iPhone 13 leak reveals smaller notch — but there’s a catch

iPhone 13
(Image credit: Ben Geskin)

The iPhone 13 is set to get a tweaked design, and we have some of the first details of how it will look different. Mac Otakara, having spoken to sources in Apple’s supply chain, reports that the aesthetic differences between the iPhone 12 and its successor will not be big —  but there's one overdue change we're really looking forward to.

The most important of these tweaks is that Apple will reportedly slim down the TrueDepth sensors that have caused every handset since the iPhone X to have a thick notch at the top of the screen. Apparently, the company will be moving the ear speaker towards the edge of the display.

While Mac Otakara’s report is thin on the details here, we’ve previously heard that the speaker might end up in the bezel. As leaker Ice Universe pointed out back in October, that could lead to a shallower notch, rather than the elimination of it completely. 

While anecdotally, the notch has proved unpopular, it hasn’t exactly damaged iPhone sales figures, and more importantly it houses important components that have to be pretty sizable to function. The dot projector, front-facing full-color camera, infrared flood illuminator and infrared camera combine to ensure Face ID is fast and reliable. 

Elsewhere, the rear camera design will also see some changes, with the site reporting a 0.9mm increase across all models, with a sapphire glass covering the lenses. This may be purely aesthetic, but there’s one interesting detail that may point to an upgrade in the top-end models: apparently, the iPhone 13 Pro’s rear camera will be the same size as the Pro Max model. That suggests parity between models — something that wasn’t the case last year, where the iPhone 12 Pro Max benefited from 2.5x optical zoom and better stabilization.  

Finally, the new iPhone 13 family will have slightly different dimensions. It's not a dramatic change, but enough to ensure that your existing case won’t fit. While the height and width will apparently remain the same, the iPhone 13 will apparently be 0.26 mm thicker.

For those praying for an improvement on the iPhone 12’s pretty lackluster battery life, such a small increase may sound discouraging – but remember that Apple is said to be planning on using new tech that’ll allow for larger capacity batteries to be contained in smaller form factors. In other words, a 0.26mm increase could be all the company needs. 

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.