The iPhone 14 will be here in a few weeks. Apple traditionally targets the second week of September for a special event, and while some think it could be earlier, smart money is on Tuesday, September 13 for the big day.
But while we’ve been through 15 events since the phone’s launch in 2007, this year feels different. All the recent rumors say that Apple will differentiate the iPhone 14 series like never before, with an unprecedented split of the Pro and non-Pro models and a greater emphasis on high-end features. Here’s how the new strategy will be a huge risk:
Prices are going up
In recent years, Apple has made every effort to keep iPhone prices stable. The iPhone X cost $999 when it launched in 2017 and the iPhone 13 Pro costs the same $999 five years later. Similarly, the iPhone XS Max cost $1,099 when it arrived in 2018 and Apple hasn’t increased the price of that model either. despite adding a bigger screen and extra camera.
But this year, rumors say the iPhone 14 Pro models will increase by $100 across the board, meaning the Pro starts at $1,099 and the Pro Max at $1,199. That’s about 10 percent higher and a pretty big jump year on year. Meanwhile, the non-Pro line will also have a higher starting price, with the $699 mini disappearing and an $899 Max model taking its place.
Risk Factors: Will people be willing to spend $100 or more on a new iPhone? Will the higher starting price for the Max model disable upgraders?
The iPhone 14 will be jealous
The iPhone’s notch may have been a polarizing feature in 2017, but it has become the handset’s most recognizable feature. And it may disappear – at least on the Pro models. Rumors say that instead of a notch, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will have a hole + pill camera cutout design that is no different from more expensive Android phones.
While notch haters will certainly appreciate the new look, casual Apple fans may not be thrilled with it. First, it’s a bit generic; to another, the iPhone 14 Pro will look different from the iPhone 14. People are used to iPhone models being slightly different, but changing the notch on one line and leaving it on another is a dramatic change.
Risk Factors: Will the iPhone 14 seem less of an upgrade? Will people embrace the new cut-out design?
The iPhone 14 has an old chip
Perhaps the biggest change with the iPhone 14 is with the processor. Since the very first iPhone, all models released in the same year have the latest processor, including the iPhone SE, but Apple is rumored to break that trend. While the iPhone 14 Pro models will get the new A16 chip, the iPhone 14 will reportedly have the older A15 chip found in the iPhone 13 Pro. Apple will certainly tout performance improvements, but for the first time, the iPhone 14 will be significantly slower than the iPhone 14 Pro.
Risk Factors: Is processor speed important to buyers? Will buyers wonder if they really need the power of the iPhone 14 Pro?
The iPhone 14 Pro still doesn’t have a decent zoom
If the past few updates have beaten the iPhone, it’s the lack of a proper zoom. Rumor has it, that won’t change with the iPhone 14. While there will certainly be camera improvements – most notably a 48MP lens on the Pro models – the optical zoom will likely be limited to 3X, which is rather disappointing in 2022. Various Android phones have 5X and 10X optical zoom and digital capabilities up to 100X, while the iPhone still tops out at 15X and struggles hugely to get there.
Risk Factors: Will buyers care more about image quality than proximity? Does the camera on the non-Pro models provide a reason to upgrade?
The iPhone 14 has a 2 year old design
Apple usually redesigns its handsets every two years, but it looks like the iPhone 14 will have the same design as the iPhone 13, which had the same design as the iPhone 12. That would be the first time Apple has recycled an iPhone design for more than a generation:
iPhone 3G, 3GS
iPhone 4, 4S
iPhone 5, 5S
iPhone 6, 6S
iPhone 7, 8
iPhone X, XS
iPhone 12, 13, 14
It’s not that the iPhone 13 is an ugly phone, of course, but we’ve gotten used to new designs every two years. And people who go to the store to see the new iPhone design will find that it is very similar.
Risk Factors: Will people even recognize that there is a new iPhone? Will iPhone 12 users wait another year to upgrade?