6 months later, iPhone 14 is Apple’s worst update: Tim Cook’s big apology: the new iPhone 15!

It’s been six months since the iPhone 14 (and iPhone 14 Plus) launched, which means it’s time to check out how Apple’s most affordable flagship phones are aging. Also, the six-month mark in a phone’s life cycle is crucial for users who are on the fence about whether to buy the latest iPhone or wait another six months for the new one. That being said, this story isn’t really meant to be a Review of the iPhone 14, or the The ultimate iPhone buying guide, but where I can talk about the iPhone 14 in the context of all the other iPhone upgrades in history. In other words, despite being a great device when judged in isolation, the iPhone 14 might not be the most impressive new iPhone for those looking to upgrade an older model.In fact, not to spoil the verdict, but let’s say the The iPhone 14 is at the bottom of my list when it comes to iPhone upgrades over the years. Oh, of course, there is also the older brother of the iPhone 14, the iPhone 14 Plus, which might actually be the most ignored iPhone ever…

iPhone 14 easily the least impressive update in Apple history – less impressive than the iPhone XS

If we don’t count the different versions of the same release and the iPhone SE (Special Edition), there are exactly 14 different iPhone flagships in history; despite all the “S” models, the next iPhone (15) is actually going to be the fifteenth version of the legendary device. So, over nearly 15 years of making 15 different flagship iPhones, Apple has learned the importance of “slow innovation,” which may well be Cupertino’s actual motto, though “Think Different” also holds up pretty well by the company on the verge of you remove all the buttons from your phone.So there have been many relatively small (at least on the surface) updates over the years…

  • iPhone 4S (from iPhone 4)
  • iPhone 5S (from iPhone 5)
  • iPhone 6S (from iPhone 6)
  • iPhone 8 (from iPhone 7)

But with that in mind, the only iPhone update that comes to mind when trying to think of a potential iPhone 14 competitor for “smallest iPhone update ever” might be the iPhone XS. Being an “S” model, it is already clear that the iPhone XS will look exactly the same as its predecessor (the iPhone X), but what is important is the interior.

For one, the iPhone XS came with a new A12 Bionic chip, based on the 7nm standard (versus the 10nm A11 Bionic in the iPhone X). Paired with 4GB of RAM (versus 3GB on the iPhone X), this was a noticeable improvement (at least on paper) for the iPhone XS. Apple also upgraded from IP67 to IP68 water and dust resistance.

Most notably though (and only a few will remember it), despite looking exactly like the iPhone X, the XS was one of the biggest changes in the way Apple approaches photography on the iPhone. Little did we know that the iPhone XS’s aggressive HDR processing would (re)define the look of iPhone photos for years to come. (includes X vs XS HDR shot). This alone makes the iPhone XS one of the biggest iPhone camera upgrades ever, and thus (automatically) bestows the title of “the most insignificant iPhone upgrade ever” to the one and only iPhone. 14.

The iPhone 14 took two big steps in a highly controversial direction

  • 6 GB of RAM instead of 4 GB
  • Slight camera improvements (f/1.5 vs. f/1.6 aperture), slightly better details in low-light photos

The above is pretty much the upgrades you can expect when switching from the iPhone 13 to the iPhone 14, indicating, once again, that this is the most insignificant upgrade we’ve seen come out of Cupertino. But the iPhone 14 was not just a small update, it was also quite controversial.

One of the reasons has to do with the fact that Apple (for the first time ever), decided to repurpose an old chip for a new phone, giving the iPhone 14 the same SoC we saw in 2021’s iPhone 13 (Pro). This generated a huge reaction online, and while it’s unlikely to have much (negative) effect on sales, just makes the iPhone 14 harder to recommend.The controversial second move? The iPhone 14 became the first iPhone to ship without a physical SIM card tray (only in the US, but only for now), and six months on, this move is as divisive as it was on day one.

Apple’s decision to remove the physical SIM card tray sparked an outcry on social media, as to this day, there are tweets from disgruntled iPhone users, who have found themselves in a difficult situation trying to switch cards. SIM (most of them travel abroad).

Despite offering excellent hardware, good battery life, and (still) the longest software support on any flagship, the iPhone 14 still earns the well-deserved title of perhaps “least exciting upgrade ever” the most controversial” as well, (in my book) making it the hardest iPhone to recommend.

However, with that in mind, the iPhone 14 sets the standard for iPhone 15 as low as possible, which means Apple’s chance to “apologize” is pretty good.

iPhone 14 Plus is part of Apple’s failed plan; whatever you do, don’t buy an iPhone 14 unless you’re shopping for a great deal

In the end, it’s worth mentioning why I said (in one of the headlines) that the iPhone 14 is a modern iPhone XS story. One reason, of course, is that the iPhone 14 is an “S” upgrade in disguise (we’ve established why), but the other is called… iPhone 14 Plus. Yes, this iPhone exists! Remember?

Now, you might not remember that right away, but actually, there was something that (literally) made the iPhone XS such a huge improvement over the iPhone X, and this “feature” was the iPhone XS Max. Similarly, for series 14, Apple tried to surprise everyone with a new big iPhone: the iPhone 14 Plus. Long story short, the low sales figures for the iPhone 14 Plus tell us that the plan didn’t quite work, and it’s not too hard to see why…
  • A lot of (smart) people are choosing the iPhone 13 over the iPhone 14 because the former is cheaper and…pretty much the same device.
  • The global financial crisis means that most people upgrading their phones are those who are better off financially, making it more likely that they will choose the iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max over the iPhone 14/14 Plus. .
  • The most capable iPhone 13 Pro can be found at the same price as the iPhone 14 Plus

Looking to buy a new iPhone? Six months after the launch of the iPhone 14, the only sensible option is to wait for the iPhone 15 or the iPhone SE 4

So what do you do if you need a new iPhone?

  • wait for the new iPhone 15: Dynamic Island, a 48MP main camera with 2x optical-quality zoom, a more comfortable (curvy) design, and USB-C (!) are features that could change the way you use your iPhone
  • If your current phones allow it, and if you’re looking for the cheapest new iPhone, wait. iPhone SE 4: This is expected to be an iPhone 14 at a much lower price; the problem here is that this one is expected to arrive in the spring of 2024

Finally, I have a question for Cupertino… What is your plan for the vanilla iPhone model, Apple?

  • Bring back the “S” model, so people are less likely to buy an iPhone that isn’t really new, without knowing it?
  • More features exclusive to the Pro/Ultra models to make the vanilla iPhone even less appealing (the increase sales strategy)?
  • A semi-annual release for the vanilla iPhone? Why not!

I guess we’ll never know. Until we do. Anyway, what do you think is the future of the standard iPhone? Remember, that’s Apple’s most popular phone.