Apple’s new iPhone, expected to be called the iPhone 13, could be on its way and appear at the tech giant’s rumored September event. The hyped-up phone is expected to have a few new features, an updated design and some camera upgrades, but how will it compare to last year’s model? Depending on your personal smartphone wishlist and budget, the iPhone 12 or even the iPhone 11, iPhone SE or the rumored iPhone SE 3 could be best for you. But, if you’re pumped to get your hands on the newest from Apple, the iPhone 13 could be the way to go.
It might feel like the iPhone 12 only just arrived, but we’re getting fairly close to the next Apple event and the release of the iPhone 13. (Even the new purple version of the iPhone 12 is several months old already.) We’ve collected all of the early rumors around the iPhone 13’s specs, including price, cameras, display size and resolution and the four models that could be arriving soon, to help you plan your potential purchase.
Read more: Should you still buy an iPhone 12? What about an iPhone 11 or an iPhone SE?
Here are the rumors we’ve heard so far about the iPhone 13 specs, and how they might compare to the iPhone 12. Just note that none of the iPhone 13 specs have been confirmed by Apple. Plus, here’s how the iPhone 12 compares to the iPhone 11 and all the iPhones you can buy in 2021.
We could see four iPhone 13 models
Like the iPhone 12, the iPhone 13 will come in four models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo: the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 Mini, the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Read more: iPhone 13 vs. 13 Mini vs. 13 Pro vs. 13 Pro Max: All the rumored specs differences
Different phone and camera sizes
The iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models may end up being thicker than their iPhone 12 predecessors, according to a May MacRumors report. Both of the new models are expected to be 7.57mm thick, up from 7.4mm in the iPhone 12 models. However, that’s a pretty small difference that most people probably won’t notice.
More sizable could be a change to the camera bump, MacRumors reported: While the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have camera bumps around 1.5mm to 1.7mm, the iPhone 13’s bump will be 2.51mm, and the 13 Pro’s will be 3.56mm. The increased size will prevent the lenses from sticking out as much as they do on the older phones.
The iPhone 13 could cost more than the iPhone 12
The iPhone 13 isn’t expected to be a major technical upgrade from the iPhone 12, which was the first to include 5G support, but according to an August report from DigiTimes, Apple is considering raising the price for it 2021 lineup to compensate for the increased cost of chip production from its supplier TSMC. Apple’s supplier is looking to up the cost by as much as 20% for “advanced and mature process technologies” by January 2022, the report says. It’s unclear, based on the report, how much the iPhone price could increase exactly.
Analysts previously predicted that the iPhone 13 will cost around the same as the iPhone 12, the base version of which starts at $799. It’s also possible that Apple may lower the price of the iPhone 13, as Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE and Google’s Pixel 5 did in 2020. The newly released Samsung Galaxy S21 also boasted a lower price tag, starting at $200 lower than its predecessor.
Here’s the iPhone 12’s US pricing, for reference:
iPhone 12 US pricing
|iPhone 12 model||64GB||128GB||256GB||512GB|
|iPhone 12 Mini (carrier model)||$699||$749||$849||N/A|
|iPhone 12 Mini (SIM-free from Apple)||$729||$779||$879||N/A|
|iPhone 12 (carrier model)||$799||$849||$949||N/A|
|iPhone 12 (SIM-free from Apple)||$829||$879||$979||N/A|
|iPhone 12 Pro||N/A||$999||$1,099||$1,299|
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||N/A||$1,099||$1,199||$1,399|
Improved refresh rates
Most phones (including the iPhone 12) refresh at 60 frames per second, or 60Hz, but some, like the Galaxy S21 and the OnePlus 8 Pro, refresh at 120Hz. There is speculation that the iPhone 13’s display will have a 120Hz refresh rate (and an always-on OLED display). The higher the refresh rate, the faster and smoother a phone feels when scrolling through apps and websites. While this was rumored for the iPhone 12 as well, it seems more likely to happen this time around.
New and enhanced cameras
The iPhone 12 camera array includes regular, ultrawide and selfie cameras, night mode photos on all cameras, improved HDR mode, a telephoto lens (on the Pro and Pro Max models) and 2.5x zoom (on the Pro Max only).
As is typically the case with new iPhones, you can expect the iPhone 13’s cameras to be upgraded over the iPhone 12. We’ve heard rumors of an added periscope camera to improve zoom, an improved ultrawide-angle lens for night mode photography, and lidar technology on all models, instead of just the Pro and Pro Max, as was the case with the iPhone 12.
The return of Touch ID
The iPhone 13 could bring back Touch ID for the first time since the iPhone 8, with a big difference: It might be embedded under the screen, instead of as a separate button that takes up phone real estate. Some were expecting this to happen with the iPhone 12, but had also said it could get pushed to the next model. Alas, the iPhone 12 lineup lacks a Touch ID button. It’s worth noting that Apple’s 2020 iPad Air integrated a Touch ID button onto the side of the device. This would be a great addition this year in particular, since Face ID doesn’t work when wearing a mask (unless you have an Apple Watch and iOS 14.5, that is).
A Lightning port, but no headphone jack
The iPhone 12 doesn’t have a headphone jack, and we don’t expect any iPhone 13 models to have one either. But the Lightning port may be another story, now that Apple has introduced MagSafe charging capabilities. Kuo predicts that the iPhone 13 models will still include Lightning ports, with the exception of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which could be completely portless. The iPhone 12, by contrast, featured a Lightning port on all four models.
Read more: The best ways to sell or trade in your old iPhone
Until Apple formally announces the iPhone 13 this fall, all we can do is speculate how it could compare to the iPhone 12. In the meantime, here’s how the iPhone 12 compares to the iPhone 11, whether you should buy an iPhone 12, iPhone 11 or iPhone SE and everything coming in iOS 15. You can also check out other rumored Apple products we’re expecting like the Apple Watch 7, AirPods 3 and iPad Mini 6.
Rumored Apple iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 12 specs
|iPhone 13||iPhone 12|
|Display size||6.1-inch OLED||6.1-inch OLED|
|Cameras||Regular, ultrawide, selfie, periscope||Regular, ultrawide, selfie, telephoto (Pro Max)|
|Connector||Lightning, except in Pro Max||Lightning|