We’ll find out Tuesday (Sept. 14) at the Apple event. Apple hasn’t tipped its hand at exactly what products are being launched, but the timing of the event matches the early September debuts of previous iPhone models. That has Apple observers thinking the iPhone 13 is a pretty solid bet to show up this Tuesday.
By any measurement, last year’s iPhone 12 was a rip-roaring success for Apple. All four models received rave reviews, and phone buyers voted with their wallets, pushing Apple revenues to record highs. The iPhone 12 gave Apple the chance to demonstrate its continued mastery with mobile photography and they ushered in the 5G era for iPhone users.
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Rumors about the iPhone 13 have given us a fairly complete picture of what to expect. We’ll likely get the same four configurations as last year with a 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini, two 6.1-inch models — one the standard iPhone 13, the other a iPhone 13 Pro model — and a 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max that figures to be the marquee offering in Apples phone lineup. You’ll see the usual array of improvements, from a faster A Series processor to bigger batteries and the usual complement of camera enhancements.
If that sounds like an evolutionary update rather than a revolutionary one, that’s precisely what the iPhone 13 figures to be. (In fact, at one point, a rumor suggested that this batch of phones might go by the iPhone 12s name, as they’ll be that closely related to the iPhone 12 models that came before them.) And that’s not necessarily a bad thing — even a modest iPhone update is certain to generate significant enthusiasm, especially among people who’ve been holding on to their phones for more than two years.
Still, Apple heads into Tuesday’s likely iPhone 13 launch facing the same challenge it does any time there’s a new phone to introduce. “Why do we need to upgrade? That’s the biggest question,” said Ramon Llamas, research director at market research firm IDC.
Specifically, after the iPhone 12 introduced 5G — and benefitted from the pent-up demand for an Apple device supporting the faster wireless technology — Apple needs to find yet another feature or two that makes people want to adopt the new phone, Llamas adds.
“Now that the first wave of 5G is behind us, Apple needs to tout a new must-have feature to get people to upgrade,” he said. “We can bet on improved camera features, but we’ve gotten used to that over the years. Same thing with faster processor and a faster recharging battery.”
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