Like clockwork, Apple recently held another September event and unveiled the newest iterations of iPhone. At the “Far Out” event on September 7th, the tech giant not only announced multiple Apple Watches and the new AirPods Pro, but four new iPhone models: the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus along with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. These new iPhones range in price from $799 on the low end for the iPhone 14 up to $1,099 for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus feature Apple’s A15 Bionic chipset, while the beefier iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max have been upgraded to the new A16 Bionic processor, which utilizes six CPU cores that are designed to consume less power than previous models. All the new models also have boosted their camera systems with Apple’s “photonic engine,” which is meant to boost low-light photography. There’s also a move away from physical SIM cards to an eSIM with Apple’s US models. While that simplifies setup, cynics have noted that this choice does present another hurdle for any iPhone owner who wishes to switch to a different phone at some point down the road, making it more difficult to leave Apple’s ecosystem.
Perhaps the feature that’s received the most attention, however, is what Apple has done to the selfie camera notch. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Apple has redesigned the notch and has labeled it “Dynamic Island,” which is an area of the notch that blends into the screen surrounding it in order to utilize new animations like extending the area into a bar for Siri searches or to show what music track is currently playing. While it’s been created to work with Apple’s first-party apps, popular third-party apps will likely issue updates in the months ahead to take advantage of this screen real estate feature.
At a time when consumers are feeling the pinch from inflation and have already slowed their smartphone upgrade cycle to once every few years, Apple does face some challenges in spurring iPhone 14 adoption, especially in a market where Samsung and Google offer solid, cheaper options. Reviews thus far have been largely positive, but critics also categorize the iPhone 14 as more of a minor improvement that makes it feel more like an iPhone 13S. For those who are upgrading from an older iPhone, the consensus from critics appears to be to “go Pro or go home.”
Interpret’s New Media Measure®, finds that about 18% of the US population intends to purchase a new phone in the next three months. That said, Apple users are actually less likely to upgrade, with just 15% reporting an intent to buy a new phone, behind Android users at 19%. That’s a testament to how Apple maintains updates and support for its older phones, which can work well for many consumers for numerous years. Chris Evans (Avengers, Captain America) famously held onto his old iPhone 6S for seven years.