Don’t spit the dummy, it’s iPhone 13


Apple’s latest batch of iPhones will almost certainly sport better cameras, better displays and potentially a smaller “notch” but by and large the iPhone 13 isn’t likely to look all that different from its predecessor

The release of an iPhone remains the most highly anticipated event in the mobile market and the rumour mills start cranking out titbits months in advance. As in previous years, iPhone dummy units — empty shells created with help from manufacturing insiders and sold to case and accessory makers — have begun showing up on Chinese online marketplaces and in the hands of journalists and analysts.

Taken together with existing leaks and rumours, they give a good indication of the devices we’ll see in two months time.

Dummy iPhone 13 models as seen on Chinese social media.

Dummy iPhone 13 models as seen on Chinese social media.Credit:Weibo

Assuming Apple follows the naming conventions of the previous two years, 2021 will bring an iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, with screen sizes identical to last year.

But the design has been altered just enough that 2020’s cases and accessories likely won’t fit; the phones are a little thicker, some buttons have moved slightly, camera arrays are larger and the non-Pro models now have lenses arranged diagonally.

Previous rumours have stated that Apple will combine several elements of its Face ID system into a single sensor, allowing for the “notch” housing the front-facing camera to be made skinnier.

Some dummy cases and leaked display panels (used by makers of screen protectors) now appear to have backed that up, showing more display space either side of the notch and the earpiece repositioned to the very top of the phone.

The rear camera lenses on the dummy models are also physically bigger than those on the iPhone 12, possibly validating rumours that enhanced image stabilisation will be implemented for the wide lens across all iPhones 13, and on the ultra wide for the Pro models.