The iPhone 13 may be a distant sight at the moment, but there are already plenty of rumours hinting at what you should expect when it arrives
Apple may have only just pulled back the covers on the iPhone 12, but that never stops us from looking forward to what our favourite tech company has in store when it updates the iPhone again in 2021. Here’s everything we know so far about the iPhone 13.
When will the iPhone 13 be released?
Up until this year, Apple has been quite consistent with the release dates of its iPhones. Usually, the new products are announced at the beginning of September and released a week or so later.
Occasionally we see a few outliers, as with the iPhone X and XR that launched respectively in November and October (although they were announced in September)… and then there’s the iPhone SE range that has so far been a spring fixture. But mostly it’s September.
COVID-19 caused a good deal of disruption in the Apple supply chain, which subsequently delayed the launch of the iPhone 12 and its stablemates until October 2020. (In fact two of the models won’t actually go on sale until November.) But assuming that things return to a semblance of normality in 2021, the iPhone 13 should return to its traditional place in the calendar, with a September release.
How much will the iPhone 13 cost?
iPhone pricing can be something of a moveable feast. The past few standard models have come with the following price tags:
- iPhone X: £999/$999
- iPhone XS: £999/$999
- iPhone 11: £729/$699
- iPhone 12: £799/$799
Now, the introduction of the iPhone Pro range that coincided with the iPhone 11 does explain the sudden drop, as it marks a bifurcation of the lineup. But, as you can see, the price of the iPhone 12 jumps up by £70/$100 when compared to its predecessor.
At the moment the range has a pattern that we think Apple may be settling on, with the following tiers:
- iPhone SE – £399/$399
- iPhone XR – £499/$499
- iPhone 11 – £599/$599
- iPhone 12 Mini – £699/$699
- iPhone 12 – £799/$799
- iPhone 12 Pro – £999/$999
- iPhone 12 Pro Max – £1,099/$1,099
This gives potential buyers choices all the way up the price scale, with clear separation between the available devices. With this in mind, we expect Apple to stick with this structure and bring in the iPhone 13 at around £799/$799 and any mini or Pro models directly replacing their older siblings.
What new features can we expect in the iPhone 13?
Alongside the usual upgraded versions of processors and camera tweaks, Apple could be preparing some genuinely new features for the next iteration of its smartphone. Here’s what we’ve seen rumoured so far.
Many thought the iPhone 12, or at least the 12 Pro models, would come with updates to the display refresh rates.
With a wide range of Android devices already boasting 90Hz or even 120Hz refresh rates, the 60Hz on Apple’s displays seemed to be falling behind. This was surprising, given the company’s iPad Pro range has taken advantage of these faster speeds for a while to enable their ProMotion feature.
It was disappointing, then, when the iPhone 12 range arrived with only 60Hz on offer. But of course, this leaves the door open for Apple to introduce the faster displays on the iPhone 13.
To see why this would be a big deal, read our coverage of why display experts say you should wait for iPhone 13.
There’s also the recurring rumour that Apple will use LTPO display technology, as found on the Apple Watch, for the iPhone 13. This could bring the advantage of lower power drain, boosting battery life in the new models.
Smaller notch for Face ID
Another area of the display that needs work is the notch. While Apple users have grown used to the intrusion at the top of their screens, the notch remains a divisive feature.
With this in mind it will be an encouragement to many that tech tipster Ice Universe reported recently that the notch on the iPhone 13 will be shorter than that of the iPhone 12. How much of a difference is still unclear, but anything that reduces the black box at the top of the display will be a welcome addition.
Embedded Touch ID scanner
Face ID is fast and secure, but in our new post-COVID world where masks are a regular part of most people’s wardrobes, there are many occasions when Touch ID would be more useful. Of course, Apple is unlikely to bring back the Home button now that it has its nearly edge-to-edge displays, but there is another option.
Leak leviathan Jon Prosser recently gave the nod to a tweet from fellow tipster @L0vetodream, who stated rather cryptically “MESA uts for iPhone”. Apparently this is deciphered as MESA (Touch ID) uts (under the screen) for iPhone (well, we think you can work that one out).
Of course, with the new iPad Air including Touch ID in the power button instead, Apple may decide that this solves the problem in a neater fashion.
iPhone 13 to lose its Lightning port
One of the stranger rumours that seems to be picking up traction is that Apple will ditch the Lightning port on the iPhone 13.
“Well, what’s so strange about that?” you may ask, as most Apple products now use USB-C. Ah, but we didn’t say there would be a replacement port. Instead the rumours from Jon Prosser and Fudge state that the iPhone 13 will have no ports at all.
Rather than rely on cables for charging, all power will be delivered wirelessly. It’s a bit weird, as it instantly renders many accessories and power banks redundant, but that’s never stopped Apple in the past.
We’ll keep updating this article as more news and rumours arise, so be sure to keep coming back to see what we uncover. In the meantime, if you don’t want to wait until next year to update your device, check out our iPhone buying guide and our roundup of the best iPhone deals so you can find the one that’s best for your needs.
Author: Martyn Casserly, Contributor
Martyn has been involved with tech ever since the arrival of his ZX Spectrum back in the early 80s. He covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews.