An Early Peek Behind the iPhone 13’s Screen Shows How Apple Shrunk the Notch

iPhone 13 Credit: Apple
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Apple’s latest iPhone 13 models haven’t even hit the shelves in stores yet, but that hasn’t stopped at least one tech reviewer from taking one apart to share a look at what’s inside.

While we’ll certainly see a more thorough teardown from iFixit once their team gets its hands on the new iPhone 13 models, occasional leaker Sonny Dickson has cracked open either an iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 mini and shared photos on Twitter.

It’s not clear how Dickson got his hands on a new iPhone 13 at this point. Although Apple does send out early units to reviewers, those units are loaners that must be returned to Apple, and the company almost certainly frowns upon those reviewers taking them apart.

With the new models expected to arrive in customers’ hands tomorrow, it’s possible that Dickson has already received his pre-order. However, a separate set of images shared last week showing iPhone 13 unit shipments being unpacked suggests the possibility it came through less official channels.

Regardless, this first look offers some interesting insights into how Apple has changed things up in the latest iPhone to shrink the notch and improve battery life.

Most significantly, the photos clearly show a larger battery compared to the one found in the iPhone 12, but of course that space had to come from somewhere, since the dimensions of this year’s model remain largely the same.

To accomplish this, it looks like Apple shrunk the Taptic Engine and TrueDepth camera, while also relocating the earpiece. Using an Apple Pencil on his iPad Pro, Brahm Shank of Appleosophy also helpfully marked up one of Dickson’s photos, identifying the various components inside the iPhone 13 and how they’ve changed.

The reduced TrueDepth camera system, and possibly even the separate earpiece, aren’t just about making room for the larger battery, as they’ve also allowed Apple to finally reduce the size of the notch on the iPhone 13, something it’s reportedly been trying to accomplish since 2018. This also required changing up the positions somewhat, with the front-facing camera moving to the left of the TrueDepth system, with the dot projector and infrared camera to the right.

The actual battery in the iPhone 13 appears to be about 15 percent larger than the corresponding iPhone 12 model, although again it’s unclear whether these images depict an iPhone 13 or an iPhone 13 mini.

Shank has annotated the battery as providing “2.5 hrs” of increased battery life, but it appears he’s simply assuming that the photos are of the standard 6.1-inch iPhone 13.

The improved battery life doesn’t just come from a larger battery, however. Apple’s new A15 Bionic chip is also said to be considerably more power-efficient, reducing the demands on the battery. Combined, these two improvements promise an extra 1.5 hours of battery life on the iPhone 13 mini, and 2.5 hours on the iPhone 13.

Dickson’s images only show us a peek behind the front screen of the iPhone 13, so they’re far from a full teardown, but they still provide an interesting look at what we can expect this year.

There are likely going to be a few other secrets to uncover, however, although we’ll likely be seeing more details soon as the professional teardowns are published over the next few days.

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