iPhone 13 release date, price, features and leaks

Although we’re about a day away from the official announcement of the iPhone 13 series, there have been more than enough leaks to suggest what we can expect from Apple‘s 2021 smartphone line-up. Below is everything we know about the iPhone 13 right now.

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Latest iPhone 13 leaks (updated September 13, 2021, 01:59am)

iPhone 13 release date

Apple has now made it official that the iPhone 13 announcement event will happen on September 14 at 10am PDT. The iPhone 13 is likely to be released the following Friday, September 24. 

This matches previous rumors and speculation. Earlier this year, according to analyst Dan Ives, the iPhone 13 was to be released on September 24, 2021. Mr. Ives gave us specific dates that hold true – he suggested that the iPhone 13 event is slated for September 14, while the release date for the new 2021 iPhones will be September 24. Those dates were also supported by the fact that Apple normally holds an iPhone announcement event every year in September, with the announced iPhone series normally starting shipping around ten days afterwards.
The only recent exception for that was last year, due to the unforeseen challenges it brought to manufacturing and shipping, among other key processes that companies need to go through in order to release a product. But there are currently no indications that the iPhone 13 release will be delayed this year, especially now that the iPhone 13 announcement event is official.

Below we have Apple’s iPhone release schedule for reference, from 2017 up to 2021, with the iPhone 13 and its expected release date included:

iPhone 13 price

  • Around $799 for the 2021 iPhone
A factor that may affect the iPhone 13’s pricing negatively is a rumored increase in the prices of processors like the one it uses (the 5nm Apple A15). TSMC, a manufacturer that produces such processors for Apple and other companies is said by DigiTimes (quoting unspecified sources) to have increased its prices on advanced sub-7nm process technologies, which may in turn result in a price increase for the 2021 iPhones.

Unless this ends up being true, the iPhone 13 models would likely cost about as much as the iPhone 12 series, which would equate to the following prices:

iPhone 13 name

It has been suggested that Apple could call the next iPhone “iPhone 12S” instead of “iPhone 13”, allegedly due to it featuring only minor upgrades over its predecessor. The number 13 is also considered unlucky in some countries, which could’ve played a role in Apple’s naming scheme.
However, currently there’s no leaked nor official information to back this claim up. In fact, on July 5th, a report allegedly coming from industry sources and supply chain checks said that Apple will use the name “iPhone 13”. In addition, recently a photo allegedly showing “iPhone 13” packaging leaked, confirming name will indeed be iPhone 13 and not iPhone 12S.

iPhone 13 camera

We expect that the camera module itself won’t be changing drastically, if at all, from the module seen on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11, aside from a slight increase in size, and thus a larger camera bump. As for the cameras themselves – the zoom camera is likely to return, alongside the main camera and the above-mentioned ultra-wide camera.

On January 9 of 2021, a report based on supply chain information claimed that iPhone 13 camera upgrades and an updated Face ID setup are to be expected. The upgrades in question are said to include a “narrower” TrueDepth camera, which could potentially also mean a smaller notch above the new iPhone’s display.
A later report (February 2nd, 2021) from Barclays analysts tipped major camera upgrades for Apple’s entire 2021 iPhone family, notably improved ultra wide-angle camera capabilities. The iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max may be getting an f/1.8 aperture ultra-wide shooter, a notable camera upgrade from the f/2.4 on the iPhone 12 series. This was earlier also predicted by Kuo, as mentioned above. In addition, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is expected to get 2.5x optical zoom range, if not higher, possibly 5x.

The addition of Portrait Mode video recording has been mentioned by leakers too. After recording an iPhone Portrait Mode video, users will reportedly be able to change the video’s depth of field to their liking. The effect will blur either background or foreground objects as per the user’s preference.

iPhone 13 design

  • The notch will be getting smaller

Main 2021 iPhone design changes from last year’s models:

  • Over 25% smaller notch
  • Larger camera module and camera bump
  • The camera arrangement is now diagonal on the iPhone 13 and mini models
  • All iPhone 13 models are about 0.26mm thicker

For the iPhone 2021 series we expect a smaller, but still present notch and a very similar flat design like on last year’s models.

In mid-February, leakers said that the 2021 iPhone will get a grippier, slightly more texturized soft matte back plate, which should be more comfortable to hold. Inside the iPhone 13, stronger magnets will be used for MagSafe accessories.

An earlier, previously-mentioned report from January 9 said that all 2021 iPhone variants will be getting thicker by 0.26mm, likely due to them getting bigger batteries than the previous generation of iPhones.

