Update (March 29): Apparently these tests went well, as Apple's now performing engineering validation tests on the final iPhone 14 designs according to a new claim from an analyst.
Development of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro may have just hit a major milestone, with reports claiming trial production has just commenced. That’s according to Chinese site UDN (opens in new tab), which claims Apple’s OEM partners have kicked off small scale production ahead of mass production later in the year.
This trial production is an important step in the phone’s manufacturing process, and UDN claims Apple orders a similar trial each February. The idea is to finalize a device’s design, calibrate testing machines for quality assurance and identify any issues with the manufacturing process.
That way the problems don’t have to be dealt with once volume production has begun, and the whole process can run a lot more smoothly.
This doesn’t tell us much about what to expect from the iPhone 14. But the fact trial production is reportedly on schedule suggests that the phone will be ready for its usual September release date. That's assuming nothing goes terribly wrong, or the supply chain issues get any worse over the next few months.
This milestone means we may start seeing more iPhone 14 leaks in the coming weeks and months. Typically having phones on the production line means there’s a higher chance of seeing design schematics, prototype components and other teasers of what Apple has planned for the fall.
There’s been no shortage of iPhone 14 rumors already. Most recently we’ve heard news that the phone may come with a 90Hz display, a far cry from the 120Hz ProMotion display of the iPhone 13 Pro, but a step up from the 60Hz screens of the iPhone 13 and 13 mini.
Likewise, rumors claim Apple has scrapped plans to try and implement in-screen Touch ID, while the notchless Face ID cameras are reportedly delayed until next year at the earliest. Other rumors of note include 8GB of RAM in the iPhone 14 Pro, an e-SIM only variant, and the potential loss of the iPhone 14 mini in favor of a new 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max model.
On the camera front, the iPhone 14 may step up to a new 48MP main camera sensor, which would be a big jump in resolution vs. today's iPhone 13. But it's not clear whether this upgrade will be limited to the iPhone 14 Pro.
In the meantime, our iPhone 14 hub has all the latest leaks and reports to keep you informed as new rumors pop up.