The "iPhone 14" is just under a year away, yet rumors about Apple's 2022 flagship are already swirling across the internet. To notch or not to notch, a return to more humble design-based beginnings like the iPhone 4, perhaps?
At this stage, we really don't know – but the growing tide of speculative reports helps us get a steer on which direction the firm may decide to take the iPhone 14 in as we roll into 2022. And with that thought in tow, here are the 5 key iPhone 14 features that I'm most excited about.
1. No notch
One of the most iconic features of the best iPhone devices in recent years has been the notch. Love it or hate it: discussion around the iPhone notch gets the people going. The notch, of course, is the uppermost part of Apple’s smartphone that contains the selfie camera and front sensors. It first appeared in the iPhone X and has been with us ever since. Now there’s nothing overtly wrong with the design, but rumors of a notch-less iPhone 14 have been gaining traction since the release of the iPhone 13.
And it’s something that I can’t help but get excited about, with a notch-less iPhone surely representing the pinnacle of seamless mobile design, not to mention a hole-punch cutout allowing Apple to provide more display area. But don't just take my word for it: swathes of tipsters, including Korean website The Elec, seem to agree that the iPhone 14 will ditch the notch for a punch-hole front-facing camera, as seen on many of the best Android phones.
The beauty with Apple, of course, is that although it's often not the first to introduce innovative new smartphone features when it does it's because the company has refined and perfected the technology. The Elec, once again, has caused a stir with speculation that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max variants could use punch-hole cameras with 48 MP sensors instead next year.
Reliable Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, has also offered some interesting insights into what he expects iPhone 14's potential camera setup will offer. He reports that the standard rear cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max could be upgraded to 48-megapixels, an increase from the 12-megapixel sensor in the iPhone 12. However, he seems confident that the 48-megapixel spec is only destined for the more expensive Pro models.
3. Performance upgrade
Each year, I eagerly await word from the annual Apple keynote over what sort of performance upgrades the year's iOS flagship device will deliver. Apple always makes year-to-year performance improvements to the iPhone so you can expect the iPhone 14 series to come with some key efficiency upgrades in 2022.
The iPhone 14 series will likely feature an improved processor which could lead to better battery life and app performance. Battery life is important, and it's something we expect to improve with each passing year. According to the most recent reports, TSMC is planning to produce 3nm chips starting in the second half of 2022. The 3nm process will reportedly provide a 30% improved energy efficiency and a huge 15% performance boost, which is something to get excited about if you relish incremental performance gains (like battery life) year to year.
Apple's iPhone 14 line of smartphones is expected to offer much faster data speeds, as well, thanks to a shiny new modem from Qualcomm. We first heard about Qualcomm's Snapdragon X65 all the way back in February, with it set to be the first 10 Gigabit modem/system to start landing in some of the best phones from next year.
According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon X65 is capable of theoretical "data speeds up to 10 gigabits per second." Let's be clear: Devices probably won't hit those speeds in reality, but we should see an overall uptick in 5G speeds.
5. Robust casing
According to JP Morgan Chase, Apple's upcoming iPhone 14 Pro models will come could offer a sturdy titanium alloy chassis. We've seen this type of casing before in some of the Apple Watch Series 6 models, which uses a titanium casing in some variants.
The company's Apple Card is also made out of titanium. If Apple did opt for this approach for the iPhone 14 casing, it would signal a shift to a much more robust iPhone that could survive some serious knocks and bumps. That's something I'd be hugely welcoming of considering my track record of dropping my iPhone and the subsequent trips to the Apple Genius bar that follows.