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iPhone 14 release date, specs: Biggest rumors confirmed at Apple’s ‘Far out’ event

iPhone 14 Pro with the new pill-shaped cutout for the TrueDepth camera | Photo credit: Apple / YouTube screenshot

After months of rumors, the four-device iPhone 14 series was finally unveiled on Wednesday at Apple’s first product launch event this fall. Several upgrades and new features that made headlines over the past year or so have been confirmed, including camera improvements, satellite connection, and Apple ditching the physical SIM tray.

Camera improvements

Most of the rumored camera improvements for the entire iPhone 14 series became a reality. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus feature new 12MP primary and ultra-wide cameras with larger sensors and larger pixels. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, on the other hand, are the first Apple phones to have a 48MP main camera.

Apple also said it improved the front-facing TrueDepth camera and will function with autofocus as previously reported. For the iPhone 14 Pro models, the tech giant says they feature a “second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilization” alongside an improved telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom.

Satellite connection for emergencies

Possibly one of the biggest improvements confirmed for the iPhone 14 series is the availability of satellite connection. As expected, though, it is primarily designed to allow users to send SOS messages during emergencies when they are in an area without Wi-Fi or cellular coverage.

iPhone 14 users will not be able to just fire away a text message over satellite, though. The device will present some questions, including the nature of the emergency before an SOS message can be sent. “The initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then relayed to centers staffed by Apple‑trained specialists who can call for help on the user’s behalf,” Apple said.

The satellite connection will be available at a later date, likely through a software update sometime in November. Apple also said it will be available in the United States and Canada at first and can be used for free for two years.

Full eSIM support — in the U.S., at least

Apple has been rumored to eventually ditch the physical SIM tray for a while now. And the tech giant is starting this transition with the iPhone 14 series.

iPhone 14 units to be sold in the U.S. will completely rely on eSIM. Apple says this could result in several improvements, including the option to have several cellular plans on a single device.

Release date and pricing

The entire iPhone 14 series will be available to pre-order starting Sept. 9 at 5 a.m. PT, but retail launch dates vary. The iPhone 14 ($799), iPhone 14 Pro ($999), and iPhone 14 Pro Max ($1,099) will arrive in stores on Sept. 16. But the iPhone 14 Plus ($899) will be slightly delayed and will not ship until Oct. 7.

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