iPhone 14 design rumors: Will a foldable iPhone hit the shelves in 2022?

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

Patrick Holland / CNET

That iPhone 13 experiences shipping delays, but it’s never too early for consumer technology to start buzzing about what the next model might look like. That goes for the iPhone 14 (or whatever Apple now decides to call it). We do not know much about the features of the next iPhone or even prices right now, but a number of credible design whispers have found their way around the rumor mill. If they are accurate, they draw the picture of an upcoming iPhone that is ready for a major redesign.

iPhone 14 screen: Turn it down a notch

This one has been going on for years, but one of the biggest rumors is the iPhone 14 do not want to have. After introducing the hack on the iPhone X back in 2017, Apple could finally drop it next year. The company will replace it with a smaller hollow camera in the Pro models, according to noted Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo. A hole design refers to a screen with only a small circular cutout for the front camera, as seen at a number of recent Samsung launches, including Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy Z Flip 3.

The hack is home to the components that make Face ID work, which means Apple may have to diminish all that technology to make a hackless iPhone a reality. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also hinted at its removal in a September issue of his Power On newsletter, in which he predicted a “complete redesign” for the iPhone 14.

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iPhone X made the notch a thing.

Josh Miller / CNET

iPhone 14 camera design: Bumper down

Another design feature rumored to be on Apple’s hit list is the thick camera bump. The iPhone 13 series has a protruding camera bump, which holds two or three lenses depending on the model. According to Jon Prosser, who has a record for hit-and-miss accuracy, the iPhone of the future will completely eliminate the bump, which could mean a thicker chassis that fits in camera components. According to Prosser, the body of the iPhone 14 will be a “fat boy”. But could it be thick enough to include all that camera hardware without the thick camera setup on the back? I take this rumor with a pinch of salt.

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Early renditions of the iPhone 14 by Jon Prosser suggest a choppy design and flush camera setup.

Jon Prosser

iPhone 14 chassis: Harder and lighter

Speaking of the iPhone chassis, Prosser also said iPhone 14 Pro could receive a housing of titanium alloy for the first time, replacement of the stainless steel. This rumor was first referenced in a July report from JP Morgan Chase’s China office. Apple has previously used titanium alloy in select Apple Watch models, including the Series 7. Titanium alloy competes with steel in toughness, while also weighing less than stainless steel. Titanium is also more resistant to scratches, corrosion and bending.

Will the iPhone 14 fold?

Probably not. To be clear, we can not say with certainty whether a foldable iPhone will ever see the light of day, but I hope it can happen within the next few years. A Bloomberg report released in January said Apple already has a working prototype of a foldable iPhone screen, but did not confirm a launch timeline. Other businesses, including Taiwan’s Economic Daily, stated that 2022 is the year when the foldable iPhone will become a reality. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has revised his forecast to two years later – in 2024 compared to 2023 earlier.

Keep in mind that the iPhone 13 was a step-by-step upgrade from the iPhone 12. That means it potentially sets the stage for a thorough design overhaul when the iPhone 14 or 15 comes around, just as Apple renewed the look of its phones with the iPhone X.

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