Apple will almost certainly unveil the iPhone 13 at its “California Streaming” event on Tuesday. But why wait? Virtually all the details already leaked out. Here’s everything we’re expecting for Apple’s 2021 handset.
This won’t be a simple “speed bump” upgrade. Quite a bit is changing.
iPhone 13 specs are a mix of old and new designs
Before going onto new features, let’s discuss something that’s not going to change. On Tuesday, Apple is expected to unveil four models in the same sizes as the iPhone 12 series. There’ll be a standard 6.1-inch iPhone 13, a 6.7-inch Pro Max, a 6.1-inch Pro and a 5.4-inch mini. The screen resolutions for these will be unchanged, too.
But there will be significant improvements in this area. Many, many reports point to Apple shrinking the iPhone screen cutout. It’s allegedly going from 1.38 inches down to 1.0 inches. This is apparently a step toward replacing the notch with a “hole punch” camera in 2022.
Plus, the screen refresh rate is supposedly going up to 120Hz, a feature the iPad Pro has had for years. This will make the user interface perform more smoothly. But it’ll draw more power, so Apple could be making all four iPhone 13 models slightly thicker to fit in bigger batteries.
There’ve been rumors pointing to an always-on display like recent Apple Watch models. But early hopes that the device would come with under-display Touch ID have since faded.
Other hardware features aren’t changing. There’ll still be a Lightning port and MagSafe wireless charging, for example.
Lots of camera improvements
iPhone 13 cases are already starting to appear, and these reveal some details about the cameras. Most notably, all four models will have a larger camera hump than their predecessors. This will make room for more features.
Apple is supposedly building Sensor Shift technology into the entire series. If true, it means improved stabilization and greater photo quality.
The two iPhone 13 Pro models allegedly will boast an improved Ultra Wide camera with autofocus capabilities. This is also expected to feature a six-element lens, up from five in current models.
Better low-light performance is expected. There might even be an astrophotography setting just for taking pictures of the moon and stars.
And Apple could build lidar into every version, not only the Pro ones. This would let every iPhone owner take advantage of the augmented reality capabilities now only available to Pro users.
On the inside
Apple upgrades the processor in each successive handset and 2021 won’t be any different. Details of the A15 chip have been leaking out for months. While not a radical improvement, this will be a faster version of its predecessor that uses a bit less power.
Those willing to pay for it will supposedly have the option to get up to 1TB of storage. That’s double the current maximum.
The 2020 model offers 5G, but the iPhone 13 will reportedly bring ultra-speedy mmWave 5G to additional countries, not just the United States. There’s also the possibility that it’ll support satellite communication in emergencies.
iPhone 13: Coming soon
The highlight of Apple’s California Streaming event on September 14 will most likely be the iPhone 13, with a release coming shortly thereafter. If the company follows previous habits it’ll start taking preorders on Friday, September 17, with customers receiving the first units on Sept. 24.
At this point it’s not clear if prices will go up. At first it was thought they wouldn’t, but the global chip shortage might lead to a price hike.
Be sure to come back to Cult of Mac on Tuesday to see how accurate these leaks, rumors and unconfirmed reports turned out to be.