Apple has not yet sent invitiations for a fall event, but if previous years are any indication, the launch of a new iPhone and a few other goodies is just a few weeks away.
Apple has also not confirmed any details about its 2021 iPhone lineup. This story is based on leaks and predictions from well-known industry insiders. Here’s what we think we know so far.
What Does the iPhone 12 Look Like?
For the most part, the iPhone 13 will look a lot like its predecessor. Apple announced it was moving to a three-year cycle for major upgrades a few years ago, and we don’t expect that to change. That said, expect to see four new iPhone flagships this year, including 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.
At first glance, it looks like the iPhone 13 Pro models are due for the most upgrades this year. Max Weinbach reports the upcoming iPhone Pro models will be available in updated matte black and gold finishes. Pro models will also have a fingerprint-resistant finish, if rumors from MacRumors are to be believed. Let’s Go Digital has several dozen renders on its site that offer multiple views of the phone.
According to rumors from online retailer Peng, the less expensive iPhone 13 duo will be available in pink. We’ve seen several rumors stating that the Rose Pink iPhone will not be available until December, but we’re pretty skeptical it will ever see the light of day.
Save for an upgraded camera module, the back of the upcoming iPhone 13 models may look identical to their predecessors. The updated camera bump will be thicker, and the less expensive iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 will have diagonally stacked lenses, according to GizChina.
The iPhone 13 will undoubtably be Apple’s most durable phone. Although we’ve yet to hear much about durability in the rumor mill, Apple filed a patent application for un upgraded “Spiral Grain Coatings For Class Structures In Electronic Devices” a few years ago. The coating is made of “polycrystalline materials in which grains have been grown in an interlaced spiral configuration.” It appears Apple may use different versions of the coating for different products, which would be less likely to be damaged if dropped.
If the coating makes its way to the iPhone 13, it would likely have multiple sublayers with the top being constructed from “a hard material such as a nitride.” It also reduces excess wear, makes products more scratch-resistant, and can have anti-smudge and/or anti-reflective layers.
If you were waiting for Apple to finally introduce USB-C to this year’s iPhone models, we have bad news. It appears the Lightning port is here to stay for at least one more year. That said, we expect improvements in MagSafe charging this year, as well as reverse charging for accessories. A power adapter or EarPods are not included.
How Big Is the iPhone 13’s Screen?
The one thing that’s not changing on the iPhone 13 is its screen size. The iPhone 13 mini will reportedly be Apple’s last flagship with a 5.4-inch display. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro will both have 6.1-inch displays, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will sport a 6.7-inch panel.
And while the screen size may not change, iPhone 13 Pro models are getting a big display upgrade, according to Apple analyst Ming Chi Quo and TheElec. Both claim the next-generation Pros will have an LTPO panel that supports Apple’s 120Hz Pro Motion and an always-on display.
All the upcoming iPhone 13 models allegedly have a more shallow but wide top notch. Apple put an Easter egg of a notch-less iPhone in recent episodes of Ted Lasso, but we think the top notch will remain a little longer. Under-display cameras are still in their infancy and tend to take poor photos. If you want proof, just check out the selfies taken with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G.
Touch ID looks like it’s a no-go as well for 2021. Apple analyst Kuo reported in June that he didn’t expect an in-display fingerprint sensor this year. Since then, the internet has been afire with Touch ID rumors. We’re going with Kuo on this rumor since in-display fingerprint sensors have dramatically improved over the past few years but are still pretty hit or miss.
How Many Cameras Does the iPhone 13 Have?
Apple appears to be offering pretty modest improvements when it comes to the iPhone 13’s camera stack. The less expensive iPhone 13 models will still have two rear cameras, while the Pro models will have three and a LiDAR sensor. TechRadar Middle East has excellent renders of the upcoming phone, and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman states all the phones will get at least three software updates, including an updated filter to improve photo composition and color, the addition of ProRes video—a way to record 8K video, and Portrait Mode video.
Barclay’s analysts Blayne Curtis and Thome O’Malley shared an investors note with MacRumors, stating that all four iPhone 13 models will have an upgraded ultra-wide lens with a wider f/1.8 aperture for better low light performance. Sensor-shift stabilization, formerly only available on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, will reportedly make its way to all iPhone 13 models.
