The iPhone 13 rumor mill has already began. Here’s what we’re hearing

Apple’s iPhone 11, 12 Pro Max and SE telephones.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup has solely been on digital cabinets for a couple of months, and already the cell phone world has turned its consideration to the iPhone 13 (or no matter Apple names its subsequent flagship) and the three different variants anticipated to affix the lineup: the iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, in response to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Rumors have been circulating about Apple’s 2021 telephone lineup even earlier than the final Apple occasion, which unveiled the iPhone 12. And the leaks are solely going to ramp up as we get nearer to the following iPhone launch date. Read on to seek out the most recent rumors in regards to the iPhone 13’s value, design, specs and extra. We’ll replace this story as new info turns into out there.

Release date: iPhone 13 must be right here by mid-September

So far, there is not any official or unofficial phrase on after we can anticipate to see Apple’s subsequent iPhone. Usually, we are able to predict with a point of accuracy when Apple’s iPhone occasions will happen and extrapolate a launch date based mostly on that. 2020 was a unique story — it was the primary September Apple occasion in eight years with out an iPhone — due to delays in manufacturing because of the coronavirus pandemic. This 12 months, nonetheless, Kuo is forecasting enterprise as traditional for Apple’s provide chain. If that is the case, we are able to anticipate to see the iPhone 13 unveiled at an occasion someday in September.

Let’s synthesize the information we’ve:

  • Apple likes to carry its occasions on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
  • iPhone launch dates are sometimes a week-and-a-half after Apple’s bulletins.
  • In normal, new iPhones are launched on a Friday, across the third week of September.

A couple of years in the past, CNET took a deep dive into the Apple occasion timeline and emerged with a compelling Labor Day speculation, which you’ll be able to examine right here. Based on the 2021 calendar, the Labor Day rule would put the September Apple occasion (and unveiling of the iPhone 13) on Sept. 8, with a Sept. 17 launch date.

Name: Apple’s subsequent flagship won’t be known as iPhone 13

We’re going with the identify “iPhone 13” for now, however the moniker will not be a certain factor. Considering high-rise buildings are likely to omit the thirteenth ground from their elevator buttons for superstitious causes, Apple might very effectively succumb to its personal triskaidekaphobia and skip the quantity 13.

iPhone 12S is a worthy guess for the identify of Apple’s subsequent technology of iPhones. Just as 2014’s iPhone 6 gave option to 2015’s iPhone 6S and 2017’s iPhone X preceded 2018’s iPhone XS, with out a main redesign within the works (extra on that under), the 2021 iPhone might very effectively be positioned as an enchancment on the iPhone 12.

Or possibly Apple takes a web page out of Samsung’s guide and names its subsequent telephone after the 12 months of its conception: iPhone 2021 has a pleasant ring to it. Or what in regards to the iPhone XXI? Or, dare to dream, Apple might go in a very totally different course and identify it one thing enjoyable, just like the Motorola Citrus or LG Chocolate of yore.

Price: iPhone 13 might value the identical as iPhone 12 and even much less

Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup included 4 telephones at 4 totally different costs, with much more variation amongst carriers and storage configurations. At launch, the baseline iPhone 12 provider mannequin value $799, a rise of $100 from 2019’s iPhone 11, largely because of the addition of 5G assist. Because the iPhone 13 will not be anticipated to have such a significant technical improve, analysts are predicting the same value construction for 2021.

GIF by Caitlin Petrakovitz/CNET

Here’s the iPhone 12 pricing, for reference:

iPhone 12 pricing: All 4 new fashions

iPhone 12 mannequin 64GB 128GB 256GB 512GB
iPhone 12 Mini (provider mannequin) $699 $749 $849 N/A
iPhone 12 Mini (SIM-free from Apple) $729 $779 $879 N/A
iPhone 12 (provider mannequin) $799 $849 $949 N/A
iPhone 12 (SIM-free from Apple) $829 $879 $979 N/A
iPhone 12 Pro N/A $999 $1,099 $1,299
iPhone 12 Pro Max N/A $1,099 $1,199 $1,399

There is a few hypothesis that Apple may take into account reducing the worth of its subsequent telephone lineup. Several rivals rose to the event of the financial downturn by releasing extra reasonably priced fashions in 2020, reminiscent of Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE and Google’s Pixel 5, each the identical value because the iPhone 12 Mini however about $100 lower than the iPhone 12.

Sales of the iPhone 12 might point out the course Apple may soak up pricing the iPhone 13. The predicted 2020 “supercycle” appears to have occurred as Apple anticipated: In October, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro grew to become the primary and second best-selling 5G telephone fashions worldwide.

Design: iPhone 13 will in all probability look acquainted

No leaked renders or grainy movies have emerged but, however we do not anticipate any large modifications to the iPhone’s design in 2021, contemplating 2020 noticed a reasonably important “slabular” redesign already with the return of the iPhone 5’s flat sides. Apple can be not anticipated to make any modifications to the telephone’s sizing from the earlier technology.

iPhone 13’s rumored sizes:

  • iPhone 13 Mini: 5.4-inch
  • iPhone 13: 6.1-inch
  • iPhone 13 Pro: 6.1-inch
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: 6.7-inch

Two potential design components that are getting some first rate buzz already: A shallower notch or fully notchless display and the dying of the Lightning port, each of which have been speculated about, hoped for or dreaded advert nauseum for generations of iPhones.


