September is almost here and that is the period we usually see the new iPhone series and this year should be the same if all go well. There have been a number of interesting stories about what to expect when the next-gen iPhone 13 is finally released later on this year and some of those include the camera, the display technology, and some cool hardware upgrades which are meant to enhance the device’s network speed and so forth.
One of the most interesting things to expect is the fact that Apple will be generous enough this time around to include a 120Hz LTPO display on the “Pro” models and that will be a really cool upgrade even though not-so-many Apple consumers complained about the fact that their US$1000 smartphone only has a 60Hz display despite cheaper Android devices comes with 90Hz display but that’s another story.
There are also reports about improved battery life due to a much more efficient 5G modem that will come with the device. In terms of the camera system, there will reportedly be a new portrait video mode as well and that might put the iPhone at the forefront of mobile photography in 2021.
But aside from those expectations, other things we might see in terms of hardware include a redesigned iPhone with a smaller notch. This will definitely be good news to many considering the fact that Apple seems to be the only company in the whole world that’s still putting the notch on their smartphones. It’s so so old and ugly and nobody wants it anymore but Apple’s dedication to its 3D face scanning or the FaceID technology will be the reason why the company is adamant about replacing the notch with a hole-punch cut-out seen in the majority of Android devices nowadays.
So let’s examine each of these rumors one after the other and talk about why they should or should not make it on the iPhone 13 series by September when we get the official preview of what the device is and all its features.
When will iPhone 13 be released?
Apple often releases its flagship devices by September except for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but things have changed a lot this year and so the September timeline might be constant.
And if we are to follow the previous release pattern of Apple, the iPhone 13 should hit shelves on the fourth Friday of the month of September this year which makes the date to being Sept. 24th.
However, Dan Ives from Wedbush predicts the iPhone 13 series might be released by the third week of the month of September while pre-order could start the Friday of that week and the device could go on sale the following Friday.
Popular Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that the iPhone 13 release schedules should return to the normal period even though the COVID-19 lockdown affected the previous release back in 2020 causing Apple to delay the release for a month.
Another thing to take into account is the fact that chip shortage has led to a long delay of numerous consumer product releases this year alone with big tech brands like Huawei suffering from this effect.
There have however been reports that the A15 Bionic chip which is rumored to power the iPhone 13 series has started production which might give Apple the opportunity to release its device right on schedule.
So the short answer is September and the long answer is hopefully everything goes right.
Cost of the iPhone 13
It’s definitely going to be another US$1000+ smartphone – at least for the high-end models such as the Pro and the Pro Max. Compared to the current iPhone 12 series whose price range from US$699, US$799, US$999, and US$1,099 respectively, the same trend might just continue with the next-gen iPhone 13 assuming Apple continues with the same number of models within the lineup.
Another thing to note is the fact that Apple tends to keep the price of its newer iPhone close to the previous generation so even if the iPhone will cost more, the price difference with the current models won’t be through the roof.
TrendForce made a report that the iPhone 13 pricing should be “relatively on par” with the current iPhone 12 models however, the firm says there will likely not be an iPhone 13 Pro model with a large 1TB storage option.
Various rumors point toward the new iPhone coming in the same four sizes as the iPhone 12: a 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini, a 6.1-inch iPhone 13, a 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max. The new iPhones showed up in regulatory filings with the Eurasian Economic Commission; that filing included seven models, though that could include different configurations.
Apple might however yank off the iPhone 13 mini because the iPhone 12 Mini didn’t sell well enough and rumor has it that Apple isn’t pleased with the numbers pulled by the ultra-small iPhone 12 model. So if Apple refused to join the foldable smartphone line this year, there are still possibilities that there will be four iPhones released.
iPhone 13 name
Apple doesn’t always change the name of its devices that much and it always keeps it simple and easy to remember so there shouldn’t be anything different this year as well.
There are some people that are doubting that Apple might just switch the branding of the device rather than following the numeric trail such as the iPhone 11, 12, and then 13 this year to something else – I doubt that.
Interestingly, some rumors also state that the next-gen iPhone could be referred to as the iPhone 12S because, after the iPhone X, Apple released the iPhone XS series before upgrading to iPhone 11. But there was no iPhone 11s instead we got iPhone 12.
