iPhone 14 – buy now or wait for the iPhone 15?

Apple iPhone 14 yellow unboxing box angled hand
A box for the iPhone 14 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The iPhone 15 and its siblings will be Apple’s next major iPhones, but in a rare move it could be the standard model (the iPhone 15 itself) that gets the bulk of the upgrades, rather than the iPhone 15 Pro or the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

As a result, you might well be considering waiting for the iPhone 15 rather than buying an iPhone 14 now, especially as a September launch is likely - meaning there's probably only a few months to go.

But is waiting for an iPhone 15 the smart move or are you better off buying a different iPhone now?

Wait if you want a Dynamic Island at a lower price

iPhone 14 Pro Max review Dynamic Island music small

The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a Dynamic Island and the iPhone 15 likely will too (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The single biggest upgrade we’re expecting from the iPhone 15 is the addition of the Dynamic Island that we’ve already seen on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. It has been widely rumored that the iPhone 15 will have a Dynamic Island, so this is likely happening.

That would mean this phone finally ditching the notch in place of a much more modern and useful camera cut-out in the screen, which Apple has cleverly baked into the interface, letting it display useful information such as timers or the song you’re currently listening to.

While not everyone loves the Dynamic Island, it’s largely considered to be a big improvement, and although you can already get a Pro iPhone with this feature, waiting for the iPhone 15 should mean you can get it for less.

Don’t wait if you’re desperate for a new phone

Apple iPhone 14 lock screen

You don't have to wait to buy an iPhone 14 (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

While we probably won’t be waiting super long for the iPhone 15, it isn't available (or even confirmed) yet. The iPhone 15 release date will likely be September 15 or September 22 based on Apple’s usual pattern, with the phone being announced around a week and a half earlier.

So, at the time of writing, you likely have a few months to wait, which could feel like a long time if your current phone is broken, sluggish, glitchy, or has other issues.

So if you’re in that sort of a situation then by all means, buy a new smartphone now. Whether you’re looking for one of the best iPhones or one of the overall best phones, there are loads of great options that you won’t need to wait for.

Wait if you wish the iPhone 14 was cheaper

Apple iPhone 14 back

The iPhone 14 will likely drop in price once the iPhone 15 lands (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Even if you think you’d be happy with an iPhone 14, there’s reason to wait, because once the iPhone 15 launches, the iPhone 14 is sure to drop in price.

Apple’s phones tend to hold their value quite well, but the launch of a new model typically sees their prices cut, as they’re no longer the latest version. So if you wait for the iPhone 15 to launch you may well be able to get the iPhone 14 at a significantly reduced price.

Don’t wait if money is no object

Apple iPhone 14 Pro home screen

The iPhone 14 Pro is a bigger upgrade and it's available now (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Most of the key upgrades we’re expecting from the iPhone 15 – namely a Dynamic Island, a new 48MP main camera, and an A16 Bionic chipset – are already available on the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

In fact, those phones are better than we’re expecting the iPhone 15 to be, as they also have telephoto cameras and screens with a 120Hz refresh rate.

So there’s very little we’re expecting from the iPhone 15 that you can’t get from a current model - you’ll just have to spend a little more to do so.

Wait if you want USB-C

Apple iPhone 14 bottom edge

The iPhone 14 is stuck with Lightning (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

While the iPhone 14 Pro already has most of the upgrades we’re expecting from the iPhone 15, there’s one thing it lacks: USB-C.

The iPhone 14 series all use a Lightning port for charging and data transfer, whereas the iPhone 15 could get USB-C, making it the first Apple phone to switch to the more common charging and data-transfer format.

That change is likely to mean higher data-transfer speeds, along with the convenient ability to use the same cable for your iPhone as you use to charge pretty much every non-Apple gadget.

That will matter a lot more to some people than others, and there are those of you out there who will probably be sad to see Lightning go. But if you feel strongly one way or the other about this, that could impact your decision.

Don’t wait if you don’t care about the iPhone 15’s upgrades

Apple iPhone 14 wet

The iPhone 14 is a great choice for some people (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

This is obvious, but if you don’t care about the new features and improvements we’re expecting among the iPhone 15's specs then there’s no need to wait – the iPhone 14 will serve you just fine in that case.

And ultimately, none of the likely upgrades will be game-changing. The Dynamic Island is a useful addition but far from essential, and similar arguments could be made about the likely switch to USB-C.

The A16 Bionic chipset that we’re expecting to power the iPhone 15 provides a speed boost, but the iPhone 14 is already very powerful, so you might not notice much difference. Similarly, the 48MP camera will upgrade photography, but not by as much as you might expect, and the 12MP camera found on the iPhone 14 still holds its own.

Plus, Apple keeps its phones supported with software updates for a long time, so if you buy an iPhone 14 it shouldn’t feel out of date on the software side for many years yet.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.