The new iPhone 13 is just a couple of months away from launch, and Apple's plans for its next smartphones are coming into focus. Not officially, of course — Apple never comments on unreleased products. But the assorted leakers and suppliers have no such reservations, and because of them, we have a surprisingly complete iPhone 13 picture.
What can we expect from iPhone 13?
Rumors around the iPhone 13 started to trickle out around May 2018. They mostly concerned the new design — there will be a significantly smaller body than previous iPhones, and an edge-to-edge screen. Leaks also indicated that the phone's processor will be replaced by an A-series chip that also powers Apple's iPad Pro tablets, in place of the current A11 chip. If these rumors are true, the iPhone 13 would have some of the most impressive specs ever put in an iPhone. Leaks also indicate that the phone will have a 4.7-inch screen, but the screen will be rounded off like the iPhone X, like the iPhone XS, at the edges rather than thick, chunky bezels. The iPhone 13 is expected to have a glass back to enable wireless charging, according to MacRumors.
Release date and price predictions
Some months ago, ZDNet's Ashlee Vance reported that the price of a new iPhone with 128GB of storage will start at $1,049, and that the device would likely feature wireless charging. A component that's most likely to be added to the new iPhone, the A11 chip, is rumored to be an option for both a new 4-inch device as well as the larger iPhone 13. The iPhone 13 is expected to be the most expensive new iPhone of them all, with an estimated starting price of $1,299. The iPhone 8 will also reportedly sport the same prices. And because Apple Stores can't handle many more iPhone sales than its stores can accommodate, the devices will be available for sale online, too, and by carriers, through the Apple Store.
The features of the new phone
The new iPhone 13 is likely to have nearly all the features you'd expect from Apple's regular smartphone: Touch ID fingerprint authentication, which means no other way to unlock it besides a passcode. Plus, the camera on the back will probably be capable of recording 4K video and other high-quality video (though Apple is rumored to be replacing its 8-megapixel front-facing camera with a 2-megapixel sensor). The new phone will also reportedly come with the next-generation of wireless charging, in which electromagnetic fields interact with devices to transfer power. As previously rumored, Apple is expected to move away from the physical Lightning connector it's used with every iPhone to all-USB-C ports, the same as on the iPhone 8, which will be available in the fall.
Why is Apple so secretive about the new phone?
Answering that question takes some of the mystery out of the iPhone 13, but not much. The new smartphone will be the biggest departure for Apple in years. It's rumored to get a new all-screen design with a screen that nearly fills the front of the device. The move is the biggest gamble for Apple since the iPhone debuted more than a decade ago. The iPhone's success is largely based on its one-of-a-kind form factor and integrated touch screen. The iPhone 6s was the first phone with a screen that extended almost all the way to the bottom of the phone, giving Apple an attractive new design that's easy to use and attractive to look at. But as I wrote last year, that form factor is now outdated.
While there is a chance that it will have a more difficult time than the iPhone X, there's also a reasonable chance that the iPhone 13 is a huge success. However, as we've seen with other Apple products, the company can overshoot the market with overpriced (or underpriced) products, resulting in an Apple-created debacle. Given that we do not have any rumors about the iPhone 13 release date, the time to think about the iPhone 13 release date is now. The reality is that there will likely be a battle for market share, and not every carrier will be supporting the new device. It's unlikely that we will see the iPhone 13 with 5.8-inch, edge-to-edge OLED display. Instead, it might see 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch OLED displays, and may not see wireless charging.