Rumored 2022 iPhone Lineup
There's a year to go before the 2022 iPhone 14 models will be ready to launch, but because there are such major updates in the works for these devices, we've been hearing rumors about them since well before the iPhone 13 even launched.
iPhone sizes are changing in 2022, and the 5.4-inch iPhone mini is going away. After lackluster sales, Apple is planning to focus on larger iPhone sizes, and we're expecting to see a 6.1-inch iPhone 14, a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro, a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Since 2017, iPhones with Face ID have had a notch at the front to house all the necessary equipment for facial scanning, but that's set to change with the launch of the iPhone 14. Some 2022 iPhone models are expected to have a notchless design with Face ID under the display and a little hole punch cutout at the center for the front-facing camera.
The rear camera could also see a new design with Apple introducing a thicker body that allows for the camera bump to be eliminated. If this pans out, the lenses, flash, and LiDAR scanner could sit flush with the rear glass.
Some of the new iPhones may feature a titanium frame, and redesigned speaker and microphone grilles are a possibility. Apple could also use a new vapor chamber thermal system that will keep the iPhone cooler to minimize the impact of faster chips and 5G connectivity.
New iPhones always include camera improvements, and the iPhone 14 is no exception. There will be improvements to the Ultra Wide camera, and there's a possibility that Apple will introduce a "periscope" zoom lens that allows for much greater optical zoom, but it's still not yet clear if this will come in 2022 or 2023. The Pro iPhone models could also get 48-megapixel cameras and 8K video recording capabilities.
New A-series "A16" chips are expected, built on either a 3 or 4-nanometer process by TSMC. Each new chip iteration brings improvements in power and efficiency.
Apple is expected to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X65 chip, which is the first 10-gigabit 5G modem with faster connectivity speeds and connectivity improvements. Alongside the X65, Apple is expected to introduce new satellite-based emergency features that will let users send texts in emergency situations and report accidents with no cellular coverage.
No Notch and Under-Display Face ID
For at least some of the iPhone 14 models, Apple is working on eliminating the notch that houses the hardware needed for Face ID. The notch was a controversial design decision when it was introduced in 2017, and since then it's changed little with the exception of the size tweak with the iPhone 13.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in March 2021 that the 2022 iPhone models would not have a notch, and would instead adopt a hole-punch design that's been popular on many Android phones. This hole-punch will be a center-placed cutout that's for the front-facing camera.
Kuo believes that at a minimum, the high-end iPhone models will have the hole-punch design, though if yields are good, all iPhone models coming in 2022 could feature the same notchless design.
With no notch, Apple will a implement a different solution for Face ID, and rumors suggest that it could be placed under the display. Display analyst Ross Young believes the iPhone 14 Pro models will feature under-display Face ID, though the feature is still in the works and not a guarantee.
There's also been some talk of under-display Touch ID, but Bloomberg's Mark Gurman believes that Apple is invested in Face ID and is working on an under-display Face ID solution rather than returning to Touch ID.
Barclays analysts claim that Apple is planning to adopt a laser-based time-of-flight architecture for Face ID that would allow for substantial changes to be introduced to the front-facing TrueDepth camera array, and other rumors point to a unibody lens design for a reduction in the size of the front camera module.
While most of the Face ID components will need to be under the display, the camera portion will still be available through the cutout and so front-facing camera quality will not suffer.
All four of the iPhone 14 models coming in 2022 could support 120Hz ProMotion display technology rather than just the Pro models, but that's not a sure thing as some information suggests the ProMotion will be an iPhone 14 Pro feature.
Korean website The Elec, for example, has suggested that at least one of the iPhone models coming next year will use a standard LTPS OLED display without 120Hz ProMotion technology, indicating the feature could continue to be limited to Pro models.
The iPhone 14 models are expected to look like the iPhone 13 models with the same flat-edged design, but in addition to the display changes, there will be updates to the body design.
Leaker Jon Prosser claims that Apple will introduce a thicker chassis with no rear camera bump. The lenses, LED flash, and LiDAR Scanner will allegedly be flush with the rear glass, for a non-protruding camera design that hasn't been used since the early days of the iPhone.
Along with the flush camera, the iPhone 14 models could feature round volume buttons that look similar to the buttons from the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 models, and redesigned speaker and microphone grilles with elongated mesh cutouts rather than individual holes at the bottom of the device.
