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This leak might be our first look at a real iPhone 13

Published Apr 28th, 2021 6:50AM EDT
iPhone 13 Leaks
Image: YouTube

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We witnessed a barrage of iPhone 13 leaks in the past few days, including detailed schematics for all four iPhone 13 versions, 3D renders, and 3D printed mockups. All the leaks corroborated the same iPhone 13 design story. The new handsets will be almost identical to their predecessors, but the iPhone 13 will feature a few distinctive design elements. The notch is narrower than before as the speaker moves up to the thin bezel. The side buttons on the left side have been shifted upwards. The rear cameras will have a larger footprint on all phones, and the cameras will be positioned differently. The change is obvious on iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13, which will ship with two lenses on the back. The cameras will not be placed vertically, as was the case with dual-lens cameras before. They’ll sit in opposite corners of the square camera module. We speculated at the time that a massive camera upgrade might dictate this design choice. All iPhone 13 versions will reportedly feature sensor-shift optical image stabilization, just like the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

But in this flood of iPhone 13 leaks, we apparently missed what could be our first look at the iPhone 13. Someone snapped a high-quality photo of a purported iPhone 13 mini prototype and posted it on social media in China.

Found on Weibo by GizChina, the following image shows what appears to be an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini design with an unusual camera design placement.

iPhone 13 Mini
Purported iPhone 13 mini prototype photographed in Asia. Image source: Weibo

This purported iPhone 13 mini camera design matches the previous iPhone 13 mini leaks. The wide and ultra-wide cameras are placed diagonally, just like in those iPhone 13 schematics and 3D renders, as seen below.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 12
Comparison between leaked iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 12 mini schematics shows size differences. Image source: YouTube

If the device in the image is an actual prototype rather than a high-quality 3D print or photoshop job, then we might be looking at the iPhone 13 mini’s final design. And the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will feature the same design when it comes to the rear camera module. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro will feature triple-lens cameras on the back, with both phones getting a telephoto lens in addition to the wide and ultra-wide lenses.

That said, there’s no way to verify the authenticity of the iPhone 13 mini device in the image above. However, it’s likely we’ll see more leaks as we approach the iPhone 13 launch, which could confirm this year’s iPhone design.

iPhone 13 mini renders mocked up by SvetApple. Image source: SvetApple

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 13 series on time this year. The novel coronavirus lockdown impacted manufacturing and travel last year to a point where Apple had to delay the iPhone 12 launch event by a month. The four iPhones were then launched in mid-October and early November. The health crisis isn’t over, but the iPhone 13 series won’t suffer a similar fate. A report said that the A15 Bionic chip powering the new handsets will supposedly enter mass-production earlier than scheduled, suggesting that iPhone 13 manufacturing will be on track for a mid-September launch. Separately, other reports have claimed that the current chip shortage will not impact iPhone production, although other product lines, including iPad and Mac, might see some delays.

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.