iPhone 13 could bring back the one feature we've all been waiting for

iPhone 12 Pro navy blue
(Image credit: Svetapple)

The iPhone 13 is shaping up to deliver some radical new changes from Apple, including one model with no ports or holes at all. And now a new survey hints at an overdue upgrade in the age of face mask wearing. 

As reported by 9to5Mac, Apple recently sent out a survey to some customers asking them a series of questions. And one of them was related to Face ID and Touch ID. 

The survey asks whether the user is satisfied with Face ID. For those who answer no, they will see some follow-up answers in the survey to share with Apple. These include "security or privacy concerns", "I don’t like having to pick up my phone to use Face ID", "it does not detect my face in all situations" and "I prefer Touch ID." 

That last answer is telling, because we have heard rumors that Apple could be reviving Touch ID for the iPhone 13. This could be done by integrating a fingerprint sensor in the display or by embedding a scanner in the power button. Apple did the latter for the new iPad Air 4, and it works really well.

Even with a COVID-19 vaccine being rolled out soon, health experts are recommending that we wear face masks in public for the foreseeable future. And having to punch in your passcode every time you want to use your phone when you're away from home can get annoying. 

In what could be bad news for iPhone shoppers, the Apple survey also asks whether current owners use various items included in the box. This includes Apple stickers, the SIM eject tool and — get this — the USB-C to Lightning cable.

Apple already faced a backlash this fall for not including a charger in the box with the iPhone 12. So we find it hard to imagine that it would pull the plug (so to speak) on the charging cable as well in the very next model. 

Then again, at least one model of the iPhone 13 is rumored to be portliness. So in that case a USB-C to Lightning cable would be pointless. That device would likely charge via a MagSafe charger instead, which currently costs $39 for the cable alone. The 20W power adapter adds another $19. So it's possible that the portless iPhone 13 will come with just the phone in the box.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.