The iPhone 13 is still months away, but we’re already getting hints on what the generation coming after it is going to look like. The camera module will see a big upgrade, but if you’re a fan of the “mini” size iPhone 12, that probably won’t be part of the family by then.
A new report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that Apple may drop the 5.4-inch iPhone from its 2022 lineup, and instead will only offer two mainstream and two high-end “Pro” models in 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch sizes. The company will still offer the 5.4-inch model as part of the iPhone 13 lineup, but that’s possibly the end of the road for the “mini” size.
The 5.4-inch iPhone is currently represented by the iPhone 12 mini, which was meant to attract fans of smaller sized phones like the iPhone SE. Apple expected strong demand for it, but consumers overwhelmingly chose the larger models. This prompted the company to significantly reduce its production goals for both the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone SE.
It’s not yet clear if this is due to the ongoing shortage of chips, but that may have played a role in the decision to cut the “mini” model from the 2022 iPhone lineup.
The iPhone 13 is expected to be an S-style upgrade which will keep the same design and offer slightly improved internals. The iPhone 14, on the other hand, will likely be a bolder release that could forgo the Lightning port for a truly wireless experience.
Kuo believes the camera module will also see a substantial upgrade, with a 48-megapixel main shooter that will feature a larger sensor than existing iPhones as well as all Android flagships.
The new sensor is expected to offer better image quality in Night Mode as well as support for 8K video capture, and could integrate the same sensor-shift image stabilization technology found in the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Apple may choose to output images at 12 megapixels despite the higher resolution, similar to the “four cell merge output mode” used by high-end Android phones. Kuo also speculates the upgraded camera will produce captures that are “more suitable for AR/MR devices.”
Come 2023, Apple could introduce a periscope telephoto lens and drop the notch for under-display Touch ID and Face ID system. But that’s a long way off, and the company would do well to fix things like MagSafe before then.