Apple Event Live Blog: Our iPhone 14 Questions Answered
CNET’s live coverage kicks off ahead of today’s 10 a.m. PT Apple event, where we’re expecting a new iPhone and Apple Watch.
Welcome to CNET’s coverage of Apple’s big iPhone event, scheduled to start today, Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. BST). We’ll be covering the event live from the Steve Jobs Theater at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, where Apple is expected to announce its next big device, the iPhone 14, alongside new Apple Watches and potentially upgraded AirPods. The Apple Store is now down, which is another sign that the big event is just hours away.
We’ll be covering all the breaking news, as well as offering in-depth analysis and perspective you can only get here. Follow along with us live.
iPhone, Apple Watch, and iOS 16 could all get updates
Over the recent years, Apple’s greatest Christmas season income and benefits have depended on the prominence of its iPhones, including 2021’s iPhone 13 and 2020’s iPhone 12. Apple CEO Tim Cook has recently referred to their high-level cameras, long battery duration, and very much viewed programming as reasons individuals pick iPhones.Much of the iPhone’s technology has seeped into the rest of its business as well, with related products such as the Apple Watch, AirPods earbuds, and iPad tablet becoming multibillion-dollar businesses unto themselves.
The most dramatic change for the new iPhones, aside from better cameras that Apple always tends to offer, is said to be the capability to make calls and send texts in emergencies when there’s no cell coverage. This is something that was also rumored last year, but this time it seems the technology may actually be announced. Generally, though, they’re expected to still rely on 5G for day-to-day connectivity.
The iPhone 14 will also include Apple’s updated iOS 16 software, a free update being released alongside the new devices. The new software, which will also run on iPhones made in the past several years, will offer editing and unending iMessage communications, new lock screen “widget” apps, and extra security features such as Safety Check and Lockdown Mode.
Apple, in the meantime, is additionally expected to declare redesigns for its Apple Watch Series 8, which could incorporate temperature checking. Apple is likewise supposed to design a more rough rendition too, for outrageous game devotees.
There’s always the possibility Apple could announce its long-rumored “Reality” headset or even its longer-rumored Apple Car. But don’t hold your breath.
One thing that’s increasingly separated Apple from its chief rival, Samsung, has been folding technology. Samsung introduced its first folding phone, appropriately named the Samsung Galaxy Fold, in 2019 and has been improving on it ever since. The first version had its problems to be sure, and in fact, Samsung pulled it from sale just days before it was due on store shelves because reviewers were complaining the screens on units they’d been sent early were breaking.
The Fold and its svelter cousin, the Galaxy Flip — a flip phone that folds a somewhat normal-sized smartphone screen in half — have their fans, but they’re by no means mainstream. Part of the reason is their price. The Fold first went on sale for nearly $2,000 two years ago. The Galaxy Fold 3, released in 2021, dropped that price to $1,800, where it remained this year.
“I do think it’s a fair price for what you get in 2022, which is a premium phone made with parts that are unique, cutting-edge, and expensive,” CNET reviewer Patrick Holland wrote. “Yet, so is a Ferrari SF90 Spider, and that costs over a portion of 1,000,000 bucks. Regardless of my crush, I will not be purchasing the Fold 4 or a Ferrari at any point in the near future. Furthermore, we are still years from a foldable telephone being reasonable to a great many people.
Amid all this, Apple’s been rumored to be working on a folding phone, but it hasn’t actually discussed the technology publicly at all. And considering the struggles Galaxy Fold users still have with the screen’s fragile nonglass cover, as well as the prominent crease appearing in their screen, it’s no wonder Apple’s opted to keep its version in the development labs for now.
Still, nearly any sci-fi nerd will note that folding technology certainly has its place. Many futuristic ideas for computers have included being able to fold them up into easily portable devices. Some stories, such as Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica, go a step further by building a computer into a folded-up piece of paper. Unfold the paper, and suddenly you have a tablet or laptop-sized screen.
Above, are the notch comparisons between the iPhone 12 (above) and iPhone 13 (below).
Of course, Apple wasn’t the only company that struggled with how to expand its screens across the top of its phones. Some of the other companies opted instead to create hole-punch cutouts on the screen where the selfie camera would go. Samsung even came up with fun wallpapers that incorporated the dot into the eyes of a robot, for example.
That’s no moon!
Some companies have gone a step further, incorporating cutting-edge technology to place a camera behind the screen itself, effectively getting rid of the need for a notch or hole-punch of any sort. But, it turns out, that while this idea sounds great in theory, it doesn’t work as well in practice. It turns out that the screen interferes with the light coming through the front glass and to the camera, meaning you get lower-quality images.
CNET’s telephone master Patrick Holland wasn’t dazzled when Samsung presented its first under-screen camera with the Z Fold 3 last year.
“The idea is to reduce visual distractions on and around the display,” he wrote. “There isn’t a notch. There isn’t a hole punch. Instead, you either see nothing (yay!) or when bright colors are displayed, you see a tiny glittery octagon that I found to be more distracting than something like a hole-punch camera.”
Ultimately, he added, “The benefit of having a screen free of visual interruptions isn’t worth the tradeoffs from this under-display camera.”
When Apple redesigned the iPhone in 2017, ditching the home button and its fingerprint sensor in favor of new face unlock technology in the front of the phone, the tech giant did have to live with some compromises. Namely, the notch.
