iphone 13: release date, price, specs and all of the news

© Provided by What Hi-Fi? iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 is official. Launched at the 14th September Apple Event alongside the iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The next-gen iPhone brings a host of upgrades including a new design and colours, dual-camera system, super-fast 5G, and Apple's first-ever 120Hz display. Here are all the official details and specs for the iPhone 13. 

Browse this week's best iPhone deals and cheapest pricesRead our in-depth review of the iPhone 12

New iPhone 13 official details

Four new iPhone 13 handsetsPre-orders: Friday 17th SeptemberAvailable: Friday 24th SeptemberNew ProMotion 120Hz displaysNew A15 Bionic processorStarting price: £679 ($699, AU$1349)

iPhone 13: release date

The new iPhone 13 will be available to pre-order from Friday 17th September. 

It officially goes on sale on Friday 24th September. 

Apple was hotly tipped to launch the iPhone 13 in September 2021, as per its usual routine (which was briefly disrupted last year due to Covid-19), and so it proved at the 14th September Apple Event.

In a 12th December investor note, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had stated that production of the iPhone 13 would run on the usual pre-iPhone 12 schedule, and that we can "expect all iPhone 13 models available by September 2021 without delays" (via 9to5mac).

And what of the rumours that Apple might be facing supply issues due to the global chip shortage? It seems Apple has absorbed any issues with barely a hiccup.

Apple had reportedly put in an order of 100 million A15 Bionic chips with manufacturer TSMC, which no doubt helped keep things on track.

Read our review of the five-star Apple HomePod Mini

iPhone 13: price

The official iPhone 13 prices are as follows: 

iPhone 13 from £779, $799

iPhone 13 Mini from £679, $699

iPhone 13 Pro from £949, $999

iPhone 13 Pro Max from £1049, $1099

The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini are available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage sizes, while the 13 Pro and Pro Max also come in a whopping 1TB size.

So the rumours were true. Following on from the Samsung Galaxy S21, which launched in January 2021 and cost less than its predecessor, the Galaxy S20, Apple has launched the standard iPhone 13 price at a little under the iPhone 12, which launched at £799 ($799, AU$1349).

Apple likely won't be short of buyers whatever the price. On 27th January 2021, CEO Tim Cook reported record-breaking revenues of $65.6 billion in the first fiscal quarter of 2021 – around $5 billion more than analysts had predicted. The bump in sales was driven by a record number of people upgrading their iPhones in the last quarter of 2020 (iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max sold best during that period). 

Its most recent results were similarly eye-watering. Total profits hit a staggering $21.7 billion in the last quarter, driven largely by better-than-expected iPhone sales (customers upgrading to 5G devices, basically).

The California tech giant expects the launch of the iPhone 13 to help it post "double-digit growth", but nothing approaching the 36 per cent growth Apple saw in Q3 2020. 

Browse today's best Apple deals: iPhone, iPad, HomePod

iPhone 13: design

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini have been "redesigned on the inside and out" and come in five colours: pink, blue, midnight, starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED. 

Featuring flat edges and aluminium frames, they feature Ceramic Shield on the front and promise to be, naturally, the toughest iPhones yet. As expected they come in 6.1-inch and 5.4-inch sizes. The Pro and Pro Max are 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays.

In March 2021, trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a detailed investor note claiming that the iPhone 13 will be available in “four models and the same screen sizes” (via 9to5Mac). And he was on the money. That iPhone 13 family bears a close resemblance to the 2020 iPhone 12 line-up.

On the iPhone 13 and Mini it's an IP68 rating for water resistance, a redesigned rear camera for the new dual-camera system, and a redesigned TrueDepth camera system.

iPhone 13: display

The iPhone 13 has a Super Retina XDR OLED screen, promising a 28 per cent increase in max outdoor brightness at 800 nits, and a higher peak brightness which should get the best out of HDR content.

The Pro phones add Apple's ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate technology which should make for smoother games, video and scrolling.

It's an adaptive refresh rate on the Pro phones, switching from 10Hz to 120Hz, allowing for fast frame rates when users need it and preserving battery life when they don’t. 

Apple says it's a more efficient OLED panel, helped by the new display engine of A15 Bionic, delivering faster GPU performance, and an always-on touch coprocessor custom designed to operate with iOS 15, making gestures, animations and gaming feel faster and more responsive. 

The iPhone 13 Pro is the brightest display ever on iPhone with up to 25 percent higher max outdoor brightness at 1000 nits, for better contrast and colours whether scrolling through websites or watching HDR videos.