9to5Mac also claims all four iPhone 13 models will have a larger camera bump and sensors. Kuo says the pixel size on the new iPhones will clock in at 2 microns versus 1.7 microns on the 12 models. This, again, means much better photos overall but also huge improvements in low light.
What Are the iPhone 13’s Specs?
Digitimes (via the website iPhoneincanada.ca) says that Apple tapped TSMC to create its A15 Bionic chipset for the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup. According to the same report, the A15 mobile platform will have an enhanced 5nm process, offer faster performance, and use less energy.
According to 9to5Mac, some of the iPhone 13 models will get a major storage upgrade. The site reports that some of the iPhone 13 models will be available with up to 1TB of storage. We’d mark this rumor as unlikely, but we shall see in the coming weeks.
We believe the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will have 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage options. The Pro models will start with 128GB of storage, with options for 256GB and 512GB of storage as well.
All iPhone 13 models are likely to get a major battery boost as well. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 3,687mAh battery, and its successor will get a bump to 4,352mAh. The iPhone 13 and 13 Pro will both have a 3,095mAh battery, compared with the 2,815mAh batteries on their predecessors. And the iPhone 13 mini gets a bump to 2,406, versus the 2,227mAh battery on its predecessor.
Although there’s no confirmation on RAM, we don’t think much is changing this year. That means the 13 and 13 mini will ship with 4GB of RAM, while the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max will sport 6GB of storage.
Apple also plans to improve the modem on the iPhone 13. Apple analyst Kuo reported the upcoming iPhones would support satellite service when it is out of a network’s range. Sascha Segan, PCMag’s Senior Mobile Analyst, however, believes there may be some confusion around the upcoming modem, which is basically a custom version of the Qualcomm x60.
Segan claims Globalstar, the satellite company at the center of the rumor, also owns a swathe of terrestrial spectrum in the 2.4GHz zone (b53/n53). The company is trying to get the spectrum used for private networks and LAA deployments. The upcoming Qualcomm x65 modem will also support b53/n53, and Segan states it will be used to improve ground-based LTE connectivity.
How Much Does the iPhone 12 Cost?
Due to the global supply chain shortage, increased manufacturing costs, and higher labor costs, there are lots of rumors about price hikes for the iPhone 13. And while Apple is undoubtedly feeling the pinch of supply chain shortages, the company reportedly has plenty of semiconductors for its iPhone 13 models.
Although it’s impossible to know just how much Apple plans to charge for its iPhone 13 lineup, we believe it will maintain pricing for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini and may slightly bump the price of its Pro lineup. To be perfectly honest, we don’t believe pricing will increase on any of the iPhone 13 models, but it’s a possibility.
We think the iPhone 13 mini will start at $699 and the iPhone 13 will cost $799. The iPhone 13 Pro base model will cost $999 to $1,049, and the iPhone Pro Max may have an starting cost of $1,099 to S1,149.
When Is the iPhone 13 Coming Out?
The wait is almost over. According to Chinese e-commerce site IT-Home and other leakers, the iPhone will be announced on Sept. 14 and pre-orders will go live on Sept. 17. Expect to see the iPhone 13 portfolio available in Apple Stores on Sept. 24.
While Apple may release the iPhone 13 in September, there’s a chance you’ll have to wait to get one. Analysts predict that 43% of iPhone owners will upgrade to the iPhone 13, but Foxconn is scrambling to hire 200,000 more workers. According to the South China Morning PostSouth China Morning Post, Apple will have 90 million or 100 million units available at launch, and the company plans to ship 130 million to 150 million devices this year.
Will We See New AirPods, MacBooks or iPads?
If a paywalled report from DigiTimes is to be believed, the answer is a resounding yes! The publication reports Apple may hold several events in September. If Apple does hold multiple events, we believe the Sept. 14 event will focus on its new array of iPhones, the Apple Watch Series 7, and a long-awaited AirPods update.
A subsequent event or events will introduce the 14-and-16-inch MacBook Pro, a redesigned iPad for students, and an update to the iPad mini.