Apple’s 2021 iPhones might finally have a smaller notch and, for some models, faster refresh rate displays, according to a new note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He also shared rumored information about other upcoming iPhones, including when we could see a foldable phone from Apple.
Let’s start with the iPhone launching this year, which we’ll call it the iPhone 13. Kuo says the iPhone 13 lineup will consist of the same models as the iPhone 12, meaning that despite reports of poor sales of the iPhone 12 mini, the smaller phone could still get a refresh this year (via MacRumors). The two iPhone 13 Pro models will also have 120Hz refresh rate screens thanks to LTPO display technology, according to Kuo, finally bringing the iPhone on par with many Android flagships’ high refresh rate screens.
The iPhone 13 models will all have a smaller notch, Kuo says, though if you wish that Apple would do away with the notch entirely, you might have something to look forward to in 2022. Kuo reports that at least some of the 2022 iPhone models will move to a hole-punch display, which could be similar to many Android phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S21 lineup and Google’s Pixel phones (via MacRumors).
However, in addition to a selfie camera, the iPhone’s notch currently contains components used for Apple’s Face ID biometric authentication system, and Kuo didn’t elaborate on if or how this rumored hole-punch display for iPhones could still pack in everything needed for Face ID. And if you’re dreaming of a iPhone with no visible notch or hole punch, Kuo says that Apple may launch a truly all-screen iPhone in the second half of 2023 at the earliest, according to 9to5Mac.
Kuo also says the iPhone 13 devices will still have a Lightning port, will have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X60 modem (which is a step up from the X55 modem included in the iPhone 12), and will have larger battery capacities than the iPhone 12.
There’s also a new iPhone SE in the works that will support 5G and have an improved processor, according to Kuo (via MacRumors). This new SE is expected to have a similar form factor as the current $399 model with a 4.7-inch screen and could launch in the first half of 2022, Kuo says.
Kuo has previously reported that Apple has a larger iPhone SE in the works that uses a Touch ID sensor integrated into the power button, which would be similar to the new iPad Air, but it sounds like the 5G-capable iPhone SE may be something different. Kuo said in the new note that “there is no visibility on the current schedule” for Apple to bring power button Touch ID (or, notably, USB-C) to iPhones, according to AppleInsider, leaving the future of this rumored larger iPhone SE uncertain.
Apple is also working on a foldable iPhone with a 7.5- to eight-inch display that could launch in 2023, Kuo says. However, the project seems to be in a very early stage, according to MacRumors’ article about Kuo’s report.
A 2023 launch would be dependent on Apple being able to solve “key technology and mass production issues” this year. He says the product has “not yet officially kicked off,” so it appears to still be in the research stage and previous rumors have indicated Apple could still decide not to proceed with it.
Bloomberg has also reported on Apple’s early plans for a foldable iPhone, saying in January that the company “hasn’t solidified plans to actually launch” the new device.