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iPhone 13 leak teases big upgrades Apple fans will love – and one they might not like

Published May 11th, 2021 11:45AM EDT
iPhone 13 Rumors
Image: Arik/Adobe

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We saw several iPhone 13 leaks a few weeks ago that detailed the next-gen iPhone’s design changes. The iPhone 13 will come in four distinct flavors, just like the iPhone 12, and they should all feature the same basic design. The phone will have a smaller notch than before and a more prominent camera bump on the back, with the camera module getting a notable change on the iPhone 13 models that have two cameras instead of three. Leaked schematics, 3D-printed mockups, and a photo showing what appeared to be a real-life iPhone 13 mini prototype that told the same design story.

A new report seems to confirm the previous leaks, offering size information for the new iPhone 13 phones and the new camera modules. In turn, this seems to tease a few exciting upgrades for the iPhone 13 that Apple fans will love… and one big change they might not appreciate very much.

A source “that has experience with predicting Apple’s design plans” provided MacRumors schematics that show the rumored size changes coming to the new iPhone 13 versions.

The report indicates that all four versions will be slightly thicker than their predecessors, which is something people might not like. The thickness will go up from 7.4mm in the current iPhone 12 models to 7.57mm. That’s an overall increase of 0.17mm that might not be immediately noticeable. However, it might be enough to render iPhone 12 cases useless, as they might not be compatible with the new designs. That’s right… all the new cases you just bought for your iPhone 12 might be useless if you decide to upgrade this year.

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

The previous leaks indicated the same size changes as the ones seen above. The iPhone 13 models will have the same height and width as their predecessors, with only the thickness changing.

However, that’s actually an exciting detail because that extra thickness can be used to increase the phone’s battery capacity. Previous rumors teased bigger batteries for the iPhone 13. Also, the Pro models are expected to feature 120Hz displays, which will consume more energy than 60Hz OLED panels. Larger batteries might be required to offset the extra power consumption.

The MacRumors report also notes that the iPhone 13 camera bumps will be thicker than before, but the overall increased thickness of the new iPhones should help with that. If the entire phone is thicker, the camera protrusion might appear less evident. The protrusion will be most noticeable on iPhone 13 Pro, the report says.

The overall size of the camera module will change, according to this new report. “The ‌iPhone 12‌ and 12 Pro have camera bumps that measures in at around 28mm by 30mm, while the ‌iPhone 13‌ will have a camera bump that’s closer to square at around 29mm by 29mm, with the bump also located about a millimeter closer to the top of the iPhone,” the blog writes. This is in line with recent leaks that said the camera module will be larger.

Recent reports said that all iPhone 13 versions will receive the same sensor-shift optical image stabilization tech that’s currently exclusive to the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The sensor-shift camera is slightly larger than the other cameras, so that might help explain the overall size increase. This new report also says that the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will have similar camera bumps, which seems to suggest they’ll offer the same camera features. Again, the iPhone 12 Pro Max featured a slightly better camera setup than the iPhone 12 Pro last year.

iPhone 13 Pro Render
Renders show purported iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro camera size changes compared with their predecessors. Image source: MacRumors

Previous leaks said the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 will get an unexpected rear camera design change. The two lenses on the back will be placed diagonally. But the render MacRumors uses indicates the two cameras will still be placed vertically, as seen above. One other thing that’s different in the MacRumors report concerns the placement of the physical buttons. The blog says the buttons might sit slightly lower than they are on iPhone 12. Previous schematics suggested that the volume buttons and the mute switch will sit somewhat higher on iPhone 13.

That said, there’s no way to confirm any of these leaks for the time being, and schematics could always turn out to be wrong. The iPhone 13 series should launch on schedule this year in mid-September.

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.