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iPhone 14 rumored to get autofocus at last on its front-facing camera

Apple iPhone 13's successor could get autofocus at last on its front-facing camera(Image credit: Apple)

It’s odd and somewhat shocking that the front-facing cameras on iPhones don’t feature autofocus, but according to prolific Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab), that is about to change. Kuo tweeted that the upcoming series of iPhones will feature two key upgrades to the front-facing camera: autofocus and a bigger aperture on the lens. 

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Assuming this phone rumor (opens in new tab) is true, this will mark the first time Apple has upgraded its front-facing camera on its smartphones since the iPhone 11. Kuo details the aperture upgrade as moving from f/2.2 down to f/1.9, which will indeed increase the aperture – sending more light to the sensor – which in turn will make photos a little lighter. An aperture of f/1.9 would also provide iPhone 14 users with a shallower depth of field for their photos. 

Hardware not software 

Apple has gotten around iPhones not having autofocus on the front-facing camera – a feature most phone manufacturers use – by using software solutions that compensate and do pretty much the same thing. Kuo says that the upgrade to hardware autofocus will make for a more natural effect as well as working better for video calling and live streaming apps and we are certainly inclined to agree. 

Apple iPhone 14: rumors so far

The most recent design leak of the new iPhone 14 Pro have been shared by a leaker on Chinese social media site Weibo (opens in new tab), which has come to our attention via TechRadar (opens in new tab) points towards there being no notch on the iPhone 14. Instead, Apple is said to be employing a punch “hole + pill design”, with the circular punch hole allegedly housing the Face ID dot projector and the pill-shaped cut-out containing both the front camera and Face ID infrared camera. 

Last month, reliable leaker @shadow_leak tweeted some screen specifications for the iPhone 14 series and it seems the new phones will be more midway size across the range. Allegedly, the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro will both feature 6.06-inch displays, while the 14 Max and 14 Pro Max will feature 6.68-inch displays. This means that the screens on both new iPhone 14 Max models will be a little bit smaller than those seen on the iPhone 13 Pro Max (opens in new tab) – 6.68-inches compared to 6.7-inches. 

Another leak from @shadow_leak says both the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max are to have the new A16 Bionic chipset and LPTO screens, which provide a variable refresh rate. The non-Pro models are leaked to have the older A15 Bionic chip and 60Hz displays. 

Hello 48MP main sensor 

According to a TrendForce (opens in new tab) report detailing camera module shipments, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models are rumoured to include a new main sensor, with a significant upgrade from 12MP to 48MP. It’s said that Apple will support both 48MP and 12MP shooting modes to allow for 48MP images to be captured in well-lit conditions and 12MP images in lower light, giving users the option to choose. It’s likely that the 48MP sensor will be seen only on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models. 

We expect the iPhone 14 Pro not to feature a Lightning port, ditching it in favor of USB-C and then slowing transitioning low-end iPhones to USB-C in the next few years – this rumor has come from multiple sources. Finally, it looks like Apple will remove the iPhone’s physical SIM card slot for the iPhone 14, instead leaving the new range entirely reliant on digital eSIMs. The rumour started via Brazilian site BlogdoiPhone (opens in new tab) with next year as the date but has since been corroborated by both a MacRumors source (opens in new tab) and reliable then leaker @dylandkt, giving it much more weight. Interestingly, both of these say we will see the back of the SIM card this year, meaning the iPhone 14 launch. 

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Rachael is a British journalist with 18 years experience in the publishing industry. Since working on www.digitalcameraworld.com (opens in new tab), she’s been freelancing, and contributing to some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including T3.com and TechRadar.com and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. She's currently acting as editor of 5GRadar.com - a website specializing in the latest cellular technology.