iPhone 14 Quick Impressions: Good, but Just Another iPhone

I can’t really comment on it, other than what we said in our original news announcement. I received an iPhone 14 but not a 14 Pro. I find Apple screens too bright overall and have to use Night Shift and Color Filters to make them tolerable at night.


You don’t speak about the main missing feature (no one else either): the lightning port is an aberration today; happily, EU will make it mandatory…
There is also a lack in ergonomics for picture management; it is a solution for dummies; I would like to manage my photos as files, including in the film (default album, I do not know the expression in English), add keywords and labels directly, reload pictures from my Mac where tags would be recognised and so on.

I agree Lightning should have long gone. Lightning can only do USB2 and that is just an abomination. Period. iPads and Macs have already been USB-C for a while and routinely show real-world data rates across those busses far in excess of 480 Mbps.

So in a sense I’m very glad the EU will finally beat Apple into submission. I look forward to seeing the same USB3 speeds we see on iPads right now finally come to iPhone for those moments where I do rely on a wired connection and I don’t see any value in waiting around as if it were still 2003.

That said, in my ideal world, as soon as Apple has transitioned iPhones (and along with it AirPods) to USB-C, the EU could take that law off the books. Because while I agree this is likely the simplest and straightforward way to get Apple to finally get its **** together, it’s also plain as day that you don’t want to codify a certain standard into law for all eternity. At some point something better than USB-C ports with USB4/TB4 will come along and at that point you will want companies to be able to migrate to that. From all I have read so far, the present EU law does not foresee for that in its present form. So—unless I’m mistaken there—I would hope as soon as Apple has been dragged to iPhone USB-C (kicking and screaming of course) successfully, that law could be rescinded. It’s not like Apple could ever go back to Lightning without massive consumer backlash.

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@jcenters, that article is interesting but I don’t think it has anything to do with Apple’s move to eSIM only in the US. The article seems to be talking about a shortage of SIM cards, which is a problem for the mobile carriers that supply them to people, not Apple. I don’t think Apple will have gone to any extra effort to make life easier for mobile service providers, and they also will have started on this design two years ago – well before the scale of the global chip shortage became clear.

It’s also possible that moving to eSIM creates more of an issue for Apple with regards to chip sourcing because Apple now needs to provide the silicon for the SIM inside the phone instead of ‘outsourcing’ it to the mobile carriers. But I have no knowledge of the internal circuitry, and that is clearly an oversimplified and inaccurate view of how the iPhone internals are designed!

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My understanding is that eSIM has been present in iPhones since 2018. This move was to drop SIM cards.

And although we have had only two sunny days this September here in southern Norway and according to the weather forecast, it will rain every day until October. Count me in on liking the bright screen. When the sun shines in Norway, it really shines.

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I’m with Simon. I sit outside often and usually have to put my 13 Mini under my chair to make sure it’s in shade. It gets really hot, and it also seems to be good at dimming the display but not making it bright again when I go back inside.

And this has been an ongoing issue. I actually think the Mini is hotter than the 4s and SE. I got the 4s in 2011 and the next summer I bought a handlebar case for my bike. Why use my old GPS instead of a good phone for maps, right? The poor phone didn’t last long before shutting down. I tried it once with my original SE with the same result, so now I have a nearly unused handlebar case sitting in a drawer because the phone can’t handle the heat.

There are times I have it in my pocket and I can feel how hot it is (we had a pretty warm summer)


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I don’t say this to be a smart aleck, but an Android phone might be a better fit for you. I also hate Lightning, but Apple will go portless before adding USB-C. I don’t get the reasoning other than Lightning cable profits.

Apple has been shifting toward eSIM for a few years so this wasn’t completely overnight, but I do think the final decision to dump physical SIMs was rushed. More evidence: there is a large plastic spacer inside the iPhone 14 where the SIM circuitry would have gone.

That is an enormous amount of unused space! Just not like Apple at all.


It makes perfect sense if you’re still selling models with SIM sockets to some markets. It’s far less expensive to not populate a few parts than to design a new board.


Well, it’s also “far less expensive” to sell them with half the RAM or a dated CPU or plastic instead of polished steel. But that’s not the point. The point is what counts is user experience. If you’re going to be taking away an option from users you should offer them a benefit following from that change. Larger battery is obvious. A chunk of cheap black plastic is not.

You misunderstand me. It is common practice for electrical engineers to design boards where various parts are optional. Schematics frequently have “DNP” (Do Not Populate) markers next to components when a single board design is used for multiple products. This is how (for example), two different versions of a phone might have different antenna configurations or different cellular modems, or different memory configurations.

On the other hand, to decide that since some configurations now have unused board space, and put something new in that location would require new design work. Designing a new motherboard in order to make use of the space could cost nearly as much as the board’s original design. That’s a huge waste if the only justification is “people opening the phone will complain about seeing a piece of plastic there and write blog posts about it”.


