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iPhone 13 could get a big battery life upgrade — here's how

iPhone 13 dummy
(Image credit: Apple Insider)

Apple’s iPhone 13 could come with a bigger battery yet not require a larger chassis, all thanks to the potential use of much smaller components. 

According to DigiTimes and its supply chain sources, future iPhones will make increased use of integrated passive devices (IPDs) for peripheral iPhone chips; so not the expected A15 Bionic chipset. These IPD chips are said to be slimmer than previous peripheral components, which means Apple could have more space inside its next-gen iPhones to put in larger batteries.  

DigiTimes didn't note exactly what iPhones will adopt IPDs, but it did claim that Apple has approved chip partner TSMC’s latest sixth-generation process to mass produce IPDs for future iPhones and iPads. That would suggest there's a good chance IPDs will be used in the iPhone 13, which is very likely to have seen production geared up for it ahead of a likely September reveal. 

The iPhone 12 battery life results did not impress in our testing, with only the largest iPhone 12 Pro Max getting a spot on our best phone battery life list. With 5G connectivity battery life can often take a hit, and we’ve seen that happen with the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. So even with all of Apple’s optimizations, sometimes having a larger cell is the only real way to seriously boost battery life. 

A report from Ming-Chi Kuo about so-called soft battery technology in the iPhone 13 claimed that the new iPhones could offer increased battery capacity without growing the design footprint. This seems to be backed up by a recent claim from leaker L0vetodream, who has tipped battery capacity increases for all iPhone 13 models

And this might be particularly pertinent for the iPhone 13, or at least the Pro models, as the rumors have those handsets pegged to use a 120Hz high refresh display. In Android phones, such as the Oppo FInd X3 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21, we’ve seen high refresh rates consume more battery than older 60Hz displays. So a larger battery for the iPhone 13 could help compensate for any extra power drain.

Beyond potentially larger batteries, the iPhone 13 rumors thus far are pointing towards solid upgrades, like a smaller notch, better specs and improved cameras, with an astrophotography mode and sensor-shift stabilization for all models. The iPhone 13 Pro models could also get a folded lens camera to boost optical zoom performance along with a possible always-on display.

We’re expecting to see the iPhone 13 range revealed at some point in September, so it won’t be too long before we see if these rumors bear fruit. Or not. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer is U.K. Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.