If this iPhone 14 rumour is true, selfies could change forever

iPhone 14 render
(Image credit: Jon Prosser)

As we inch closer to the announcement of the iPhone 14, we're hearing more and more rumours and leaks about what the phone might feature. And the latest suggestion could be a big deal for anyone who takes a lot of selfies (so almost anyone). One tech analyst says that the selfie camera, a.k.a. the front-facing camera, might be getting autofocus, as well as an additional lens element.

iPhones have been getting better and better for photography – there’s a reason they consistently show up at or near the top of our guides to the best camera phones and the best smartphones. However, it’s generally the sophisticated rear-camera arrays that get the meaty upgrades – Apple hasn’t changed much at all about the selfie camera since the iPhone 11, so a little attention in this department is well overdue. It also adds another tantalising possibility to the many rumours that we’ve already heard about the iPhone 14 so far.

iPhone 14 render

We've seen a few leaks and fan-made renders of the iPhone 14, but nothing concrete from Apple yet (Image credit: Ben Geskin)

The latest prediction was shared on Medium (opens in new tab) by tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple hasn’t made any official pronouncements about what the iPhone 14 will or won’t contain. So while it’s worth treating this rumour, like all rumours, with a grain of salt, Kuo does have a good track record for accurate Apple predictions.

Selfie camera lenses tend to be fixed focus rather than autofocus, meaning that they simply render everything in the scene as sharply as possible. An autofocus system would be able to pick out specific subjects in a frame to be the only focal point – essentially doing for real what Portrait Mode simulates with software, resulting in a better-quality image.

An iPhone being used to capture a photograph in Portrait Mode.

An autofocus system in the selfie camera could be a big improvement on digital Portrait Modes (Image credit: Apple)

The other addition to the selfie camera, according to Kuo, could be an additional lens element, taking it from five to six. Elements are the individual glass parts that make up a lens’s internal construction – a higher number of elements doesn’t necessarily mean better optical quality, but it can, and if this rumour is true, it would seem to point towards a general boost in quality for the iPhone 14’s selfie camera.

The Apple iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro were both excellent phones, but weren’t big upgrades on what had come before, generally playing it pretty safe. With this latest rumour, it’ll be interesting to see whether the iPhone 14 takes a greater leap forward – though with the launch expected in September we’ve got a little way to go to find out.

If you’re into smartphone photography, then take a look at our rundown of the iPhone 13 Pro camera tips you need to know. And if video’s more your bag, make sure you see our guide to the best iPhone gimbals.

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Jon is a freelance writer and journalist who covers photography, art, technology, and the intersection of all three. When he's not scouting out news on the latest gadgets, he likes to play around with film cameras that were manufactured before he was born. To that end, he never goes anywhere without his Olympus XA2, loaded with a fresh roll of Kodak (Gold 200 is the best, since you asked). Jon is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq, and has also written for in Digital Camera World, Black + White Photography Magazine, Photomonitor, Outdoor Photography, Shortlist and probably a few others he's forgetting.