iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max: release date rumours, price news, and leaks for Apple's 2022 flagships

The iPhone 14 is expected to launch this September, a year after the arrival of the iPhone 13. But of course, it won't be just one phone – as ever, the iPhone 14 should comprise a whole family of handsets, with two standard models and two higher-end Pro handsets.

So the rumours say, anyway. And with credible, history-proven sources all saying much the same thing, there's every reason to believe them.

We've covered what to expect from the iPhone 14 models elsewhere, so here we're turning our attention to the future Pro variants, which will invariably be called the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max if recent tradition is upheld. What will they offer over the standard models? Will they be much better than the current iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max? How much will they cost, and when will they be available?

We're here to answer (or provide an educated guess at) all these and more...

iPhone 14 Pro rumours at a glance

iPhone 14 Pro: release date rumours

Like every year, Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone range in September. Apple has done so for years now, with the exception of the 2020's iPhone 12, which was delayed until October due to the pandemic.

Apple is yet to announce a release date, but Apple's past events do give us a clue as to when the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will land. The firm tends to favour the second Tuesday of the month – this was the case with the iPhone 13, which launched on 14th September 2021. If Apple sticks to this, the dates for your diary this year would be Tuesday 13th September 2022. 

We even have an idea of the start time. Apple usually holds its events at its Apple Park HQ in California, kicking off at 10am (local) Pacific Time, which is 6pm GMT / 4am AEST.

The firm has already got the ball rolling on product launches for 2022. Its first event happened in March, where tech fans were treated to the long-awaited iPhone SE 3 and a new iPad Air.

iPhone 14 Pro: price predictions

Naturally, there's no official word yet on the iPhone 14 Pro prices – we won't hear anything official until the event itself in September. But there have been some leaked figures from publications such as iDropNews (opens in new tab) which, according to its sources, says that higher prices are in the offing.

While the standard iPhone 14 will reportedly begin at the same $799 price as the iPhone 13 launched at, the other devices in the family could be in for a $100 price rise. That includes the two iPhone 14 Pro models.

That would leave the iPhone 14 Pro costing $1099, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max with a price tag of $1199. Remember, these are starting prices. If you want more storage, you'll need to dig a little deeper into your pockets.

This is just a rumour for now, of course, though world events lend it considerable credence. In the UK, for example, the cost of living is at a 30-year high, and the global chip shortage continues to mean higher prices on all manner of consumer electronics, from cars to games consoles. And yes, that includes smartphones.

iPhone 14 Pro: design rumours

While they may disagree on specifics, almost all the die-hard Apple analysts are united in one belief: that the iPhone 14 family will feature a completely new design compared to the iPhone 13 series. And the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max handsets are supposedly set for the most drastic changes of all.

The story started back in September 2021 – yes, just days after the official unveiling of the iPhone 13. That's when Jon Prosser of FrontPageTech published renders (including the one above) that appear to reveal the iPhone 14. If that's the case, the device will feature "titanium edges", which could make it harder wearing. 

In April 2022, Twitter user ShrimpApplePro released CAD drawings that suggest the iPhone 14 Pro will feature some of the thinnest bezels of any smartphone – some 0.5mm thinner than those on the iPhone 13 Pro.    

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman wasn't far behind. The noted Apple watcher claimed the iPhone 14 family will get a "complete redesign" from the ground up, including offering different models from the iPhone 13 range. This involves killing off the 5.4-inch iPhone Mini and launching an all-new Max model alongside the Pro and Pro Max models.

This was backed up by Ming-Chi Kuo, arguably the most reliable Apple analyst on the scene.

Bottom line: the iPhone 14 range could comprise of the following four handsets:

iPhone 14 – 6.1-inch display

iPhone 14 Max – 6.7-inch display

iPhone 14 Pro – 6.1-inch 120Hz display

iPhone 14 Pro Max – 6.7-inch 120Hz display

It's these last two that we're interested in here, and they could be in for a whole new look both on the front and the back.

First, the front. According to The Elec, the two Pro models will feature new 'hole-punch' displays. That would mean no more notch, which has featured since the iPhone X was introduced in 2017. The notch has been unpopular with punters, as it obscures a substantial part of the screen. Rival phones offer more refined solutions, like 'pin hole' camera holes, which Apple is likely to emulate.

Some have speculated that Apple will opt for a longer, 'pill-shaped' cutout in place of the notch. But others still insist that both rumours are correct – that's the view of display industry consultant Ross Young (via MacRumors), who refers to the approach as the 'hole + pill' design. It's a view that has since been seconded by Prosser.

Why two cutouts? Well, each will supposedly serve a different purpose. The round 'hole punch' cutout will house the Face ID dot projector, while the pill-shaped cutout will be home to the front-facing camera and Face ID infrared camera.

