looking pretty for the Cupertino giant. After all, isn’t Apple invested in saving the environment by allowing everyone to use existing cables across all devices??
A lot of these rumors need to be taken with a massive grain of salt. It’s easy to speculate based on rumors and patent leaks, but whether they’re going to be implemented in a certain year, or even at all, is something only Apple insiders know. However, we’ve got just 40 hours left for Tim Cook to step on stage and kill the suspense!