iPhone 13 leak just revealed bad news for highly anticipated feature

iPhone 12 Pro navy blue
(Image credit: Svetapple)

Apple hasn't finished shipping all of its iPhone 12 models yet — the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Max don't go on sale November 13 — but iPhone 13 rumors are already bubbling up. And the latest iPhone 13 claim suggests a much anticipated feature may not make the cut for next year's phones.

Twitter user Jioriku, a self-described Apple leaker and analyst, claims to have seen an early prototype of the iPhone 13. The new model is described as "basically a 12 with extra steps," but the part of Jioriku's tweet that's garnering the most attention is the claim that the new phone doesn't feature in-display TouchID as of now.

That would be a departure from some long-standing rumors about Apple's future phone plans. As far back as 2019, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was was forecasting that Apple would add in-display Touch ID to the 2021 iPhones. A patent surfaced earlier this summer showing just Apple might pull that off, fueling further speculation that Touch ID would return with the iPhone 13.

Jioriku's tweet, spotted by WCCFTech, doesn't necessarily that Touch ID is a goner. For one thing, Apple's known for making many prototypes that don't necessarily see the light of day. And Jioriku also adds that the prototype is not final hardware.

Apple could also do what it did with the iPad Air 4, and put a TouchID sensor inside the iPhone 13's lock button. That would still allow the next iPhone to add fingerprint unlocking to go with Face ID — a feature that could be helpful if we still need to don masks. 

The more noteworthy thing about the Jioriku tweet is the notion that the iPhone 13 won't deviate too much from the iPhone 12 design. That contradicts some rumors about the future iPhone, and it certainly will disappoint people hoping for big design changes.

Specifically, some rumors have called for Apple to get rid of — or at least shrink down — the notch that houses the front camera and Face ID sensors. That's not the case with this prototype, Jioriku says. "From what I'm told, the notch has not been reduced (yet)," a subsequent tweet reads.

Other rumors have speculated that at least one model of the iPhone 13 could go portless, as Apple moves away from its Lightning connector to a phone that supports wireless charging only.

The iPhone 13 is expected to feature a display with a 120Hz refresh rate that adapts dynamically to what you're doing with the screen. We'd also anticipate an A15 processor in the new models. Other than that, we've got a full year to anticipate what Apple's planning for the 2021 iPhones.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.