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iPhone 13 launch timing revealed in new report from Bloomberg

Published Jul 14th, 2021 11:09AM EDT

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The next-gen iPhone series is one of the most anticipated products each year. But unlike other years, we’re still unsure when the iPhone 13 launch event will take place. We saw several reports that suggested iPhone 13 production is either early or on schedule. They implied Apple is taking the necessary steps to ensure the new iPhone series will launch on time this year. Now, a brand new story from Bloomberg seemingly confirms that Apple plans to announce the four iPhone 13 versions on time this year.

Apple traditionally unveils new iPhones in mid-September during a highly-anticipated iPhone press event. The phones are available for pre-order on the first Friday after the keynote. A week later, the devices ship to online buyers and launch in stores.

The pandemic forced Apple to delay that dance last year. The measures various governments took to reduce the spread of COVID-19 impacted the iPhone 12 production timetable. Apple delayed the iPhone 12 announcement by a month and confirmed the decision during its July 2020 earnings report.

The iPhone 13 launch event


Mark Gurman has learned that Apple plans to manufacture up to 90 million iPhone 13 units this year. That’s a “sharp” increase from last year. The report says Apple usually orders 75 million units for the initial run of a new iPhone. That initial production run accounts for sales through the end of the year.

Apple’s big iPhone 13 production goals indicate the launch event should take place in mid-September, right on schedule.

Apple is planning updates to all of the current models, spanning the 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch regular versions and the 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro models. The phones, codenamed D16, D17, D63, and D64, are all expected to be announced in September, earlier than last year’s October introduction partly thanks to the supply chain recovering.

The current chip shortage will not impact Apple’s ability to mass-produce new iPhones. Apple is the main client of TSMC, which produces the A-series and M-series custom chips for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. As a result, Apple’s business will undoubtedly be prioritized.

The rumored upgrades

The report also lists the various iPhone 13 upgrades expected for this year. Apple will likely dedicate ample time during the launch event to most of them. The new iPhones will deliver a familiar design. But they’ll also feature several notable changes and plenty of under-the-hood improvements.

Bloomberg says at least one iPhone 13 flavor will feature an LTPO display capable of supporting dynamic refresh rates up to 120Hz. Apple used the technology on Apple Watch first to enable the always-on feature. The low-temperature polycrystalline oxide will also use IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology for improved efficiency and responsiveness.

iPhone 13 phones will feature a smaller notch, with Apple aiming to eventually remove it entirely. The notch is likely to shrink next year as well, according to the report. The iPhone 13 display will not feature an in-display fingerprint sensor, but Apple has reportedly tested one.

The iPhone 13 camera upgrades will include advanced video recording features and improved optical zoom. Other iPhone 13 upgrades include the next-gen processor. The A14 Bionic successor will reportedly feature six cores.

When will we know?

Last year, Apple announced in late July that the iPhone 12 release would be delayed. The revelation came as Apple reported earnings for the June 2020 quarter. Apple’s quarterly earnings call for the June 2021 quarter is also set for late July this year. Should the iPhone 13 launch face significant delays, Apple will probably warn investors well in advance.

A separate report earlier this year claimed the iPhone 13 launch event might take place during the third week of September. That makes September 14th the likely date for the press conference. The iPhone 13 release date would then be September 24th, based on release timing in the past.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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