05/03 Update below. This post was originally published on March 2
iPhone 14 leaks claim Apple will make some eye-opening price increases and design changes to its new smartphone range. But now there is new information which blows away everything that we have learned so far.
In what amounts to a gut punch for iPhone fans, the controversial i-shaped cutout coming to iPhone 14 Pro models to replace the notch has not only been confirmed, it has been confirmed to be larger than expected. Much much larger. Moreover, while the original source was an anonymous Weibo poster, the schematic they leaked has now been verified by respected Apple insider Jon Prosser, host of the popular YouTube show Front Page Tech.
03/05 Update: Apple’s 2022 iPhone plans have taken a twist. Ming-Chi Kuo, arguably the world’s most famous Apple insider, has joined Twitter and leaked the company’s eye-opening plans for its first new iPhone of 2022. Kuo states that Apple will give its third generation iPhone SE (expected to be unveiled on March 8) greater storage, faster performance and the fastest tier of 5G — all of which could give the company a commanding smartphone in the midrange sector.
Breaking these down, Kuo states the gen 3 iPhone SE will go up to 256GB, use the iPhone 13’s flagship A15 chip and come with 5G with full mmWave support. By comparison, the gen 2 iPhone SE tops out at 128GB, an A13 and 4G. If Apple does deliver these specs in an iPhone starting at $399, it could be a game-changer — even though the design is expected to be unchanged. Moreover, the new iPhone SE could form a lethal duo with word coming that the gen 2 model may stick around at a jaw-dropping $199. This would give Apple access to developing markets in a way no previous iPhone has.
Kuo states that mass production of the iPhone SE3 (as some are calling it) has already begun. If its predecessor sticks around, the pair could be industry-changing.
“I wouldn’t just make an episode based on a random post on Weibo… I am making this episode because I have been able to independently verify that this is it,” states Prosser. “This is likely the size of this notch/cutout for iPhone 14. This schematic is real.”
And what the schematic shows is an i-shaped cutouts larger than the all previous leaks expected. “Look at what we have been showing for weeks, compared to the actual size of the cutout,” Prosser proclaims, and the contrast is stark.
In fact, the size of the cutout suggests the iPhone 14 Pro display is not so much an exciting technological advancement as an aesthetic tweak of the current design. The result of Apple displaying Face ID components (infrared camera, dot projector and flood illuminator) and the front facing camera as separate cutouts rather than an unified notch.
Rendered side-by-side with an iPhone 13 Pro, this argument looks even stronger:
Given the switch from notch to separate cutouts was already dividing iPhone fans when it was thought to be half the size, this new leak will not help. For years, Apple diehards have thought that the only reason the company persisted with the notch for so long (it debuted on the iPhone X in 2017) was because the next step would be a full-screen design with under-display cameras.
Yes, the marketing for the cutout is obvious. Apple’s slick ads can flip the new phones horizontally and use the i-shaped cutout to write ‘iPhone’ but it’s still an i-sore and a poor version of what Android phones have been doing for years. Given Apple’s reluctance to change designs often, the new cutout is also likely to stick around for the foreseeable future.
With leaks claiming Apple will increase iPhone pricing this year, cutout haters may find solace in this new design being iPhone 14 Pro-exclusive but opting for the standard iPhone 14 or new iPhone 14 Max will again mean missing out on ProMotion. That may change next year, but by then all iPhones models are tipped to adopt the i-cutout design.
Could this be Apple’s first big own goal in years? Watch Prosser’s full video below and decide for yourself.
Follow Gordon on Facebook
More On Forbes
iPhone 14 Still Lacks ProMotion, Claims New Report
iPhone 14 May Get Samsung Tech Missing From Galaxy S22 Models