THE The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus barely sell as well as expected, as buyers overwhelmingly favor the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. That’s partly Apple’s fault, as its marketing has failed to make the non-Pro models any more compelling. The phones resemble the iPhone 13 handsets and they use the same generation of chips. That’s what most people would say.
The truth is that the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are direct descendants of the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. These are not the successors to the non-Pro iPhone 13 models. As I explained earlier, iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are great phones that deliver flagship performance even with last year’s chips.
Apple’s latest revelations about the design of the iPhone 14 explain why the performance of this non-Pro iPhone 14 could be even better than that of the iPhone 13 Pro.
As the recent round of Galaxy S23 Ultra benchmarks showed, the A15 Bionic that powers the non-Pro iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 models is the best alternative to the A16 Bionic inside the iPhone 14 Pro models.
Apple didn’t just use the base A15 Bionic chip in the base iPhone 13 models. Instead, it opted for the System-on-Chip (SoC) variant which includes an additional GPU core and 6GB of RAM instead of 4GB. It’s a solid upgrade for the iPhone 14 and 14 More. It basically gives you the option to buy an iPhone 13 Pro or 13 Pro Max at a much lower price.
What you lose from the Pro experience is the 120Hz display, stainless steel frame, and telephoto lens on the back. But the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus deliver the performance you need to keep using the phones for years to come. Despite the notch design and the “old” A15 Bionic chip.
Somehow that message got lost in translation when Apple unveiled the iPhone 14 series. Or maybe Apple just wanted more people to pay more money for the iPhone 14s. Pro and 14 Pro Max more expensive than to properly market the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus.
But Apple won’t stop making cheaper models. And the iPhone 15 series will feature direct successors to the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus that will likely rock the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max hardware.
Meanwhile, Apple has revealed some exciting details about how the iPhone 14’s internal designs differ from its predecessors. Apple has made various changes to improve repairability and reduce repair costs. We have already covered the main design points of the iPhone 14 Since The Sydney Morning Herald interview with Apple’s senior iPhone design director, Richard Dinh.
There’s a change inside the phone that also helps improve the cooling of the handset:
For iPhone 14, the design has changed dramatically to include a central aluminum structure that acts as a backbone. Now the phone can be opened by removing the screen or back glass.
This central structural plane helps dissipate more heat across the entire surface more consistently,” Dinh said.
This, in turn, helped Apple remove a copper alloy cooling part from the handset and connection components. This allowed Apple to lose 40 grams of components if you compare the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Plus.
The cooling detail is very interesting here. All smartphone chips will limit performance once they heat up, and the iPhone will. And no one wants their smartphone to overheat and suffer battery life during peak performance. Therefore, the better a phone’s cooling, the higher the peak capabilities.
The point here is that the non-Pro iPhone 14 models should offer better peak performance than the iPhone 13 Pros they replace. Even if it’s marginal, it’s still an improvement. And a detail that could count if you need a more affordable iPhone to last several years.
As it happens, a recent set of benchmarks comparing Galaxy S23 phones to all iPhones released by Apple since 2020 proves this detail (check out the image above). The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are slightly faster than the iPhone 13 Pro variants.