iPhone 13: What features to expect from Apple’s upcoming phone family

March 16, 2021 0 By boss

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Apple’s iPhone 13 launch isn’t happening until the fall, but whispers over what the next iPhone will look like and come with are getting louder as the launch date inches closer. Will we see a foldable iPhone? Is Apple finally killing the lightning port? Is the notch getting smaller? There are tons of rumours swirling around the iPhone 13, so here we’re concentrating some of the most credible ones.

For now we’re expecting four models to make up the next-gen iPhone lineup: the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. But we’re not certain the name iPhone 13 will even be used. Rumors suggest Apple may go with iPhone 12S instead, implying only a minor technical upgrade from the iPhone 12, which was the first iPhone to introduce 5G. Apart from the expected incremental upgrades to things like processor and batteries, here’s what you can expect from the upcoming iPhone family. (For the purposes of this article, I’ll refer to it as the iPhone 13.)

iPhone 13 probably won’t be a foldable

The iPhone 12 lineup saw a noteworthy makeover, so a major glow-up for the iPhone 13s is unlikely. If you’ve been holding out for a foldable iPhone, I’m afraid 2021 probably won’t be the year it hits shelves (if it ever does). Instead, we’re hearing of a similar “slabular” design with the iPhone 5’s flat sides and the same four sizes, starting with the smallest 5.4-inch iPhone Mini all the way to up the expansive 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max.

As far as design goes, I’m low-key hoping for a smaller notch or (even better) an entirely notchless screen. For the notch to go away, however, Apple first has to figure out how to put the Face ID camera modules under the screen. Based on some recent rumours, this is a design element that could make its way to the iPhone 13.

Lightning port? Looks like it’s here to stay (for now)

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had once indicated in a report that Apple would kill the lightning port, making way for a completely portless phone. Apple’s introduction of MagSafe to the iPhone 12 seemed to add weight to that claim.

Read more: iPhone 12’s Lightning port may be the next thing Apple kills

But Kuo is walking back on his portless iPhone assertion, for now at least. In a recent report, obtained by Apple Insider, he says MagSafe isn’t a mature enough ecosystem yet that Apple can solely rely on it for charging the iPhone 13. That means Apple will need to keep its lighting port since USB-C is unlikely to happen for the iPhone.

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Arrival of a 120Hz display likely

One feature that’s rumoured to change in a noteworthy way is the screen. Kuo predicts the two iPhone 13 Pro models will use LTPO technology in their displays to give it a 120Hz refresh rate, which we’ve heard in earlier rumours too. This is a feature already present in Android phones like Samsung’s high-end Galaxy S21 series and even Xiaomi’s budget-friendly Redmi Note 10 Pro. Although Apple doesn’t disclose refresh rates, the iPhone 12 variants all have a 60Hz screen refresh rate, matching the iPhone 11 display. 

Prices should stand pat 

As I mentioned earlier, don’t hold your breath for any revolutionary technical changes to the iPhone 13, which will likely feature incremental upgrades. Because of this, analysts expect iPhone 13 prices to come in at a similar range as the iPhone 12, which starts at $799 (£799, AU$1,349). Add to the mix that the iPhone 12 led to the largest revenue and profit quarter in Apple’s history, and it looks likely Apple will hit the repeat button when it comes to the pricing structure.

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