iPhone 14 rumor has me worried about the iPhone 13 — here’s why

iphone 13 render
(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

This week, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note that says Apple has some big plans in store for its 2022 iPhones. For one, he predicts that Apple will offer two 6.1-inch iPhone 14 models and two 6.7-inch models. That’s right, no more mini.

What’s more, the regular 6.7-inch iPhone 14 may cost less than $900. That’s certainly less than the $1,100 iPhone 12 Pro Max. But he mentions something else that has me worried about the prospects of a phone that will be arriving sooner than 2022's iPhone 14 — this year's iPhone 13 models.

According to Kuo, the 2022 iPhone lineup will feature under-screen Touch ID. That’s great, but we had previously seen rumors that this feature could come to the iPhone 13 lineup this year. What gives?

Here’s the exact analyst note from Kuo, as obtained by 9to5Mac:

“We reiterate our previous key specifications forecast for 2H22 iPhone models, namely that Apple will launch two high-end iPhones (6.1″ and 6.7″) and two low- end iPhones (6.1″ and 6.7″) in 2H22.

We believe the growth drivers for the new 2H22 iPhones will come from 1) the potential for under-display fingerprint support (using Apple’s own technology), 2) the lowest price ever for a large (6.7″) iPhone (we expect it to be under USD 900), and 3) a wide camera upgrade to 48MP for high-end models.”

While the mask requirement has been lifted in most locations through the United States, ranging from bars and stores to restaurants, you’re still required to wear face masks on public transit, on planes and in airports. I anticipate getting back to traveling soon for business (and hopefully pleasure), and being forced to enter a passcode every time I want to unlock my phone is annoying.

iPhone 13 Pro fingerprint reader

(Image credit: 4RMD)

Yes, there’s a workaround for unlocking your iPhone. You can unlock an iPhone without a face mask if you own an Apple Watch. But that’s not feasible for a lot of people.

Now, lets talk about timing. If Kuo’s prediction is accurate that we have to wait until 2022 for under-display Touch ID, that is lame. Samsung had an under-display fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S10 in 2019. Granted, that scanner was hit or miss, but It has steadily improved the technology and now it works very well on phones like the Galaxy S21.

I find it hard to believe that it would take Apple until 2022 to get Touch ID working the way it wants on an iPhone. 

In the meantime, I hope that the iPhone 13 at least has Touch ID embedded in the power button, similar to the iPad Air 4. It’s less convenient than just tapping the screen, but it’s better than entering a passcode each time I want to use my phone and Face ID isn't an option. 

The iPhone 13 should have plenty of other upgrades going for it based various reports, from a smaller notch and faster processor to enhanced cameras and better 5G. And I’m really looking forward to 120Hz displays on the Pro models. But this is one iPhone rumor I very much don’t want to come true. 

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.