It's the worst time to get an iPhone 12 if you are reading this before Apple's Sept. 14 reveal of new hardware from the U.S. That is if you want the best of Cupertino in your pocket, or on your WFH table.
The iPhone 13 (or iPhone 12s) series will make a case for a considerable chunk of your Christmas budget with a smaller notch, improved cameras, a slicker display and beefier internals. But for the casual user, it will still look like the 12, even the 11.
The internet has been rife with leaks and tips from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and market analyst Ming Chi Kuo, both with solid track records of predicting upcoming Apple products based on supply chain information, regulatory and patent filings.
We rounded up the most credible information on the iPhone 13 series which will be unwrapped live a little after midnight Sept. 15 in the Philippines.
What will the iPhone 13 look like?
It will look exactly the same as the 12, save for the smaller notch. The 12 was a major redesign for the iPhone with flat sides that harkened back to the iPhone 4, 4S, 5 and 5S. From the iPhone 6 to the 11, the sides were rounded.
What about the cameras?
The stove-top array of triple lenses on the pro models will be slightly larger while the dual lenses on the regular iPhones will be stacked diagonally instead of vertically.
For the first time, portrait mode or bokeh will be available on video. Apple will call this feature Cinematic Video, according to Gurman. Like our lives on pause due to the pandemic need to be recorded in slow-motion.
The pink horizon with the Apple logo rising from a body of water led some tech sites to speculate that there will be improved night mode even astrophotography on the iPhone 13. With its depth-sensing LiDar sensor, the iPhone 12 Pro models have spectacular night shooting capabilities. However, the 13 will not be the first to be capable of shooting the stars as Google's Pixel and Huawei's P and Mate series phones have long offered shooting modes for celestial bodies.
Anything else that's new?
The screens on the pro models will have LTPO (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) tech, which will bump up the screen's refresh rate from 60hz. This means animations and games will appear smoother with less lag. Think of it as a work call wherein your brain doesn't need to buffer from time to time to keep up.
A higher refresh rate screen is nice to look at but Apple has been so good at keeping iOS tightly integrated with the hardware (a luxury not available to Android phone makers) that the improvement will be noticable only to those who've seen 90hz on the iPad Pro.
As is in every year, the processor will be upgraded one notch to A15 from A14, promising faster performance and longer battery life.
Gurman reports that the iPhone 13 can work with sattelites in a future update to allow users to send emergency texts when there's no mobile signal.
Okay, how much will it be?
Reports have been divided on the price of the iPhone 13. A DigiTimes report in August said it could cost a bit higher while some analysts predicted that it would most likely be the same as the 12.
Consider however that during the pandemic, smartphone makers like Samsung have slashed prices of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 from the Z Fold 2 and offered models with lower prices, like the FE series on its flagship Galaxy S.
But Apple is Apple and it's version of a price cut is offering older models in store but with significant price cuts compared to the latest hardware.
Here's a video teaser from noted YouTube creator Unbox Therapy on the new iPhones.
MORE ON IPHONES:
Why do these changes to the iPhone matter? Android handsets, Samsung in particular with the Galaxy S21 Ultra, are closing the gap in terms of camera hardware and AI smarts. Don't discount Huawei if you're into its ecosystem. The photography-centered P50 series launched with its own Harmony OS.
Here are more photos of the purported iPhone 13 from Unbox Therapy: