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[email protected]

Iphone 13 Coming soon. Satellite communication connectivity???

There was some previous speculation that Apple may keep the same price structure for the iPhone 13, or consider lowering the price of its next phone lineup. Several rivals rose to the occasion of the economic downturn by releasing more affordable models in 2020, such as Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE and Google’s Pixel 5: Both are the same price as the iPhone 12 Mini, but about $100 less than the iPhone 12. The newly released Samsung Galaxy S21 also boasted a lower price tag, starting at $200 lower than its predecessor.

Sales of the iPhone 12 could indicate the direction Apple might take in pricing the iPhone 13. The predicted 2020 “supercycle” seems to have happened as Apple expected: In October, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro became the first and second best-selling 5G phone models worldwide. And Apple recently announced that the iPhone 12 led to the largest revenue and profit in the company’s history.

Colors and design: iPhone 13 will probably look familiar

There have already been a number of renders floating around the Twittersphere showing rumored iPhone 13 designs. A recent one, from MacRumors, illustrates the resized camera bump and increased thickness of the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro compared to its predecessors. According to MacRumors, the iPhone 13’s camera bump is getting slightly thicker, perhaps to accommodate forthcoming camera upgrades like lidar.

iPhone 13 versus iPhone 12 camera bumps.MacRumors

iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 rumored thickness compared.MacRumors

new render in late June from Sonny Dickson on Twitter showed a slight variation on the iPhone 13 and 12 Mini’s camera module, with its two lenses situated diagonally from one another, rather than one atop the other.

This dummy iPhone 13 lineup shows a redesigned camera module for the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini.Sonny Dickson

The Twittersphere was abuzz in early May when an account called Peng Phones released a supposedly leaked image of a bubblegum pink iPhone 13, though the image ended up being wishful thinking from an artist on Instagram who specializes in 3D modeling. Then in June, YouTube account EverythingApplePro previewed a matte-black iPhone 13 render, said to be a replacement for the existing graphite or space gray color options on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro models, respectively.

Apple also could be adding a new color, called “Sunset Gold,” to the iPhone 13 lineup, according to leaker Ranzuk on Naver, a Korean blogging platform. The color is said to have a “bronze feel” and be slightly less pale than Apple’s rose gold. Renders of the iPhone 13’s new color were posted to Twitter by @RendersbyIan.

The rumored matte-black color option for the iPhone 13.EverythingApplePro

Earlier, we spotted a 3D-printed mockup from Japanese blog Macotakara and some concept renderings from EverythingApplePro. But we don’t expect any big changes to the iPhone’s design in 2021, considering 2020 saw a pretty significant “slabular” redesign already with the return of the iPhone 5’s flat sides. Apple is also not expected to make any changes to the phone’s sizing from the previous generation.

The purported pink iPhone 13.aliartist3d

iPhone 13’s rumored sizes

  • iPhone 13 Mini: 5.4-inch
  • iPhone 13: 6.1-inch
  • iPhone 13 Pro: 6.1-inch
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: 6.7-inch

Two potential design elements that are getting some decent buzz already: a shallower notch, which is also evident in several leaked mockups (or even a completely notchless screen) and the death of the Lightning port, both of which have been speculated about, hoped for or dreaded ad nauseam for generations of iPhones.

A shallower notch was also shared in an Apple Insider video which showed dummy units of the iPhone 13 a smaller earpiece notch that shifted to the top of the phone’s bezel. Apple Insider’s dummy units were also in line with the previous rumors regarding the iPhone 13 lineup’s size similarities to the iPhone 12.

iPhone 13 renderingEverythingApplePro

iPhone 13 may nix the chunky notch — or just slim it down

Apple introduced the world to the notched display in 2017 with the release of the iPhone X, and as rivals solved the selfie conundrum with hole-punch and under-display cameras, Apple still hasn’t, er, taken it down a notch. Those who crossed their fingers for a notchless or at least smaller-notched iPhone 12 are reassigning their hopes to the iPhone 13 now that their 2020 all-screen dreams have failed to come to fruition.

Rumors of a smaller notch resurfaced in early March in an investors’ note from Kuo. In its leaked dummy mockup, Macotakara estimated that the iPhone 13’s notch could shrink to 26.8mm wide (compared to 34.83mm on the iPhone 12), while becoming ever-so slightly taller, at 5.35mm, compared to the iPhone 12’s 5.3mm notch height.

We may have got a glimpse of a notchless iPhone during episode 6 of Ted Lasso season 2. In two scenes of the episode, we see a notchless iPhone that appears to be running iOS. But, we shouldn’t get our hopes up too much. Despite the buzz generated by brief shots of the phone, it’s more likely a fleeting CGI imperfection in post-production than a sneak peak of the iPhone 13.

A leaked 3D-printed mockup of the iPhone 13, featuring a slimmed notch.Macotakara

Will Apple kill the Lightning port, too?

When Apple ousted the headphone jack, the doomsday clock started ticking for the iPhone’s charging port as well, according to industry analysts. Though a lot of us are still holding out hope for a USB-C port, the introduction of MagSafe accessories in 2020 all but sealed the deal on a portless future for the iPhone. Frequent leaker Jon Prosser shares this prediction, asserting on his YouTube channel, “The end goal is very obviously portless.”

But don’t get too excited (nervous?): Kuo predicts that only one 2021 iPhone will be completely portless, likely the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

iPhone 12 Pro’s MagSafe charger.Apple

Cameras: New photo tricks and tech coming to the iPhone 13

The iPhone got some pretty well-received camera upgrades in 2020, especially in the Pro Max model, which introduced the iOS crowd to lidar (also found on the Pro) and ProRaw. The iPhone 12 even wrested CNET photo enthusiast Stephen Shankland’s loyalty away from Google Pixel, the erstwhile computational photography king.

Read more: iPhone 13 camera rumors: The specs and upgrades we’ll likely see

iPhone 13 renderingEverythingApplePro

ProRes and Portrait Mode video could be coming to the iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 could feature at least three major new camera and video features. According to a recent report by Gurman, Apple’s latest iPhone could offer the video version of Portrait Mode, a higher quality option to record video called ProRes, and a new filter system to enhance the look and color of pictures.

Portrait Mode was originally released with the iPhone 7 Plus in 2016 just for taking photos. But, if Gurman’s speculation is true, you soon may be able to record videos with a bokeh effect behind your main subject. For the rumored ProRes for video, Gurman speculates that it may be similar to how ProRaw for photos is exclusive to just the higher-end iPhone 12 models. Gurman says that ProRes could only be available for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Better zoom capabilities for the iPhone 13

One weak spot in the 2020 lineup’s camera offerings, however, was zoom technology. The iPhone 12 Pro Max only featured a 2.5x optical zoom — for comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra and now the S21 Ultra both offer a 100x zoom (though it is a mix of optical and digital).

According to ETNews (as reported by TechRadar), the iPhone 13 could potentially include a periscope camera, a technology that would allow for a larger zoom range without requiring an even larger camera bump. Kuo made similar predictions for a future periscope lens, though his report hinted that we may have to wait until 2022. It’s also possible that the 2.5x zoom found on the iPhone 12 Pro Max could trickle down to the next iPhone’s Pro model.

Improved night-mode photos

Rumors in early February hinted at welcome improvements for low-light photography. Analysts are predicting an ultrawide-angle lens with a larger aperture — f1.8, instead of f2.4. A larger aperture means more light can hit the sensor, which makes for better photos at nighttime or in low-light situations.

Lidar could only be available for the Pro models

Although camera upgrades are expected across all four iPhone 13 models, the standard versions of Apple’s upcoming handset may lack a lidar scanner. Leaker Dylan on Twitter speculates that only the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max will feature the scanner. Dylan’s theory followed previous Apple iPhone gossip from a DigiTimes report that said all four models in the iPhone 13 lineup would come with the scanner.

