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Major iPhone 13 design changes will let Apple improve battery life

Published Mar 12th, 2021 7:31AM EST
iPhone 13 Rumors
Image: Apple Inc.

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Battery life isn’t a concern for the newest iPhones. Apple impressed reviewers with iPhone 11 battery upgrades, and most iPhone 12 models also offer great battery life, especially the larger models that can house bigger battery packs. That’s even though the iPhone 12 phones feature batteries that are slightly smaller than what’s available on their iPhone 11 counterparts. At the same time, Apple upgraded wireless charging speeds on the iPhone 12 via the new MagSafe magnetic chargers that the iPhone 12 series introduced. The iPhone 12 mini is somewhat of an exception, as the smallest handset in the iPhone 12 lineup also features the smallest battery pack.

According to an insider who provided accurate details about unreleased iPhones in the past, Apple isn’t done with battery upgrades. Ming-Chi Kuo says that iPhone 13 design changes will allow Apple to increase battery sizes for the upcoming iPhones. Larger battery packs might help Apple improve battery life on all four iPhone 13 models. Or Apple could keep battery life estimates in place on devices that are supposed to sport another energy-hungry feature. In addition to the 5G connectivity, which eats up more power when enabled, some iPhone 13 phones will rock 120Hz displays.

Phones that support high refresh rate screens will consume more battery life than phones with a fixed 60Hz refresh rate. Rumors say that some of the iPhone 13 phones will feature 120Hz ProMotion displays. The screens might adapt the refresh rate dynamically, depending on the content displayed on the screen, which could help with energy consumption.

Ming-Chi Kuo said in a research note that MacRumors obtained that all four iPhone 13 models will feature larger batteries with higher capacities. Two notable iPhone 13 design changes will allow Apple to increase the battery size. The SIM card will be included in the mainboard, allowing Apple to recycle that space for the battery. More importantly, Apple will allocate more space to the battery from the notch. The iPhone 13 phones will feature thinner notches, according to various reports. Kuo’s new note also mentions the reduced “front optical modules’ thickness.”

The battery size upgrade will impact the weight, with Kuo saying that all phones will be heavier than their predecessors.

The new 2H21 ‌iPhone‌ models feature a larger battery capacity than the iPhone 12 series, thanks to the space-saving design of many components. Hence, the new 2H21 ‌iPhone‌ models are also slightly heavier than the ‌iPhone 12‌. The space-saving design includes integrating the SIM card slot with the mainboard, reducing the front optical modules’ thickness, etc.

Kuo did not specify actual battery capacities for the four iPhone 13 phones coming this fall. Apple never specifies battery specs during its iPhone events, but new iPhone battery capacities usually leak as we get closer to the announcement.

Apple is supposed to launch the iPhone 13 series in September, assuming the coronavirus pandemic’s current progress allows Apple to get back to its previous iPhone launch cycle.

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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