On January 15th, a Bloomberg report suggested that the iPhone 13 will finally get an in-display Touch ID fingerprint sensor. We’ve had in-display sensors on Android phones for a while and considering the fact that many are wearing masks and thus finding Face ID cumbersome right now, the return of under screen Touch ID seems plausible. However, by most accounts the return of under screen Touch ID on the iPhone has been delayed for the iPhone 14 series.
Several tipsters have also suggested that the iPhone (2021) could be the first portless iPhone, relying exclusively on wireless charging via MagSafe. In late February, it was revealed that the Cupertino tech giant is indeed testing how a portless iPhone could recover data, suggesting that such an iPhone is coming eventually, but likely later on.
On June 23, 2021, leaker SonnyDickson posted on Twitter the following photo of alleged dummy iPhone 13 models, showing their backs.

Those 2021 iPhone dummy models match previous leaks, suggesting that the phones will have a larger camera bump over last year. Also the base iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 mini are shown to sport a revamped diagonal arrangement of their camera lenses.

More alleged iPhone 2021 dummy units (shown below) appeared on July 9, courtesy of leaker Ice Universe. Once again, the leaked dummy units support the larger camera module redesign we are expecting for the new iPhone series. 

A late July leak focusing on the iPhone 13 notch suggests that the iPhone 13 notch will be over 25% smaller than it was on last year’s models. A smaller notch has been suggested in many previous leaks, but this one also explains how Apple managed to accomplish the smaller notch. Apple supposedly moved the iPhone 13’s earpiece above the Face ID system to reduce the width of the notch.
As for the expected iPhone 13 color options, over the recent months various rumors have suggested a rainbow of iPhone 2021 colors. So far we expect the next iPhone variants to come in Matte Black, Rose Pink, Purple, Orange, Product Red, White, Yellow, Mint Green, Graphite, Gold and Silver. However, it’s worth noting that not all iPhone 13 models will get all of these colors. For example, the rumored Matte Black is likely to only come to the iPhone 13 Pro and possibly iPhone 13 Pro Max, not the base 2021 iPhone.
On July 15 allegedly all iPhone 13 Pro colors were leaked. If the leak in question is correct, the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max will come in Black, Silver, Rose Gold (pale and subtle) and Sunset Gold (bronze feel).

iPhone 13 display

Some tipsters have suggested that the new iPhones may sport flexible OLED displays instead of LCD. There are also expectations for the iPhone 13 Pro models to have a smoother 120Hz display refresh rate (similar to ProMotion on the iPad Pro), which wasn’t present on the iPhone 12 series reportedly due to battery life concerns.
A December 2020 leak suggested that the iPhone 13 could finally get an Always On display feature. LTPO always-on display was also later re-confirmed in a February 2021 report by tipsters Max Weinbach and Jon Prosser. The always-on display feature is said to have minimal customizability. It will display a clock, along with battery charge, while notifications are reportedly “displayed using a bar and icons”. Rumors for always-on display support on the new iPhones again surfaced in July of 2021, this time coming from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.
For the iPhone Pro and Pro Max models, the displays are expected to be provided by none other than Samsung. In late March of 2021, 120Hz display from Samsung meant for the iPhone 13 were reportedly about to enter production, according to UBI Research.
In regards to the iPhone 13 display size, according to early iPhone 2021 rumors, we can expect that the new iPhones will be very close to the iPhone 12 series – as large on the iPhone 12 Pro Max and as small as on the iPhone 12 mini. However, slight size increases are plausible on the iPhone 13 models, thanks to reduced bezels and a smaller notch. This means that at the very least we can expect the following 2021 iPhone display sizes:
  • iPhone 13 mini  5.4-inch display at a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels (476 PPI, 60Hz)
  • iPhone 13  6.1-inch display at a resolution of 1170 x 2532 pixels (460 PPI, 60Hz)
  • iPhone 13 Pro  6.1-inch display at a resolution of 1170 x 2532 pixels (460 PPI, 120Hz display, OLED)
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max  6.7-inch display at a resolution of 1284 x 2778 pixels (458 PPI, 120Hz display, OLED)

iPhone 13 battery

Trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple has freed up more physical space inside the new iPhones so that the iPhone 13 series can have larger batteries. In addition, the 2021 iPhone 13’s A15 Bionic chip could be more energy-efficient than the iPhone 12’s A14, which would also add to better battery life performance.

