It’s the best month of the year: August. Students are returning to school, the weather is getting drearier, and the next Apple event is just one month away. And to be honest? I’m equally excited for each of these. Though I have a feeling most of you here are just excited to hear about the iPhone 13 rumors.
If history repeats itself (and it probably will) the iPhone 13 will be unveiled in mid-September. That makes early August the perfect time to start guessing at what the specifics of the iPhone 13 will be.
In this article, I’ll be covering everything that I’ve heard and learned about the upcoming iPhone 13 release.
It should be noted, of course, that this is all conjecture. We won’t have any confirmation on anything about the iPhone 13 until its launch. So take this all with a grain of salt!
Once I’ve gone through all of the rumors, I’ll go through some older rumors that now appear very unlikely.
Alright, let’s get into it!
iPhone 13 rumors: Everything we (kind of) know so far
The iPhone 13 won’t have a new design
This is one of those iPhone 13 rumors that shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. The iPhone 13 will (mostly) look like the iPhone 12.
The reason this isn’t surprising is that the iPhone 12 was a design refresh for the iPhone. It brought us flat edges that resembled the recent iPad Pro and Air designs as well as the new iMac design.
If you’re thinking that the iPhone 12 isn’t that dramatic of a redesign, you would be correct. However, I think that’s less a result of Apple’s lack of innovation and more so a result of smartphones hitting their peak design.
By that, I mean that coming up with a better smartphone design than what we have today is going to be difficult. So long as smartphones are a multitouch pane of glass, I think the current design is going to remain the same.
You can compare this to the automobile industry. Cars used to look dramatically different from one decade to the next. For the last two to three decades, however, car designs have only changed slightly. That’s because the ideal car design has more or less been reached.
The same thing has happened to smartphones. We probably won’t see an exciting iPhone redesign for a long time, if ever again. Instead, I think new Apple products (like Apple Glasses), the iPad, and the Apple Watch will prove to be more exciting moving forward.
There will be an iPhone 13 mini
Another rumor that has most likely been confirmed is that the iPhone 13 lineup will look a lot like the iPhone 12’s. That means we’ll get an iPhone 13 mini, an iPhone 13, an iPhone 13 Pro, and an iPhone 13 Max.
Whispers throughout the tech industry have pointed to the iPhone 12 mini underperforming in sales. It makes sense, as I imagine most people want the biggest iPhone they can afford.
I, however, have never preferred the bigger screen. I think the standard sizes of the iPhone 7 and 8 were the perfect size by far. Considerably bigger than the originals, but not so big that you need to use two hands to operate the device.
I currently use an iPhone 11 and miss the smaller form factor every day. Though I have to admit that it would make games like Wild Rift significantly harder to play.
In short, the iPhone mini is sticking around for at least one more generation, and I’m pretty happy about it.
The cameras on iPhone 13 are going to look different
Anyone who has heard any iPhone 13 rumors so far has surely seen images of the new camera layout on iPhone 13. You can get a good look at them in this video by MKBHD.
For those who haven’t seen these images, it looks like the iPhone 13’s cameras are going to be positioned diagonally rather than vertically. The square on the back of the iPhone that holds the cameras will be the same as the iPhone 11 and 12.
However, instead of two cameras above one another and the flash and mic to the right, there will be a camera in the top-left of this square, the flash in the top-right, the mic in the bottom-left, and the second camera in the bottom-right. The iPhone 13 models with three camera lenses will look the same as the iPhone 11 and 12, though.
In addition to being laid out differently, the camera lenses also appear to be slightly larger on all models. There are two theories as to why this is:
- The lenses are going to be better. This one is straightforward. Bigger lenses mean possibly further zoom, better performance in dark lighting, etc.
- The stabilization on the iPhone 13 cameras will be better. This is considered more likely out of these two theories. The extra space on each lens won’t actually be used for a better lens, but to better stabilize the lenses. That’ll make your recordings look smoother regardless of your hand jitter.
Also, if you’re wondering how these details were uncovered, it was through dummy models. Dummy models are models of the iPhone that don’t have any software or processing hardware on them. They just look and feel the way that the iPhone 13 will look and feel.
Dummy models are used by case and accessory manufacturers to start working on accessories and cases for the iPhone before its release. These manufacturers then sell these to journalists, who leak them for the rest of us to see.
