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 summarizes the rumors surrounding the iPhone 13.
In the past 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, so 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 bit of 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. This 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.
Apple offers its iPhone 12 models with a choice of 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB of storage. Then it’s over. It is different with the iPhone 13, where, according to the latest information, users can choose an additional memory size. We’re talking about 1 terabyte (TB) – the largest storage capacity Apple would offer to date.
So far, the 1TB memory can only be found in the iPad Pro. With the iPhones, 512 GB was the limit. Since Apple does not offer any option to expand this outside of the cloud, particularly intensive iPhone users could sometimes reach the limit. The large memory version is now intended precisely for this customer group, but it will probably remain a niche product. Apple usually pays for the extra storage well, so the iPhone 13 with 1 TB will be particularly expensive.
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, Apple is unlikely to change the design of the iPhone 13 significantly again. A few 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 grippy 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 are now working with very small notch shapes or even foregoing the notch entirely, it has remained almost unchanged and large in 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 shrinks on the iPhone 13 remains to be seen.
Another, albeit hardly noticeable, 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 in the future. 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 that the sapphire crystal used by Apple did 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.
For some time now, there has been speculation that Apple will improve the iPhone 13’s display 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 image frequency between 10 Hz and 120 Hz, they also allow an always-on display, as is typical of OLEDs. Both of these – i.e. 120 Hz and always-on – have so far been missing from Apple’s iPhones. That should 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 will 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.
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 manages 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. The 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.
Apple has already equipped the iPhone 12 series with 5G. As a result, users do not have to do without the fast cellular standard with the successor. According to DigiTimes, the basis for 5G is different here. Instead of the X55 module from Qualcomm, Apple should use the newer version Snapdragon X60. The recently introduced and again faster Snapdragon X65, on the other hand, will be used in the iPhone 14 at the earliest, according to the assumption.
But what does the change of the 5G module mean for users of the iPhone 13? Unlike the X55, the X60 is not manufactured in the 7 nanometer process, but in 5 nm. As a result, the operation of the module is more energy-efficient overall, which in turn benefits the battery life. The iPhones can then also use 5G data from mmWave and sub-6 GHz bands at the same time, resulting in faster speeds and lower latency when surfing.
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 Ultra , 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?
Weinbach also has news about the iPhone 13 camera. So far 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 is supposed to 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 should 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 rumors that Weinbach has currently circulated can be found in a video on YouTube compiled by EverythingApplePro EAP :
Is Apple canceling other accessories?
One of the not-so-happy announcements revolves around the accessories. With the iPhone 12, Apple has already done without a power supply unit. 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 if they 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 would like 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.