The "iPhone 13" is expected to launch in late 2021 and is expected to have big changes to the camera system and display. Rumors suggest Apple may implement a 120Hz display, always-on UI elements, and ProRes video recording.The 2021 iPhone lineup will look similar to the 2020 iPhone lineup, with four devices in sizes that include 5.4-inches, 6.1-inches, and 6.7-inches, with two of the iPhones being higher-end "Pro" models and two positioned as lower-cost, more affordable devices.

Major design changes are not expected, and 2021 iPhones will have the same feature set as the 2020 iPhones, but we can count on camera improvements, a faster A-series processor, a new 5G chip from Qualcomm, increased battery life, and a tweak to the size of the notch.


The iPhone 12 returned to flat sides with a new design, which means the "iPhone 13" will likely not change much year-over-year. The longer a design can be reused, the wider the margins Apple can make on iPhone sales.

We are expecting a smaller notch, and while some rumors suggested it could be shallower, device mockups based on information sourced from the Chinese supply chain indicate it will be smaller in size, taking up less space than the existing notch.The notch is expected to be reduced or eliminated. One portion of the sensor array that could be reduced is the VCSEL chip used for blasting infrared dots used in 3D scanning. Apple may reduce this component by as much as 50%, allowing for a smaller notch.

Apple is also expected to introduce 120Hz display refresh rates for Pro iPhone models, bringing the iPad Pro's ProMotion technology to the iPhone for the first time.

The camera bump is expected to change from separate bumps for each lens to a single sheet of glass covering all lenses. This would reduce wobble when laying the device flat on its back.

Apple was considering adding an in-display fingerprint sensor to the iPhone 13 models, which would be used in addition to Face ID as an alternate bio metric authentication method

Apple's longtime goal has been an iPhone with no external ports or buttons for a clean, streamlined device, and there were rumors suggesting that Apple would introduce a portless iPhone in 2021 with no Lightning port, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen after all.

Apple has no plans to transition the iPhone lineup from Lightning to USB-C, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

If Apple is able to reasonably increase water resistance, the "iPhone 13" may be the first model with Apple's blessing for underwater photography. Capacitive buttons, e-sim, and no Lightning port would enable a fully closed-off device.


As with the body design changes, a camera change usually occurs on a longer cycle. The iPhone 12 Pro has a similar three-camera system as the iPhone 11 Pro, but with an additional sensor for LiDAR. This camera design is said to be carried over to the 2021 Pro iPhone lineup as well.

 Apple could expand ProRAW to the entire "iPhone 13" lineup due to changes in the image signal processor. It is unknown why Apple restricted the feature to the iPhone 12 Pro models, but it may have something to do with the difference in RAM. The standard iPhone models have 4GB of RAM and the pro models have 6GB of RAM.


The iPhone 12 models did not wow on our battery life test. Only the iPhone 12 Pro Max truly impressed with its large battery. However, another report from Ming-Chi Kuo about so-called soft battery technology in the iPhone 13 claimed that the new iPhones could offer increased battery capacity without growing the design footprint.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the big winner here, gaining an 18% increase from 3,687 mAh to 4,352 mAh. The other three models' increases are all much smaller, but would still go some way to fixing the short battery life issue.

The iPhone could gain a ProMotion display in 2021 to optimize viewing content but may necessitate the use of LTPO technology to keep the battery life under control. Samsung has used similar techniques to push its display refresh rate up to 120Hz as well.

Each new iPhone brings a new version of iOS with its launch. Apple gave us our first good look at the software that will power the new iPhones as well as iPhones dating back to the iPhone 6s when it showed off iOS 15 at June's Worldwide Developer Conference.

The top iOS 15 features include updates to FaceTime that will let you watch videos and share content with others, a new Focus mode for managing notifications, and improvements to Maps, Messages, Wallet, Weather and other built-in apps. Some iOS 15 features will require an A12 Bionic processor or later, but that shouldn't be a problem for the iPhone 13 and its fancy new Apple chip.


The iPhone 12 lineup has 5G in sub-6GHz and mmWave bands. According to Apple, mmWave is only available in the U.S. on the iPhone, but that could change in future models. Ming-Chi Kuo says this is a possiblity as Apple tries to expand adoption in other markets.As 5G becomes more ubiquitous Apple will want people who travel to have access to the same speeds they find at home,

The fingerprint sensor was replaced with Face ID on the iPhone X, and this caused a shift in the entire smartphone market. Some manufacturers moved to face recognition, while others moved to place the fingerprint sensor below the display.

Apple has been rumored almost every year since the iPhone X to be resurrecting Touch ID in the iPhone through some kind of under-screen or power button implementation. Rumors indicate that Apple is working on the technology, but the "iPhone 13" likely won't have Touch ID in any form.

Apple will likely release four distinct models of the "iPhone 13" identically priced to the iPhone 12 counterparts. Reports suggest that demand for the iPhone 12 mini may lead to Apple de-emphasizing the product, but an "iPhone 13 mini" is still expected.


Apple may give users different choices over storage options. Currently, there are three options in the non-pro lineup at 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The 128GB option is  more expensive than the 64GB option, and the 256GB option is  more expensive than that.Apple could push the baseline to 128GB and offer 256GB and 512GB options above that. The pro models may get 1TB options for even more money likely a premium.

 Apple is expected to announce the "iPhone 13" in September. Rumors suggest it could be announced on September 14 and release by September 24.

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