This would be the second generation in a row to only feature a lidar scanner in its Pro models, if Dylan’s rumor becomes reality. The scanner, used to help with autofocus and portrait pictures in low lighting, made its debut in the 2020 iPad Pro. It also can be found in the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Read more: What does the iPhone’s lidar feature actually do?

Still, lidar for everyone would be pretty nifty — the camera feature, which stands for “light detection and ranging,” is a depth sensor that uses lasers to measure distance. The camera trick can take your iPhone photos to the next level, and it also has some pretty cool AR applications.

The iPhone 12 Pro’s lidar sensor — the black circle at the bottom right of the camera unit — opens up AR possibilities and much more.Patrick Holland/CNET

Features: All the other iPhone 13 rumors we’ve heard

There’s a lot we can confidently predict for the 2021 iPhone lineup based on last year’s features and Apple’s usual track record. For instance, 5G is all but a foregone conclusion. There probably won’t be a charger or headphones in the box, nor a headphone jack, nor a USB-C port. And unless 2021 throws us for an even bigger loop than 2020, we expect Apple to ship the iPhone 13 with the new iOS 15 installed. (By the way, iOS 14.6 is here and iOS 14.7 is on the way.)

120Hz refresh rate for the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max

We thought we’d get a refreshed refresh rate in the iPhone 12, but the 120Hz rumors didn’t pan out — likely because of the already increased demands on battery from the phone’s 5G connectivity. Instead, Apple’s lineup last year featured the same 60Hz display as the previous year’s iPhone 11.

But 2021 could be the year of the 120Hz display, which would result in a smoother, faster scrolling experience thanks to a higher screen refresh rate. Many higher-end competitors already feature a 120Hz display (e.g., the OnePlus 8T and Galaxy S21), so the odds are good Apple heads in this direction for its next Pro line.

Evidence for doubling the refresh rate in 2021 comes from Korean news site The Elec, which reports that two of the iPhone 13 models will use LTPO technology in their screens. This screen tech would make the phone more power efficient in general, meaning smaller batteries and/or longer battery life are also probable (not to mention whispers about an always-on display). Learn more about LTPO, or low-temperature polycrystalline oxide, OLED screens. This rumor was repeated by Weinbach in mid-February on YouTube and again in an April DigiTimes report.

An always-on display

Like the Apple Watch (and many Android phones, like the Galaxy S21 and Pixel 5), the iPhone 13 may have its own version of the always-on display, what Weinbach called a “toned-down lock screen.” If rumors are true, your next iPhone would always display the time and battery charge, as well as incoming notifications, without you having to unlock or wake the whole screen.

Rumors about this feature were corroborated in July by Gurman in his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg. He speculates that the iPhone’s larger batteries could power its display with a 120Hz refresh rate and always-on mode.

Will the iPhone 13 bring back Touch ID?

Bloomberg reported in 2019 that the beloved Touch ID button might return as an under-display sensor in the following year’s flagship, which would have been the iPhone 12. That didn’t happen, but the Bloomberg report left room for error, saying the technology could “slip to the 2021 iPhone refresh.”

Leaker @L0vetodream also teased an under-display Touch ID last fall, which was subsequently corroborated (and translated) by Prosser.

The buzz around the return of Touch ID, however, shifted with Gurman’s latest Power On Newsletter. He speculates that an under-screen Touch ID sensor “won’t make the cut” for the iPhone 13. Instead, Gurman says that Apple will embed Face ID under the display in place of Touch ID, with sensors hidden beneath the screen instead of in a notch.

Apple’s 2020 iPad Air, announced last September during what normally would have been an iPhone unveiling event, integrated a Touch ID button onto the side of the device. The new iMac, unveiled in April, is also getting a Touch ID button on its redesigned Magic Keyboard. This addition is exciting because it solves the “Face ID doesn’t work while wearing a mask” problem without ceding screen real estate. An under-display button would solve the problem, too, though it remains to be seen whether the tech will be ready in time for the iPhone 13. (Meanwhile, those who own an Apple Watch already have yet another option for masked iPhone-unlocking as of iOS 14.5.)

