Apple launched the iPhone 13 series just three months ago in September, but that hasn't stopped the rumour mill from going into overdrive. Several tech blogs and analysts have already started predicting what the Cupertino tech giant's 2023 lineup will look like. Given that the new phones will possibly launch only in September at the earliest, we take most of these rumours with a healthy pinch of salt.
Here's a round-up of all the speculation surrounding the iPhone 14:
Rumours of a notchless iPhone started right after Apple unveiled the generation-defining iPhone X in September 2017. Some hated the notch, some loved it; most didn't care. Apple has since put the notch design on all its iPhone models save one -- the SE. But that didn't stop rumours from surfacing that the coming year would see Apple releasing a notchless iPhone. None of those rumours have come to pass, obviously.
This year is no different. A recent report by Korean media outlet The Elec suggests that the Pro models of the iPhone Pro will have a hole-punch display in place of the notch. Sources told The Elec the "regular" versions of the iPhone -- the 14 and the 14 mini will continue to sport the notch.
This rumour was corroborated by Ming-Chi Kuo, the reliable supply chain analyst who gets it right more often than he gets it wrong..
Ming-Chi Kuo had first reported the design change in March 2021, six months before even the iPhone 13 launched. Unlike the notch, the hole-punch display houses the front-facing camera in a small hole on the screen. Rumours have it that Apple's cutting-edge TrueDepth Camera system -- which powers the industry leaving FaceID unlock system -- will be packed into this.
It seems unlikely that Apple will ditch the notch anytime soon, however, considering the world's largest tech company only decreased the size of the notch this year -- four years after debuting it Also, the notch has become something of an iPhone signature. With most other smartphones opting for a hole-punch design or even and under-the-screen camera. Just for instant brand recall, Apple might continue with the notch for at least one more generation.
Goodbye iPhone Mini?
Other analysts have said iPhone sizes will change in 2022. It must be noted that this was rumoured ahead of the iPhone 13 launch as well. the prediction is that both the pro and non-pro iPhones will now come in two sizes -- a 6.1-inch iPhone 14, a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max, a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro, and a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max.
There may be some truth to these rumours, and Apple's smallest iPhone offering, the Mini, has reportedly been doing poorly compared to its bigger siblings. But once again, we will only know for sure when Apple CEO Tim Cook takes the stage in September 2022.
No camera bump
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who has quite a good track record with iPhone leaks, suggests that iPhone 14 may also come with a flat rear panel with the rear camera array sitting flush with the rest of the frame. “You can expect new entry-level and Pro models and a complete redesign,” Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said.
Apple's iPhones first had a camera bump with the iPhone 6 and in each subsequent generation it got only bigger.
Gurman might be off the mark here, as Apple will have to increase the thickness of the iPhone chassis to ensure the massive rear camera array sites flush with the rest of the phone. Given that the iPhone 13 Pro Max already weighs nearly 240 grams and measures 7.6mm at its thinnest, a thicker Pro Max model is sure to make it an ergonomic nightmare to use.
New, Faster Chip & Better cameras
It is all but confirmed that Apple will put a new, more powerful chipset in its next iPhone generation, and the chip will most likely be called the A16 Bionic. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether the chipset will be based on a 3nm or a 4nm manufacturing process. The current chipset powering the iPhone 13 series, the A15 Bionic, is based on a 5nm manufacturing process.
At this stage, all of these are rumours. Some of them may come true, some -- or all, even -- may not. But these rumours will start calcifying closer to May or June 2022, when Apple ramps up manufacturing the next iPhone models.