The current flat-edged iPhone 12 design is two years old now. Should you hold your breath for a complete redesign with next year’s iPhone 14 or expect another year of tweaks?
- Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says to expect “a complete redesign” for iPhone 14
- Some iPhone 14 models may lose the notch and that massive camera bump
- Those changes alone could result in a whole new look for the next iPhone
- The iPhone’s industrial design has been on a three-year schedule
Will Apple completely redesign iPhone 14?
That is the crucial question (if you’re an Apple fan, that is) that reliable reporter Mark Gurman attempts to answer in the latest installment of his Power On newsletter on Bloomberg.
According to him, the iPhone lineup in 2022 will consist of:
- A brand-new baseline iPhone 14 model
- New Pro-branded models of iPhone 14
So far, so good—we heard before that the baseline iPhone mini is on its way out so a new entry-level model sounds like the logical step. But this is where things get interesting as Gurman’s newsletter mentions “a complete redesign” of the handset.
Apple will have to get more dramatic with next year’s overhaul, especially as competition mounts. Samsung Electronics Co., Google and others are now unleashing their best. Samsung is pushing foldable phones, and Apple is working on its own foldable device that it could release in a few years.
The minor changes this year also mean that Apple’s engineers were working behind the scenes on bigger things that will take more time. With the iPhone 14, you can expect new entry-level and Pro models and a complete redesign. Until then, enjoy the iPhone 13—or just stick with the iPhone 12.
A few years ago back when the smartphone industry peaked, Apple made the decision to switch from changing iPhone design every other year to reusing the same design with some refinements over a three-year period. So that’s how we got the similarly-designed iPhone 6/6s/7 and three years of the iPhone X design (iPhone X, iPhone XS and iPhone 11).
Continuing with the tradition, we should endure yet another year of the flat-edged iPhone 12 design (iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and iPhone 14) before Apple makes significant changes to the handset’s look and feel, right? According to Gurman, that’s not going to happen.
A punch-hole iPhone design could be in the works
And he could be basing this prediction on analyst reports and supply-chain rumors.
Ming-Chi Kuo, the most reliable Apple analyst, is convinced that at least one, if not both Pro models in the iPhone 14 family will sport a punch-hole display design replacing the notch.
We saw punch-hole screens in several Android handsets, including certain Galaxy models from Samsung. Also, the huge camera bump on the back should be flush with the iPhone 14 housing. So losing the notch and embedding a punch-hole camera into the screen would result in noticeable visual changes that some folks might perceive as a complete redesign.
Expect substantial design changes with iPhone 15 in 2023
Perhaps that’s what Gurman had in mind with the phrase “a complete redesign”, but it more sounds as if he was referring to a whole new industrial look for the Apple smartphone. And with years and years of aluminum and stainless steel, one of the iPhone 14 models could be made from lighter, stronger titanium alloys for an even more refined feel in your hand.
At any rate, newness is important with personal products like smartphones. While we don’t expect an entirely new design for iPhone 14 (we think a complete overhaul is coming with the iPhone 15 family in 2023), design changes stemming from losing the notch and the bump, and adopting a punch-hole fullscreen look, could eventually result in enough visual differences to make people on the fence of upgrading to upgrade.