The iPhone 12 lineup.

Patrick Holland/CNET

iPhone 13 might nix the chunky notch

Apple launched the world to the notched show in 2017 with the discharge of the iPhone X, and as rivals solved the selfie conundrum with hole-punch and under-display cameras, Apple nonetheless hasn’t, er, taken it down a notch. Those who crossed their fingers for a notchless or no less than smaller-notched iPhone 12 are reassigning their hopes to the iPhone 13 now that their 2020 all-screen desires have failed to come back to fruition.

Will Apple kill the Lightning port too?

When Apple ousted the headphone jack, the doomsday clock began ticking for the iPhone’s charging port as effectively, in response to trade analysts. Though a number of us are nonetheless holding out hope for a USB-C port, the introduction of MagSafe equipment in 2020 all however sealed the deal on a portless future for the iPhone. Frequent leaker Jon Prosser shares this prediction, asserting on his YouTube channel, “The finish objective could be very clearly portless.”

But do not get too excited (nervous?): Kuo predicts that just one 2021 iPhone might be fully portless, doubtless the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

iPhone 12 Pro’s Magsafe charger.


Cameras: New picture tips and tech coming to the iPhone 13

The iPhone received some fairly effectively acquired digicam upgrades in 2020, particularly within the Pro Max mannequin, which launched the iOS crowd to lidar (additionally discovered on the Pro) and ProUncooked. The iPhone 12 even wrested CNET picture fanatic Stephen Shankland’s loyalty away from Google Pixel, the erstwhile computational images king.

Better zoom capabilities for the iPhone 13

One weak spot within the 2020 lineup’s digicam choices, nonetheless, was zoom expertise. The iPhone 12 Pro Max solely featured a 2.5x optical zoom — for comparability, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra affords a 100x zoom (although it’s a mixture of optical and digital). According to ETNews (as reported by TechRadar), the iPhone 13 might probably embrace a periscope digicam, a expertise that may enable for a bigger zoom vary with out requiring an excellent bigger digicam bump. Kuo made related predictions for a future periscope lens, although his report hinted that we might have to attend till 2022.

You get lidar, you get lidar, everybody will get lidar!

All 4 fashions of the iPhone 13 lineup might embrace lidar expertise, in response to a DigiTimes report. Lidar was launched to the iPhone in 2020, however solely on the Pro and Pro Max fashions, so this could solely be a real improve for the essential mannequin and the Mini. Still, lidar for everybody could be fairly nifty — the digicam characteristic, which stands for “light detection and ranging,” is a depth sensor that makes use of lasers to measure distance. The digicam trick can take your iPhone pictures to the following stage, and it additionally has some fairly cool AR functions.


The iPhone 12 Pro’s lidar sensor — the black circle on the backside proper of the digicam unit — opens up AR prospects and way more.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Features: All the opposite iPhone 13 rumors we have heard

There’s quite a bit we are able to confidently predict for the 2021 iPhone lineup based mostly on final 12 months’s options and Apple’s traditional observe document. For occasion, 5G is all however a foregone conclusion. There in all probability will not be a charger or headphones within the field, nor a headphone jack, nor a USB-C port. And until 2021 throws us for an excellent larger loop than 2020, we anticipate Apple to preview iOS 15 at its annual WWDC occasion in June, transport the iPhone 13 with the brand new working system put in.

120Hz refresh charge for the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max

We thought we would get a refreshed refresh charge within the iPhone 12, however the 120Hz rumors did not pan out — doubtless due to the already elevated calls for on battery from the telephone’s 5G connectivity. Instead, Apple’s lineup final 12 months featured the identical 60Hz show because the earlier 12 months’s iPhone 11.

But 2021 might be the 12 months of the 120Hz show, which permits for a smoother, sooner scrolling expertise due to the next display refresh charge. Many higher-end opponents already characteristic a 120Hz show (OnePlus 8T, Galaxy S20), so the chances are good Apple heads on this course for its subsequent Pro line.

Evidence for doubling the refresh charge in 2021 comes from Korean information website The Elec, which studies that two of the iPhone 13 fashions will use LTPO expertise of their screens. This display tech would make the telephone extra power-efficient normally, which means smaller batteries and/or longer battery life are additionally possible (to not point out these whispers about an always-on show). Learn extra about LTPO (which stands for low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) OLED screens.

Return of the Touch ID button

Bloomberg reported in 2019 that the beloved Touch ID button might return as an under-display sensor within the subsequent 12 months’s flagship, which might have been the iPhone 12. That did not occur, however the Bloomberg report left room for error, saying the expertise might “slip to the 2021 iPhone refresh.”

Twitter leaker @L0vetodream additionally teased an under-display Touch ID final fall, which was subsequently corroborated (and translated) by Prosser.

Apple’s 2020 iPad Air, introduced final September throughout what usually would have been an iPhone unveiling occasion, built-in a Touch ID button onto the aspect of the gadget. This addition was thrilling as a result of it solved the “Face ID doesn’t work while wearing a mask” downside with out ceding display actual property. An under-display button would clear up the issue, too, although it stays to be seen whether or not the tech might be prepared in time for the iPhone 13.

As we close to the purported September iPhone announcement, we’ll hold this put up up to date with all of the iPhone 13 leaks, rumors and different hypothesis because it comes up, so examine again. And within the meantime, here is what it’s best to know in regards to the iPhone 12: