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Let’s face it: the iPhone 13 is now officially old news. You may not have gotten your hands on one yet, but the rumour mill is already setting its sights on the exciting things we can expect from next year’s “iPhone 14.”
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen some renders based upon leaked design specs, along with reliable information suggesting Apple will finally ditch the notch. We also already know that an iPhone 14 mini simply isn’t in the cards, although there may still be four models.
Of course, it’s fair to say that it’s too early for anything to be completely certain just yet. While Apple is likely aiming to have its overall hardware design nailed down in the next few weeks, there’s still a lot of room for smaller details to change between now and next September.
More recently, however, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has added his voice to the chorus, stating that we can expect a “complete redesign” for next year’s iPhone. In the latest issue of his Power On newsletter, Gurman cites this year’s incremental changes as evidence that Apple has something bigger and better up its sleeve for next year.
The minor changes this year also mean that Apple’s engineers were working behind the scenes on bigger things that will take more time. With the iPhone 14, you can expect new entry-level and Pro models and a complete redesign. Until then, enjoy the iPhone 13—or just stick with the iPhone 12.Mark Gurman
Essentially, Gurman says that Apple’s engineers have been going long on iPhone plans, saving up all the big changes for next year’s iPhone lineup.
To be fair, it’s not really a new strategy on Apple’s part, as it’s been doing it for years with its “S” model lineup. This year’s iPhone may be called the iPhone 13, but for all intents and purposes, it’s the iPhone 12s. However, it’s pretty clear now that Apple is done with the “S” suffix, making it a much safer bet that next year’s iPhone will indeed be the “iPhone 14.”
Again, it’s very difficult at this early stage to nail anything down conclusively, and even Gurman is being non-committal. He clearly says that the iPhone is getting a big redesign next year, but doesn’t say what that actually means.
So, it all comes down to what your definition of a “complete redesign” is.
Before the iPhone 13 was even announced, leaker Jon Prosser shared some renders of next year’s iPhone design, which featured the predicted elimination of the notch in favour of a punch-hole camera, while also eliminating the camera bump by increasing the overall thickness.
The new design feels very much like a throwback to the iPhone 4, which would be very cool if it’s true, as it remains one of the most elegant iPhone designs in Apple’s history. Whether that qualifies as a “complete redesign” or not is open to debate.
It does seem that Apple has gotten over its obsession with thinness in recent years, however. The iPhone 13 gained 0.25mm over last year’s 7.4mm iPhone 12, growing to 7.65 mm, although both models are still thinner than the 8.3mm iPhone 11 and iPhone XR.
This suggests Apple may not be averse to increasing the thickness to make the camera bump go away, but if the camera system remains the same as what’s on the iPhone 13 Pro, that would be a pretty substantial increase in thickness. The iPhone 4 was 9.3mm thick, so the iPhone 14 could end up following in those design footsteps in more ways than one.
That said, Apple could redesign the camera system as well, and if it’s able to adopt periscope lens technology for next year, that would result in a much smaller camera bump, allowing Apple to more easily meet in the middle with a flush-backed design. Unfortunately, recent rumours suggest that might not be ready until 2023’s “iPhone 15” models.
One thing that does still seem almost certain, however, is that Apple has no plans to release an iPhone 14 mini next year. While there’s a slight possibility that this year’s iPhone 13 mini could change its mind, the sales of the iPhone 12 mini were disappointing, to say the least.
Oddly, however, despite reports that Apple has shut down production of the iPhone 12 mini, it’s still being sold alongside the iPhone 12 with last year’s models. Perhaps Apple simply has a ridiculously large amount of stock it still needs to get rid of, after which it will “discontinue” the iPhone 12 mini and possibly even lower the price of the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 to occupy the $599 slot. Either way, though, it does feel like Apple is giving the 5.4-inch design at least one more year to succeed.
However, although rumours suggest we will still see four iPhone models next year, Apple is reportedly leaning toward an “iPhone 14 Max” instead of a mini. This would add a new element of consistency to the lineup, with both the standard and pro models available in the same 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch sizes.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]