04/20 Update below. This post was originally published on April 17

Apple is making several significant design changes with its iPhone 13 models ahead of an earlier 2021 release, but now we know what the range’s one truly massive new upgrade will be. 

MORE FROM FORBESiPhone 13 Production Schedule ‘Ahead Of Schedule’, Claims Report

In a new video, popular YouTuber Filip Koroy, aka EverythingApplePro, has revealed leaked iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro CAD designs which show Apple is introducing massive new rear cameras to the lineup. In fact, Koroy describes them as “very Freakishly big” and a “massive increase in size”.

04/19 Update: a new report from superstar Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo (via AppleInsider) has revealed further iPhone 13 upgrades today. Kuo states that the next-gen 5G modems inside the range will bring global support for the ultra-fast 5G mmWave specification. The iPhone 12 lineup surprised many with its lack of support for mmWave outside the US when many cheaper handsets (like Google’s Pixel 5) did. What Kuo didn’t reveal was whether this expanded mmWave support will come to the full range or be limited to iPhone 13 Pro models. mmWave is notoriously battery hungry, which makes it a doubt for the iPhone 13 Mini and this in turn could impact the iPhone 13 because Apple likes the phones to be functionally identical. Watch this space.

04/20 Update: CNet reports that Apple may skip the ‘iPhone 13’ entirely, by launching the range with a different name due to “bad optics” around the number 13. CNet speculates that the name is likely to be iPhone 12S instead, with Apple launching a radically redesigned iPhone 14 in 2022 to justify the sudden leap in numbering. Prominent Apple tipster Jon Prosser has previously tipped Apple’s first folding iPhone to launch in September 2022. All of which would suggest a level of foreplanning and slick marketing inline which what made Apple the undisputed front runners in the smartphone market in the first place.

While the images above and below illustrate this change best, Koroy also has specific measurements. “On the iPhone 13 Pro Max we have a 3.41mm higher lens and [it is] now 4.81mm wider, resembling a rounded square more than that of the 12 Pro Max.”

It is a similar change for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini’s dual cameras with Koroy also confirming both the new diagonal camera arrangement which leaked earlier this week. The changes mark the beginning of a new trend towards supersized smartphone cameras following the launch earlier this month of Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Ultra

In addition to this, Koroy also notes that the iPhone 13 range’s other big design change: “These CADs do confirm a smaller notch because they have a smaller earpiece that’s sitting up on the very top.” While the new notch is only about 30% smaller than the current one seen since the iPhone X, it’s very welcome and (arguably) overdue. 

Further nuggets from Koroy, include a ‘confirmation’ that the sim card tray will now integrate with the logic board to save space while the volume buttons and mute switch have “migrated north 2-3mm”. The new iPhone 13 models will also be almost identical in size to their predecessors, but old cases won’t fit due to the change in camera size.

While previous leaks have revealed Apple’s next-gen iPhones will have 120Hz ProMotion displays, next-gen 5G modems, boosted WiFi speed and range, an improved version of MagSafe and significantly improved power efficiency, there is no doubt that their massive new cameras will be the biggest talking point. 

Combined with previously leaked improvements to image stabilisation and an exciting new portrait video mode, hopes will be high the iPhone 13 lineup will return to the top of the camera rankings. The good news is twofold: 1. We won’t have to wait long to find out and 2. From here Apple is planning ‘next level’ upgrades.

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