iPhone 13 mystery — 7 models spotted in regulatory listings

iPhone 13 notch vs iPhone 12
(Image credit: DuanRui)

The iPhone 13 lineup could feature up to seven individual models, according to a product filing recently added to the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) database. However,this flies in the face of previous reports that there will be four iPhone 13 devices, just like the iPhone 12 lineup. 

As spotted by AppleInsider, the filing is labeled as "smartphones 'Apple' models." The single EEC system filing includes model numbers A2628, A2630, A2634, A2635, A2640, A2643 and A2645. These codes represent seven total products, but we are guessing that a few are variations of the same product.

With any upcoming consumer device, such fillings are mandatory before it can become available for purchase. We often learn hidden specs or other product details from the filing descriptions, too.

In the case of this new Apple listing, the description says the smartphones run "software version iOS 14." While AppleInsider says this information confirms the listing applies to "variants of the forthcoming 'iPhone 13' range," we're more skeptical for a few reasons. 

First, we'd expect the iPhone 13 to ship with iOS 15 installed, not iOS 14. The upcoming software refresh isn't available to the public yet, but developers can use the iOS 15 beta now. Every year, Apple has its latest iOS ready to go for the launch of its latest iPhones, and there's no reason to suspect that will change this fall.

Second, the release of seven total iPhone 13 models doesn't add up. Most rumors to date suggest there will be four iPhone 13 models at the same iPhone 12 sizes — a 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini, a 6.1-inch iPhone 13, a 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The additional three model numbers could apply to storage variations, but there will almost certainly be more storage variations than that across the lineup. Each of the four iPhone 13 sizes should have at least three storage options, making for twelve models. And that's before considering the chance an iPhone 13 will offer 1TB storage.

In other words, take the EEC filling with a grain of salt. We'd say it's more official than a Twitter leak or other Internet rumor, but we're unable to locate the filing AppleInsider describes to confirm.

Luckily for those itching for more credible iPhone 13 information, we're likely nearing production season, or the period where Apple manufactures the phone so it has inventory ahead of the release date. That means we could see more credible regulatory filings, accessories, marketing materials or actual footage of the upcoming iPhone surface online in coming months. 

Assuming the iPhone 13 release date follows Apple's precedent, at least one of the sizes should hit shelves on the fourth Friday of September 2021. That would be September 24. Last year certain sizes became available a few weeks later, which probably had to do with the pandemic, although Apple never confirmed the reason for the staggered release.

Based on previous rumors and reports, the iPhone 13 is expected to feature a smaller notch, perhaps in-display Touch ID, and a faster A15 Bionic chip. Plus, all four iPhone 13 models are expected to feature sensor-shift stabilization and new computational photography features, such as astrophotography and portrait mode video. The iPhone 13 Pro models are expected to offer 120Hz displays, which would be a very welcome upgrade. 

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.