Ming-Chi Kuo's investor note (obtained by MacRumours) had claimed the two top-spec iPhone 13 Pro models would sport low-power LTPO display technology and a 120Hz refresh rate. And he was right.

Kuo's prediction was backed up by another top Apple analyst, Ross Young, who said in May 2021 that more than one iPhone 13 could have a 120Hz screen. The June 2021 TrendForce report is also in agreement, as is Bloomberg analyst Mark Gurman. So, it looks like a 120Hz screen is a dead cert.

An earlier January 2021 report by TheElec revealed more detail: "Both models of iPhone 13 will use low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistors (TFT) OLED panels made by Samsung Display." While some mused that only the iPhone 13 Pro Max would have an LTPO display, sources recently claimed it would be joined in this regard by the iPhone 13 Pro.

Read our in-depth iPhone 12 Pro Max review

iPhone 13: spec and storage

The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini are available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage sizes, while the 13 Pro and Pro Max also come in a whopping 1TB size.

The iPhone 13 is set for a further boost thanks to Apple's A15 Bionic chip. 

The A15 is thought to be a System-on-Chip (SoC) affair – a major upgrade over the A14 Bionic processor in the previous-gen iPhone. Performance-wise, it could be a huge shot in the arm. The A15 is also said to be 15 to 20 per cent more efficient than its predecessor. 

As for the battery, Apple claims iPhone 13 delivers an all-day battery life, offering up to two and a half more hours in a day than iPhone 12, while iPhone 13 Mini provides up to an hour and a half more in a day than iPhone 12 Mini.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max claims the longest battery life ever in an iPhone. iPhone 13 Pro will last up to one and a half hours longer in a day than iPhone 12 Pro, says Apple, while iPhone 13 Pro Max will last up to two and a half hours longer in a day than iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Unlike the AirPods Max, you can expect the iPhone 13 to support Apple Music Lossless. If you missed it, Apple now offers both lossless and Spatial Audio tracks to Apple Music subscribers, free of charge. Here's which devices will (and won't) play lossless and Spatial Audio.

But what about Hi-Res tracks? Apple's iPhones (since the iPhone 7) natively support lossless – but not the highest quality Hi-Res Lossless (which delivers up to 24-bit/192kHz). Fingers crossed the iPhone 13 raises the bar on that front. 

Read 5G explained: everything you need to know

iPhone 13: camera

The iPhone 13 and Mini promise the most advanced dual-camera system ever on iPhone, with a new Wide camera with bigger pixels and sensor-shift optical image stabilization (OIS). 

The new Wide camera, with 1.7 µm pixels, comes with the biggest sensor ever in an iPhone dual-camera system and is capable of gathering 47 percent more light for less noise and brighter results.

These upgrades aim to offer improvements in low-light photos and videos.

There's also a new way to personalise the camera with Photographic Styles, and a new Cinematic mode which brings rack focus for shooting video.

The camera bump has had a redesign with diagonally arranged lenses and a tweaked, smaller TrueDepth camera system.

The system supports Smart HDR 4, promising improved colour, contrast, and lighting for each subject in a group photo, including in challenging conditions, making images more true to life, as well as improved Night mode. 

The iPhone 13 Pro camera system gets new Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras, powered by the A15 Bionic chip. New for iPhone with the 13 Pro is macro photography on the new Ultra Wide camera and up to 2.2x improved low-light performance.

The new pro camera system also claims to offer more pro photography capabilities like improved telephoto zoom, macro photography, Photographic Styles, Cinematic mode, as well as ProRes and Dolby Vision video. 

Read our Samsung Galaxy S21 review

iPhone 13: name

Apple introduces new iPhone monikers – X, XS, Xr, Pro, Pro Max, etc – as and when the technology demands it. Since the iPhone 13 is more 'evolution' than 'revolution', Apple has stuck to the iPhone 12 naming standards. Here's the story so far...

2007 - iPhone

2008 - iPhone 3G

2009 - iPhone 3GS

2010 - iPhone 4

2011 - iPhone 4s

2012 - iPhone 5

2013 - iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c

2014 - iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

2015 - iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

2016 - iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

2017 - iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X

2018 - iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max

2019 - iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max

2020 - iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max

2021 - iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max

2022 TBC - iPhone 14 (6.1), iPhone 14 (6.7), iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max

Roll on the iPhone 14 in 2022...!

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