Be warned, though: this new 'hole + pill' approach will cost you. It's only expected to feature on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. The more affordable standard and rumoured Max handsets are believed to stick with the same cutout as the iPhone 13 range, for at least another year.

It's all change around the back as well. A chunkier camera bump is the order of the day for the Pro handsets, according to recently emerged leaked schematics. Not only that, both handsets will be slightly fatter than their predecessors, though the change in dimensions will reportedly be minimal. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, this larger camera bump is to accommodate a new 48MP sensor for the main camera – a big upgrade on the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max's 12MP sensor. "The diagonal length of 48MP CIS will increase by 25-35%, and the height of 48MP's 7P lens will increase by 5-10%," Kuo tweeted.

Could the iPhone 14 Pro models herald the return of Touch ID? The opinion is split on this one. The fingerprint recognition tech was abandoned when Apple did away with the physical home button on its iPhones, but Apple is rumoured to be incorporating the tech into the screen. According to anonymous tipster LeaksApplePro, the feature is being tested on the iPhone 14 Pro handsets. Apple was rumoured to be testing the same feature on the iPhone 13 Pro models, and that never saw the light of day – so consider us hopeful with a sprinkle of doubt.

Indeed, another rumour contradicts LeaksApplePro. It says Apple has stopped trying to incorporate Touch ID and is instead putting all its resources into Face ID. That makes a lot of sense, given how convenient it is (especially now it works when you're wearing a face mask).

The iPhone 14 family could be the first without physical SIM cards, too. A MacRumors source claims that the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro models will offer an option to ditch the traditional SIM card slot in favour of virtual eSIMs. So that would be one less thing to fiddle with when setting up your device for the first time.

iPhone 14 Pro: display hearsay

Apple is unlikely to go backward when it comes to screen tech (or anything, really), so we can comfortably expect the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max to have at least the same 120Hz LTPO panels as found in the iPhone 13 family.

Let's break down exactly what that means.

120Hz means the screen can refresh itself (i.e. update to show you the next frame of whatever you're watching) 120 times a second. Because it refreshes much more frequently than a 60Hz or 90Hz screen, it shows you more up to date image information, resulting in less stuttering and blurring. This is especially noticeable with fast-moving content, like games.

Now, LTPO. This stands for low-temperature Polycrystalline oxide, which allows for a high refresh rate and resolution without impacting too badly on battery life. It's essentially a way of optimising the screen so it doesn't sap your device's battery too quickly.

As you might expect, the iPhone 14 Pro models shouldn't just keep the same screens as their predecessors but improve on them. In this instance, it seems the main improvement could surround the refresh rate.

While both would still max out at 120Hz, they could go as low as 1Hz (the lowest the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max go is 10Hz), which should make for even greater battery efficiency. That's according to Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants. He made the claim in his detailed prediction of the screen specs for every handset in the iPhone 14 family. Last year, he tweeted a graphic that revealed the following for the two Pro models:

iPhone 14 Pro –  6.06-inch, 1170 x 2532 OLED screen with a 1–120Hz variable refresh rate and 460 pixels per inch.

iPhone 14 Pro Max – 6.68-inch, 1284 x 2778 OLED screen with a 1–120Hz refresh rate and 458 pixels per inch.

The key takeaway: both Pro models should have 120Hz screens with more advanced variable refresh rates than their predecessors. 

Young has a decent track record when it comes to iPhone leaks, so he could be on the money here. If he is, both iPhone 14 Pro models will support 120Hz variable refresh displays, delivering a faster frame rate when users need it, and preserving battery life when they don't.

Someone calling themselves Shadow_leak has backed up this claim, too, stating that both Pro models will offer LTPO display technology that delivers high refresh rates and resolutions without compromising battery life too much. This outcome would be a massive benefit to users.

iPhone 14 Pro: storage, power and battery life?

The Pro models always offer a little extra something over the other handsets in order to justify their higher price tags, but this year could be a real watershed moment for them. The rumour is that the iPhone 14 Pro models will debut a new, as-yet-unannounced A16 processor, while the non-Pro variants will stick with the A15 Bionic from the iPhone 13 range.

The rumour comes from Ming-Chi Kuo, whose name you've probably already seen in this article. That's because he's probably the most-respected Apple analyst out there, with one of the best track records when it comes to iPhone predictions.

That would be a pretty big deal, as Apple usually uses the same chipset across its entire iPhone range. In fact, it has done in every iPhone since the iPhone 5S and 5C landed with different processors in 2013. Usually, what differentiates the Pro and non-Pro models are more cores or more memory along with a few extra camera features. Different processors would draw a real line between the two ranges.

So, why would Apple kit its Pro iPhones out with the new chip but not the standard, non-Pro variants? It could be an attempt to justify the Pro models' higher price tags. Or it could be a purely practical measure given the ongoing chip shortage, which is impacting the supply of everything from phones and tablets to cars and games consoles. (It's the reason you're still struggling to find a PS5.)

