Photo VOV
Photo VOV

Only iPhone 13 Pro models are expected to get a LiDAR scanner

We’re expecting camera upgrades across the board with the iPhone 13, but the standard phone could lack a LiDAR scanner for the second generation in a row.

According to reasonably solid tipster Dylandkt on Twitter, only the ‘Pro’ models of the iPhone 13 (or potentially the iPhone 12S) will have the LiDAR scanner found on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. It was thought that all models of the next-generation iPhone will get the scanner but “due to one reason or another” this won’t be the case.

A LiDAR scanner in Apple device rear camera arrays first popped up in the iPad Pro 2020. It was used to help with depth perception to deliver better augmented reality experiences. The LiDAR scanner was then added into the Pro iPhone 12 handsets. The sensor aided with autofocus and portrait photos in low-light situations, as well as boost the fidelity of AR experiences.

Photo SplashGear
Photo SplashGear

Understandably, this was a new ‘pro’ feature at the time. But as Apple products mature, such features tend to trickle down to standard iPhone models.

Going by the leaks and rumors so far, we had been expecting the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 to get the LiDAR sensors.

Dylandkt didn't say why this won’t be the case, but simply stated “it won’t be happening this year.” Given the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over, one reason for this could be supply chain and manufacturing issues, but that's just speculation.

The lack of a LiDAR sensor may be a little disheartening for Apple fans expecting a big camera upgrade in the standard iPhone 13 models. But depth perception of the current iPhone 12 is rather good, with solid portrait photos and good low-light performance, so a LiDAR scanner may not be a huge upgrade in practical terms. And some rumors have pointed towards larger sensors coming to the iPhone 13, with all models expected to gain sensor-shift stabilization, meaning the iPhone 13 could get a notable camera upgrade.

According to a note to investors by Ming-Chi Kuo, the analyst suggests the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 Pro will all stick with the same wide-angle lens as on their iPhone 12 predecessors, MacRumors reports. That means the 7P optics with f/1.6 aperture. Sunny Optical is tipped to be the key supplier for the wide-angle lenses.

LTPO display with a 120Hz refresh rate is limited to iPhone 13 Pro models

Photo GenK
Photo GenK

iPhone 13 is expected to get a more powerful A15 Bionic chip, a smaller display notch and a faster 5G modem. However, an LTPO display with a 120Hz refresh rate is also reportedly limited to the iPhone 13 Pro models. A port-less design has also been tipped for the iPhone 13, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo does not believe this will happen with the new iPhone as the MagSafe ecosystem isn’t mature enough.

We’re expecting to find out what upgrades the iPhone 13 does bring to the table come September, which has been the month Apple traditionally shows off its next smartphone.

The 2021 iPhone 13 models are a couple of months away from launching and are expected in September, but we've been hearing rumors about what to expect from the new devices since before the 2020 iPhone 12 models even debuted.

The 2021 iPhone lineup will look similar to the 2020 iPhone lineup, with four devices in sizes that include 5.4-inches, 6.1-inches, and 6.7-inches, with two of the iPhones being higher-end "Pro" models and two positioned as lower-cost, more affordable devices.

Major design changes are not expected, and 2021 iPhones will have the same feature set as the 2020 iPhones, but we can count on camera improvements, a faster A-series processor, a new 5G chip from Qualcomm, increased battery life, and some tweaks to the notch.

There were rumors that at least one iPhone in 2021 would feature a portless design that relies entirely on wireless charging, but reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that's not going to happen. Apple is going to continue to rely on Lightning for the foreseeable future with no transition to USB-C and no portless design until MagSafe accessories are more common.

We are expecting a smaller notch, and while some rumors suggested it could be shallower, device mockups based on information sourced from the Chinese supply chain indicate it will be smaller in size, taking up less space than the existing notch. Apple is also expected to introduce 120Hz refresh rates for Pro iPhone models, bringing the iPad Pro's ProMotion technology to the iPhone.

Apple is said to be considering adding an in-display fingerprint sensor to the iPhone 13 models, which would be used in addition to Face ID as an alternate biometric authentication method, but it seems like this is likely something that will be saved for a future iPhone. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in June that the 2022 iPhones will feature under-display Touch ID.

When it comes to improved camera technology, rumors suggest we could see the larger sensor in the iPhone 12 Pro Max extend to other models, along with the Sensor-Shift Stabilization feature for better auto-focus and stabilization across the lineup.

There are rumored to be improvements to the Ultra Wide lenses on the "Pro" iPhone 13 models with lower apertures for better performance in low-light conditions and improved autofocus, but few changes are expected for the Wide lens in the devices. The iPhone 13 and 13 Pro are expected to feature a new diagonal camera lens setup, a departure from the design of the iPhone 12 models.

Below are the names that Apple has used since the iPhone first launched in 2007.

2007 - iPhone

2008 - iPhone 3G

2009 - iPhone 3GS

2010 - iPhone 4 (new design)

2011 - iPhone 4s

2012 - iPhone 5 (new design)

2013 - iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c

2014 - iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (new design)

2015 - iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

2016 - iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

2017 - iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X (new design)

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

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