05/09 Update below. This post was originally published on May 7.
Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro plans are bold, but the company’s refusal to make significant changes to standard iPhone 14 models is arguably where the real impact lies. And it got worse…
Following revealing reports in February that both the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will once again lack Apple’s 120Hz ProMotion display technology, now the most accurate tipster in the industry has doubled down on this news.
09/05 Update: Apple YouTuber EverythingApplePro (aka Filip Koroy) Very Popular (8.3M Subscribers) delved deeper on the new iPhone 14 design. Koroy obtained schematics of the iPhone 14 Pro models and 3D printed them, admitting “it doesn’t look like much has changed at first glance,” but on closer inspection they reveal the earpiece has been relocated higher on the phone.
“Another amazing change that I didn’t notice at first, but then can’t help but see, is the increased corner radii along with slimmer bezels that are getting 21% slimmer. You’ll have more screen but less bezel and a nicer rounded shape that goes in the direction of the Apple Watch Series 7.”
Koroy cautions that these changes don’t add much real estate to the screen, but they do take the iPhone lineup in a bold new direction. Koroy also adds that the schematics “absolutely confirmed” the new dual hole puncher on the Pro models with the standard iPhone 14 and new iPhone 14 Max retaining the notch. For iPhone 14 Pro buyers, 2022 looks like an exciting upgrade year, but those considering the standard iPhone 14 should probably wait until 2023 when bigger changes are coming.
In an attempt to correct an inaccurate report, Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), tweeted that “Pro Models Only” will sport ProMotion. And given Young’s remarkable track record, this seems like the final nail in the coffin for the technology that has become popular and ubiquitous in mid-to-high-end Android smartphones in recent years.
And my feeling is that Apple has backed itself into a corner here. This year, Apple is determined to increase the separation between its Pro and non-Pro iPhones and cannot do this while giving standard iPhone models a feature called ‘ProMovement’. This is despite the fact that there’s nothing particularly Pro about ProMotion in 2022. It’s a rare example of Apple marketing jargon coming back to bite the company and it couldn’t come at a worse time.
Under another name, ProMotion would have been an easy and popular upgrade for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max. High refresh rate displays deliver a level of smoothness and responsiveness that simply isn’t possible on a 60Hz display, while reducing eye strain. Apple itself markets ProMotion as the “game-changing display”.
But without it, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max are left with almost nothing to recommend them. In an unprecedented move, iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will reuse the iPhone 13 design, display technology, camera modules, and chipset. All the big updates are saved for the iPhone Pro models.
Also, this comes at a time when Apple is likely to be forced to update prices across the range. So Apple needed an easy win and ProMotion could have been it. As it is, market analysts are now raising questions about the range’s potential success, and they may be right.
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