Despite being months away from launch, we’ve already seen several rumors regarding the 2021 iPhone. Now, as we inch closer to release nonetheless, new rumors point towards some design changes, new colors, and new features to expect.
According to leaker Max Weinbach (via YouTube channel EverythingApplePro), the iPhone 13 will come with a matte black option for the Pro and Pro Max models, a new stainless steel coating that reduces smudges and fingerprints, a new rear-camera design, and improved noise cancelation with beamforming for phone calls.
Last month, Weinbach reported that Apple plans to include an always-on display for this year’s new iPhone as part of its design. He’s now building on that rumor, saying that on top of an always-on 120Hz display, Apple is likely to include a matte black option for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Weinbach says the color is a “redesigned graphite” but is “borderline black.” According to Weinbach, Apple is also experimenting with an orange, almost bronze-like color for the new iPhones, but he says it’s unlikely to launch.
The iPhone 12 lineup brought back the beloved flat-edged design, as well as stainless steel edges for the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. Since the models were launched, users have complained about the ability of the edges to attract smudges and fingerprints, especially for lighter-colored options like Gold. Apple’s looking to address the issue with the iPhone 13 by adopting a new anti-smudge and fingerprint coating, according to Weinbach.
Moving to the rear, Weinbach says the new camera module will not be completely flat but that each lens will protrude less from the main body. Additionally, the immediate run-up to the camera module will be smaller, reducing the camera system’s thickness entirely.
Alongside a suite of previously rumored features, the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max camera system will include a new process for taking portrait photos. Weinbach reports that portrait mode on the new Pro iPhones will rely significantly on LiDAR. LiDAR, currently on the iPhone 12 Pro, Pro Max, and iPad Pro, is used for improved low-light image photography. However, Weinbach says Apple will take it a step further with portrait mode this year.
Portrait mode on the new iPhones will be overhauled greatly. It will now rely heavily on a new process that combines both data from the lenses as well as LiDAR. LiDAR is specifically going to be used for much better edge detection. Things like smaller gaps in street signs are now supposed to be detected by the new process. This goes with portrait video as portrait mode overhaul that Apple is working on for the 2021 iPhones.
Weinbach says that within iOS itself, Apple will also include a new iOS “image stabilization correction” mode that will automatically detect and keep a subject in focus during a video. Given this is software-based, it’s unknown if special hardware within the 2021 iPhones enables this mode or whether it could silently debut in older iPhone models.
As for the lineup itself, Weinbach says Apple plans to keep the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini form factor in its lineup, despite widespread reporting of the iPhone 12 mini’s lackluster sales performance. Weinbach previously stated that the new iPhones would include stronger MagSafe, astrophotography capabilities, and the ability to take portrait mode videos.
Earlier this week, images sent to MacRumors show alleged photos of the front glass panels for the iPhone 13 models, which show the earpieces relocated to the top bezel. If true, it would be the most significant change to the notch’s design since its debut in the iPhone X. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple plans to switch to a hole-punch design for some iPhone models starting in 2022.