iPhone 13 leak just revealed a surprise upgrade

(Image credit: Future)

The four iPhone 12 handsets are excellent smartphones, but there’s one issue across the board: battery life. In our iPhone 12 battery test, we found that both the regular and Pro models suffered compared to the iPhone 11, and the effect is especially pronounced when playing 3D games.

It looks like Apple won’t be making the same mistake twice. According to Ming-Chi Kuo – the Apple analyst with a very strong track record of accurate predictions – the iPhone 13 will come with a new kind of battery technology that could increase capacity without the need for a larger footprint. 

An investment note, published by 9to5Mac, has the full details where a company called Jialianyi is expected to increase its revenue by 100% year on year by supplying Apple with new battery technology.

“Jialianyi is expected to obtain about 40-50% of orders for battery soft boards for iPhone 13 and 13 mini,” Kuo writes. “We predict that iPhone 13 will be the first iPhone model to adopt battery soft board technology, which will help save internal space and reduce costs.”

He goes on to add that while batteries for the iPhone 12 were supplied by Xinxing, Huatong, Yaohua and TTM, soft boards for the iPhone 13 will come from Xinxing, Huatong and the aforementioned Jialianyi.   

“We believe that the number of battery panels for the iPhone 13 series is reduced due to the reduced number of suppliers, which will benefit the long-term profits of the suppliers,” the note continues. “As a new entrant, Jialianyi is the biggest beneficiary of the iPhone 13 series’s switch to battery soft board design.”

Why does this matter? Well, soft board batteries have fewer layers than those in previous iPhones, meaning that Apple could increase capacity without making the phones thicker. Alternatively, Apple could make the iPhone 13 even thinner without losing battery life. Either way, it’s pretty clear why Apple would be keen to make the switch.

Keeping the dimensions the same with a capacity boost would certainly help with Apple’s aim to introduce 120Hz screens – something that the weak battery life on the iPhone 12 ruled out. And given we’ve already heard that the company is planning on bringing LTPO displays to iPhone 13 Pro models, it looks like this could all be part of the master plan. 

The benefit of LTPO panels, which is available on the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note Ultra, is that the screen can dynamically scale its refresh rate. This can help save battery life as well. 

For now if you want the longest battery life on a new iPhone, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is your best bet. Provided you want a huge 6.7-inch display, this handset lasted nearly 2 hours longer on our tests than the iPhone 12 Pro.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.