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iPhone 14 Max just tipped for surprise name change

Tom's Guide logo Tom's Guide 29/06/2022 Malcolm McMillan
A render of an iPhone 14 © Provided by Tom's Guide A render of an iPhone 14

The iPhone 14 Max may be joining the iPhone 14 lineup in the fall if rumors about Apple's phone plans prove accurate. But the 6.7-inch phone may make its debut under a completely different name.

According to leaker Lanzuk, the larger of the two entry-level iPhone 14 models is going to be called the iPhone 14 Plus, not the iPhone 14 Max as has been reported previously. 

The other iPhone model names remain the same, according to this rumor. That includes the standard 6.1-inch phone which will be called the iPhone 14 as well as both iPhone 14 Pro models. Those 6.1- and 6.7-inch handsets would be known as the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, respectively.

The last time Apple used Plus to describe one of its iPhone offerings was five years ago with the iPhone 8 Plus. Back then there was not even an iPhone Pro lineup — that would not come until the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. 

Apple iPhone 14 Plus: Why would Apple change the name?

The most obvious reason Apple would change its naming conventions is to differentiate between the two 6.7-inch iPhones expected to be part of Apple's iPhone 14 lineup. The iPhone 14 Max and iPhone 14 Pro Max are very similar sounding names, and Apple likely wants to make its Pro version — the most expensive model in the iPhone lineup — stand out from the cheaper model.

Returning to the Plus name for the lower-cost 6.7-inch model also makes that phone distinct. And since it's a new addition to the iPhone lineup — the iPhone 14 Max/Plus is expected to replace the iPhone 14 mini — perhaps Apple would like to establish the new device with a unique name.

Apple iPhone 14 Plus: A dissenting view

While Lanzuk has been considered a reputable leaker in the past and cites a vendor source in their blog post, not everyone agrees that the name change is imminent. Twitter user ShrimpApplePro says that the Plus name is not coming back with the iPhone 14, a claim they have been making since August 2021. They say that the names for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models will be the same names that Apple used for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro.

It's also true that the Lanzuk tweet is the first mention of the iPhone 14 Plus as the new 6.7-inch model's name. Previous rumors have settled on the iPhone 14 Max, though that name could just be to differentiate it from the mini model it replaces in Apple's lineup.

Apple iPhone 14 Plus: What do we know about Apple’s next iPhones

At this point, everything we know about the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro lineups stems from rumors, as Apple doesn't comment on future products. However, there do seem to be some exciting features potentially in store for iPhone fans, particularly with the iPhone 14 Pro. 

Currently, all signs are pointing toward a larger divide between the iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro, which could leave the lower-end missing out on features like a new A16 Bionic chip or an updated 48MP camera. The Pro models are also likely to swap out the iPhone's notch for camera cutouts, while the notch will remain on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus.

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