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Latest iPhone 13 leak puts an end to one lingering mystery

Published Jul 5th, 2021 11:26AM EDT
iPhone 13 Name
Image: kite_rin/Adobe

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A series of reports from Apple’s iPhone supply chain claimed that production had started early for various critical parts headed to the next-gen iPhones. Routinely referred to as the iPhone 13 series, the 2021 iPhones should launch in September this year. Apple has apparently been preparing for a mid-September announcement event and a late September release date for the four new iPhones. The Cupertino-based company has yet to announce this year’s iPhone event. But any significant delay might be acknowledged as soon as late July, just like last year. Meanwhile, a different report from Asia ends the mystery surrounding one lingering question surrounding this year’s new iPhones.

Since the early days of the iPhone, Apple introduced the tick-tock iPhone naming scheme. An “S” year would follow almost every major iPhone release. The iPhone “S” would deliver significant performance improvements, but not that many design changes. But Apple hasn’t always stuck to this iPhone naming pattern. The iPhone 12 series might not get the “S” treatment either.

The 2016 iPhone 7 did not get its iPhone 7s in 2017. Apple jumped to iPhone 8 and iPhone X that year. In 2018, we got two iPhone XS phones and an iPhone XR — this was the first and only “R” iPhone so far. The 2019 iPhone 11 series brought more clarity to Apple’s naming scheme, with iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max making more sense than the previous generation.

iPhone 12s vs. iPhone 13: What’s in a name?

Apple skipped an “S” generation last year as well. The iPhone 12 brought over many significant upgrades that made the name jump mandatory. The iPhone 12 delivered the first massive redesign since the iPhone X and came in four options. It was also the first to support 5G and MagSafe wireless charging. That’s on top of the speedier 5nm A14 Bionic chip and better camera system. That’s why the 2020 iPhone series deserved a new number rather than becoming an “S” generation.

The iPhone 13 name has been the topic of plenty of discussions. The iPhone 13 will look a lot like the iPhone 12 series. But it’ll be the first iPhone to deliver a smaller notch. Also, the new Pro phones will support 120Hz refresh rates. All four iPhone 13 versions will reportedly have better battery life and significant camera improvements.

Therefore, the iPhone 13 naming structure would make sense. According to Economic Daily News, Apple will indeed go with the “iPhone 13” name. We’re looking at iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max for the four new iPhones launching later this year.

The problem with the iPhone 13 naming structure has to do with superstition. Some reports speculated Apple might skip 13 in favor of 12s. Moreover, a recent survey showed that some users did not like the iPhone 13 name.

Regular September launch rumored

The report notes that Foxconn is going to be the big iPhone 13 winner, with the company assembling the majority of devices across all four models. Luxshare will reportedly manufacture the iPhone 13 as well, a first for the company. Pegatron is also one of the iPhone 13 assemblers.

EDN cites supply chain information in saying the iPhone 13 will be released in September, the usual launch window for new iPhones.

That said, iPhone supply chain speculation can’t be verified. Whatever the final iPhone 13 name, the new devices will see massive sales numbers. The report says Japanese industry watchers have raised iPhone 13 shipment estimates for the second half of 2021 by 3 million, to 85 million.

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.