Apple's next smartphone will reportedly be named the iPhone 13 after all, despite previous rumors that it was planning on skipping the number 13 in favor of an iPhone 12s for 2021.
That's according to the Economic Daily News, citing sources and supply chain checks, which claims that the handset will mirror the iPhone 12 lineup exactly. If true, that means we'd see the regular 6.1-inch iPhone 13 joined by a 5.4-inch mini, 6.1-inch Pro and 6.7-inch Pro Max variants.
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Normally, this would be an uncontroversial story. After all, when the last two products have been called the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12, it doesn’t take a pattern-spotting genius to figure out the next number in the sequence.
All the same, if ever there were a time to revert to the old pattern of adding ‘s’ versions of handsets each year, this would be it. A recent survey of some 3,000 Apple users found that 18.3% would avoid buying a phone called the iPhone 13 due to fear of the number 13, which is considered unlucky by some.
With that in mind, it doesn’t really matter if nobody at Apple believes that there’s such a thing as an unlucky number or if, when push comes to shove, a big proportion of those superstitious respondents would just buy one anyway. If even a small percentage of the company’s potential customers choose to sidestep a product with the number 13 on it, then that could translate to millions of dollars of lost sales.
If this is true — and we must stress that other sources including the pretty reliable Jon Prosser have claimed that the 2021 model will instead be the iPhone 12s — it’s quite an odd move for a company that’s never been hugely bothered about missing numbers. There’s no iPhone 2 or iPhone 9, after all, so why would it matter if there were no iPhone 13?
There’s precedent elsewhere, too — most obviously with arch rivals Samsung, which missed out nine digits between the Galaxy S10 and S20. But a more relevant comparison is OnePlus, which skipped straight from the 3T to the OnePlus 5, supposedly because the number 4 is associated with death in China.
Whatever it ends up being called, we’re expecting some interesting improvements from Apple this time around. There’s talk of the iPhone 13 Pro versions getting 120Hz refresh rates for the first time, as well as improved battery life thanks to a more efficient 5G modem and general improvements to the technology involved.