• September 24, 2022

The Remarkable Janet Yellen

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The iPhone 14 range will supersize the successor to the iPhone 13 Mini, but doubts surrounding the handset’s name at launch continue to grow.

For more than six months, leakers big and small have been united about the branding for Apple’s new and more affordable 6.7-inch smartphone: the ‘iPhone 14 Max’. But this was called into question last week when the name ‘iPhone 14 Plus’ surfaced, and now an image of alleged iPhone 14 cases has doubled down on this branding.

Originally posted on Weibo [post now removed], the image was shared by reliable Apple insider DuanRui. It shows cases labelled for four models: iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

And the big factor here is DuanRui. The leaker has a strong track record in this area, having previously shared case packaging for the iPhone 12 lineup, which revealed the ‘iPhone 12 Mini’ branding that Apple subsequently confirmed at its launch event.

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If correct, the cases also confirm two other key launch details. First, the new iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max will be the same size (widely reported as 6.7-inches). Second, iPhone 14 Pro models will not only continue to have three cameras versus the two on standard models but also larger camera modules. This ties in with leaks of higher resolution sensors in the new flagships.

And while branding may not be the biggest concern for consumers, it is a critical decision for Apple if it is to avoid confusion at launch. Moreover, the company has already shown its hand with the naming of its M1 chips, with the Max brand reserved for a higher-performing chip than the M1 Pro.

Given the iPhone 14 Plus will also sport last year’s processor, a strategy now tipped to continue with standard models for the foreseeable future, throwing Max in there makes little sense. Apple also has precedent with the Plus brand, where the iPhone 8 Plus sat below the iPhone X, associating it more with size than elite status in the range.

Yes, you may care more about iPhone 14 battery capacity and updates on rumored price increases, but Apple’s decision here will be visible for years to come. And it might just save you hours on the phone trying to demystify the range to friends and family.

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