It only feels like yesterday that the new iPhone 13 lineup hit the shelves, and this week has actually been awash with a handy few rumours relating to the upcoming Google Pixel 7 and the Moto Edge X.
Now, there's already some new talk of what the iPhone 14 Pro will have to offer, and it may just be bringing back a fan-favourite feature.
What Feature Could The iPhone 14 Pro Bring Back?
According to leaker LeaksApplePro in an iDrop News Q&A, Apple could be gearing up for the return of Touch ID to the iPhone 14 in the form of an under-the-screen fingerprint reader.
Don't get your hopes up too much though, as, for Apple, Touch ID's return may be a premium feature, with LeaksApplePro stating that "I can tell you that this feature has been dropped from the regular 14 series".
This portrays the fact that it'll most likely only be on the iPhone 14 Pro and their other high-end model, with Apple looking to continue to widen the gap between the standard iPhone models and those under the Pro moniker.
When Will The iPhone 14 Be Released?
Of course, as this is an early specs leak, there isn't too much about by way of a release date for the iPhone 14, but we would expect it to be announced in September 2022, which would be in-keeping with previous years of Apple announcements.
The next range of iPhones though, if LeaksApplePro is to be believed, won't be operating with an iPhone 14 Mini, as "next year's iPhone lineup will consist of two 6.1-inch and two 6.7-inch devices".
The reason Leaks Apple Pro has cited for Apple dropping the Mini from their lineup is down to the point that it hasn't been as profitable for Apple as the other sizes, and therefore the Cupertino-based firm has apparently decided to get shot of its dinkier iPhone.
Opinion - A Case Of Backwards-Looking Innovation?
Apple is undoubtedly one of the world's best when it comes to offering up a product with a blend of cool, classy design and plenty of features, but for years, the user base has cried out for the return of Touch ID to its main lineup.
The only current model to feature the tech is the iPhone SE, which is understandably one of the best phones under 500 available today, given that Apple has bundled it with both Touch ID and Qi wireless charging, alongside modest levels of power for an affordable phone.
When the iPhone 13 was released, it seemed rather strange as to why Apple didn't include a fingerprint sensor, simply due to the fact that pretty much every other competing manufacturer offers up both face and fingerprint recognition, with the latter as a handy backup.
Having just Face ID on their main range will only take Apple so far, and there should come a time when Touch ID makes a return to their popular canon. If it's on the iPhone 14 Pro, that's fantastic, but put it across the whole range Apple, not just on the higher-end models.
If this gulf between normal iPhone and Pro iPhones continues to grow, then consumers won't have too much choice but to go for the Pro. This particular principle may not sit well with buyers, and it also leaves Apple in quite an odd position.
Fundamentally, if no one flocks to buy the standard iPhone 14 and only buys the Pro, then it may end up with them putting another model to bed. Then, by the time the iPhone 15 rolls around it may end up being the case that the Pro becomes the standard phone and the new Pro becomes even more powerful, and the cycle could begin again.
What it looks like, on the surface though, is that Apple is realising that in order to go forwards with innovation, sometimes you have to look backwards at previous, successful efforts.
Allow me to explain - the current standard M1 MacBooks, be it the Air or Pro, only have either 2 or 4x USB-C ports, which is only handy if you want to hook up devices that support the connector natively. Otherwise, you'll have to go and buy an adapter with USB-A ports, as well as HDMI, too.
With the newer M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pros though, Apple has brought back older features such as MagSafe charging, alongside an HDMI port and SD Card reader, and these products have largely been hailed as a success, thanks to the return of more legacy-oriented features.
As much as less may be more in some instances, when it comes to the tech world, removing long-standing features isn't going to be seen as an upgrade by consumers, and neither is adding a high barrier-to-entry to access them.
This latter point is going to be key to the success of the future iPhone 14, as if Touch ID is only on the Pro models, it leaves those consumers who can only afford the standard phone and wanted that feature back a little bit stuck.
The loss of the Mini variant isn't as big of a loss as some may expect, either, from a personal perspective. It seemed like a gimmicky idea when Apple launched it with the iPhone 12 run, and consumers haven't taken to it too well, so Apple has decided to remove it altogether by the looks of things.
If Apple wants to do something properly, then they could release the iPhone 14 lineup with Touch ID on all models, alongside the potential return of a headphone jack and other features that consumers may deem creature comforts.
Of course, this is all based on rumours at the moment, and so it should be treated as such, but if Apple does end up bringing back Touch ID, it may not be the triumphant return that consumers were initially expecting.
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