There will be no 5.4-inch iPhone in 2022 because Apple is doing away with the "mini" line following lackluster sales. The iPhone 13 mini will be the last of the mini phones, and going forward, Apple is expected to focus on larger-sized iPhones.
We're expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14, a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro, a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, with the larger 6.7-inch iPhone replacing the mini model.
Apple's upcoming iPhone 14 models are also expected to come with a high-end titanium alloy chassis design, according an investors report from JP Morgan Chase. Apple has used titanium for the Apple Watch, but this would mark the first time that the material has been used for an iPhone.
Titanium is more scratch resistant and it's stronger than both steel and aluminum, plus it's more corrosion resistant.
Starting in 2022, high-end iPhone models are likely to adopt a vapor chamber thermal system, which Apple is said to be "aggressively testing." The VC thermal system will be required for the high-end iPhones due to their stronger computing power and faster 5G connection speeds. There are already smartphones from companies like Samsung, Razer, and LG that use vapor chamber cooling technology, which is used to keep a device cooler when it is under heavy stress.
It is unclear if the vapor chamber thermal system will meet Apple's high requirements, but Apple is working on improving it and high-end models could adopt it in the near future.
There have been rumors that Apple is aiming to remove the Lightning port from the iPhone for a portless design with charging done over MagSafe, but it's not clear if that technology will be introduced with the 2022 iPhone models.
At least some of the iPhones coming will continue to feature a Lightning port.
Other smartphone brands have already adopted periscope lens technology, but Apple has allegedly run into some issues because much of the technology is guarded by patents owned by other companies. Apple could license technology from a manufacturer like Samsung, or continue to work on its own solution.
It is not clear if periscope lens technology will be ready for release in 2022, and if not, there are still telephoto lens improvements coming. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says says that Apple will upgrade the telephoto camera from a 6-element lens to a 7-element lens.
Kuo also believes that the 2022 Pro iPhone models will feature cameras with a resolution of 48-megapixels and 8K video recording capabilities. iPhone-recorded videos on an 8K display or TV will "offer a better user experience" as a result, and will allow the iPhone to create videos and images more suitable for augmented and mixed reality devices like the AR/VR headset that Apple has in development.
Each new iteration of the iPhone comes with an updated A-series chip, and for the iPhone 14, we're expecting Apple's A16 chip. It could be built on TSMC's 3-nanometer process, but it's not clear if that technology will be ready in time as production is not set to begin until the second half of 2022.
Snapdragon X65 Modem
The iPhone 14 models will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 modem, which is the world's first 10 Gigabit 5G modem and antenna system for smartphones.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 enables some satellite connectivity features, and alongside the modem, Apple plans to implement satellite-based emergency features that will let users to send texts in emergency situations and report major emergencies in areas where there is no cellular coverage.
Emergency Message via Satellite will let user text emergency services and contacts using a satellite network when there is no cellular or WiFi signal available. It will be a new communications protocol alongside SMS and iMessage, and it will feature gray message bubbles. Message length will be restricted.
Another feature will let users report major emergencies like plane crashes and fires using satellite networks. These features are still in development and will launch in 2022 at the earliest.
iPhone 14 Launch Date
Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 14 models at an event that's likely to be held in September 2022, if Apple follows previous launch timelines.
Future iPhone Rumors
In 2023, Apple could get rid of the hole-punch cutout too, resulting in an all-display design with no notch and no holes.
In-House Modem Chips
Apple is working on creating its own modem chips that are designed in-house, much like the Apple silicon and A-series chips, which will allow the company to reduce its reliance on modem chip vendors. Apple has been working on the modem for several years and development accelerated after Apple acquired the majority of Intel's smartphone modem business in 2019.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that Apple could transition to its own 5G modems as early as 2023. Once Apple comes out with its own modem designs, it will no longer need Qualcomm. 2023 is the "earliest" date, however, so the timeline could change.
If a periscope telephoto lens is not ready to debut in the 2022 iPhone models, it could instead be introduced in the 2023 iPhone models.
Further in the future, Apple could potentially introduce some kind of foldable iPhone, based on various rumors and patents the company has published, as well as competition from companies like Microsoft and Samsung, which have developed foldable smartphones.
According to Bloomberg, Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone with a foldable display, but the company has not yet committed to releasing a foldable device. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that a foldable iPhone will be released in 2023.
For details on what we know about Apple's work on folding devices, make sure to check out our foldable iPhone guide.