After the iPhone is before the iPhone. In September 2021, Apple will bring a new model onto the market again – the device will probably be called the iPhone 13. There are even initial indications of how it could be equipped. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON sums up the rumors surrounding the iPhone 13.
In previous generations, Apple has dispensed with an S model and has continued to name the models in numerical order. The iPhone 11 was followed by the iPhone 12. It seems likely that in 2021 we will not expect an iPhone 12s, but rather an iPhone 13. Apple may also name its new iPhone completely different, as the number 13 is considered an unlucky number in many cultures.
Whatever the name of the upcoming iPhone, we already know some details about the possible features. The following information has not yet been confirmed at this point in time and should therefore be taken with a little caution.
However, we expect that Apple will largely maintain the division of its large smartphone series this year – provided that it is popular with buyers and finds appropriate sales. That means that we can expect an iPhone 13, a 13 mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max in September 2021. There will also be an iPhone SE 3 earlier in the year, about which some details are already known .
Also interesting: iPhone 13 is said to be particularly robust thanks to its special glass
A lot is happening with the display
For some time there has been speculation that Apple will improve the display of the iPhone 13 again. The LTPO displays (Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide) are considered to be the hottest trend in smartphone displays this year. They not only enable the dynamic change of the frame rate between 10 Hz and 120 Hz, they also allow an always-on display, typical of OLEDs. Both of these – i.e. 120 Hz and always-on – have so far been missing from Apple’s iPhones. That is set to change this year.
Max Weinbach , well-known leaker and as an editor formerly at XDA Developers and now at AndroidPolice, got new information about the iPhone 13. He confirmed both innovations and also provides details on a possible always-on function. The feature has been around for years on Android smartphones. When the display is switched off, the smartphone shows important information in white on black so that the mobile phone does not have to be unlocked. That saves energy. The information can be extensive and range from the time and date to notifications, appointments and status updates.
For the first time there should be such an always-on display on the iPhone. However, it is probably a bit more rudimentary than that of the Android competition. As Weinbach reports, the display can hardly be configured and only shows the most important data – battery level, time and date. So basically it corresponds to a stripped-down lockscreen.
New information about the camera and its modes
Weinbach also has news about the iPhone 13 camera. Up until now, we assumed that it would hardly change from that of the respective iPhone 12 model. However, Apple is said to have improved the ultra-wide angle, which has now been confirmed again. Instead of an f / 2.4 aperture, the iPhone 13 has a more powerful f / 1.8 aperture, so that the sensor can capture almost twice as much light as the one in the iPhone 12. The result would not only be less image noise in poor light, but overall also better lit shots.
In addition, the leaker speaks of two modes, some of which we have been waiting for a long time. On the one hand, this is the astrophotography mode known from Google Pixel smartphones, which should switch on automatically as soon as users take a photo or film the night sky. On the other hand, there is talk of a portrait video mode. It is intended to complement the already known portrait modes for photos. So far, however, the performance of the iPhones has not been sufficient to correctly calculate the bokeh effect in videos. The A15 Bionic, which we expect in the iPhone 13, can now apparently deliver the necessary performance. With the portrait video mode, people could be recorded and the background displayed blurred. The adjustment of the depth of field can be changed subsequently and continuously.
All the rumors that Weinbach has currently circulated can be found in a video on YouTube compiled by EverythingApplePro EAP :
All previous information about the iPhone 13
Apple rarely changes the design of its iPhones. Since the iPhone 12 has only just introduced a new look, it is unlikely that Apple will change the design of the iPhone 13 again significantly. Some small, targeted changes in the appearance – for example in the camera arrangement – would be possible. On the whole, the look of the new models will probably be quite similar to that of the current generation.
The 2021 generation of iPhones is probably a bit more angular again. At least the Pro models should also have a slightly rougher and therefore more handy surface. But there should be another visual change, and many users should like it. Apple is finally reducing the very wide notch in the display. While Android manufacturers now work with very small notch shapes or even dispense with the notch entirely, it has remained almost unchanged and large in the previous iPhone generations. The smaller notch should be made possible by an optimized camera system of the true depth front camera. How much the notch will shrink on the iPhone 13 remains to be seen.
Another, albeit barely visible, structural change concerns the thickness and stability of the upcoming iPhones. The Japanese website “ Mac Otakara ” writes, for example, that the iPhone is 0.26 millimeters thicker than the iPhone 12. The increase could on the one hand indicate a larger battery with more capacity. However, additional technology for new functions may also be to blame for the greater thickness.
