In classic fashion, the Apple Store is down as Apple prepares the store for the rush of iPhone 14 sales.
The iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max will all be available to order starting at 5 AM PT. AirPods Pro 2 will also be available to order at that time.
The new iPhone lineup retains the same starting prices as the iPhone 13 range, albeit with the loss of the cheapest 5.4-inch mini size.
The 6.1-inch iPhone 14 starts at $799 for a 128 GB model, offering minor feature upgrades over the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 counterpart. New upgrades include a larger sensor main camera, new selfie camera with autofocus and faster aperture, and a ‘Photonic Engine’ processing pipeline which Apple says will deliver up to 2x improvement in low light photo capture.
The iPhone 14 also supports car crash detection and Emergency SOS via a new satellite service. The satellite features will go live in November for US and Canada customers. One thing to watch for this year is that all US iPhone 14 models no longer include a physical SIM tray, requiring eSIM adoption.
The biggest addition to the iPhone 14 line is the iPhone 14 Plus. This offers all the same features as iPhone 14, but brings a 6.7-inch display to the cheaper iPhone series for the first time. iPhone buyers do not need to shell out $1099 and up anymore to get the largest screen size in the Pro Max; the iPhone 14 Plus is much more accessible, starting at $899. Apple also stated that this model also has the best battery life in an iPhone ever.
Due to some production delays, the iPhone 14 Plus will not ship until October 7. The first iPhone 14 orders will arrive next Friday, September 16.
iPhone 14 Pro
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max bring a lot more changes. For a start, they are powered by the A16 chip, which promises improved power efficiency running on a 4-nm fabrication process for the first time.
The A16 chip also includes a dedicated ‘Display Engine’, which allows the iPhone 14 Pro to run in a super-low power state while in the Always-On mode. This means, like an Apple Watch, your iPhone lock screen does not dim to darkness anymore. The phone will always be showing the time, incoming notifications, lock screen widgets, and wallpaper. The screen has also been upgraded to be even brighter playing HDR content, rated at 1600 nits.
Apple also promises significant camera upgrades. The main camera now features a 48-megapixel resolution, and Apple will use quad-pixel sensor to supersample 48-megapixel input into a 12-megapixel output image, with the goal of increasing detail and reducing noise. The main camera can also emulate an optical 2x zoom, by only using the middle 12-megapixels. The ultra-wide lens has also been upgraded with a larger sensor, taking in more light and producing images with less noise, and higher detailed macro shots. And just like the iPhone 14, the new Photonic Engine improves low light capture across all the cameras.
Perhaps, the biggest visual change is that the notch cutout design is no more. Instead, a unified floating pill shape houses the camera and Face ID sensors. When background activity happens, iOS extends the physical black cutouts with software to provide contextually relevant UI, complete with playful animations and transitions.
Apple calls this blend of hardware and software the ‘Dynamic Island’. For instance, when playing music, the island will show the current song and a mini volume visualiser directly in the status bar. Or a running timer in Timer will count down as you navigate around the iPhone operating system. Third-party apps will also be able to display rich notifications as Live Activities in the island.
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max preserve the same starting prices as their iPhone 13 counterparts, costing $999 and $1099 respectively. Both iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will begin arriving at customer’s door on September 16.
AirPods Pro 2
AirPods Pro 2 are also up for preorder today. The second-generation of Apple’s most popular wireless earbuds offer better sound, longer battery life and improved noise cancellation. Adaptive Transparency allows you to hear the world around you, but sharp loud sounds are intelligently diminished. And the new AirPods Pro 2 charging case supports Precision Finding with the U1 chip, an audible speaker to help hear the pings when its lost, and a hole to attach a lanyard.
AirPods Pro 2 battery life is improved, now touting up to 6 hours of listening time. With top-ups from the case battery, you can use AirPods Pro 2 for up to 30 hours between charges. AirPods Pro 2 will cost $249, and will be available from September 23.
Author: Benjamin Mayo