iPhone 14 — 7 biggest rumored upgrades so far

iPhone 14
(Image credit: Front Page Tech | Renders by Ian)

As sure as day turns into night, following the launch of the iPhone 13 comes rumors and alleged leaks around the iPhone 14

And while we can’t put too much faith in these early tidbits of information, the rumors so far make a compelling case for waiting for the iPhone 14. That’s because the iPhone 14 is tipped to bring in a significant suite of changes, whereas the iPhone 13 was more of an iterative evolution on the iPhone 12, though that was enough to secure it a place on our best phones list. 

From a fairly big redesign and the possible return to Touch ID to USB-C and camera improvements, here are the 7 biggest upgrades the iPhone 14 is rumored to have so far. 

No notch 

iPhone 14 concept image

(Image credit: ConceptsiPhone/YouTube)

One of the most enduring rumors around any new modern iPhone is whether it’ll still have the now iconic display notch. The iPhone 13 was initially tipped to ditch the notch, but instead it got a 20% smaller one.

However, according to claimed insider info, the iPhone 14 could ditch the notch and go for a punch-hole selfie camera, much like a lot of the best Android phones. How Face ID will work in this case is unclear, given the current display notch holds an IR scanner as well as a front-facing camera. Perhaps Apple will integrate the tech under the display. 

Speaking of that, an under-display front-facing camera is not expected in the iPhone 14, as the technology doesn't seem to be there yet to deliver solid quality selfie snaps; see the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and its under-display camera as an example.  

The return of Touch ID  

iPhone 14 renders by Front Page Tech and Ian Zelbo

(Image credit: Ian Zelbo | Front Page Tech)

We now live in a world where thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, mask wearing is commonplace. But that poses a distinct challenge for Apple’s Face ID; when out and about mask-wearing people need to manually unlock their iPhones. But the iPhone 14 has been tipped to get a form of under-display Touch ID to offer a secondary biometric security option.

The jury is still out on this, given that some tipsters have claimed the iPhone 14 won’t get Touch ID. Even if Apple doesn’t go for an under-display fingerprint scanner, we’d like to see some form of Touch ID on the next flagship iPhone, maybe with a sensor integrated into the power button as seen in the iPad Air

A new, flatter design and a new model

iPhone 14 concepts

(Image credit: ConceptsiPhone/YouTube)

While the rumors point towards the iPhone 14 retaining the flat edges of the iPhone 13, it’s expected to have a flat camera array, removing the now rather chunky module found on the back of the iPhone 13 Pro. Having an iPhone that sits flat on a desk would be rather nice. 

Some reports point to Apple retiring the 5.4-inch iPhone mini in favor of a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max model. So there would be a 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 and a 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro. 

Lightning ditched for USB-C 

iPhone 14 concepts

(Image credit: ConceptsiPhone/YouTube)

Another enduring rumor that also ties in with design changes is that the iPhone 14 will finally opt for a USB-C port rather than the now archaic Lightning port. Across Apple’s product lineup only its iPhones, AirPods and the cheapest iPad have Lightning ports. So it would seem the writing is on the wall for the next iPhone to get a USB-C port. 

If that happens, the iPhone 14 could benefit from faster connectivity when it comes to file transfer and just make life easier when sorting out charging cables. For example, a MacBook Air charger will also be able to charge an iPhone and iPad. It would also make connecting the iPhone 14 to peripherals a lot easier and kill the need for USB-C to Lightning converters. 

With the European Union looking to legislate that all consumer devices should have a standardized charging by 2024, there’s a feeling of inevitability that the iPhone 14, or perhaps the iPhone 15, will have a USB-C port.  

iPhone 14: Apple A16 Bionic 4nm chip  

iPhone 14 renders by Front Page Tech and Ian Zelbo

(Image credit: Ian Zelbo | Front Page Tech)

It’s a given that the iPhone 14 will come with a new Apple A-series chipset. Currently the A15 Bionic in the iPhone 13 range is a performance champion, much like previous A-series chips before it. 

But with the A16 tipped to move from the 5-nanometer process node to TSMC’s 4nm node, we can expect a greater number of transistors to be packed onto a chip die and thus more performance and efficiency. In real=-world use that would likely translate into ultra-smooth performance in apps and games, as well as better battery life. In everyday use, the iPhone 13 range already offers excellent battery life, but there’s always room for improvement. 

Yet, the more exciting thing here is what Apple could do with that extra power. We've already seen Cupertino getting better at image signal processing leading to stellar smartphone photography. So improvements in that, as well as onboard AI processing for a smarter Siri, could yield an overall smarte iPhone, 

And while we’re discussing chips, the iPhone 14 is tipped to get better connectivity. Supposedly it’ll use the the Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 modem chip for 10 Gigabit 5G, as well as have support for the faster Wi-Fi 6E standard. 

While the rumors are hazy, a new chip could also help facilitate faster charging, as the iPhone 13 range is rated for 20W charging; hardly fast when some phones like the Oppo Find X3 Pro charge at a speedy 65 watts. 

iPhone 14 camera upgrades 

iPhone 14 renders by Front Page Tech and Ian Zelbo

(Image credit: Ian Zelbo | Front Page Tech)

Another significant hardware change is set to come in the form of new cameras for the iPhone 14. While the iPhone 13 Pro models got improved sensors and camera specs across the board, they still stuck to 12-megapixel sensors. 

However, the iPhone 14 Pro has been tipped to get a 48MP main camera. While a lot of phones use a technique called pixel binning to resolve 48MP snaps to more manageable 12MP shots, having a higher megapixel sensor gives smartphones more data to process and deliver better photos. Given Apple’s computational photography is top notch on 12MP sensors, it's tantalizing to think about what it could do with a 48MP camera. 

Sadly, there are no rumors about improved telephoto cameras, an area the iPhone 13 range loses out to when compared to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S21

UP to 2TB of onboard storage  

iPhone 14 renders by Front Page Tech and Ian Zelbo

(Image credit: Ian Zelbo | Front Page Tech)

And finally, improved photography chops tend to come with bigger file sizes, especially if Apple ProRAW photo and ProRes video modes are used. They can quickly eat into onboard storage. So that's probably why there are rumors of a 2TB iPhone 14 Pro being an option next year. 

The iPhone 13 Pro Max offers up to 1TB of storage, but for Apple to really hammer the ‘pro’ aspect of its phones, doubling the storage capacity could really appeal to budding photographers and video makers. And it would surely put a smile on the faces of app hoarders. 

iPhone 14 outlook

And with that we come to the end of the seven biggest upgrades rumored for the iPhone 14. Inevitably, we expect to hear more when 2022 comes around as we get closer to the excepted September launch of the iPhone 14. In the meantime, let us know what you think the next iPhone needs to win your attention and check out our iPhone 14 hub for all the latest rumors and leaks.  

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.