Apple is reportedly facing quality control issues with the iPhone 14‘s rear camera lenses, but it is unlikely to affect production for the most part. The iPhone 14-series is expected to be launched in September alongside the Apple Watch Series 8, a revamped Apple Watch SE and the AirPods Pro 2. Apple is also expected to launch a new HomePod smart speaker and upgraded Apple TV hardware this year, but it’s unclear whether they will be launched alongside the iPhone 14 or later in the year alongside the next-gen Macs.
The iPhone 14 lineup will be an upgrade over last year’s iPhone 13-series and is expected to have four models like in the past couple of years. However, unlike earlier years, the ‘mini’ is likely to be ditched in favor of a larger ‘Max’ model, thanks to the growing preference for large-screen phones. By all accounts, Apple’s four models this year will be the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. While the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will be the lower-end offerings, the two ‘Pro’ models are rumored to offer faster hardware and a notch-less design.
According to TF International Securities analyst and reputed Apple tipster Ming-Chi Kuo, the rear camera lenses in the iPhone 14 are suffering from “coating-crack quality issues,” forcing Apple to change suppliers. According to Kuo’s tweet, Apple has transferred around 10 million lens orders from Chinese supplier Genius to Taiwan-based Largan to prevent production from being disrupted. Kuo also claimed that the quality control issues should be addressed within a couple of months, but if it doesn’t, Apple will place more orders with Largan in the future.
The cracking of the lens coating is the latest problem affecting iPhone 14 production, but it is certainly not the only one. Last week, Kuo revealed that several panels and memory suppliers were experiencing component shortages. However, the problem will likely have a limited impact on production as Apple has brought in other suppliers to fill the supply gap. In addition, reports indicate that mass production of the iPhone 14-series will start next month, so Apple will be hoping to sort out all issues within the next few weeks to avoid any disruption in production.
The iPhone 14 lineup is expected to come in two distinct designs. While the base iPhone 14 and 14 Max are expected to retain the old and outdated notched design that debuted back in 2017 with the iPhone X, the more premium iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will have a more contemporary punch-hole and pill-shaped cutout to house the selfie-camera and Face ID sensors. The Pro and Pro Max will also get the new A16 Bionic chipset, while the two base models will have to make do with the older A15 SoC that powers the iPhone 13 lineup. The iPhone 14 Pro models will also sport a new 48MP primary camera, replacing the 12MP sensor found on the iPhone 12 and 13 models.