24.07 update below. This post was originally published on July 21st
According to multiple iPhone 14 leaks, Apple’s new entry-level iPhone will be almost identical to its predecessor. But momentum is now gathering around a surprise upgrade that has the potential to outperform rivals.
The industry’s respected display specialist, Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), told me: uncovered Samsung’s M12 OLED Material Set display technology is available for all iPhone 14 models. And considering it didn’t even make Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S22 Ultra, that’s a shock.
The news also builds on an earlier report by The Elec that said M12 is being considered by Apple. But no one seriously expected it to be used in every iPhone 14 model, and I would have been cynical myself if it weren’t for Young’s remarkable track record,
What is M12? Essentially, it includes the doping, host, and major elements of the red, green, and blue pixels in OLED displays. What M12 brings to the table is improved display performance, color accuracy and power efficiency. Given that displays are one of the biggest power consumers in a smartphone, this latter capability is key. Especially with leaks claiming that the iPhone 14 battery capacities will be similar to the iPhone 13 range.
Update from 07/23: More details about the production of the iPhone 14 series have now been leaked. in one tweet threadinfluential analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, announced that Apple has added a new supplier to help with the widespread chip shortage problem affecting the sector.
Kuo explained that SG Micro “passed the quality certification of the high-end iPhone 14 and is expected to ship the PMICs (battery and level shifter) for the iPhone 14 in 2H22.”
Battery capacities are one of the main topics of conversation around the iPhone 14 range. While the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, and iPhone 14 Pro all reportedly received small boosts, the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s battery is the tipped mark smaller than its predecessor.
Energy efficiency has been a calling card of Apple hardware for the last few years, so it will be fascinating to see how this is handled in the iPhone 14 range and the addition of SG Micro looks good.
Update 7/24: Ross Young has provided additional updates on the introduction of M12 in the iPhone 14 range, and that’s not all good news.
While he previously stated that M12 will increase the energy efficiency of iPhone 14 displays compared to their predecessors, he explained that it doesn’t mean they will be class-leading in other areas. “The S22 Ultra will likely still be brighter due to the MLA/MLP structure, which boosts brightness to 1750 nits. but [it] should be better than the iPhone 13,” he told me.
That makes sense. For context, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are rated at peak brightness of 800 and 1000 nits, respectively, so the generational leap should have been massive. Additionally, Apple has never been interested in winning a spec war, and it’s fitting that the company would prioritize efficiency first.
Interestingly, Young also gave context to Samsung’s omission of M12 from the Galaxy S22 lineup, saying that “the timing didn’t work out. M12 is just launching.” So it looks like Samsung’s loss will be Apple’s gain — at least until the Galaxy S23 range launches early next year.
Why hasn’t Samsung included this technology in its Galaxy S22 range? According to The Elec, it was about cutting costs. However, that will be hard for some Galaxy fans to take when the Galaxy S22 Ultra is almost double the price of an iPhone 14.
Consequently, the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy S22 Plus use M11 (the same as the 2021 models), while the standard Galaxy S22 only has M10, a generation first used by the Galaxy S20 range in 2020.
Yes, iPhone 14 prices are set to increase across the range, but Apple fans will point to all the little things the company continues to get right with its devices. And this seems to be another.
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