On September 7, Apple will announce the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
In a surprisingly late leak, news has broken that Apple will not release an ‘iPhone 14, Max’. Instead, the company’s first 6.7-inch sub-$1000 smartphone will be called the ‘iPhone 14 Plus. And this makes sense for many reasons.
First, the leak — and it came in two parts. Part one landed via Twitter when a photo of a seemingly genuine next-gen iPhone case carried ‘iPhone 14 Plus’ branding. This prompted a further investigation from 9to5Mac, which subsequently verified the name and instructions given to third-party case makers.
“Sources familiar with the matter say Apple has chosen to name the next larger iPhone, the iPhone 14 Plus. In addition, at least since July, iPhone case makers have been told to not use the brand iPhone 14, Max, as it won’t be the actual name of the product,” wrote 9to5Mac’s José Adorno.
And this makes perfect sense because Apple has consistently used the ‘Max’ brand to indicate a premium version of something: it is both the flagship iPhone and a top-end version of Apple’s M1 chipset. Significantly, ‘Max’ sits above ‘Pro’ in the M1 range: M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra.
Consequently, telling iPhone owners that an iPhone 14 Max is lower in the range than an iPhone 14 Pro, but an M1 Pro is lower in the range than an M1 Max, would have been bewildering.
In contrast, ‘Plus’ branding is more straightforward. It was associated with the larger (but not necessarily better) iPhone for four years, and the iPhone 8 Plus sat below the iPhone X when the pair launched in 2017 — which means it doesn’t carry the same elite status as Max. All-in-all, it doesn’t require the same mental gymnastics for buyers.
Interestingly, this late branding leak is part of a wider pattern with iPhone leaks in 2022, where established leakers are countered by smaller names, who change the narrative. With this in mind, Apple fans should be excited because the latest example claims iPhone 14 prices will be cheaper than expected.
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