Compared to the series of rumored features for the iPhone 14 prothat iPhone 14 due out later this year sounds pretty overwhelming. And with each new round of leaks, the iPhone 14 Pro seems to be picking up more promising features while the iPhone 14 fades just a little more.
I’m here to tell you less than six months before the possible iPhone 14 release date not believing the hype – or in this case, the lack of hype. Yes, the first words about the iPhone 14 were not encouraging, especially considering all the rumors surrounding the Pro model. But Apple won’t sacrifice its more affordable flagships just to build the iPhone 14 Pro buzz.
You can certainly be forgiven if you think otherwise. That latest rumor about Apple’s mobile phone release in autumncourtesy of a report in BloombergIt paints a real picture of haves and have-nots. The iPhone 14 Pro is expected to get the A16 Bionic processor, an upgraded 48-megapixel main camera, and a new design that will finally jettison the iPhone’s distinctive notch. The iPhone 14 is expected to get… none of that.
In fact, this fall’s standard iPhone will reportedly be powered by the same A15 chipset found in the current device iPhone 13 pro models. That’s not exactly what gets people finding a steady route to the door of their nearest Apple Store.
Not many other iPhone 14-specific rumors have surfaced to get pulses racing either. The standard phones could get more RAM than those iPhone 13‘s 4GB of RAM – apparently part of Apple’s plan to improve performance, although it will stick with a variation of the A15 processor. And the iPhone 14’s front cameras are set to get autofocus to make FaceTime calls look sharper. Of course, this last feature should also be available for the iPhone 14 Pro models.
Why the iPhone 14 still matters
All in all, that’s not a lot of meat in this iPhone 14 sandwich. So why do I think Apple’s standard flagship will be a perfect upgrade, even if the iPhone 14 Pro turns out to be provably feature-rich?
It’s simply a matter of Apple’s ingenuity combined with its track record of releasing phones. Yes, the company will have proper incentive to highlight the iPhone 14 Pro when it launches its new phones later this year. But the iPhone 14 is not forgotten in the process.
Apple doesn’t break down its iPhone sales by unit, but I imagine the $799 model is one of the most popular options out there best iPhonessince it offers the 6.1-inch screen that most phone users prefer, and at a price that’s $200 less than the cheapest Pro model.
The features that currently separate the Standard and Pro versions — a telephoto lens here and a quick-refreshing display there — certainly strike a not inconsiderable percentage of iPhone buyers, but most people are willing to buy a sub-$800 phone to accept, the still works great photos and long battery life, even if it lacks some of the more elaborate bells and whistles. The rumored iPhone 14 Pro additions, while impressive, aren’t going to change that calculus dramatically.
Because of this, it just won’t make sense for Apple to put all its eggs in the iPhone 14 Pro’s basket. It will still want to introduce changes with the iPhone 14 that will convince people who have skipped that iPhone 13 and the iphone 12 that it’s time for an upgrade.
I imagine that between now and the likely September launch date for the iPhone 14, we’ll be hearing leaked details about many more features specifically targeting Apple’s more affordable flagships. That includes the variant of the A15 that will likely power the iPhone 14, which I think will offer a modest performance boost over the already most powerful mobile silicon we’ve tested. Yes, the iPhone 14 Pro is said to be even faster, but for most people, the iPhone 14’s performance will be good enough.
In the coming months, we’ll also likely learn more about the types of features that really motivate people to buy a new phone – software and battery life. Some of these improvements will be software-based and therefore less likely to leak prematurely, as opposed to the hardware changes that Apple’s supply chain babbles about to anyone who’ll listen.
But Apple isn’t ignoring its cheaper phones on the camera and battery fronts – the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini added a larger main camera sensor to let in more light and a bigger battery. You’d rightly argue that both of these changes are a big reason these phones have been so well received. I wouldn’t count the iPhone 14 making similar changes that don’t necessarily grab the headlines but still have a big impact on this phone’s performance.
The big role of the iPhone 14 Max
There’s also the not-so-small matter of rumours iphone 14 max. Apple is said to be replacing the Mini model that’s been included in the past two years of iPhone updates with a 6.7-inch model that will cost less than the same-sized Pro Max version. How much less is unclear, but we suspect it’s in the region of the $200 difference between the standard iPhone and the Pro version.
Currently, if you want an iPhone with the largest possible screen, you need to pay for the $1,099 iPhone 13 Pro Max. Should the iPhone 14 Max turn out to be a reality, you can get more screen real estate for less money, potentially $899.
The importance of this cannot be overstated considering how popular it is Large screen phones has become. So I don’t think we’ve heard the latest iPhone 14 improvements this fall for the non-Pro models, but the arrival of the iPhone 14 Max in itself would be a pretty big development for Apple’s smartphone lineup.
Besides the iPhone 14 price rumors indicate a potential $100 price increase for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. That means they could start at $1,099 and $1,199, respectively.
So yes, the iPhone 14 Pro will almost certainly offer more than the iPhone 14 to phone buyers this fall. The tip would be the “Pro” in the name. But write off the iPhone 14 at your peril, especially when we still have five months to come up with new features and improvements.