The fall is shaping up to be a busy one for Apple and the iPhone. With all rumors suggesting that the iPhone 13 lineup is on track for announcement sometime in mid-September, this means we’re just weeks away from seeing what’s next for the iPhone. Read on as we round up some of the top features to expect from the new iPhones coming this fall.

iPhone 13 naming

It’s still unclear whether this year’s iPhone will be the iPhone 12s or the iPhone 13, as Apple is able to keep marketing names under wraps until the last minute. That being said, one recent supply chain report suggested that the 2021 iPhones will indeed be called the iPhone 13.

In terms of new features, the rumors certainly suggest that this year’s iPhone will be a bigger upgrade than an “S” year, lending credence to the “iPhone 13” theory for this year’s naming.


The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are expected to be nearly identical to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro in terms of form factor. We expect the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max, each of which will feature the same dimensions as their predecessors but be slightly thicker.

The iPhone 13 will feature flat edges, while one report has suggested the devices will feature a “refined matte back” to make them more grippy. The camera bumps are also expected to get bigger this year to accommodate some notable improvements to the camera hardware, which we’ll touch on in more detail in a bit.

One thing Apple has started doing annually is introducing new iPhone colors. A report suggested that the iPhone 13 Pro will be available in a new matte black color. This color will reportedly replace the graphite color and be much darker, closer to a true black rather than gray.

9to5Mac had a chance to go hands-on with the iPhone 13 Pro Max design in the form of a dummy unit, which you can see in detail in the video below.


Given that the form factors are not changing this year, the iPhone 13 is expected to be available in the same three screen sizes as the iPhone 12. One area where we expect notable changes this year is in the display technology used in the iPhone 13 Pro, however.

  • One 2021 iPhone model with a 5.4-inch OLED display
  • One 2021 iPhone model with a 6.1-inch OLED display
  • One 2021 iPhone model with a 6.1-inch OLED display and ProMotion 120Hz display
  • One 2021 iPhone model with a 6.7-inch OLED and ProMotion 120Hz display

The iPhone 13 Pro is likely to use a new LTPO display technology, which will allow Apple to lower the display’s power usage. Apple already uses this technology on the Apple Watch, and now, it’s expected to come to the iPhone 13 Pro to enable a ProMotion display. This will enable refresh rates up to 120Hz, similar to the iPad Pro.

Bloomberg recently reported that the iPhone 13 Pro will also likely feature an always-on display, similar to the Apple Watch Series 4. Other reports have explained that the always-on display will feature an always-visible clock and battery widget. There will also reportedly be a “notification area” that will light up when a new notification is received.

Apple is also expected to reduce the size of the iPhone’s notch cutout this year for the first time since the iPhone X was introduced. Reports have indicated that the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro notch could get around a 30% reduction in size in terms of width. It could, however, also get taller because Apple is moving the ear piece out of the notch and into the top bezel.

How exactly Apple takes advantage of the additional iPhone 13 screen real estate remains to be seen. The most obvious change, however, is to make the battery percentage number available in the status bar. Currently, you have to swipe down to the Control Center to see specific battery percentage information.


While some rumors had indicated that Apple could expand the LiDAR Scanner to the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 this year, more recent ones indicated that the iPhone 13 will retain the LiDAR Scanner as exclusive to the Pro and Pro Max models instead.

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are also expected to feature an upgraded ultra-wide camera, going from 5P (f/2.4) and fixed focus (FF) to 6P (f/1.8) and autofocus (AF). This should bring notable improvements to the ultra-wide camera, which has notably lagged.

The iPhone 13 Pro is also rumored to be adding the same features that were exclusive to the iPhone 12 Pro Max last year, which would include the wide lens with sensor-shift stabilization. Last year, Apple included better stabilization and 2.5x optical zoom only on iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Apple is also reportedly planning new astrophotography features for improved photos of the night sky. If this feature comes to fruition, your iPhone would be able to detect the moon or stars, then use longer exposure times and more internal processing to perfect the image.

Best iPhone charging accessories:

LEO satellite tech

Most recently, and perhaps most surprisingly, Bloomberg and Ming-Chi Kuo recently reported that the iPhone 13 will feature support for low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite communication mode. This would mean that iPhone 13 users would be able to send messages and make phone calls even when outside the range of traditional cell tower coverage.

The focus of this feature is believed to be on emergency communications. So for example, iPhone 13 users could communicate with first responders from remote locations or during natural disasters, even when traditional cell coverage was unavailable.

Something important to keep in mind here is that Bloomberg has cautioned the iPhone 13 might feature the hardware support for this technology, but that software support might not arrive until 2022. This means it’s possible Apple doesn’t go in-depth on this feature when the iPhone 13 is initially announced this month.

Wrap up

iPhone 13 dummies

The iPhone 13 is shaping up to be a notable upgrade over the iPhone 12, especially for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. What new features are you most excited to see when Apple officially announces the new iPhones later this month? Let us know down in the comments!

For more details on what to expect from the iPhone 13, be sure to check out our full guide right here with all of the latest rumors and expectations. Here are some tidbits:

  • New 1TB storage option
  • mmWave 5G in more countries
  • Larger batteries
  • A15 chip inside
  • …and more

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About the Author

Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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