Should you wait for “iPhone 14” or get a new phone now?

Image courtesy of Engadget

There’s always a new phone on the horizon. It seems like phone manufacturers give you, on average, about a month to enjoy your new phone before the rumors start to leak about the next generation. This hasn’t changed in over a decade, and it’s not about to start changing now.

When that new phone is available, should you jump in? Here’s a quick guide to help you decide.

What do we think the iPhone 14 will be about?

Disclaimer: Always take this stuff with a grain of salt. The people who know what’s really going to come out aren’t talking.

The online community has settled into what they think the next iPhone will look like. They’re wrong sometimes, but using a combination of case mockups and news from manufacturers, it’s often possible to come up with a decent idea of what’s coming.

TheHacker34 via Tom’s Guide

The feeling today is that the next iPhone (not the pro version) will look very much like the current iPhone 13. It may be a little faster but the rumor is that Apple’s looking for a lower price point, not a better phone. A particularly interesting story suggests that there will be a “Max” version of the base iPhone, so people who want a bigger screen won’t have to shell out for Pro features.

The Pro model, on the other hand, is expected to make a pretty big jump. As you can see from the computer-generated render above, we expect the “notch” to go away, replaced by smaller holes in the screen. The camera “bump” is also expected to go away, although the cameras may not be flush against the phone.

From a technical point of view, expect more speed, more memory, and a huge jump in camera quality. Samsung’s Galaxy phones have been eating iPhones for lunch, at least in the numbers, for a couple of years. The truth is that the quality of both phones is great, but if you want a big megapixel count, Samsung has you and Apple doesn’t.

Apple’s expected to increase the telephoto lens on the iPhone 14 to a whopping 48 megapixels, which is a 400% improvement over the 13. This may or may not translate to better quality pictures, but it will translate to bigger files. That’s why you need more memory.

Will the iPhone 14 be worth it for you?

I tend to say that it’s not usually worth upgrading for one generation. In other words, if you have a 13, it’s usually not worth it to get a 14. But, if you have a 12 that’s starting to show battery drain, it might be time. Certainly if you have a 10 or 11, it’s probably time to look at what the new phones have to offer. Those phones are probably starting to feel slow, and battery life is starting to be a concern.

Unfortunately, it’s harder and harder each year to replace batteries on these phones. If your only complaint is that you get 4 hours from a charge, you can pay for a battery replacement but expect it to cost money. The labor alone makes it difficult to do.

Lightning, USB-C, or nothing?

That’s the real question. New European regulations may force Apple to go with USB-C ports on the iPhone 15 or 16. Those regulations won’t affect the iPhone 14, which is too far along in its development. USB-C connectors on the phone would make it easy to carry fewer cables, but the connector is a bit bigger than a Lightning connector.

The other possibility is that the phones will ditch physical ports completely. I’ve talked about this recently myself. I don’t believe it will happen this year, and honestly I hope it never happens. Wireless charging is slower and sometimes that’s a consideration. I know that every bit of space inside a phone is precious but I really hope that manufacturers don’t give up on the only physical connection these devices have.

Bottom line: should you upgrade?

Really the choice is up to you. If you do upgrade now, one option is to put a case on your phone to keep it looking nice. Then, trade it in when the next model comes in and you’ll get most of your money back. It’s also possible that you just don’t care about what the iPhone 14 brings to the table, so why wait?

No matter what you decide to do, I hope you’ll consider calling the folks at Signal Connect. We’re AT&T Dealers, and we can get you the same plans and phones as those annoying mall people can, just without the annoying mall people. Give us a try at 888-233-7563. A portion of your purchase goes to support this blog and all this great free content. If it’s after hours, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you, usually in one business day.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.