The iPhone 14 and 15 Rumors Are in Full Swing

Illustration for article titled The iPhone 14 and 15 Rumors Are in Full Swing
Photo: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo

According to reliable and prolific Apple forecaster Ming-Chi Kuo, we could see a massive 48MP camera and 8K video in the iPhone 14, and an under-display Face ID system for the iPhone 15. Oh, and it looks like the iPhone Mini is dead after 2021. Folks, the iPhone 12 lineup only came out five months ago, the iPhone 13 isn’t even here yet, and somehow the iPhone 14 and 15 rumor mill is already buzzing.

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“We believe that the new 2H22 iPhone may support direct 48MP output and 12MP (four cells merge output mode) output simultaneously,” Kuo said in his report, according to AppleInsider. “With 12MP output, the CIS pixel size of the new 2H22 iPhone increases to about 2.5um, which is significantly larger than the iPhone 12 and 13, and larger than existing Android phones, and close to the DSC level.”

Or more simply put, the iPhone 14 wide-angle camera will get a mondo upgrade thanks to a 1/13-inch 48MP CMOS image sensor. That high-resolution implies the iPhone 14 should also be able to support 8K video recording. This also signals increased augmented reality offerings, as Kuo says 8K to 16K resolution is ideal for AR and mixed-reality devices.

According to MacRumors, Kuo’s investor note also confirms that the iPhone 14 will feature four models—two high-end, and two low-end. (The massive 48MP camera will be on the two high-end models.) There’s some bad news for iPhone Mini fans, however. While another 5.4-inch model is expected for this year’s iPhone 13 lineup, Kuo says the size will be discontinued starting with the iPhone 14. Instead, there’ll be two 6.1-inch phones and two 6.7-inch phones. The death of the iPhone Mini shouldn’t be surprising, as recent reports indicate that the pint-sized smartphone’s sales were far below Apple’s expectations. Fans of small phones shouldn’t freak out though. Part of the iPhone Mini’s woes could be attributed to the fact the iPhone SE muddies the waters a bit—and it doesn’t appear the iPhone SE is going anywhere. Earlier this month, there were reports a 5G iPhone SE was in the works, with an expected launch in 2022.

Meanwhile, Kuo seems to think the iPhone 15 will be yet another significant upgrade from the iPhone 14. 9to5 Mac reports that the iPhone 15 may have a periscope-style telephoto lens, as well as an under-display Face ID system. That’s huge because it could mean that 2023 is the year we kiss goodbye to the notch. The notch itself was introduced with the iPhone X, and its function is to house Apple’s TrueDepth cameras (or the thing that enables Face ID). Needless to say, it’s been a polarizing design choice and the quest for a truly bezel-free smartphone with Face ID has been challenging. It’s believed that the iPhone 13 will have a much smaller notch and that the iPhone 14 might opt for an even smaller “punch-hole display design”—so an under-display Face ID system for the iPhone 15 would just be a logical evolution.

Granted, things could change and some (or all) of this may not come to pass. For example, smaller notch predictions have been around since the notch was first introduced. It is, after all, only four months into 2021 and these are predictions for next-gen and next-next-gen phones. Because somehow, this is how insane the Apple rumor mill has gotten. That said, Kuo has one of the best track records in the game and it’s worth thinking about if you’re mulling if or when you should upgrade, based on your interests and needs. iPhone Mini fans, I’m looking specifically at you.

Consumer tech reporter by day, danger noodle by night. No, I'm not the K-Pop star.

DISCUSSION

humanvelocipede
Jerry Callo, Esq., Trump U. School of Law '89

“1/13-inch 48MP CMOS image sensor”

I believe that should be 1/1.3-inch. Which would be amazing in a phone. The “1-inch” sensor in my RX100 is amazing (nearly as good as a much larger APS-C), and that camera was $1200 and can’t even make calls.

Looks like this may be a 4-year upgrade-cycle for me. I’ve always been a 3-yearer, and in the past the camera technology has advanced enough to make it worth it to upgrade every 3 years. I’m an old DSLR (now mirrorless) guy and pay a lot of attention to image quality, but frankly my iPhone 11 is what I use most of the time. The iPhone 7 it replaced was not quite there as far as being happy with the quality, but for routine everyday shots of the kids (my own, nothing weird) it’s got great quality for blowing up/cropping shots suitable for printing. 48MP sounds great on paper but isn’t going to be a huge increase practically speaking (and rarely are 48 MP helpful, except for cropping, unless you’re printing huge posters or really big art prints); the quality is still going to be limited by lens quality and focal length limitations.

8K would be nice if it is implemented well. Its helpful to be able to crop and stabilize down to 4K. I don’t even have a 4K TV or display, but will at some point, and I’ll appreciate it then.