Should You Wait for an iPhone 13 or Buy an iPhone 12 Now

Should you get an iPhone 12 series or wait until the iPhone 13 arrives? We take a look.

2020 was a huge year for Apple and iPhone. The company revealed five new handsets during the year, including a second-generation iPhone SE, first-of-its-kind iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. In 2021, at least four new iPhones should be revealed under the iPhone 13 name, according to the early rumors. Here’s a look at where things stand with this year’s handsets and whether you should wait until they arrive or purchase an iPhone 12 series now.

iPhone 13 series: FAQ

The iPhone 12 series proved significant thanks to a redesign, introduction of MagSafe charging, and more. The new iPhone series is expected to stick with the same design and display sizes. The upcoming lineup should include two regular models, measuring 5.4-inches and 6.1-inches, respectively, and two pro variations at 6.1- and 6.7-inches.


Apple isn’t likely to change how it names iPhones, which means we’re likely to see the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Color Choices

It wasn’t that long ago when buying an iPhone meant selecting between a silver and space gray model. Not any longer. Both the iPhone 12/iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro/iPhone 12 Pro Max feature colors never before seen on an Apple handset. Expect more of the same in 2021.

Release Date

The new handsets should be announced in September or October, with release dates to follow.

Camera Improvements

The two Pro models this year could include a Time-of-Flight camera feature. Time-of-Flight cameras use infrared light to determine depth information. Doing so can generate a complete scene and ideally suited for use with indoor navigation and gesture recognition. The tool is also worthwhile for 3D imaging and AR experiences.

120MHz Display

The iPhone 13 Pro handsets should feature a 120MHz ProMotion display similar to those long featured on the iPad Pro series. Using LTPO backplane technology, the feature will provide more fluid scrolling, greater responsiveness, and smoother motion content. Improve battery life is also likely.

The touchscreen display could also be presented as a single panel, reducing the display’s thickness overall. Because of this, some rumors suggest at least one iPhone 13 will feature a Face ID and an in-display fingerprint sensor.


New iPhones always come with improved processors. For the new iPhone series, expect to see an “A15” processor with a chipset manufactured by TrendForce.


For a long time, it looked like iPhone would eventually follow the iPad Pro series by replacing the Lightning port with USB-C. The introduction last year of MagSafe charging, however, suggests something else could be brewing. Instead of a Lightning port, this year’s iPhone Pro models might go portless. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini are likely to keep the Lightning port, however.


This year’s iPhone should include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X60 third-generation 5G modem or the X65 and X70 Qualcomm modem chips. These chips also support Wi-Fi 6E, which offers higher performance, lower latency, and faster data rates. It also provides increased bandwidth over the2.4 and 5GHz WiFi bands.

What About the iPhone SE?

The iPhone SE (2nd generation) arrived four years after the original. The time frame suggests there won’t be a third-generation model in 2021. If there is a surprise update, we could see the end of Touch ID on Apple handsets. The iPhone SE (2nd generation) is the only Apple handset on the market without Face ID.


Apple currently sells the following handsets:

  • 4.7-inch iPhone SE (second-generation), released in 2020
  • 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini, 2020
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 12, 2020
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, 2020
  • 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max, 2020
  • 6.1-inch, iPhone XR, 2018
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 11, 2019

The likely 2021 lineup:

  • 4.7-inch iPhone SE (second-generation), released in 2020
  • 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini, 2021
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 13, 2021
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro, 2021
  • 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max, 2021
  • 6.1-inch, iPhone 12, 2020
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 11, 2019

Should You Wait Until the iPhone 13?

A lot of people like to wait until there is a design change to purchase a new iPhone. That change happened in 2020 with the iPhone 12 series. With no design change expected this year, the choice is yours to upgrade now or wait until the new handsets arrive in the fall. If you need a new iPhone, find the one you can afford now, and enjoy. Otherwise, there’s nothing wrong with waiting. In time, we’ll hear more rumors about the iPhone 13 series.

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