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Top insider says Apple is testing a crazy next-gen iPhone 13 feature

Published Jan 15th, 2021 8:06PM EST
iPhone 13
Image: Apple Inc.
  • Apple is reportedly exploring a vapor chamber thermal system for use on future iPhone Pro models.
  • Apple’s next-gen iPhone 13 will reportedly be released this coming September.
  • The iPhone 13 will reportedly boast a handful of camera improvements and a slightly smaller notch.

It’s only January but we’ve already seen quite a few rumors surrounding Apple’s next-gen iPhone, a device Apple might call the iPhone 13. The most recent rumor comes to us from Ming-Chi Kuo, a noted Apple analyst who arguably has the best track record in the business when it comes to anticipating upcoming Apple products and new features.

In a new research note obtained by StreetInsider, Kuo writes that Apple is “aggressively” testing a vapor chamber thermal system for use in upcoming iPhone models. Said to be a feature that may first appear on Apple’s iPhone Pro lineup, the technology is designed to handle the higher thermal output that comes along with the iPhone’s increasingly strong computing power and the inclusion of a 5G chipset.

Kuo’s report reads in part:

Our latest survey indicates that Apple is still aggressively testing the VC for iPhone. We believe that high-end iPhone models need to be equipped with VC for higher thermal requirements due to their stronger computing power and faster 5G connection speeds in the future. The iPhone’s critical reason not to adopt VC is because of its reliability test results that cannot meet Apple’s high requirements. Still, we are optimistic about the VC reliability improvement schedule and expect that at least high-end iPhone models would be equipped with VC in the near future.

As for other iPhone 13 tidbits we’ve seen in recent weeks, one worth noting is that the iPhone 13 release is slated for September of this year. While the iPhone 12 release was pushed back into October and November due to design delays associated with the coronavirus pandemic, analysts are confident that the iPhone release schedule will revert back to September this year.

There’s also a chance that the iPhone 13 might not be called the iPhone 13 at all. Thirteen is superstitiously famous for being an unlucky number that might prompt Apple to call its next-gen iPhone the iPhone 12S. It’s also possible, though perhaps unlikely, that Apple might call its next-gen smartphone the iPhone 14.

Design-wise, Apple’s iPhone 13 lineup will look a lot like the iPhone 12, which is to say that Apple isn’t planning to revisit rounded edges anytime soon. Still, one small design change we might see on this year’s iPhone lineup is a slightly smaller notch.

Other iPhone 13 rumors we’ve seen include the addition of a 120Hz ProMotion display for improved responsiveness and a more fluid scrolling experience.

It’s also worth noting that Apple’s iPhone 13 lineup may not see a significant overhaul of the camera system, at least with respect to hardware. While 2021 might see Apple incorporate a more advanced ultra-wide-angle lens, the main wide camera lens will likely remain the same. There have also been reports that Apple, with the iPhone 13, is hoping to improve the device’s optical zoom capabilities.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.