Dummy models could be fake, of course. In the past, though, they’ve nearly always been reliable.
iPhone 13 rumors suggest new colors may be on the way
I’ll admit it, I get pretty excited each year for the new iPhone colors. It looks like the years of silver and gold iPhones are behind, and I’m grateful for it.
According to rumors, the iPhone 13 will come in the following colors:
- Mint green
- Dark blue
These iPhone 13 rumors are from TechRadar; you can click here to see what the renders look like.
Most of these are colors we’ve seen before. The orange and pink options, however, would be firsts for iPhone. While I’ll miss yellow if this is true, I do like these additions.
It’s important to note, though, that the source pointing to these colors has been unreliable in the past. I wouldn’t be surprised if these are the colors we see in September, but they may be fakes meant to generate clicks. We’ll see!
How much will the iPhone 13 cost?
Nearly all iPhone 13 rumors agree that the iPhone 13 lineup will be priced the same as the iPhone 12. That means $699 for the iPhone 13 mini, $799 for the iPhone 13, $999 for the iPhone 13 Pro, and $1,099 for the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Again, I don’t have any reason to doubt these rumors. I think the iPhone lineup has gotten a little too pricey with the iPhone 12. Apple launched the iPhone mini at the price that the regular-sized iPhone 11 cost. This allowed them to bump the standard iPhone 12 up in price by $100.
Since the iPhone 12 is, in my opinion, already overpriced, it’s unlikely that Apple will charge significantly more for the lineup this year.
The iPhone 13 sounds expensive…
If the current iPhone 12/13 prices are out of your budget, you’re not alone. Buying a new iPhone is almost as much as buying a new Mac or iPad Pro. It’s a lot. You can get an iPhone for cheaper, however, through the following means:
- Buy an iPhone secondhand on eBay or another online marketplace (FaceBook Marketplace, Mercari, OfferUp, etc.)
- Replace your iPhone battery for $69 with Apple. Takes an hour and will boost your iPhone’s performance significantly
- Hold onto your current iPhone for longer. I still have friends who complain about the cost of the iPhone and yet also upgrade every year. Take it from a career tech journalist: There is no reason to upgrade your iPhone every year. I own an iPhone 11 and I’m confident that there will be no reason to upgrade to the iPhone 13, and maybe not even the iPhone 14. Use a case and screen protector, replace the battery after two years, and wait 3-4 years to upgrade your iPhone.
- Building on the last point, buy an older iPhone model. The iPhone 12 will either drop in price on Apple’s website or marketplaces like eBay. Wait for the September event and snag an iPhone 12 for $200 off.
The iPhone 13 notch might be getting smaller
One of the more expected iPhone 13 rumors is the possibility of a smaller notch. People have been ragging on the iPhone notch since it was released, and despite most of us becoming accustomed to it, a smaller cutout wouldn’t be controversial.
Some of the dummy iPhones that have been going around have shown the top speaker on iPhone 13 being pushed higher up on the iPhone. As it is now, the top speaker sits right in the middle of the notch, surrounded by the FaceID tech.
If it moves further up on the iPhone and out of the notch, then Apple might be able to shrink the notch down a bit.
There’s no guarantee, though, that Apple will be shrinking the notch at all or that moving the top speaker would change the size of the notch. A slimmer notch would make sense, though, since it’s been at the current size for four years now.
iPhone 13 rumors point to a 120Hz display (finally!)
Out of all of the iPhone 13 rumors, the most anticipated is the 120Hz display. For those that don’t know, this refers to how many times the screen refreshes every second.
Currently, the iPhone uses a 60Hz display and has for many years. That means the screen is refreshing 60 times every second.
A 120Hz display, on the other hand, would refresh 120 times every second. That’s double the performance.
While some people won’t notice a difference, those that have used 60Hz and 120Hz displays can certainly tell. It makes animations and swiping significantly smoother and more responsive.
This won’t change how you use your iPhone, but it will make it a bit prettier to look at.
Apple might be adopting a new battery design in the iPhone 13
For a few years now, it’s been clear that before the iPhone can undergo another groundbreaking transition, it’s going to need a better battery. Until we have an iPhone that can run for days on a single charge, the iPhone status quo isn’t going to change.
With the iPhone 13, it looks as though Apple may be taking a small step in the direction of battery enhancement. iPhone 13 rumors suggest that the new iPhone will switch to a soft board battery.
Soft board batteries are more efficient than what Apple currently uses in iPhone. That means more power coming from a smaller form factor. That means Apple could either shrink the footprint of the battery, making more room for other components. Or they could maintain the current battery size and increase the time between charges.
