While Apple’s next handset will likely be the iPhone SE 3, which will reportedly arrive in Spring 2022, for some only a flagship phone will do.
And while it’s too early for a clear picture of the iPhone 14 to have emerged, that hasn’t stopped concept artists from coming up with what they want the handset to look like. And it’s hard to argue with the good taste of the creators of this video from ConceptsiPhone (opens in new tab).
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The professionally made clip targets four weak spots of the current iPhone design, while keeping Apple’s overall aesthetic. Some of these are, it’s fair to say, more optimistic than others.
First, the concept video imagines the death of the notch, a feature that’s been part of Apple flagships since the iPhone X. The reason that Apple hasn’t copied other manufacturers’ more modest front-facing camera options is because the company needs space for the complex Face ID tech, and here it’s assumed that this can be done under the screen.
But the concept artist doesn’t imagine this as the only means of authentication: Touch ID is back. Unlike recent rumors, this isn’t as an under-display fingerprint scanner, but something built into the power button like on the iPad Air and new iPad mini 6.
The camera bump is completely flattened tom compliment the phone's flat back. This doesn’t seem implausible, but would likely require a slightly thicker phone to compensate. No bad thing, some would argue, as it would provide more space for a beefier battery.
Finally, the video includes a USB-C charging port, rather than Lightning. This is something that could ultimately be forced on Apple — at least in Europe, if an EU commission plan is put into action.
A positive outlook… for the iPhone 14 Pro
So just how likely are these design tweaks? For the iPhone 14 Pro, at least two of them are expected by prolific leaker Jon Prosser, who leaked an alleged plan to remove the notch and flatten the camera array in 2022 just days ahead of the iPhone 13 launch. There was, however, no mention of Touch ID, and he specifically stated that the Lightning port wasn’t going anywhere.
But even those two predictions are specifically earmarked for the iPhone 14 Pro, with another leaker — @PandaIsBald — stating that it’s “unlikely” that Apple will remove the notch completely. For his part, Prosser agreed with this analysis, saying on Twitter (opens in new tab): “I believe the regular models will still use the notch.”
In other words, it looks like we’ll be returning to the days of two-tier iPhone design. While we’ve got quite used to the idea that the regular and Pro iPhones should look similar, it wasn’t always this way. The iPhone X and iPhone 8 were released at the same event in 2017, after all.