Apple isn't expected to release the iPhone 13 for quite a while — based on past reveals, we expect the new phone to debut this September — but that hasn't stopped the leaks from the leaking and rumor mill from turning. People love Apple rumors, after all.
It's likely that Apple will again release four models of the iPhone 13 (even if there are conflicting reports about that, given that the iPhone 12 mini isn't selling as well as Apple likely hoped), but most of everything else is relatively unknown. Nonetheless, we've rounded up all the new iPhone speculation from across the Internet and brought it together for your reading pleasure.
The return of Touch ID.
Aside from the new iPhone SE, the last several iPhones have all fully abandoned Touch ID and adopted Face ID as the best way of unlocking your iPhone, instead. According to the latest reports by Bloomberg, however, the upcoming iPhone 13 could bring it back. Apparently Apple has been testing an in-screen or under display Touch ID, which would allow you to unlock the iPhone without a dedicated Home button or Face ID. We've seen this feature in a number of Android smartphones, so it's actually not too outlandish.
The in-screen Touch ID would be a welcome alternative the mask-wearing populace who have grown tired of constantly typing in their PIN or passcode.
The Lightning charging port likely isn't going anywhere.
The iPhone 13 will still have a Lightning Port. It's been said for years now that USB-C is "the port of the future," and indeed, Apple has itself integrated it into its latest laptops and iPads — but don't expect it to abandon its proprietary charging port just yet. MacRumors attained a note by Kuo, who suggested that Apple is worried that because the USB-C port isn't as waterproof as Lightning, it wouldn't be as reliable as to integrate in a waterproof iPhone. (Even most Androids have a high water-resistance rating and also have a USB-C charging port.) Kuo even suggests that Apple is more likely to jump to a port-less iPhone — meaning it only charges wirelessly — rather than go to a USB-C charging port.
Don't expect the iPhone 13 to feature a radical redesign
All signs are pointing to 2022 being the big year for an Apple redesign. According to noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 14 that arrives in a year and a half or so will be the one where Apple tries to tackle the iPhone's current notch problem.
The iPhone 14 could have more of a "hole punch" design, similar to the latest Samsung Galaxy smartphones, where the notch is replaced with a small cutout for the camera that seems to float in the top corning of the display. (There's a slight chance that Apple could solely integrate this smaller notch into the Pro models of the iPhone 14, as it tends to give those the best features before sharing them with more affordable models the following year.)
However, since Apple gave the iPhone 12 a pretty big redesign (with its flat edges, new MagSafe charging system, and new camera systems), it's likely we'll have to wait a little longer for the next one.
That means no foldable iPhone, yet.
It's been long rumored that Apple has been working on a foldable smartphone, and those rumors are getting louder and louder. The latest reports from Kuo suggest that Apple is working on a foldable smartphone with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED. And it could arrive as soon as 2023. So maybe an iPhone 14 model will be foldable?
That said, I wouldn't get my hopes up. Apple has notoriously been against making hybrid devices, which is a big reason why it refuses to put a touchscreen display on a Mac. So making an iPhone that can double as a tablet — meaning it could run both iOS and iPadOS, or a hybrid of each — still is a difficult concept to comprehend.
A 120Hz refresh rate display could hit the iPhone.
While most high-end Android smartphones offer a 120Hz refresh rate display, the iPhone 12 maxes out at 60Hz. The higher refresh rate means that the screen image refreshes more frequently, allowing the display to look and feel faster — great for scrolling and mobile gaming.
Apple has integrated a 120Hz refresh rate (which it calls ProMotion) into its recent iPad Pro models, but likely opted against bringing it to the iPhone 12 due its potential drain on battery. Kuo expects that the next two iPhone "Pro" models will support ProMotion for the first time.
A better low-light camera is likely.
Apple gave the two iPhone 12 Pro models a LIDAR sensor, which was first featured in last year's iPad Pro. The sensor helps with AR effects and, more importantly, with low-light photography; it greatly improves a camera's autofocusing ability (making it up to six times as fast) so that it can gather more light. (It also allows the Pro models to capture Night Mode portrait shots.)
With the iPhone 13, Apple is expected to integrate the new sensor in all models, and therefore make these previous "pro" features more accessible.
The first iPhone with a 48-megapixel sensor.
According to a MacRumors report, Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that the Pro models could have a 48-megapixel sensor for their main camera — but it's an upgrade that likely won't come until the iPhone 14 (or 2022) models. This significantly larger sensor would allow these Pro-grade iPhones to capture much better images and even capture 8K video. It will likely greatly improve the new iPhone's VR and AR capabilities, too.