According to those latest leaks, the 2021 iPhone models battery size will be:

  • iPhone 13 mini  2,406 mAh
  • iPhone 13  3,095 mAh
  • iPhone 13 Pro  3,095 mAh
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max  4,352 mAh

For reference, these are the battery size numbers of last year’s iPhone 12 models:

  • iPhone 12 mini  2,227 mAh
  • iPhone 12  2,815 mAh
  • iPhone 12 Pro  2,815 mAh
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max  3,687 mAh
In late July a MyDrivers report suggested that the iPhone 13 series could support 25W fast charging, thus might also be introduced alongside a new 25W power adapter. The adapter will be sold separately, however. Speaking of power adapters, there won’t be a charger in the box with the new iPhones, just a charging cable (Lightning port to USB Type-C), as was the case with last year’s iPhone 12.

The iPhone 13 models will indeed still feature a Lightning port as opposed to USB Type-C, despite the fact that nearly all modern iPads and MacBooks have moved on to USB Type-C. Right now, only the tech giant’s iPhones and the budget iPad (which might also see an upgrade during the iPhone 13 event) still use a Lightning port.

iPhone 13 features and software

Internally, the 2021 iPhones are going to be powered by the Apple A15 Bionic chip, the production of which began in May. This is a predictable step up from the iPhone 12, which was using the A14 Bionic chip.

Fingerprint unlock is predicted to return on some iPhone 14 models in the form of under-screen Touch ID. A combination of Face ID and Touch ID is rumored to have been tested on the iPhone 13 lineup also, but was reportedly delayed for next year. The upcoming 2021 iPhones will most likely only have Face ID, no Touch ID unlock, as was the case with last year’s models.

In addition, the iPhone 13 models are allegedly going to feature connectivity with satellite networks, likely only for emergencies, at least for now. Connecting with Apple-owned satellite networks might however be used for more in the future, such as full internet access, without relying on carriers.

In terms of software, the iPhone 13 lineup will be running iOS 15, which is coming to all compatible iPhones this fall, possibly in September, like many previous iOS versions. iOS 15 brings FaceTime updates, Focus modes, Live Text, a Safari redesign and more features you can check out in our iOS 15 preview.

Should I wait for iPhone 13?

Wondering whether the iPhone 13 will be worth it? Let’s try to answer if you should wait for the 2021 iPhones or stick with one of last year’s models.

What you’ll get by upgrading to the iPhone 13:

  • A 120Hz refresh rate screen (ProMotion OLED, on the Pro and Pro Max)
  • Better battery life
  • Larger storage options
  • New camera features

You should wait for the iPhone 13 if you’d appreciate what it brings to the table over the previous generation. Notably, camera upgrades with wide-angle autofocus, a much smoother ProMotion 120Hz screen, as well as improved battery life performance. If this all sounds good, it’s definitely worth upgrading to one of the four iPhone 13 series.

The new iPhone 13 series will also be bringing larger storage variants, reportedly up to a 1TB storage option (1000 gigabytes). Thus, if you’re currently often finding yourself having to clear storage on your iPhone, upgrading to the iPhone 13 and taking advantage of its higher storage capacity would definitely be worth it.

You should not wait for the iPhone 13 if nothing we’ve mentioned so far has got you excited, not even the 120Hz display. The iPhone 13 series arguably isn’t a major upgrade over its predecessors, so using a 12 model for another year is perfectly fine. We expect bigger upgrades for next year’s iPhone 14, so you may want to hold on to your current iPhone for another year and upgrade only when Apple actually introduces something new that you find exciting. In addition, if you have an older iPhone, here’s why you should reconsider buying an iPhone 12.

Should I upgrade from the iPhone 12 to the iPhone 13?

In our iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12 comparison we concluded that although getting the 2021 iPhone over last year’s model won’t be a huge upgrade, it will bring some appealing new features. Most notably, if you upgrade to the iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max, you’ll get a smoother 120Hz display as opposed to a slower-refreshing 60Hz. In addition, all iPhone 13 models offer faster Wi-Fi 6E connectivity and of course, a faster Apple A15 Bionic processor for even better performance over the iPhone 12.

If you’re on the fence about upgrading from the older iPhone 11, you may find our iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11 comparison helpful. Upgrading from the iPhone 11 to the iPhone 13 you’ll be getting the newer, flat-edge phone design with smaller bezels Apple has now moved on to. The iPhone 13 also has a notably better OLED display with more vibrant colors and pitch blacks, as opposed to the iPhone 11’s LCD display. Aside from also the usual processor and camera upgrades, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 13 share about the same battery size and Face ID technology for face unlock.

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