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Apple launches its new iPhones with impressive regularity. The second Tuesday of September is the date that Apple has chosen more often than not for the past decade. 

This run was obviously interrupted last year as Covid caused delays with manufacturers, pushing last year’s iPhone release date back a month, to October.

Will this happen again with the iPhone 13 release date. It’s still too early to say, however, Apple has a tried and tested product launch calendar that (all things going well) it likes to stick to – more on this below. 

iPhone 13 release date NZ

Tuesday 14th September, 2021

Apple is relatively consistent with its iPhone releases. The trend from the previous launches – apart from last year, as is was disrupted by Covid – is easy to spot: the second Tuesday in September. That’s the date when Apple likes to put its execs on stage and announce the new iPhone to the world. The iPhone’s release date is usually a couple of weeks later. And we expect to see a return to this tried and tested routine in 2021 with the iPhone 13.

COVID-19 may impact this potential release date, but Apple will now be able to prepare for any impacts the virus may cause and work around them. So we think they will be able to meet a September 2021 release date for the new iPhone.

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What the 2021 iPhone be called?

Obviously, the most logical choice for the next iPhone would be to name it the iPhone 13. However, if we look to the past, going up one number isn’t always the case when Apple releases and names its new devices.

With previous phones, Apple released “S” versions of its devices. After the iPhone 4 was released, a year later Apple released the 4s, followed by the iPhone 5 and then the iPhone 5s. This naming process alternated year on year until the release of the 6s. 

This was a while ago, and Apple seemed to divert from that naming process however, in 2018 we saw the release of the XS and the XS Max. This may be a three-year naming strategy in which Apple releases an “S” version as opposed to going up one whole number. This means that the next iPhone could be called the iPhone 12s.

Also, the number 13 has negative connotations in some countries and might avoid that number altogether. It could be a case of releasing theiPhone 12s, followed by the iPhone 14 in 2022.

We expect the next device Apple releases, whatever it’s called, to have 4 versions, just like the iPhone 12. We believe Apple will stick with its mini, vanilla, Pro and Pro Max versions with the next iPhone.

How much will the iPhone 13 cost?

The next iPhone is likely to cost around NZD$1,599 (USD$899; £899) Based on the rise in price between the iPhone 11 NZD$1,349 (USD$599; £599) and the iPhone 12 NZD$1,499 (USD$799; £799) we can see that the iPhone 12 jumps in price by around NZD$150. We can expect a similar jump in price when the iPhone 13 is released.

Apple likes to release 4 different versions of its phones to provide a range of different prices to suit a larger audience. If we look at the prices of the iPhone 12 on release, we are expecting the iPhone 13 to follow a similar pattern:

  • iPhone 12 mini – NZD$1,349 (USD$699; £699) 
  • iPhone 12 – NZD$1,499 (USD$799; £799) 
  • iPhone 12 Pro – NZD$1,899 (USD$999; £999) 
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max – NZD$2,099 (USD$1,099; £1,099) 
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What will the iPhone 13 look like?

While we cannot guarantee that there won’t be drastic changes in the look and style of the next iPhone we are predicting that it’ll look very similar to the iPhone 12. 

Apple is relatively conservative with the design of its devices. We have seen from previous iPhones that Apple likes to stick with a design for three or four generations, and we expect the next iPhone to be much the same as the iPhone 12. 

iPhone 13 screen changes

Screen Size

We are expecting that the iPhone 13 will be released with the same size screens as the iPhone 12 range. 5.4in, 6.1in and 6.7in. However, the iPhone 12 mini has not sold well. While other manufacturers would be happy with the numbers the mini did, it just didn’t do as well as Apple was expecting. Apple overestimated the demand for a smaller phone. They have found that customers didn’t necessarily want a smaller phone like the popular iPhone SE. They wanted an iPhone with the same low price point as the SE. 

The iPhone 12 mini, is a small phone, but it’s an expensive phone. It wasn’t the budget option that fans of the SE thought it would be, and it hasn’t performed well.

This may mean Apple decides to scrap the mini option for the iPhone 13, meaning there could be only 3 versions of the new iPhone. However, we think they’ll give it one more shot before fully getting rid of the mini version of its devices.

Screen tech

Apple will stick with OLED displays however, there are rumours that they may implement LTPO display technology with the iPhone 13. The Apple Watch uses LTPO display technology to reduce battery drain, extending battery performance by up to 15%. This would allow for an always-on display for the iPhone 13 that doesn’t affect battery life.

120hz refresh rate

Many Android devices already have 90hz and 120hz display refresh rates. The iPhone 12 was lacking in this area, being locked at a 60hz refresh rate. 

It was a surprising decision as the iPad Pro already had 90hz/120hz screens, and we were slightly disappointed by the iPhone 12’s refresh rate. 

Leaving the door open for the iPhone 13 to catch up to the competition – we are expecting it to have a 90-120hz refresh rate.

Smaller notch

The iPhone 12 notch at the top of the screen has been a contentious issue for owners of the device. Some feel that it’s too large and intrusive on the screen. 

We predict that Apple will attempt to make this smaller with the iPhone 13 by moving components found in the iPhone 12’s notch to other areas of the phone. We think that Apple will attempt to move the TrueDepth receiver in the notch to the side of the iPhone 13, making it smaller and less intrusive.

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iPhone 13 upgrades


We expect the iPhone 13 will upgrade its processor to the A15. This will obviously be faster than the already incredible A14 chip, and these improvements will boost efficiency in the iPhone 13.


It’s hard to predict what Apple will do with the batteries in the next iPhone. The battery performance of the iPhone 12 has been a sore point for customers, and Apple will need to decide if this is an area that they want to focus on with the iPhone 13.

A larger, more efficient battery potentially means a larger phone, and it could affect the slim (ish) design we’re used to with iPhones. Also, better screens with higher refresh rates will have a significant impact on battery life. However, with the introduction of LTPO screen technology, an upgraded 5G modem and a more efficient processor, we can expect the iPhone 13 will have better battery performance than its predecessor.


It doesn’t look like there will be any substantial changes to the cameras on the iPhone 13. Instead, they will improve the technology that is available on the high-end versions of the iPhone 12, the Pro and Pro Max, and make them available for all versions of the iPhone 13. 

Apple has a three-year agreement with Sony to implement its LiDAR technology on all versions of the iPhone 13. This technology is used to measure 3D space and allows for better images to be taken in low light scenarios. 

We can expect improvements to be made to the ultra-wide-angle lens of the iPhone 12. We predict that the aperture will be changed from f2.4 to f1.8, which will double the amount of light that the lens can take in. We also expect the wide-angle lens will get an autofocus feature to improve close up images. 

Only the iPhone 12 Pro Max has sensor-shift optical stabilisation in the 12 range. We expect that all phones in the 13 range will have this image stabilisation. 

mmWave 5G

Apple has made a large order for mmWave antenna. While iPhone 12’s in the US already offer mmWave, other countries do not get this form of 5G with their iPhone 12s. 

We expect mmWave 5G to be implemented on all iPhone 13’s not just in the US. This will allow countries like the UK and others to get faster 5G at 1-2GB per second instead of the 100-400megabits offered by Sub-6 GHz.

Fingerprint sensor under the display

With many Android phones being released with under-display fingerprint sensors, we expect the iPhone 13 to follow suit.

In a COVID-19 world, facemasks are rendering face ID technology useless with phones. We expect Apple will introduce a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone or under the display with the iPhone 13.

Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.


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