iPhone 13 leak just teased radical new design

iPhone 12 Pro navy blue
(Image credit: Svetapple)

Every so often rumors pop up that phones are going portless, opting to make everything from charging to data connections completely wireless. That’s especially true of Apple.

It seems like every time we head into a new iPhone rumor cycle, the topic of the portless iPhone crops up again. The iPhone 13 is no exception, though this time the word is that not all models will ditch the ports entirely.

As we all know, we’re long past the days of Apple releasing one phone at a time. There were four iPhone 12 models, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that we’ll be seeing a handful of iPhone 13 handsets when they arrive next year. Now Jon Prosser claims one of those phones will be completely portless and free of holes.

Admittedly Prosser has a bit of a mixed track record, though this isn’t the first time he’s claimed at least one iPhone 13 would be going portless. Apparently this is still Apple’s plan.

Of course, Prosser is not the only person to say this is happening either. Ming-Chi Kuo, who has become the de-facto king of Apple analysts, said much the same thing last December and other sources have been talking about the portless iPhone whenever they can.

But what would a portless iPhone even look like? No ports means no no charging port of any kind. A portless iPhone may not have a SIM card slot or speaker holes either. Obviously, there’d be no headphone jack in there either, but it’s not like Apple would ever bring that back.

Phones like this do exist in concept form, but so far nobody has actually released a portless phone for consumers to buy. The Vivo Apex from 2019, is one such device; the phone’s speakers and microphones were placed under the screen, while the phone itself was reliant on wireless and an eSIM to function properly.

None of these things are particularly big asks these days, especially with the launch of MagSafe and the fact the Google Pixel 5 saw the search giant casually put a speaker under the display on the Pixel 5 and didn’t think it was worth announcing.

The only issue we can see with a lack of wired data connectivity is in the repairs process. There are plenty of ways to transfer files and data wirelessly or over the cloud, so for everyday purposes that won’t be an issue. But, given Apple’s increasing reliance on external software when repairing iPhones, it may need some sort of physical connection somewhere on the phone. That said, there’s nothing stopping it from being hidden away, and only accessible when the phone is being repaired.

So when you think about it, the idea of a portless iPhone isn’t quite so outlandish. Provided Apple can do it without raising the price too much, though we also wouldn’t complain if it managed to speed up MagSafe charging somewhere along the way.

The only real question is which iPhone would be going portless? The iPhone 13 Pro Max would be an obvious choice, since it’s already packing the best and most expensive iPhone hardware, though a fifth model isn’t out of the realm of possibility. 

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.