Satellite communication connectivity

Apple’s iPhone 13 is rumored to feature satellite communications connectivity, which would let you make calls and send texts in areas without cellular coverage. According to a note from Kuo, the new iPhone can tap low-Earth-orbit satellites to stay connected in areas that lack 4G or 5G coverage with its Qualcomm X60 baseband chip. The satellite communications connectivity, however, could be only for emergency purposes such as texting emergency services, calling emergency contacts or reporting a crisis.

As we near the purported September iPhone announcement, we’ll keep this post updated with all the iPhone 13 leaks, rumors and other speculation as it comes up, so check back.

How long will the chip shortage last? What does it effect?

Why is there a chip shortage?

By Chris Baraniuk
Technology of Business reporter


Related Topics

Employees work on the production line of silicon wafer at a factory of GalaxyCore Inc. on May 25, 2021 in Jiashan County, Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province of ChinaIMAGE SOURCEGETTY IMAGES
image captionComputer chips plants are working flat out

The tech industry is at a crunch point.

Today, millions of products – cars, washing machines, smartphones, and more – rely on computer chips, also known as semiconductors.

And right now, there just aren’t enough of them to meet industry demand. As a result, many popular products are in short supply.

It has become almost impossible to buy a PS5 games console. Toyota, Ford and Volvo have had to either slow or temporarily halt production at their factories. Smartphone makers are feeling the pinch too, with Apple warning that the shortage could affect iPhone sales.

Even companies that wouldn’t necessarily be associated with computer chips haven’t been spared, such as CSSI international, a US firm that makes dog-grooming machines, is feeling the effects.

Some shoppers have already noticed these problems. Sales of used-cars are up, for instance, because new vehicles, often packed with thousands of individual chips, are in short supply.

Kris Halpin, a musician based in North Warwickshire, is one of many who have experienced disappointment. Mr Halpin has cerebral palsy and leases a car through the Motability scheme.

Kris Halpin, a musician based in North WarwickshireIMAGE SOURCEJOSEFA TORRES
image captionThe chip shortage has delayed a new car for musician Kris Halpin

His current lease ends in October and under the rules of the scheme he must replace his car at that time. However, his local dealership has told him that the car he ordered has been delayed until January next year at the earliest.

“As a disabled person I am really, really reliant on my car,” says Mr Halpin, who uses a wheelchair. “Where I live, I literally couldn’t get beyond my drive without my car.”

Thankfully, Mr Halpin says that Motability agreed to extend the lease and insurance on his current car until the new one arrives.

In the coming months and, particularly over Christmas, it’s possible that even more products will fall foul of the shortage.

So, what is going on?

The chips that are in short supply perform various functions in modern products, and there are often more than one in a single device.

Piotr Esden-Tempski is the founder and owner of 1bitsquared, a US-based firm that specialises in electronics hardware. He has orders on his books for several thousand electronics interface boards, which allow students and makers to connect various appliances to their computers.

image captionCompanies like 1bitsquared face a 12-month wait for some components

But Mr Esden-Tempski’s suppliers say that some of the components he needs containing semiconductors will not be available for 12 months or more.

“You cannot just assemble it and miss one part, it won’t work,” he says.

This situation has been developing for years, not just months.

Koray Köse, an analyst at Gartner, says that among the pressures facing the chip industry prior to the pandemic were the rise of 5G, which increased demand, and the decision by the US to prevent the sale of semiconductors and other technology to Huawei. Chip makers outside the US were quickly flooded with orders from the Chinese firm.

Other, less obvious, manufacturing complexities have also hampered the supply of certain components.

For example, there are two main approaches to chip production right now: using 200mm or 300mm wafers. This refers to the diameter of the circular silicon wafer that gets split into lots of tiny chips.

