07/05 Update below. This post was originally published on July 2
Apple’s iPhone 14 is only two months away and, while leaks have revealed everything from their battery capacity to possible pricing, one surprising detail has been overlooked: the new name.
In September, Apple is expected to announce a new affordable version of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which is believed to be called the ‘iPhone 14 Max’. But a detailed supply chain report from analyst Omdia, uses a more meaningful name.
Breaking with the leaks to date, Omdia chief research director David Hsieh refers to the new device (the iPhone 13 Mini replacement) as the ‘iPhone 14 Plus’. This makes a lot of sense. It goes back to Apple’s previous branding for its flagship phones and creates a premium between the two 6.7-inch models.
07/04 Update: more supply chain information has leaked around Apple’s iPhone 14 release plans. Resolve report back from Digitalwhich claims that Apple was forced to cut the initial production of the iPhone 14 from major TSMC suppliers by 10 percent. Ming-Chi Ku It appears that production for the new range is on track.
“The rumor of TSMC’s iPhone 14 orders being cut by 10% is inconsistent with my research. I am currently monitoring the 2H22 shipment forecast for the iPhone 14, around 100 million [million] and 90 mn units for components and EMS, respectively.”
This will be important for Apple since Kuo believes that the demand for the iPhone 14 line will be there powerful in China than it was for the iPhone 13 models:
“Recent research shows that some Chinese distributors/retailers/retailers have to pay higher reserves for the iPhone 14 to ensure sufficient supplies… Currently, in the Chinese market , iPhone 14 prepaid reservations are higher than iPhone 14. iPhone 13 is even twice as high in some regions.”
What causes this need, if you consider historically small improvements to the standard iPhone 14, remains to be seen. But the leaks will accelerate now that mass production has begun. Meanwhile, any potential iPhone 13 upgrades would now be wise to wait until the iPhone 14 model is launched in September.
07/05 Update: new light shines on what is arguably one of the most controversial aspects of the iPhone: its 5G modem.
After several high-profile lawsuits between Apple and its main supplier Qualcomm, the two companies have signed an agreement. six-year license agreement in 2019. Apple also bought Intel’s cell phone modem business with the aim of displacing Qualcomm modems in the next few years. Since then, it has been rumored that every iPhone will start with Apple’s first 5G modem.
The iPhone 14 was not different until the turn report from Ming-Chi Kuo last week that the development of the modem “may fail“with Apple forced to rely on Qualcomm for the foreseeable future.
Now this has been shot down by a reliable source ShrimpApplePro (an anonymous account known as equity). The source described themselves as “speechless” at the reports of the failure, stating that “[Apple] only the population production period has been delayed from the beginning of the second quarter of 2023 to the fourth quarter of 2023.”
The source also shared that Apple is developing a modem (including a radio frequency module and PMIC – power management control) under the name ‘Ibiza’.
If correct, the long and short of this is that while we can forget about Apple’s modem in the iPhone 14 lineup, the equipment seems to be set in the iPhone 15 model of 2023. This will definitely be the introduction of time together and Apple is very likely to be able to produce gen-one chips to the right scale (and will not be interested given the potential for bugs).
That said, history has shown that the more Apple controls its hardware, the closer it can integrate silicon and software and the better the user experience. Apple cannot distinguish the performance of its first modem from Qualcomm devices (to ensure a consistent user experience), but Apple fans can expect to see significant benefits once the company takes full control.
And from there, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple return to the home networking market with more functionality and services to come when iPhones, iPads, Macs and smart home devices are connected to Apple routers. This is really just the beginning.
Besides this, the name ‘Max’ is also problematic. The max-version of any device implies that it is the best thing in front of its physical size, hence phrases like ‘to the max’. The meaning next to ‘and’ is not limited, ‘as much as’ is a really old association and the word means ‘more’ rather than better. This will be more appropriate, given that the standard iPhone 14 models will not miss many of the major improvements of the iPhone 14 Pro.
Apple’s recent announcement also shows interest in keeping the Max for premium hardware. In ascending order, the M1 range (and soon M2) includes:
- M1 Pro
- M1 Max
- M1 Ultra
The Max sits above the Pro. Yes, the Apple brand has long been criticized for creating confusion (look no further than the ‘Apple Watch Edition’), but the release of an iPhone 14 Max that is cheaper and smarter than the iPhone 14 Pro would be surprising even by the standards Apple.
Adding more weight to Hsieh’s language is the detail of Omdia’s report, which breaks down iPhone hardware suppliers, hardware distribution and schedule for the next two years. Countering this is the large number of leakers who have been talking about the iPhone 14 Max for months. It would be surprising for them to make a mistake around the launch, but certainly not unprecedented.
Yes, there are big questions surrounding the iPhone 14 lineup — including battery capacity, camera differences and chipset generation gaps — but for Apple, getting the message right around these phones is important. And it all starts with a name.
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