Nah, this has nothing to do with engineering and everything to do with taking the cheap way out.

Not futzing around with the SIM card slot in the first place would have been the cheapest thing to do. One board and one case for all. Nevertheless, Apple decided to incur extra expense for whatever agenda they’re pushing and designed two phones. They believed it didn’t matter that in the process they were taking away something from users without giving them any benefit in return. The ridicule they now face for this is users reminding them that such an assessment is garbage.

No disagreement here, but you’re responding to a point I didn’t make.

I am not trying to support or justify Apple’s decision to remove a SIM socket. My statement was in response to @jcenters who wrote:

He was (I assume) surprised that Apple chose to waste space with a plastic block instead of putting something more useful in that space. And it is to that comment I was referring.

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As @Shamino has implied, I don’t think this is an indication that the decision was rushed in any way. Only phones in the US have removed support for physical SIMs. This is a warning shot to mobile carriers everywhere that SIM cards are going to disappear from iPhones, so they better get their act together with eSIMs. But until Apple removes SIMs from all iPhones, they have no option but to put a spacer in the non-SIM phones. They can’t use the space for any practical benefits, because aside from cost considerations, it would lead to (a) feature(s) being unavailable in the majority of iPhones sold globally. This is an awkward but necessary step, and one that Apple has probably carefully evaluated and planned.


I disagree. Perhaps to Apple it appears necessary in their spat with carriers, but there is no overarching necessity at all here. As evidenced by the 100s of millions of SIM-card equipped iPhones that will be sold the world over just fine.

This kludge offers nothing of value to its US users. It just takes away something that many find very useful. Now perhaps it offers Apple value because they get to show some muscle towards their carrier foes. Well three cheers for their bruised egos. But for me? I dislike being told I’m a pawn in a corporate pissing contest between Apple and the carriers. If they want, they can duke it out on their own dime. But necessary it is by no means to any single customer. Let’s be clear on that.

This I slightly disagree with. A lost or stolen phone with a SIM card can have it removed so that it will disappear from Find My. Somebody who steals an iPhone with eSIM cannot remove the SIM. It’s a mild benefit, but a benefit nonetheless.

Personally I prefer eSIM and can’t wait for a time when every carrier supports it. Trying to install a SIM card is kind of a pain if you ask me. Plus of course it’s slightly less electronic waste going forward.

(All that said - right now I have a physical SIM in my 13 Pro. It came with eSIM last year, but needed to be sent out for repair last month, and my backup phone is physical SIM only, so I had to go to Verizon to get a SIM. I haven’t had a chance to transfer the SIM back to eSIM now that I have my phone back.)

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I couldn’t disagree more with this. Not having to fiddle with a tiny piece of plastic when I travel abroad? Awesome. Not trying to find something that fits into the SIM release hole-thingy to get at the tiny piece of plastic? Spectacular. Giving Apple a chance to use that space (eventually) for something that’s actually valuable? Outstanding.

There’s no earthly reason in the 21st century why our cell service should be connected to a random piece of plastic we insert into the side of our phones. This is, as @jzw said, a necessary first step.


While I by no means like dealing with little bits of chip that have to be installed on a flimsy plastic tray, this is IMHO 100% preferable to any dealings I have ever had with any US cell carrier.

The less I have to deal with those folks the better. Ever since I got my last T-Mobile SIM five years ago, I have never had to deal with T-Mobile (other than watch autopay debit their bills of course). I’d prefer to keep it that way. And if dealing with itty bitty pieces of chip that have to get put on flimsy plastic carriers once every blue moon (unless you travel in which case there’s immediate other benefits) is the price to pay to avoid having to interact with these companies, I’m perfectly fine with that. Just my 2¢.

And just to be clear: the entire argument is not SIM vs. eSIM. Every single new iPhone (as well as previous models) already supports eSIM right out of the box. If eSIM is your thing, you’re already squared away. And good for you. The actual kerfuffle, however, is about removing an option for the other crowd without offering them any tangible benefit in return.

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Because the carriers will continue to default to physical SIMs as long as the slots are available. Apple’s pushing them away from that, and I think it’s great.


And in a couple/few years, when eSIM is universal, the iPhone will be able to fill that space with battery instead.

One more benefit to eSIM - if you are traveling away from home and nowhere near a store for your carrier (this has happened to me), if your SIM fails, you can get a new eSIM as long as you can connect to WiFi, rather than wait for a next-day shipment at expense from your carrier of a new SIM. Getting rid of the slot means that all of the carriers who want to support iPhones will have to support eSIM going forward. We see that already in the US this year as carriers who didn’t previously support eSIM now do.