Mac Otakara also writes that Apple would like to protect not only the camera lenses, but the entire camera cover with sapphire glass. That should make them much more robust. Due to its high degree of hardness, sapphire glass is considered to be significantly more resistant than normal glass. Apple is already using it in the iPhone 6 and later generations as well as in its Apple Watch. However, some testers found out that the sapphire crystal used by Apple does not quite meet the advertised hardness properties, which was apparently due to impurities in the glass. Hopefully, Apple will use sapphire glass made of aluminum and oxide in the appropriate proportions in the iPhone 13 and dispense with additives such as carbon.
But it is different with the display, where we expect more innovations. Despite some assumptions in advance, Apple users had to do without a ProMotion display and 120 Hz with the iPhone 12. It stayed at a maximum frame rate of 60 Hz. That should change with the iPhone 13. Apple is finally bringing the display technology known from the iPad Pro to its smartphone range. Thus, a variable frame rate would then be possible with the iPhone 13 – with conventional applications, users would work with a lower image repetition, while gaming the iPhone 13 could speed up to 120 Hz in order to render images particularly smooth.
According to a report by ” The Elec ” (via 9to5Mac ), Apple uses LTPO displays from the manufacturer LG for two models of the iPhone 13 series . Apple already uses such panels in its Watch Series 5 and 6. LTPO displays (short for Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide) offer many advantages of OLED panels, but are cheaper to manufacture and can also be used with smaller formats. They score with energy-saving operation and a high pixel density and enable always-on operation – the ideal prerequisite for permanently active displays and ProMotion technology.
Also read: All data and facts about the Apple iPhone 12
Another aspect of the display is the notch. It has been quite prominent in previous generations – Apple is lagging behind the Android competition, which now even works without a notch. Many users hope that Apple will reduce the notch in the upper edge of the display on the iPhone 13. This would certainly be possible, current sensor technology makes it possible. Apple could save even more space by returning to Touch ID. Android manufacturers now use a fingerprint sensor under the display, a discrete and practical solution. Could Apple also decide to take this step? In a recent user satisfaction survey, the manufacturer asked its users
A new iPhone always heralds a new generation of processors. In the iPhone 13 we expect the Apple A15 Bionic. It is probably manufactured in a more advanced version of the 5 nanometer process and is therefore not only energy-saving, it also promises a little more performance than the A14 Bionic. According to a report, this is the N5P process or 5nm + process from TSMC.
Since the 2020 iPhone 5G already supports, the iPhone 13 also transmits fairly safely via the new cellular standard. Hopefully Apple will no longer impose restrictions in the speed that current customers have in some cases.
In addition to 5G, the new iPhone should also support a new WLAN technology. According to some analysts from the well-known analysis company Barclays (via MacRumors ), the iPhone 13 transmits via Wifi 6E. The standard was only adopted in the USA at the end of 2020 and is also used in the Samsung Galaxy S21 , for example .
Wifi 6E is a further development of Wifi 6, which is only gradually finding its way into Germany – also and above all because of new routers that support the standard. Wifi 6E offers the features and capabilities of Wifi 6, including higher performance, lower latency, and faster data rates, extended to the 6 GHz band. The additional spectrum offers much more freedom than the existing 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WLAN, which results in increased bandwidth and less interference for devices that support the standard.
Both the iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 and the iPhone SE (2020) already support the standard version of Wifi 6, but without 6 GHz. The change to the new frequency band would open up completely new possibilities for the iPhone 13 in the area of high-speed internet. “In conjunction with WLAN, this spectrum will enable new customer experiences on smartphones, AR / VR devices and wearables that we haven’t even invented,” said Vijay Nagarajan, executive at chip manufacturer Broadcom, back in January.
Also read: What is Wi-Fi 6 and do I need it now?
Little is known about the camera of the iPhone 13. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo assumes that Apple will continue to improve especially the ultra-wide-angle cameras of the two top models. Here Apple probably relies on a fast f / 1.8 aperture (instead of f / 2.4), six lens elements and a fixed focus.
Is Apple canceling other accessories?
One of the not-so-happy announcements revolves around the accessories. Apple has already done without a power supply unit for the iPhone 12. Now there are indications that the company is reducing the scope of delivery for the iPhone 13 even further and is also canceling the Lightning cable. For users, this would mean that they would not only have to buy the power supply, but also the Lightning-to-USB-C cable themselves if they no longer have their old accessories or sell them together with their old iPhone. The costs for this are not without. For the original cable, Apple itself charges 24.35 euros (1 meter) or 38 euros (2 meters).
Availability and prices
The iPhone 12 did not come onto the market in September 2020, as usual, but – depending on the model – only in October or November due to Corona. Despite this delay, Apple wants to keep the usual rhythm in 2021 and present the iPhone 13 at a keynote in September. This reduces the cycle for the iPhone 12 by one to two months.