There are months to go before the 2022 iPhone 14 models will be ready to launch, but because there are such major updates in the works for these devices, we’ve been hearing rumors about them since well before the iPhone 13 even launched.
iPhone sizes are changing in 2022, and the 5.4-inch iPhone mini is going away. After lackluster sales, Apple is planning to focus on larger iPhone sizes, and we’re expecting to see a 6.1-inch iPhone 14, a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro, a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Since 2017, iPhones with Face ID have had a notch at the front to house all the necessary equipment for facial scanning, but that’s set to change with the launch of the iPhone 14. Some 2022 iPhone models are expected to eliminate the notch in favor of a new design. Rumors are a bit mixed right now, but it looks like Apple will go with some combination of a circular hole-punch cutout paired with a pill-shaped cutout to house. These cutouts will house key Face ID components.
The rear camera could also see a new design with Apple introducing a thicker body that allows for the camera bump to be eliminated. If this pans out, the lenses, flash, and LiDAR scanner could sit flush with the rear glass.
Some of the new iPhones may feature a titanium frame, and redesigned speaker and microphone grilles are a possibility. Apple could also use a new vapor chamber thermal system that will keep the iPhone cooler to minimize the impact of faster chips and 5G connectivity.
New iPhones always include camera improvements, and the iPhone 14 is no exception. There will be improvements to the Ultra Wide camera, and there’s a possibility that Apple will introduce a “periscope” zoom lens that allows for much greater optical zoom, but it’s still not yet clear if this will come in 2022 or 2023. The Pro iPhone models could also get 48-megapixel cameras and 8K video recording capabilities.
New A-series “A16” chips are expected, built on either a 3 or 4-nanometer process by TSMC. Each new chip iteration brings improvements in power and efficiency, and the A16 chip will be no exception.
Apple is expected to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X65 chip, which is the first 10-gigabit 5G modem with faster connectivity speeds and connectivity improvements. Alongside the X65, Apple is expected to introduce new satellite-based emergency features that will let users send texts in emergency situations and report accidents with no cellular coverage.
No Notch and New Face ID Hardware Design
For at least some of the iPhone 14 models, Apple is working to eliminate the notch that houses the hardware needed for Face ID. The notch was a controversial design decision when it was introduced in 2017, and since then it’s changed little with the exception of the size tweak with the iPhone 13.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in March 2021 that the 2022 iPhone models would not have a notch, and would instead adopt a hole-punch design that’s been popular on many Android phones. This hole-punch will reportedly be a center-placed cutout that’s for the front-facing camera.
Since Kuo’s prediction, there have been other rumors that have made the front design of the iPhon 14 Pro models a bit less clear. Leaker Dylandkt has said that rather than a hole-punch design, the camera cutout on the iPhone 14 Pro models will be pill shaped. Display analyst Ross Young has further clarified and said that he expects to see both a pill-shaped cutout and a circular cutout. The circular cutout will likely house the Face ID dot projector, and the pill-shaped cutout will include the front camera, Face ID infrared camera, and possibly other components.
Apple may also be planning to put some of the Face ID hardware under the iPhone’s display, which will cut down on the sizes of the cutouts that are needed and will leave more available screen space on the front of the device. Both analyst Ross Young and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman have said that Apple is working on an under-display Face ID solution, but there’s a chance that it will not be ready for use in 2022 devices.
Barclays analysts claim that Apple is planning to adopt a laser-based time-of-flight architecture for Face ID that would allow for substantial changes to be introduced to the front-facing TrueDepth camera array, and other rumors point to a unibody lens design for a reduction in the size of the front camera module.
All four of the iPhone 14 models coming in 2022 could support 120Hz ProMotion display technology rather than just the Pro models, but that’s not a sure thing as other rumors indicate the ProMotion will be an iPhone 14 Pro feature.
Korean website The Elec, for example, has suggested that at least one of the iPhone models coming next year will use a standard LTPS OLED display without 120Hz ProMotion technology, indicating the feature could continue to be limited to Pro models, and display analyst Ross Young believes just the Pro models will get the feature.
Apple is sourcing LTPO OLED displays for the iPhone 14 Pro models to allow for 120Hz ProMotion refresh rates. Though Samsung supplied the OLED panels that Apple used for the iPhone 13 Pro models, Apple is planning to also source some displays from LG Display in 2022.
The iPhone 14 models are expected to look like the iPhone 13 models with the same flat-edged design, but in addition to the display changes, there will be updates to the body design.
