In September, Apple is expected to announce a cheaper version of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which has been commonly referred to as the “iPhone 14 Max”. But a detailed supply chain report from an analyst Omdiauses a much more logical name.
Breaking with the previous leaks, David Hsieh, senior research director at Omdia, refers to the new device (and iPhone 13 Mini replacement) as the “iPhone 14 Plus”. That makes a lot of sense. It harks back to Apple’s previous branding for its largest phones, creating a stronger demarcation between two 6.7-inch models.
In addition, the name “Max” is also problematic. A max version of a device implies that it is the best of something in advance of its physical size, hence expressions like “to the max”. The connotations surrounding “plus” aren’t that extreme, “plus size” is a longstanding association and the word implies “more” rather than “best”. This would be a better fit as standard iPhone 14 models will miss out on most major iPhone 14 Pro upgrades.
Apple’s recent branding also shows a desire to keep Max away from premium hardware. In ascending order, the M1 (and soon M2) range includes:
- M1 Pro
- M1 max
- M1 Ultra
Max sits above Pro. Yes, Apple’s branding has long been criticized for causing confusion (look no further than the “Apple Watch Edition‘), but releasing an iPhone 14 Max that’s cheaper and slower than an iPhone 14 Pro would be bizarre even by Apple’s standards.
Adding further weight to Hsieh’s language is the detail of the Omdia report, which breaks down iPhone component suppliers, supply distribution and order volume for the next two years. This contrasts with the sheer number of high-profile leakers who have been talking about an iPhone 14 Max for months. It would be a surprise for them to be wrong so close to launch, however certainly not unprecedented.
Yes, there are bigger questions surrounding the iPhone 14 range – including yours eye-opening battery capacities, camera differences and Generation chipset gap — but getting the news surrounding these phones right is crucial for Apple. And it all starts with a name.
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