Forget iPhone 12 — iPhone 13 leak just revealed killer upgrade

iPhone 12 Pro navy blue
(Image credit: Svetapple)

The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max may arrive this week, joining the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro on retail shelves. But that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about the iPhone 13. 

Ming-Chi Kuo, the TF International Securities who nailed many of the iPhone 12 details long before that phone shipped, is now turning his focus to the iPhone 13. And based on his latest research note spotted by MacRumors, look for a serious upgrade to the ultrawide angle camera on some of the iPhone 13 models.

Kuo believes that the tentatively-titled iPhone 13 will come in the same four model sizes as iPhone 12 — a 5.4-inch mini, a 6.1-inch iPhone 13, and 6.1- and 6.7-inch Pro models. More significantly, the ultrawide camera on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max should get a significant upgrade, with a 6-element lens with autofocus.

In contrast, the iPhone 12 models feature a 5-element ultrawide angle lens, and the focus is fixed.

More elements in a lens generally improve picture quality. The iPhone 12 models use a 7-element lens on the main camera, and it’s one of the reason why those phones fare so well in our photo testing.

Kuo goes on to predict that the phones that come after the iPhone 13 — likely called the iPhone 14 — will feature the same ultra wide cameras, with the same major supplier: Largan. With that in mind, Kuo believes iPhone 13 shipments will continue to improve and become more robust year over year, returning eventually to the previous September model of revealing new iPhones and bringing them to market.

In addition to improved supply chain conditions, Kuo believes there will be a more powerful 5G infrastructure in place for 2021 as well, also potentially boosting iPhone sales next fall.

Several iPhone 13 rumors have been swirling around already, despite the fact that the iPhone 12 still has that new phone smell. Among the rumors for the 2021 iPhones include reports of a smaller notch, an improved Qualcomm modem, and even a phone that has no ports whatsoever.

We’ve got a long wait before the iPhone 13 models arrive, but at least we’ve got an early bead on what kind of camera improvements we could be talking about a year from now.

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.