From what I’ve gathered, a soft board battery is, chemically, the same battery that Apple currently uses. However, the housing and some of the other materials are lighter and thinner.
In other words, it’s the same battery in a smaller package. That allows a smaller battery to pack the same punch as we’re used to, or a same-sized battery to carry more power to your device.
We might not see a jump in battery life, though, if Apple does go with the 120Hz display. These displays use more battery, so it might neutralize the increased power from the battery.
We might see an always-on display
A few iPhone 13 rumors are pointing to the first always-on iPhone display. That would mean that the iPhone, even when locked and turned off, will display a few things on a black screen. For example, when you lock your iPhone 13 you would maybe still be able to see the date, time, and battery life of your iPhone.
It wouldn’t be Apple’s first always-on display. Apple Watch Series 5 and 6 editions both have an optional always-on display. So maybe there is some credibility to this rumor.
That said, I find it pretty unlikely.
The iOS 15 beta is out right now. It’s been out for nearly two months, and yet not a single developer has come across anything pointing to this feature.
This would be a pretty core feature to the iOS operating system, so I don’t think Apple would be able to hide it that well. Especially when you consider that entire products have been leaked from iOS betas and updates.
On the other hand, an always-on display would surely necessitate an OLED display. The iPhone 12 introduced us to an entirely OLED lineup for the first time, so maybe this is the year that Apple will be adding always-on.
I’m 50/50 on this one, but it’s worth mentioning!
The A15 chip will (once again) keep iPhone on top
I saved the least surprising of the iPhone rumors for last: The A15 chip is going to be good!
If you’ve even cast a sideways glance at Apple in the last year and a half, the M1 chip has probably caught your eye (if not, read here!). It’s completely turned the chip industry upside down and is crunching crazy numbers.
But as impressive as the M1 chip is, it’s far from Apple’s first toe-dip in the chip sector. It’s been making great chips for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch for years now. So it shouldn’t surprise you that everyone is expecting the A15 chip in iPhone 13 to crush it once more.
Admittedly, you might not notice a big performance boost. That’s because the chips in iPhone are pretty overpowered. I doubt most of us are doing anything on our iPhone that is going to take full advantage of this chip.
Instead, what the A15 chip will offer is future-proofing. This chip will slay iOS 15 and 16 and probably even 17. That means you’ll be able to hang onto your iPhone for a long time. Good for the planet and your wallet!
What the iPhone 13 rumors don’t say
Alright, so now it’s time to cover what the iPhone 13 rumors don’t say. These are the things that you may have been looking forward to that either haven’t been mentioned in the rumors so far or have seemingly been disproven. This is what you shouldn’t expect to happen this September.
The iPhone 13 will most likely still have a charging port
First, all of the current iPhone 13 rumors seem to point towards the iPhone keeping its charging port for another year.
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t see this coming. I wrote an article before the iPhone 12’s release predicting that that iPhone was going to be portless. Now it looks like the earliest we’ll see a portless is iPhone is with the iPhone 14, and I’m even second-guessing that now.
If you haven’t heard of the portless iPhone, it’s a rumor that’s existed for the last few years, since around the time of the iPhone X. This rumor claims that sometime soon, Apple is going to remove the charging port from the iPhone.
It might sound crazy at first, but think about it! Apple added wireless charging with the iPhone 8 and X. And last year, Apple added MagSafe charging to iPhone 12, which is a supercharged form of wireless charging.
Wireless charging doesn’t require a port. That means that, in the eyes of a minimalist like Apple, the charging port is probably looking pretty superfluous. I mean, they removed the aux port, and that led to one of Apple’s most successful products ever, the AirPods.
Removing the port would help make the iPhone more water-resistant, make room for components like speakers and chips, and so on. So I’m still confident that we’ll see a portless iPhone at some point, but I’m far less sure on how soon that release will be.
I would guess that Apple is waiting for a boost in MagSafe adoption and performance or over-the-air charging tech to finally be available.
There won’t be a USB C port on iPhone 13
Another update that you may have been hoping for is USB C on iPhone 13. I don’t blame you; I’ve gone all-in on USB C and love being able to use one cord between nearly all of my devices.
But no matter how much I love USB C, Apple doesn’t seem ready to let it replace the Lightning port. All of the current iPhone 13 rumors are pointing to a continuation of the Lightning charger.
