06/07 update below. This post was originally published on June 4th
Recent iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro leaks have revealed two very different iPhones, with Apple determined to widen the gap between Pro and non-Pro models. The news divided opinions, and now differing information about its publication has done the same.
In recent weeks, conflicting reports have been claiming that there will/will be a delay in the release of some iPhone 14 models. And now one of the most respected industry insiders has twisted the picture yet again.
06/06 Update: Ahead of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman used his A Newsletter to confirm that next-gen releases will be announced across all of the company’s major platforms:
“What will certainly be seen at the conference are significant updates to the company’s core operating systems: iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS and macOS. This year’s event will likely herald a wider range of new features than usual,” he explains.
Gurman states that new hardware will follow and “the new [MacBook] Air will be the device’s biggest overhaul in over a decade.” The potential launch of “realityOS,” a platform for Apple’s forthcoming VR headset, is also being discussed, but is far less certain.
However, at the heart of Apple’s iPhone plans is iOS 16, and Gurman claims a core element of the release will be an always-on display. The interesting part about this, however, is that Gurman claims it will be exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models “if the feature ends up making the cut.”
Always-on displays have been a staple of even mid-range Android phones for years. If Apple limits this to its latest flagship models, it would be another example of how the company is determined to widen the gap between pro and non-pro models. Whether this strategy will prove successful or trigger a backlash from fans remains to be seen.
Update 06/07: As expected, Apple officially unveiled iOS 16 yesterday at WWDC and it has tongues wagging over the iPhone 14. While Apple announced a long list of new features for the next generation – including a revamped lock screen with widgets and multiple pages, an improved notification system and overhauls to iMessage (edit/retrieve messages), Apple Pay, voice dictation, and a new “Safety Check” security feature, designed to protect people in abusive relationships – the much-leaked always-on display was absent.
This has two clear implications. First, as Gurman warned, the feature may not have made it into the final iOS 16 release. Second, the feature will be hidden until the iPhone 14 range launches in September. The problem with the latter is that it would mean the feature is exclusive, excluding the company’s current iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max models.
And that makes little sense. for starters, report leaks The A16 chip is a relatively minor upgrade from the A15, while the main requirement for always-on displays is panels that can handle variable refresh rates to extend battery life. The iPhone 13 range already has this technology and pairs it with the most energy-efficient smartphone chipset available.
So I think this should serve as a red flag for prospective iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max upgrades. Always-on displays have been a staple of Android for years without the top-end hardware of current flagship iPhones, but it looks like Apple is already starting to add significant features (rightly or not) to its models reserved for the next generation. I’ll come back to that should always-on in iOS 16 get an official announcement as beta testing progresses, but I think we just got our first big hint as Apple is embarking on an aggressive strategy to expand its iPhone 14 Pro ensure models Step out of the masses.
in one series of tweetsTF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo disputes a recent report by ET News that delivery problems forced Apple to pre-install a front-facing camera module intended for the iPhone 15 a year early at a high cost.
“This report does not entirely agree with my understanding,” explains Kuo. “1. If LG Innotek became the supplier of the iPhone 14 front camera in the 2Q22, it would be almost impossible to meet the 2H22 iPhone 14 development schedule. 2. I think Apple had already chosen LG Innotek and Cowell as the iPhone 14 front camera suppliers in 4Q21 at the latest.”
This aligns with Kuo’s previous claims that overall iPhone 14 production is “currently under control.” However, both Nikkei Asia and Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu believe iPhone 14 Max shipments will be delayed by almost a month.
Similarly, Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) and one of the most accurate industry insiders, has countered that “iPhone 14 Max panel shipments have always been behind.” Consequently, Apple may be heading for its second iPhone split release in the last five years (iPhone 12/iPhone 12 Mini), which in turn was only the second in iPhone history (iPhone 8/iPhone X).
It’s a surprise that insiders are so divided, because historically, leaks surrounding iPhone releases have been fairly consistent. This is usually due to the global way iPhones are mass-produced, with even Apple’s secret know-how failing to stem the flow of leaks as production ramps up.
Split release or not, the most controversial aspect of the iPhone 14 launch is probably the phones themselves. While the standard iPhone 14 models inherit the same design, chipset and rear cameras as the iPhone 13 range, the iPhone 14 Pro will Leap forward models with upgrades in all three departments and corresponding higher prices.
How iPhone fans will react to Apple’s aggressive attempt to sell buyers these more expensive models remains to be seen.
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