Leaker Jon Prosser claims that Apple will introduce a thicker chassis with no rear camera bump. The lenses, LED flash, and LiDAR Scanner will allegedly be flush with the rear glass, for a non-protruding camera design that hasn’t been used since the early days of the iPhone.
Along with the flush camera, the iPhone 14 models could feature round volume buttons that look similar to the buttons from the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 models, and redesigned speaker and microphone grilles with elongated mesh cutouts rather than individual holes at the bottom of the device.
There will be no 5.4-inch iPhone in 2022 because Apple is doing away with the “mini” line following lackluster sales. The iPhone 13 mini will be the last of the mini phones, and going forward, Apple is expected to focus on larger-sized iPhones.
We’re expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14, a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro, a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, with the larger 6.7-inch iPhone replacing the mini model.
Apple’s upcoming iPhone 14 models are also expected to come with a high-end titanium alloy chassis design, according an investors report from JP Morgan Chase. Apple has used titanium for the Apple Watch, but this would mark the first time that the material has been used for an iPhone.
Titanium is more scratch resistant and it’s stronger than both steel and aluminum, plus it’s more corrosion resistant.
Starting in 2022, high-end iPhone models are likely to adopt a vapor chamber thermal system, which Apple is said to be “aggressively testing.” The VC thermal system will be required for the high-end iPhones due to their stronger computing power and faster 5G connection speeds. There are already smartphones from companies like Samsung, Razer, and LG that use vapor chamber cooling technology, which is used to keep a device cooler when it is under heavy stress.
It is unclear if the vapor chamber thermal system will meet Apple’s high requirements, but Apple is working on improving it and high-end models could adopt it in the near future.
There have been rumors that Apple is aiming to remove the Lightning port from the iPhone for a portless design with charging done over MagSafe, but it’s not clear if that technology will be introduced with the 2022 iPhone models.
At least some of the iPhones coming will continue to feature a Lightning port.
All of the 2022 iPhones could see improvements to the Ultra Wide camera, and there’s a slim possibility that Apple will introduce “periscope” lens technology that could allow for optical zoom up to 10x.
Other smartphone brands have already adopted periscope lens technology, but Apple has allegedly run into some issues because much of the technology is guarded by patents owned by other companies. Apple could license technology from a manufacturer like Samsung, or continue to work on its own solution. Unfortunately, it’s not looking like periscope lens technology will be ready for release in 2022, and it could instead come in 2023 with the iPhone 15 models.
Even if periscope lens technology is not ready for a 2022 launch, there are still telephoto lens improvements coming. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says says that Apple will upgrade the telephoto camera from a 6-element lens to a 7-element lens.
Kuo also believes that the 2022 Pro iPhone models will feature a 48-megapixel Wide camera, which would be a major improvement over the current 12-megapixel camera, and 8K video recording capabilities.
The 48-megapixel camera in the iPhone 14 Pro models will also be able to take 12-megapixel shots, likely through a process known as pixel-binning. Pixel binning merges data from multiple smaller pixels on the camera’s image sensor into one “super-pixel” for improved low-light sensitivity.
With this feature, the iPhone 14 Pro models may be able to take full 48-megapixel photos in situations with good lighting, but when lighting is poor, it will use the pixel binning process for a higher-quality 12-megapixel photo that takes advantage of the 48-megapixel lens.
Kuo believes that the 8K video recording feature will allow iPhone-recorded videos displayed on an 8K display or TV to provide “a better user experience,” and that this resolution will allow the iPhone to create videos and images more suitable for augmented and mixed reality devices like the AR/VR headset that Apple has in development for 2022.
Each new iteration of the iPhone comes with an updated A-series chip, and for the iPhone 14, we’re expecting Apple’s A16 chip.
The next-generation A-series chip designed for the iPhone 14 will reportedly be built on TSMC’s “NP4” process, which the company says is the third major enhancement of the 5-nanometer family.
According to analyst Jeff Pu, the iPhone 14 Pro models will feature 8GB RAM, up from 6GB in the current iPhone 13 Pro models. The standard iPhone 14 models are expected to continue to offer 6GB RAM.
Car Crash Detection
Apple is working on a crash detection feature for the iPhone and the Apple Watch, which could come out in 2022. It will use sensors like the accelerometer to detect car accidents when they occur by measuring a spike in gravitational force.
When a car crash is detected, the iPhone or the Apple Watch would automatically dial emergency services to get help. Since it’s planned for 2022, this could be a feature designed for the iPhone 14 models and the Apple Watch Series 8, though it’s not likely to be limited to those devices. It will be an expansion of the Fall Detection feature that’s in existing Apple Watch and iPhone models.
Snapdragon X65 Modem
The iPhone 14 models will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 modem, which is the world’s first 10 Gigabit 5G modem and antenna system for smartphones.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 enables some satellite connectivity features, and alongside the modem, Apple plans to implement satellite-based emergency features that will let users to send texts in emergency situations and report major emergencies in areas where there is no cellular coverage.
Emergency Message via Satellite will let user text emergency services and contacts using a satellite network when there is no cellular or WiFi signal available. It will be a new communications protocol alongside SMS and iMessage, and it will feature gray message bubbles. Message length will be restricted.
Another feature will let users report major emergencies like plane crashes and fires using satellite networks. These features are still in development and will launch in 2022 at the earliest.
The iPhone 14 is expected to feature WiFi 6E connectivity, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says that WiFi 6E will offer the high-speed wireless transmissions necessary for AR and VR experiences, and it is also expected to be used in the mixed reality headset that could come out in 2022.
WiFi 6E takes advantage of the 6GHz band in addition to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands to increase bandwidth and cut down on interference, while also offering the performance boost and low latency provided by the WiFi 6 specification.
With the iPhone 13 Pro models, Apple added a new 1TB storage tier, and rumors suggest that with the iPhone 14 upgrade, Apple could increase that even further to 2TB. This rumor comes from a source that’s not always accurate, however, so it should be viewed with some skepticism until backed up by another more reliable source.
No Physical SIM Slot
The iPhone 14 models may launch without a physical SIM slot, with Apple transitioning to an eSIM-only design. Apple is allegedly advising major U.S. carriers to prepare for the launch of eSIM-only smartphones by 2022, which suggests some iPhone 14 models may be the first to come without a SIM slot.
With the iPhone 13, Apple provided some models without a nano-SIM in the box, with cellular plans instead being able to be activated using eSIM. An eSIM allows for cellular plans to be added to a device without using a nano-SIM.
eSIM functionality is not available in all countries, so iPhones sold in some areas will need to continue to offer a nano-SIM slot.
iPhone 14 Launch Date
Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 14 models at an event that’s likely to be held in September 2022, if Apple follows previous launch timelines.
Future iPhone Rumors
In 2023, Apple could get rid of the hole-punch cutout too, resulting in an all-display design with no notch and no holes.
In-House Modem Chips
Apple is working on creating its own modem chips that are designed in-house, much like the Apple silicon and A-series chips, which will allow the company to reduce its reliance on modem chip vendors. Apple has been working on the modem for several years and development accelerated after Apple acquired the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business in 2019.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that Apple could transition to its own 5G modems as early as 2023. Once Apple comes out with its own modem designs, it will no longer need Qualcomm. 2023 is the “earliest” date, but multiple rumors have suggested that Apple chip supplier TSMC will be ready to manufacture Apple’s modem chips in 2023.
If a periscope telephoto lens is not ready to debut in the 2022 iPhone models, it could instead be introduced in the 2023 iPhone models.
Under-Display Face ID
Multiple rumors have suggested that Apple is working on a way to put the hardware for Face ID under the display to get rid of the notch. It was initially thought that Apple could adopt under-display Face ID technology as soon as 2022, but display analyst Ross Young says that components like the infrared camera will not be moved under the display until 2023 or 2024, and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also pointed to 2023 as Apple’s target date for under-display Face ID functionality.
Under-Display Touch ID
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is working on iPhones that will feature under-display Touch ID, but these devices are not expected to launch until 2023. Other sources like Bloomberg have disagreed that Apple is focused on under-display Touch ID, and it’s not clear if the feature would be included in Apple’s flagship iPhones or devices like a future iPhone SE.
Further in the future, Apple could potentially introduce some kind of foldable iPhone, based on various rumors and patents the company has published, as well as competition from companies like Microsoft and Samsung, which have developed foldable smartphones.
A mockup of what a foldable iPhone could look like
According to Bloomberg, Apple has started “early work” on an iPhone with a foldable display, but the company has not yet committed to releasing a foldable device. Rumors suggest a foldable iPhone could come in 2023 at the earliest, but that 2024 is a more likely target date.
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