This is far less surprising to me. In that same article I wrote on the portless iPhone, I predicted that Apple will remove the Lightning port before it replaces it with a USB C port. I still believe that’s true.
The Lightning port has all of the same benefits as USB C (aside from not being universal). It’s also smaller, and Apple doesn’t take space in the iPhone for granted.
No, I would strongly wager that Apple is going to keep the Lightning port for a long time yet. I don’t think we’ll ever see a USB C iPhone, as convenient as that would be.
The return of TouchID hasn’t been confirmed by iPhone 13 rumors
One more feature that hasn’t gained traction in the iPhone 13 rumors is the return of TouchID. Like a USB C port, this is something a lot of users have been hoping for.
It would be wrong to say that no one has suggested TouchID will make a return this year. However, there hasn’t been enough convincing evidence to point to this.
I am also very doubtful that TouchID will ever make a return. I’ve brought this point up several times, and I’ll go ahead and cover it again.
From what I can tell, most people seem to think that Apple switched to FaceID to remove the Home button and bezels on iPhone. They think that if Apple could’ve figured out an under-the-screen TouchID solution in 2017, it would’ve gone with that instead of FaceID.
There are a few reasons this doesn’t make sense.
Why TouchID isn’t coming back
First, Apple could’ve just moved TouchID to the Power Button. This is what they did on the recent iPad Air, so it is something Apple would do. But it didn’t do that – it removed it completely.
Second, even if you still aren’t sold on FaceID after four years of use, it is better. It’s so much more secure than TouchID that it’s ridiculous. Guess how much more secure you think it is…
20x. FaceID is twenty times more secure than TouchID. There is a 1 in 50,000 chance that someone else’s finger could fool your TouchID. FaceID, on the other hand, has a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of being fooled.
Third, FaceID is multi-functional. It can detect your gaze, which allows for unique interactions like unlocking when you make eye contact with your device or quieting your alarms when you look at your phone.
Fourthly and finally, putting another entry point on your iPhone would make it less secure. The fewer ways there are to unlock your iPhone, the harder it is for someone to break into it. But adding TouchID back to your iPhone would be like adding more passwords to your iCloud account. It might be easier to remember, but it also makes it easier to guess one of those passwords and break into your account.
So yeah, I don’t think Apple will ever add TouchID back to iPhone unless it’s on a version of iPhone that doesn’t have FaceID. As a user, it might seem like Apple is trying to keep TouchID away from you. But the truth is that, like it or not, it’s in your best interest to keep FaceID.
Don’t hold your breath over a 1TB storage option
Last but not least, don’t get too excited for a 1TB storage option. I didn’t even realize this was something people were looking forward to, though it makes sense. 1TB is no longer the behemoth we once saw it as, especially if you don’t use iCloud.
Regardless, iPhone 13 rumors are pointing to the new iPhone having the same storage options as the iPhone 12. This seems to be pretty certain, so for now, 512GB seems to be the standard.
My iPhone 13 prediction: MagSafe is going to be a key focus
Before closing out this post, I wanted to cover something that wasn’t mentioned in any iPhone 13 rumors, and that’s MagSafe.
My prediction for iPhone 13, which is not currently backed up by any evidence, is that MagSafe is going to get just as much attention as it did on launch.
I’ve already covered my reasoning for why I expect this to be the case.
Namely, I think Apple is looking to remove the port on iPhone sometime soon. And I think MagSafe is what will allow them to do it.
Sure, over-the-air charging will eventually arrive. But I think that’s still a few years away at least, and I also think it’ll be a tough sell to consumers considering all of the paranoia surrounding 5G.
That leaves MagSafe to save the day. Apple needs to push MagSafe adoption to get people to fully embrace it. It’s doing a pretty good job; the recent MagSafe battery is certainly making headlines. But my middle-aged Dad doesn’t even know that his iPhone 12 has MagSafe charging, and that’s a problem for Apple.
Do I know how Apple is going to push MagSafe? Not at all. But I have a hunch that they’ll do something new with it; it’s what I would do if I were Apple, and I have to think that means that Apple is already ahead of me.
Are you excited by these iPhone 13 rumors?
Alright, that’s all of the iPhone 13 rumors I have for you! Hopefully, that helped you get excited for them just like it did me.
If you want to keep up with more rumors, news, and insights into all things Apple, check out the rest of the AppleToolBox blog.
See you in September!
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