The iPhone 13 is touted to feature an upgraded design, screen, cameras and chipset as compared to the iPhone 12. Apple has been launching a new iPhone every year since the first time the iPhone disrupted the entire cellular phone market back when Steve Jobs announced it during the iconic “One more thing”. Today. iPhones are regarded as, arguably, the best smartphones out there. Said reputation was undeniably true for many years while Android and its hardware played catch-up to Apple’s highly aesthetic and optimized software based on their home-grown silicon. In this article, we will be talking about what to expect from Apple’s next iPhone release? which is the iPhone 13.
While the iPhones have grown in size and power since, Apple has generally been somewhat conservative towards adopting new display technologies and incorporating them into their handheld devices. For instance, the first Galaxy Note by Samsung featured an sAMOLED screen back in 2011, a technology which found its way into the iPhone X only in 2017. We observe a similar situation with high refresh-rate screens which Apple has shied away from including even in their premium Pro series iPhones.
However, that trend is set to change. The iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max models are reported to feature a 120 Hz LTPO AMOLED screen. This means that scrolling is going to feel smooth as butter and the phone would feel snappier and more agile in comparison to the previous generation. But what is LTPO? We have given a brief description of LTPO technology in the next paragraph. Please feel free to skip to the one after if you are not looking for technical details.
LTPO: – Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide, or LTPO is a display backplane technology originally developed by Apple, which uses a combination of LTPS TFTs and Oxide TFTs. TFT, or Thin-Film Transistors are a special type of MOSFET made by depositing thin films of an active semiconductor layer as well as the dielectric layer and metallic contacts over a supporting substrate such as glass in the case of displays. LTPO uses LTPS TFTs for switching while the driving TFTs use IGZO materials. The advantage of this approach is increased power saving- upto 15%. However it is relatively expensive to produce and is thus predominantly used in flagship devices.
Samsung would be Apple’s supplier when it comes to the display. The news of Apple including 120 Hz displays in the iPhone 13 featuring LTPO technology was first broken way back in December by noted analysts Ming-Chi Kuo, Ross Young, and tipsters Jon Prosser and Max Weinbach. Meanwhile, South Korean blog The Elec, through Macrumors, has also claimed that the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will use RFPCB (Rigid-Flexible Printed Circuit Boards), and sport LTPO TFT OLED panels, supplied by Samsung Display.
As far as display size is concerned, the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max are rumored to feature a 6.1 inch and 6.7 inch display respectively. Both displays are reported to be using the LTPO AMOLED technology. The notch, introduced in the iPhone X back in 2017 has remained more or less comparable in its size 4 years later in 2021. However, it is finally rumored to decrease in size with the new iPhone 13. This can also be confirmed from the leaked iPhone 13 Mini prototype showing a reduced notch size and a diagonal camera setup, instead of the vertical setup found in the iPhone 12 models.
The iPhone 13 is expected to launch during fall this year- around September, which is the typical period when Apple launches new products every year. Last year the iPhone 12 launch was delayed due to the pandemic, but it seems this year around Apple would be releasing the new iPhone on schedule.
The new Apple A15 Bionic is expected to power the new iPhone 13. How much of an improvement would the new chipset be over the previous-gen A14 Bionic used in the iPhone 12? The A15 Bionic would be using TSMC’s 5nm process and according to early reports and rumors, it is not expected to be an impressive upgrade over the A14, edging out the last-gen chip by around 15%.
The basic design features of the iPhone 13 would remain more or less identical to the iPhone 12, except for the notch. As mentioned previously, there are a few rumors and leaked renders which show a decreased notch size in the new iPhone. Apple had been using an infrared flood illuminator, sensor and dot projector sensors for enabling Face ID on their devices. In the iPhone 13, Apple would reportedly be integrating the same into a single sensor, which would make it possible to decrease the notch’s size. Leaked glass protectors for the iPhone 13 also seemingly confirm the mentioned change. We expect the earpiece to be moved into the bezel and the front camera to be swapped to the left side from the left.
Through a collaboration between case maker Pigtou and leaker xleaks7, shots have surfaced of a Red version of the iPhone 13. Said shots seemingly confirm the notch rumors and at the same time give us reason to believe the rear camera arrangement would be changed from vertical to diagonal. Similar renders from 9TechEleven depict dual front cameras, however, we feel the same to be an unlikely inclusion for the new iPhone.
LetsGoDigital also published some iPhone “12s” Pro rumors which show off a Touch ID sensor under the display. Inclusion of Touch ID would be a welcome addition from Apple. During the current pandemic situation, unlocking the phone solely through Face ID while wearing a mask has proved to be a rather unreliable endeavour which can easily be fixed by giving consumers a second choice for authentication. However, we believe this rumor is unlikely to become reality as well. Some leakers and rumors have also speculated a portless design to be the new standard for the iPhone 13. On the other hand, with the current state of Magsafe technology in its first iteration it would seem too soon for Apple to take such a drastic design decision, which again leads us to doubt the potential of said speculation.
Connectivity and Battery
On the wireless front, Apple is expected to use Qualcomm’s X60 5G modem in the upcoming iPhones which can integrate directly into the chipset hardware reducing battery drain from using 5G as well as boosting the phone’s 5G capability. The same modem is also capable of combining mmWave and sub-6 5G networks which translate to more reliable and possibly even faster networking capability. However, said capability, at the present moment, would not have much of an impact if you are based in India due to the absence of any 5G infrastructure. Apple is also touted to include WiFi-6E, which is a variant of the very fast WiFi 6 standard, only even faster.
When it comes to the battery, most of the iPhone 12 series failed to impress. However, the new iPhone is rumored to be slightly thicker than the last-gen to accommodate a bigger battery. In countries where established infrastructure is present for enabling 5G networks, it remains to be seen how well the iPhone 13 copes with the monstrous power cost of using 5G.
As one of the most anticipated features of a smartphone, there has been a sizable amount of speculation regarding what Apple would be including with their latest and greatest iPhone. Said speculation includes a 6-element Ultrawide lens, addition of a zoom camera with folded lens in said camera, portrait mode video, etc. Said 6-element ultrawide camera is also tipped to include autofocus while a folded lens in the zoom camera would enhance its magnification capability.
The iPhone 13 is also expected to feature bigger sensors which have a host of advantages, such as increased separation between foreground and background, more accurate blur around a subject and better picture quality. Ming-Chi Quo has predicted the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max would also feature bigger apertures in their ultrawide cameras- f/1.8, as compared to f/2.4 found on the iPhone 12.
Rumors also speculate that a LiDAR sensor would be included with every iPhone 13 model. The sensor would be responsible for capturing very accurate depth data, allowing more accurate background blur in portrait mode. How well all of these leaks and rumors pan out in the real world would only be revealed when Apple finally reveals the iPhone 13 in September this year. Prices for the iPhone 13 models up the lineup are expected to be comparable to the iPhone 12 at $699, $799, $999 and $1,099 for the Mini, iPhone 13, Pro and Pro Max respectively.