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The wallet-friendly iPhone SE (2022) runs the A15 Bionic, so some consumers might resent paying iPhone 14 money for a phone with the same processor as a model costing nearly half as much.

The A16 is expected to be one of the first 4nm chips in existence and should provide a serious power boost over the 5nm A15 Bionic. There's even talk of TSMC, Apple's chip supplier, switching to a game-changing 3mn chip in 2022 (via MacRumours (opens in new tab)).

Either way, it seems that users can expect smoother graphics, quicker responses to gestures, and slicker 3D maps. We'd also expect Apple to pour some of that power into some new Augmented Reality apps.

Kuo also speculates that all iPhone 14 models will have 6GB of RAM. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have 6GB, but the non-Pro iPhone 13 variants only have 4GB, so while the iPhone 14 Pros will stick with the same RAM, the non-Pros will get an upgrade.

The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max should be in for an upgrade when it comes to memory, mind you. Kup predicts the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will get LPDDR5 memory, while the lower-end models would stick with the LPDDR 4X that's found in the iPhone 13 range.

LPDDR5 is the fifth generation of Low Power Double Data Rate technology. It's faster and less power-hungry than LPDDR4X, which should mean performance improvements and longer battery life. The data transfer speed is said to be up to 50 per cent faster and the power consumption up to 30 per cent less.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max lasts about two and a half hours longer than the 12 Pro Max with general use, so we would hope for a similar-sized leap in improvement in the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Still with us? If you care about storage size, there's good reason to be, as there has been talk of Apple possibly increasing the maximum option of the Pro models from 1TB to 2TB. As that would only appeal to a small audience of power users, though, we would expect Apple to stick with the same storage sizes as the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, maxing out at 1TB.

Finally, there are rumours abound that the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max could be completely portless. With wireless chargers and wireless headphones becoming the norm, we can understand such predictions, which have been around since the iPhone 12 and 13 were mere glints in Apple's eye. But honestly, we can't see any model of iPhone going completely port-free this year.

iPhone 14 Pro: camera gossip

The headline feature of the iPhone 14 Pro's camera is said to be the 48MP main sensor. That would be a huge improvement on the 12MP found on the iPhone 13 range.

Ming-Chi Kuo is among those claiming the new resolution for the main camera. He says it's needed because "the best resolution for augmented and mixed reality is 8K to 16K". (Remember: Apple is rumoured to be launching a mixed reality headset in 2022).

More recently, China-based leaker Fishing 8 has tipped the iPhone 14 Pro for a  larger, Sony-made sensor. The unit is said to offer an area increase of over 57%. It will also use smaller pixels compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max (1.22µm vs 1.9µm). The result? More detail in every image.

Kuo is also convinced that all four 2022 iPhones will support 8K video recording – a first for Apple. Samsung's Galaxy S smartphones already support 8K recording, so Apple has fallen somewhat behind in this respect, though undoubtedly it would argue that it's a niche need right now.

Another interesting iPhone 14 Pro camera rumour surrounds the introduction of a periscope-style zoom. Apple has already patented the tech (via PatentlyApple (opens in new tab)), which allows lenses to be stacked horizontally rather than vertically for a much longer zoom range. 

Again, Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra already boasts a 10x optical zoom, so could Apple be plotting to get one over on its biggest rival in 2022? Possibly not. One recent rumour (via 9to5Mac (opens in new tab)) claims this won't arrive until the iPhone 15 in 2023. Yes, the rumours really do come that far ahead.

Lastly, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models are destined for triple-camera arrangements on the rear, according to FrontPageTech's John Prosser. The iPhone 14 Max will apparently join them, while the entry-level iPhone 14 will 'only' have a dual-lens setup.

iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 14: early verdict

We'll get the rather large caveat of all this out of the way: these are all just iPhone 14 Pro rumours for now. While most discussed above do come from reputable sources, they could still be wrong. Or maybe they're right but Apple changes its plans. September is still a long way off, after all.

If most, if not all, are correct, however, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are shaping up to be killer handsets. Many will welcome the advanced camera tech, less obtrusive cutouts on the screen, and improvements in battery life. And most won't even notice the increase in size versus the iPhone 13 Pro models.

But it's the rumour of the new processor that has really set tongues wagging. Equipping the Pro variants with the A16 chipset and keeping the standard iPhone 14 and 14 Max on the A15 Bionic could be a blinding move that convinces more people to upgrade to the more powerful handsets, or it could annoy buyers of the more affordable iPhones who feel they are being treated like second-class citizens. Only time will tell.

Either way, we'll welcome the changes after the minor upgrade that was the iPhone 13 family. Roll on September!

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