The larger wafers are more expensive and are often used for more advanced devices.

Presentational grey line
Presentational grey line

But there’s been a boom in demand for lower cost chips, which are embedded in an ever-wider variety of consumer products, meaning the older, 200mm technology is more sought after than ever.

Industry news site Semiconductor Engineering highlighted the risk of a chip shortage, partly due to a lack of 200mm manufacturing equipment, back in February 2020.

As the pandemic unfolded, early signs of fluctuating demand led to stockpiling and advance ordering of chips by some tech firms, which left others struggling to acquire the components.

People working from home have needed laptops, tablets and webcams to help them do their jobs, and chip factories did close during lockdowns.

At times consumers have struggled to buy the devices they want, though manufacturers have so far been able to catch up with demand eventually.

Mr Köse says, however, that the pandemic was not the sole cause of the chip shortage: “That was probably just the last drop in the bucket.”

Trucks wait in traffic in Austin, Texas delayed by winter storm UriIMAGE SOURCEGETTY IMAGES
image captionA winter storm in Texas shutdown semiconductor factories

More recently, bad luck has exacerbated the problem. An atrocious winter storm in Texas shutdown semiconductor factories, and a fire at a plant in Japan caused similar delays.

Logistical headaches are compounding the situation. Oliver Chapman, chief executive of OCI, a global supply chain partner, says that for many years the cost of shipping was not of great concern for many tech firms because their products are relatively small, and suppliers could fit lots of them inside a single 40ft container.

But the cost of moving shipping containers around the world has ballooned because of sudden shifts in demand during the pandemic. It is accompanied by a rise in air freight fees and the lorry driver shortage in Europe.

Sending a single 40ft container from Asia to Europe currently costs $17,000 (£12,480), says George Griffiths, editor of global container markets at S&P Global Platts.

That’s a greater than ten-fold increase compared to a year ago, when it cost around $1,500 (£1,101).

Chip makers are responding to sustained demand by increasing capacity but that takes time, says Mr Köse, not least because semiconductor factories cost billions of dollars to build. “That is not going to be solved by this Christmas and I find it hard to believe it will be solved by the next Black Friday [November 2022],” he says.

Containers at Qingdao port, chinaIMAGE SOURCEGETTY IMAGES
image captionShipping costs ballooned during the pandemic

Bosses at the tech giants appear sharply aware of this. The chief executives of Intel and IBM have both said recently that the chip shortage could last two years.

Seda Memik, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and computer science, at Northwestern University, agrees: “It will take multiple years to accomplish… a better balance.” She also says that the pace of demand for chips has been rising so strongly that a shortage was, at some point, “inevitable”.

Establishing new chip factories is difficult to do quickly, she adds: “It’s extremely expensive and requires a well-trained workforce.” It’s a potential spanner in the works for those who advocate “re-shoring” – relocating chip fabrication to a wider variety of countries, including those in the West, in order to ease the pressure on global supply chains.

Employees work on the production line of silicon wafer at a factory of GalaxyCore Inc. on May 25, 2021 in Jiashan County, Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province of China.IMAGE SOURCEGETTY IMAGES
image captionMaking high-end computer chips is extremely difficult

Mr Chapman isn’t convinced that the market is up for grabs. He argues that Asia-based chip makers, such as those in Taiwan, China and South Korea, are already racing to meet demand, and will likely continue to dominate in the future.

Mr Köse says that consumers aren’t likely to notice price rises or widespread shortages of tech products this Christmas. Certain in-demand devices, such as games consoles, could become hard to get, with customers having to wait a few months for the item they want. However, he doesn’t expect interminable delays.

The bottom line is: the pandemic accelerated an already precarious situation for chip makers – we’re in the middle of a tech boom, supply can’t quite keep up – and it won’t get sorted out overnight.

It means that all sorts of people, including those seeking a new car like Mr Halpin, could continue to experience delays and disappointment for months to come.