If Apple wants to go with the “S” naming, that will imply the close similarities the device has with the previous model and with the different rumors about the looks and feel of this device, it’s likely Apple might stick up with the name “iPhone 13” and there was a report from Economic Daily News which states that Apple might be sticking with the iPhone 13 name due to supply chain checks.
Interestingly, according to a survey of 3,000 Apple users conducted by SellCell, 18.3% said they’d be put off buying a product called the iPhone 13 due to the number 13 being unlucky.
A majority of respondents favored naming the handsets after the year of the sale, with 38% backing the not very Apple-like iPhone (2021). 16% said the company should skip straight to iPhone 21 like Samsung did last year from Galaxy S10 to S20.
What will iPhone 13 look like?
It should look like every other iPhone 12 series out there with some little tweaks at least. The biggest possible redesign of the new device could be the reduction in the size of its notch and there are rumors that Apple could as well reposition the speaker towards the top of the device as well as a new diagonal camera rearrangement for the regular iPhone 13 model while the iPhone 13 Pro will have a larger camera module.
The SIM tray could be repositioned and be shifted down as well as the power button. There was a dummy iPhone 13 unit leaked by Sonny Dickson which showed what the back will look like and that confirms the diagonal camera arrangement.
There are rumors that the iPhone 13 Pro Max might get slightly bigger than its predecessor because an alleged casing of the iPhone 13 Pro showed a considerably larger camera module and that should increase the size of the Pro Max model as well.
And up front, there are rumors that Apple might be shrinking down the notch once and for all. Apple will apparently achieve this notch downsizing on the new iPhone by combining the currently separated infrared flood illuminator, sensor, and dot projector, which make up the iPhone 12’s Face ID unlocking system, into a single module. With two fewer sensors required, we should see a much narrower notch on the iPhone 13.
These rumors seem to be backed up by iPhone 13 dummy units leaked on Weibo, which show both the smaller notch and diagonal cameras.
A separate report from Digitimes says that the die size of the VCSEL chips used in the Face ID scanner will shrink by 40 to 50%. As a result, a smaller Face ID chip could mean a smaller notch for the iPhone 13.
And due to these changes, Apple might have to reposition the earpiece which is housed within the notch, and repositioned within the top bezel according to an iPhone 13 Pro Max dummy unit which showed the smaller notch.
The smaller notch-craze seems to be more popular among leakers than expected as another dummy unit from Mac Otakara showed a smaller notch and there are other reports that gave the same oversight about what the device will look like.
Aside from the display and notch size, the iPhone 13 Pro Max dummy further suggests the device could be slightly thicker than the current iPhone 12 Pro Max, and schematics of the device showed this could be the case.
Concept artist Ian Zelbo has also created renders of the iPhone 13, this time based on CAD files from leaker Jon Prosser. These again show the diagonal camera lens array and smaller notch.
Jon Prosser also spoke about the likelihood of Apple bringing the TouchID technology underneath the display of the iPhone 13 just as seen in Android smartphones nowadays and that will be a great upgrade considering the fact that Apple has now employed OLED technology on all of its devices, using the under-display fingerprint reader shouldn’t be a problem in 2021.
Apple might as well drop off the Lightning port and generally make the iPhone 13 portless because it introduced the MagSafe technology last year and yanked off chargers from the unboxing experience. So it won’t surprising if Apple tries to sell more MagSafe wireless chargers by removing all ports from the device.
However, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo disputed this possibility, saying that there will not be a portless iPhone 13: “At present, the MagSafe ecosystem is not mature enough, so the iPhone will continue to use the Lightning port in the foreseeable future.”
Color options of the iPhone 13 series
There are reportedly four color options for the iPhone 13 Pro which will include silver, black, rose gold, and sunset gold and there are also reports that the iPhone 13 could come in pink based on a render.
Previously, we heard that there could be two new color options for the iPhone 13 Pro lineup: matte black and a new bronze or orange color. Both of the latter rumors come from tipster Max Weinbach. We have a mini iPhone 13 colors roundup if you want to learn more.
iPhone 13 display technology
We earlier reported that there are rumors of Apple finally employing LTPO OLED panels across its iPhone 13 models in order to achieve things like always-on display as well as 120Hz refresh rate especially for its high-end models such as the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max.
Leaker Ice Universe thinks only the iPhone 13 Pro Max will offer the 120Hz refresh rate support which will help the gaming experience and media consumption at its peak.
The LTPO display will reportedly be made by Samsung as well as the South Korean tech giant making circuit boards to connect the display to the phone’s motherboard which further proves that an LTPO screen will be used on the device.
The nature of an LTPO panel means it doesn’t need extra components under the display to enable an adaptive refresh rate, meaning phones with such screens can sport a thin chassis. In the iPhone 13, an LTPO display could enable the phone to not only have a super smooth refresh rate but also keep the neat frame of the iPhone 12.
Another benefit to LTPO has improved power consumption. A DigiTimes report claims the LTPO displays that Samsung and LG are building for the iPhone 13 Pro models will reduce power consumption by 15% to 20%.
The technology will further bring the iPhone close to other high-end Android devices which have the always-on display technology that gives users an ambient overview of important information right on their screen without actually turning on the screen.
iPhone 13 specs
The first rumor which is quite interesting is the fact that Apple might be making use of its own in-house A15 Bionic chipset which will succeed the current A14 Bionic chip that’s powering the current iPhone 12 series.
There will obviously be some cool upgrades on the new device such as boosting the overall performance and efficiency of the device and Apple could potentially make the chip based on a 4-nanometer process node- considering the fact that the current A14 Bionic chip is based on a 5nm node.
On the storage front, we can expect the iPhone 13 to range from 64GB and 512GB, though a new analyst report has the iPhone 13 slated to get up to 1TB of storage. That would give it the most onboard storage any iPhone has ever had.
In terms of wireless connection, a recent report has it that Apple could utilize Wi-Fi 6E on the device, and based on documentation of Apple’s settlement with Qualcomm, the company might use the Qualcomm’s X60 5G model.
The 5nm X60 modem can integrate directly into a phone’s chipset, meaning a smaller footprint and lower battery drain. Plus, the 5G performance should be better, as the modem can combine mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G networks simultaneously.
iPhone 13 cameras
What we’ll be seeing as far as the camera set-up of the device is concerned includes a triple setup at the back which will include a new 6-element ultrawide lens.
Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also claims that the ultrawide camera on the iPhone 13 Pro series will offer autofocus for the first time which should output a crispier image.
A separate report by Digitimes says that Apple is increasing its order of VCMs (voice coil motors) by as much as 40%, which helps camera lenses focus.
On top of that Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max will both include larger apertures on their ultra-wide cameras. Kuo said that both phones will come with an f/1.8 aperture, up from the f/2.4 on the iPhone 12. Paired with a six-element lens, that means more light will come in through the camera and improve picture quality.
iPhone 13 battery
iOS is power efficient and so are the components used on the device. Although there isn’t anything extraordinary about the previous and current models of iPhones, the larger iPhone 12 Pro Max did feature a much better battery that gives the device a lot of power and capacity.
There are reports the next-gen iPhone 13 might feature a slightly bigger battery with about an 18% increase from the current 3,687mAh in the iPhone 12 Pro Max to 4,352mAh in the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
The iPhone 12 maxes out at 20W charging, and we have not yet heard any rumors about the charging speed for this year. But the iPhone 13 could offer reverse wireless charging, according to tipster Max Weinbach.
iPhone 13 and iOS 15
Apple is already on the iOS 15 update and that will likely come with the next-gen iPhone 13 as Apple often releases each of its newer devices with a software upgrade every year.
Some of the cool features such as FaceTIme that allows users to share video content with others in real-time and a Focus Mode for managing notifications, improved Apple Maps, Messages, Wallet, Weather app and other cool features should make the upgrade more interesting.
While the iOS 15 is still nowhere near Android 12 in terms of customization, the iOS will get better each year with newer upgrades I’m sure.
We’re waiting to find out about iPhone 13-specific features hidden in iOS 15. One feature we’d love to see, which recently appeared in an Apple patent, is predictive charging notifications. This system would learn your phone usage and charging habits, much like Optimized Charging does already, but then warn you to charge it up before you drain the battery too far, while you’re still in the right place to plug it in – sounds cool right?
Other things we’d love to see
As more reports and news are being released, we’ll keep you updated but there are still some cool things we’d be glad to see such as an easier to customize and personalize iOS 15 which might not be up to that of Android but at least close enough.
A high refresh rate for a better gaming experience will be fantastic and interesting and if Apple includes the always-on display technology on the device, it will also be fascinating as well.
If Apple could make the base model of the iPhone 13 come with about 128GB of internal storage, it will be cool even though there might be no 1TB storage option for the device.