The iPhone 13's announcement might be virtual this year, like the iPhone 12 last year. Apple has reportedly delayed its return to in-person work, which has supposedly disrupted its plans for its flagship phone announcement.
With the COVID-19 cases rising once again, Apple is seemingly playing it safe for its employees' sake. That's laudable. The company had previously required employees to return to the office at least three days a week come September, but now that mandate looks to have been pushed back at least a month.
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But this has led Bloomberg's Mark Gurman (via Power On (opens in new tab) newsletter) to report that Apple has made the iPhone 13 launch event virtual. Last year, the iPhone 12 was also virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If Apple employees has returned to in-person work, the event could have also been in-person. Now, that's likely not the case.
However, Gurman says that the iPhone 13 is still on track for September. The iPhone 12 was delayed to October-November in 2020 due to the supply chain disruptions. It's looking like that won't be as much of an issue this year, even with the shortages that have affected almost every manufacturing industry. Apple has even supposedly ordered more than 100 million A15 Bionic chips, indicating that the company expects serious demand for the iPhone 13.
Previous rumors have suggested that the iPhone 13 could launch in the third week of September. That seems pretty likely, given past iPhone events. As is usual with Apple's devices, there's a lot of hubbub, rumors, and supposed leaks around the iPhone 13, with the phone looking to be a bit more than just an iterative upgrade.
For example, the next iPhone could come in four models like the iPhone 12. It might also feature 120Hz displays on the Pro models, an always-on display option (like you see on Android phones), upgrades to the ultrawide camera on all four variants, a possible 1TB storage option, and many others. Apple may even upgrade the wired charging to 25W, up from the 20W on the iPhone 12.