As we inch closer to the iPhone 13 launch, we naturally expect to see design leaks from the production process, whether they be from smartphone accessory makers or other people who get their hands on prototypes.
In this case, it appears someone obtained an image of an iPhone accessory, specifically a screen protector. Although Twitter user DuanRui doesn't say where they got the image, they claim it's a "film sample" for the iPhone 13.
The alleged iPhone 13 screen protectors suggest the upcoming handset will feature a smaller notch than the iPhone 12 lineup. It'll be as tall as the existing iPhone notch, but not as wide.
9to5Mac claims the notch in this iPhone 13 leak is "about 30% smaller in width" than the notch on the iPhone 12.
Apple hasn't made much effort to shrink the iPhone notch since it first appeared on the iPhone X. Instead, the company managed to pack the notch with components, including hi-res cameras, an earpiece speaker and its infamous Face ID biometric sensor.
Based on this image from Twitter, Apple is lifting the earpiece from the center of the notch to the top bezel of the iPhone. This practical design alternation would let the additional components sit closer together, rather than on either side of the earpiece as they do in current iPhone models.
iPhone 13 series mobile phone film samples. pic.twitter.com/kkpC6LPDhRApril 14, 2021
This isn't the first time we've seen these screens leaked online. Last month MacRumors shared a set of images from Greek repair provider iRepair showing three different iPhone 13 panels for a 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch display. These panels also place the earpiece in the top bezel.
While we wish Apple could do away with the notch altogether (we're likely a few iPhone iterations out from a totally notch-less design,) the shrunken notch is good news. It means more screen real estate for FaceTime calls, watching videos and more.
That said, there's no telling whether these iPhone 13 displays or screen protectors are legitimate. It's true that case makers often get dummy iPhone models ahead of launch in order to develop iPhone accessories, but Apple is probably a few months away from reaching final production. It usually starts producing new iPhone units during summer.
What else do we know about the iPhone 13 design? It's rumored to feature a slew of upgrades, with a newer A15 Bionic chip, improved cameras and a 120Hz display on the Pro models.
None of this is confirmed, of course. Luckily, there should be plenty more iPhone 13 leaks on the way between now and the expected September release date. Until then, be sure to follow our coverage of the Apple April event, as well as WWDC 2021.