The ‘iPhone 13’ Is Getting a Bigger Battery (Here’s What That Means)

Apple iPhone 13 Concept Renders iDrop News 1000x600 4 Credit: iDrop News / Wilson Nicklaus
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Along with everything else that we’re expecting to see in this year’s iPhone, it looks like Apple is also hoping to boost battery life in a much more direct way — by packing in larger cells.

Most of the iPhone 12 models saw only very slight battery life improvements over their respective predecessors last year, although even maintaining the same battery life as the iPhone 11 lineup was impressive considering that Apple actually decreased the size of the batteries contained in the 2020 lineup.

For instance, the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max each lost between 231 and 282 mAh compared to the equivalent iPhone 11 models that came before, but thanks to better power efficiency, Apple was able to eke out the same battery run times.

This time around, however, it looks like Apple is hoping to push forward with even longer better life by moving back up to larger cells. In an investor note shared by MacRumors, the venerable Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that Apple plans to boost the batteries in all four of the “iPhone 13” models — even the 5.4-inch iPhone mini.

Even better, it looks like Apple is going to be able to pull this off without increasing the thickness of the device in any significant way. Kuo notes that it’s going to come mostly from the “space-saving design of many components.”

For instance, we’ve already heard that Apple plans to reduce the size of the front-facing TrueDepth camera system. There have also been reports that the SIM card slot will be integrated into the motherboard, and it’s likely Apple has a few more tricks up its sleeve as well.

According to Kuo, however, this does mean that the new iPhone models will also be “slightly heavier” than the iPhone 12, which makes sense since battery cells usually weigh more than other components like chips and cameras.

Longer Battery Life?

While Apple could conceivably find something to use that extra battery capacity for, based on everything else we’ve heard it seems almost certain that the result will be an increase in overall run time, since Apple has already been looking to add lower-power display technology to this year’s iPhone models, and of course, the power efficiency of most of the chips used in the iPhone naturally increases each year as the technology improves.

That said, 5G also creates a big hit on battery life, and this is especially true with the higher-speed and higher-frequency mmWave 5G. At this point, it’s arguably only the relative dearth of the mmWave 5G coverage, combined with Apple’s Smart Data Mode that’s saved many users from really being impacted by the higher 5G power consumption. That’s likely to change, however, as mmWave 5G becomes more ubiquitous.

What Else Is Coming

As usual, Kuo doesn’t offer any insight into the naming of this year’s iPhone, referring to it simply as the “2H21 iPhone,” and while it’s become colloquially known as the “iPhone 13”, there’s no guarantee that this is where Apple will go with the naming. At least one reliable report has said it might be the “iPhone 12S” instead, and based on Apple’s history we’d say that’s a very real possibility. Either way, however, we won’t know until the day Apple climbs up on stage to officially take the wraps off.

Naming aside, however, we do have a pretty good idea of what’s coming, including a 1TB version and LiDAR across the board, the very real possibility of in-display Touch ID to augment Face ID, a smaller notch and improved rear camera design, improved “ProMotion” display technology, multiple camera improvements, and possibly even advanced Wi-Fi 6E technology.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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