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This article was published on September 8, 2021

The iPhone 13 isn’t out yet but the iPhone 14 is already leaking

The rumor mill has already moved on

The iPhone 13 isn’t out yet but the iPhone 14 is already leaking
Napier Lopez
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Napier Lopez

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Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.

It was just this week that we got a date for Apple’s iPhone 13 event, but the rumor mill has already moved on to the next big thing. Leaks and rumors about the iPhone 14 are already starting to pile up, and they suggest it’s going to be the biggest redesign of the device since the iPhone X was revealed in 2017.

Leaker Jon Prosser today showed off some unofficial renders of the upcoming device, which suggest two immediate differences: there’s no camera bump and no notch, removing two of the biggest complaints about the iPhone’s design since the iPhone X.

Rather than fully shaving down the bump, it instead seems Apple might opt to make the phone a little thicker. Hopefully, that means a bigger battery — and really, that’s the approach every phone maker should take. Other changes include circular volume buttons, a la iPhone 4, and a titanium frame around the phone’s perimeter.

In fact, the phone as a whole appears to be inspired by the iPhone 4/4S, which as Prosser argues, is still the best-designed iPhone. I’m inclined to agree.

Of course, it’s super early days — the iPhone 14 likely isn’t even finalized, and Prosser notes the phone’s design could change. That’s should be obvious this early on, but Prosser does also say he expects the design will largely stick to this form factor.

But lending some credence to the leak is the fact that display analyst Ross Young believes Apple is working on an under-display Face ID technology (via MacRumors) for at least its Pro models. Notably, he says implementing Face ID under the display is easier than under-panel cameras.

While that seems a little weird, considering we’ve already seen several phones with under-display cameras, I wouldn’t be surprised if Young means it’s easier for Apple to implement Face ID than a camera without degrading image or screen quality.

Current under-display cameras have tended to come with compromises. In most cases, like on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, it also means you can clearly see where the camera is hidden under the display as the area becomes fuzzy and pixelated. That said, ZTE’s new Axon 30 already does a much better job of hiding the camera without harming display quality.

The other problem is that the selfie camera quality gets degraded. While Samsung and ZTE use processing to mitigate the fuzziness and haziness that comes from having the display under the screen, it means you are sacrificing some image quality for the convenience of not having a camera hole — it’s one of the reasons why we haven’t seen this technology show up on many camera-focused phones. Chances are Apple is waiting to improve on the technology before it tries to go the full under-display route.

Again, this is all extremely early speculation. For all we really know, the iPhone 14 could be shaped like a taco and made out of jello. Still, maybe this will tilt your decision on whether you really want to spend a thousand bucks on a new iPhone this year or wait until the cool new design arrives next year.

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more, but it’ll be a while before we can be confident about any leaks.

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