iPhone 13 design
A set of iPhone 13 dummy units have gotten the hands-on treatment by Apple Insider, and they show some of the biggest possible design changes. This includes moving the speaker towards the top of the device, a new diagonal camera arrangement for the regular iPhone 13 and a larger camera module for the iPhone 13 Pro.
The SIM card tray is apparently moving further down as well, and the power buttons are shifting down a bit, too.
We’ve seen other alleged iPhone 13 dummy units leaked by Sonny Dickson. They show only the back of Apple’s lineup, but they do seem to line up with the rumors that the iPhone 13 will have a diagonal camera arrangement.
In addition, the iPhone 13 Pro Max could be slightly larger than its predecessor. In fact, an alleged iPhone 13 Pro case shows a considerably larger camera module, though this has not been confirmed.
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. Advertisement
The earpiece speaker could no longer be housed in the notch, moving instead to the top bezel, according to an iPhone 13 Pro Max dummy unit showing off the new design and smaller notch. Another iPhone 13 Pro dummy unit (sourced by Mac Otakara) also shows a smaller notch up front, using that same design. Leaked glass screen protectors seemingly confirm the change.
That iPhone 13 Pro Max dummy unit suggested this year’s phone will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Subsequent iPhone 13 schematics reveal that will be the case for all iPhone 13 models — they’re thicker than their iPhone 12 counterparts with larger camera arrays.
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.Advertisement
A clutch of leaks and rumors point toward the iPhone 13 getting an under-display take on Touch ID. There is still some doubt bubbling around that this will be the case, as it could be exclusive to the iPhone 14. At a time when mask-wearing is prolific, having a secondary form of biometric security would be very welcome.
Potentially, the biggest change we might see with the iPhone 13 is that one model would feature a portless design, dropping the Lightning port and opting for charging and data transfer to be carried out wirelessly. 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.”
iPhone 13 colors
The biggest iPhone 13 color rumors point to three possible new options. We’ve heard that that the regular iPhone 13 could come in pink, but that’s just based on a render. And 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
With Apple keeping the same display sizes as the iPhone 12, the company could make other changes to the phones’ screens. A report from ET News says that Apple will adopt a 120Hz refresh rate for the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max, with leaker Ice Universe also naming the iPhone 13 Pro Max as having 120Hz. This will allow for smoother scrolling as well as improved gameplay and video playback. Advertisement
A newer leak added further add fuel to the rumors that the iPhone 13 will have an LTPO panel, and that Samsung Display will be the company to make it. In addition, Samsung is supplying circuit boards to Apple to connect the display to the phone’s motherboard — more proof that an LTPO screen is in the works.
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 is 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%.
Other leaks tip the iPhone 13 to use an always-on display, something the LTPO tech could certainly facilitate. A video shows how an always-on display for the iPhone could work. An always-on display would finally give Apple’s iPhones a feature that Android phones have had for some time.
iPhone 13 specs
As night follows day, so to can we expect a chip upgrade for the iPhone 13 over its predecessor. It’s likely this will come in the form of the A15 Bionic, a successor to the very powerful A14 Bionic in the iPhone 12.
This new system-on-a-chip (SoC) could be a reasonable upgrade on the A14 Bionic, likely boosting overall performance and efficiency. A major upgrade doesn’t look likely until the iPhone 14, when Apple could potentially make a chip based on a 4-nanometer process node. Currently, the A14 Bionic inside the iPhone 12 is a 5nm chip.
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.
The iPhone 13 could also get a big boost in terms of wireless connectivity. Documentation of Apple’s settlement with Qualcomm revealed that Apple has plans to use Qualcomm’s X60 5G modem in upcoming iPhones, which will likely include the iPhone 13. (Apple-built modems won’t arrive until 2023.)Advertisement
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.