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Leak says iPhone 13 has a major upgrade we’ve wanted for years

Published Mar 1st, 2021 7:31AM EST
iPhone 13 Rumors
Image: Apple

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  • A new report says that the iPhone 13 specs will include support for up to 1TB of internal storage.
  • iPhone supply checks indicated to Wedbush analysts that Apple would upgrade the iPhone storage in some 2021 models.
  • It’s unclear what iPhone 13 version will get the bump to 1TB or how much the memory upgrade would cost. The iPad Pro might provide some insight.

Apple has been slower to upgrade the base storage on iPhone than Android, which is something that loyal iPhone users have learned to deal with. The simplest “fix” is going for a slightly more expensive iPhone that would offer at least twice the cheapest model’s storage. But the iPhone 12 changed all that, bringing some versions of the iPhone on storage parity with Android flagships. The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max feature at least 128GB of flash memory, double the base storage of the regular iPhone 12 and the mini. Storage goes up to 512GB on the Pro models, which is another advantage over regular iPhone 12, and over many Androids, especially considering that many Android flagships do not ship with expandable storage support. Apple will further improve storage needs this year, with another report claiming that 1TB iPhone 13 versions are coming.

Adding 1TB of flash memory has been done before on mobile devices, but it’s not a mainstream feature. Some Android phones did come with 1TB of internal storage onboard, like the Galaxy S10+ and Note 10+ that Samsung launched in 2019. The Asus ROG Phone 2 is another example. Other Android devices ship with microSD cards that can take 512GB and 1TB cards, allowing users to extend the available local storage to around 1TB of space.

Apple has its own 1TB devices, the iPad Pro models that start at 128GB of memory for the cheapest models. Going for 128GB to 1TB of storage means paying $500 extra on the 12.9-inch or 11-inch iPad, however.

Wedbush’s analysts said in a research note 9to5Mac shared that supply chain checks indicate the iPhone 13 will feature 1TB. The report does not say which iPhone 13 versions will come with that much built-in storage, but the iPhone 13 Pro versions are the most likely models to get the top storage tier.

The 512GB iPhone 12 Pro costs $1,299, while the 512GB iPhone 12 Pro Max is priced at $1,399. The storage bump is a $300 upgrade compared to the 128GB versions of the two phones. The 512GB iPad Pro versions also cost $300 more than the 128GB version. With that in mind, the 1TB iPhone tier could be a $500 upgrade, just like on iPad Pro. However, this is only speculation based on Apple’s current pricing schemes for iPhone 12 Pro and 2020 iPad Pro.

Well-known leaker Jon Prosser also said about a month ago that the iPhone 13 would feature up to 1TB of storage. The upgrade makes sense in a world where users consume increasing amounts of data. Internet speed upgrades including 5G and Wi-Fi 6 allow for even faster downloads of shows, apps, and games. Mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad are increasingly more powerful, allowing experiences that require more storage access, like 4K video recording and high-end gaming.

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.