That dark bar on the highest point of the screen didn’t simply house the infrared sensors that planned your face for the open innovation, it likewise turned into a calling card. That score was so firmly connected with the iPhone that when Samsung chose to parody the component in its Galaxy telephone promotions the following year, it depicted Apple loyal as so steady of the indent that they even got hairstyles to coordinate.
Apple has slowly shrunk the notch down, of course, and it’s even designed some wallpaper to help obscure it — at least in advertisements. But that black bar is still there, stuck in the middle at the top of the screen.
The iPhone 14 is also rumored to leave the SIM card slot behind, in favor of exclusively using the eSIM format to enable iPhones to connect to a wireless carrier. This would be a big move, as it would make Apple the most prominent phone maker to no longer require a physical SIM card.
Here is what CNET Senior Editor Eli Blumenthal says about this rumor: Apple is rumored to be putting a particular focus on eSIM, or embedded SIM cards, with this new iPhone line. The company has long supported the technology, which has been in iPhones dating back to the iPhone XS as well as in recent cellular iPads.
Functionally, compared to physical SIM cards that have been in use in iPhones since the beginning, the decision should not change the experience for users or limit their ability to connect to 4G or 5G networks.
Every one of the three significant US transporters supports eSIM and all take into account current iPhones to utilize the innovation to interface with their separate organizations.
It’s unclear if Apple will completely remove the physical SIM card slot on the iPhone 14, though the company seems poised to make that transition in the not-too-distant future and free up some precious physical real estate.
iPhone 14 wishlist features
In addition to collecting iPhone 14 rumors, we have also collected our wishlist features for what we hope Apple includes in the iPhone 14. Here’s what CNET Managing Editor Patrick Holland says about his hope for a better camera in the iPhone 14:
Over the past few years, Apple has increased the focal length of the telephoto lens on Pro models. We’ve gone from a 2x optical zoom on the 11 Pro to a 2.5x zoom on the 12 Pro, to a 3x zoom on the 13 Pro. But on the Android side of things, we have Samsung and its S22 Ultra which has dual-telephoto cameras: one with a 3x optical zoom lens and the other with 10x.
Then there’s the upcoming Sony Xperia 1 IV that has a telephoto camera with lens elements that actually move to give you optical zoom anywhere between 3.5x and 5.2x magnification.
While the 3x optical zoom on the 13 Pro is great for portraits, I can only imagine what Apple could do with a longer telephoto lens or one like the Sony’s that adjusts. And maybe that’s what the “Far Out” in the Apple Event invite is a reference to?
Apple is supposed to disclose another Apple Watch Pro version in a bigger size than the standard Apple Watch. Here’s CNET Principal Video Producer Lexy Savvides on what this could mean:
More and more manufacturers are releasing “Pro” smartwatches with comprehensive workout tracking, taking aim at companies like Garmin, which dominates the segment.
Not just for athletes, these watches also appeal to anyone who wants a tougher, bigger watch on their wrist. The big question: Will the Apple Watch Pro have better battery life than the 18 hours you get with the regular Apple Watch? Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 Pro packed a huge battery in its 45mm case that lasts 2.5 days or more, but Garmin’s watches can go a week or more between charges.
Several iPhone 14 rumors are still gathering steam as we get closer to Apple’s event on Wednesday. We’ve collected them in our iPhone 14 rumor roundup, and updates will continue until the Apple event begins.
One rumored addition to the new iPhone 14 is the ability to transmit data to and from satellites. Here’s CNET Head of News Roger Cheng on what this means: Don’t expect to be able to stream Netflix anywhere in the world. T-Mobile and SpaceX announced a deal ahead of this launch to provide satellite coverage using Starlink satellites, and the early usage revolves around augmenting coverage for text messages — and it wouldn’t happen until the end of next year. But it’s a valuable capability that could yield more benefits down the line.
Apple Watch may get a big refresh
The Apple Watch line may get a big shakeup at Wednesday’s event. Rumors are pointing to the Apple Watch Series 8 debuting as expected, but alongside that, Apple may be launching a higher-end Apple Watch Pro and a refreshed Apple Watch SE.
Should the Apple Watch Pro become official, the watch is said to feature a larger screen along with a more rugged design. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch Series 8 is rumored to be getting a temperature sensor.
There are not many rumors regarding a refreshed Apple Watch SE apart from a mention in Bloomberg, but Apple appears to be about to discontinue the $199 Apple Watch Series 3 as it currently does not support WatchOS 9. The current Apple Watch SE is also nearing its second year on the market, and longstanding Apple Watch features like the always-on display could potentially make their way down to the SE.
How to watch Apple’s ‘Far Out’ event
We’re preparing to cover Apple’s next occasion, and you can observe all of the uncovers live with us on Wednesday. Apple will be streaming the organization’s “Out of sight” on Apple’s site and on YouTube beginning at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. BST). Apple is supposed to uncover the iPhone 14 line and another line of Apple Watch Series 8 models.
In addition to the Livestream, CNET will be providing live coverage and commentary on this live blog alongside a watch party hosted by Bridget Carey and Justin Tech. That live watch party will kick off at 9 a.m. PT (12 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. BST), and will include a breakdown of what we expect from Apple’s event, live reactions during the event, and an analysis of all of the reveals afterward.