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Apple iPhone rumor roundup: portless iPhone 13, foldables, bigger SE

Here’s everything we know about the upcoming iPhones

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Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

If you’re a long time Apple fan, iPhones, over the years, aren’t safe in the eyes and ears of tech leaksters, case makers, and supply chains of iPhone components. From the early prototypes of the iPhone, to the groundbreaking iPhone 4s, up until the “revolutionary” iPhone X, nothing has stopped insiders from leaking information to expose Apple.

Our iPhone 12 and SE rumor roundup caused some noise last year, with most of the rumors coming true. This time, we’re doing a follow-up list not just about iPhone 12‘s successor, but also with other phone advancements Apple has in mind — specifically for the year 2021 until 2022.

Disclaimer: Everything you see here are just leaks and rumors and nothing has been confirmed yet.

iPhone 13 (or 12s)

Apple’s naming scheme has been odd ever since the introduction of the iPhone X. From X, XR, XS, 11 and 12, all the way to the superlative-driven “Plus“, “Pro“, “Max“, and “Pro Max“, it’s usually unpredictable. There are even names for less expensive variants such as the “mini“, “C” and “SE“.

While most of us are expecting it to be named “13”, a Bloomberg report suggests that Apple engineers are thinking of bringing back the “S” branding as the upcoming generation will have minor changes in design and more improvements in hardware.

Same design and sizes

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Based on the Japanese blog Mac Otakara, the only design change we can look forward to is the thickness with a slight bump of around 0.26mm.

Expect the upcoming iPhone 13 (or 12s) series to look the same as its predecessors — either with the regular 6.1-inch size or a massive 6.7-inch display for the Max model. Of course, it will still have the new flat-edge design.

UPDATE 1: It’s also rumored that these new iPhones will feature a different matte-textured back for a slightly better grip, reminiscent of the Google Pixel 5‘s back.

UPDATE 2: iPhone 14 series (for 2022) might come with a stronger titanium chassis — which were used on older Apple Watches.

Rose Gold comeback

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

iFans know that the last iPhone with a Rose Gold color option was the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus series. With other exclusive colors such as Midnight Green on the iPhone 11 Pro series, Purple on the iPhone 11, Coral on the iPhone XR, and currently the Pacific Blue on the iPhone 12 Pro series, it wouldn’t be a surprise for Apple to bring back this unique colorway to the shelves again as it was loved by a lot of users.

(Who knows, BLACKPINK’s Rosé might actually own this and call it Rosé Gold 🥁)

Adaptive 120Hz + Always-On Display

While this was previously rumored for the iPhone 12 Pro Max last year, the feature didn’t push through as they faced several compatibility issues with its display driver. But in the latest tweet posted by Ross Young, the faster display refresh rate might finally come to this year’s iPhone 13.

Different with the current OLED-based Super Retina XDR display, Apple might rather equip it with a ProMotion display that’s also found on several iPad Pro models. That rumor was reported as early as 2019.

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

The new display will use LTPO technology to maximize the fast refresh rate while keeping it as low as 1Hz under static conditions to lessen its overall battery consumption. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6 are the closest Apple devices with such display tech.

The delay might have been a blessing in disguise. The longer testing duration means Apple might be able to fix it earlier and be able to bring that buttery smooth 120Hz refresh rate, at least on the Pro models. Though adaptive, it’s still better than the aging 60Hz display of previous iPhones.

UPDATE: With the Always-On Display feature among LTPO-powered Apple Watches, it comes to no surprise that Apple may finally bring the Always-On display feature in this year’s iPhones.

Thinner notch

With the rise and fall of pop-up cameras, sliders, flipping and rotating mechanisms, punch-hole cutouts, and under-display cameras at its infancy stage, it shows that Apple doesn’t want to use half-baked tech just to achieve that “fullscreen” display.

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

In a DigiTimes report, the notch will still be there, but it will be shrunk by re-shuffling the earpiece, sensors, and set of cameras to accommodate components in a shorter surface area.

As outdated as the notch gets, Apple’s Face ID is still one of the most secure and fool-proof biometric solutions among smartphones. With its host of components that make up Apple’s TrueDepth system, it’s understandable that shrinking the notch is still challenging.

In-display + Side-Mounted Touch ID

Using Face ID in public has been tough especially in this pandemic. For the record, the latest Touch ID-equipped Apple devices are the M1 MacBook Pro and Air, as well as last year’s iPhone SE and the 4th-generation iPad Air.

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

While the iPhone SE sticks with the traditional home button implementation, the new iPad Air and 2016-2020 MacBook models have fingerprint sensors embedded into the power button. Unfortunately, this feature didn’t make it to the latest iPhone 12 series.

Based on my Galaxy S21 Ultra review, Samsung’s ultrasonic sensor is faster and more reliable than an optical-based sensor. For now, we just have to wait and see Apple’s special in-depth Touch ID system based on a larger optical image sensor as seen in this patent.

UPDATE 1: Future iPhones might include a Touch ID into the power button just like the 2020 iPad Air.

UPDATE 2: Apple gives up bringing the in-display Touch ID to this year’s iPhones.

Same (yet different) camera setup and design

In a recent GadgetMatch article, the popular leakster Ming-Chi Kuo stated that Apple might not upgrade the cameras until 2023 — which is a strategy that’s not totally new. Google has been doing this for quite a while with the Sony IMX363-equipped Pixel 3 up until the latest Pixel 5. All camera improvements come from computational imaging, AI (artificial intelligence), and added software algorithm.

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

That report might be limited to the wide and telephoto lenses, though. In another article, Kuo also claimed that there’s a major Ultra-Wide Angle (UWA) lens upgrade among Pro models with a larger sensor, better lenses (from 5P to 6P/six-elements) and wider aperture (from f/2.4 to f/1.86). These changes will greatly improve ultra-wide night shots and better Depth of Field (DoF). Anyhow, there’s no word if it will have a wider Field of View (FoV) than the usual 120-degrees.

Other than that, the camera design might have some changes — from the trio-rrific circular camera bump to a cleaner design with Sapphire Glass (or maybe Ceramic Shield, who knows?) covering all lenses for better protection from scratches and unintentional cracks. Those issues occurred in some owners of the iPhone 11 Pro and 12 Pro models.

One thing’s for sure: this new design will solve the dilemma of people with trypophobia (or the fear of seeing clusters of holes).

UPDATE 1: An improved 48MP wide-angle camera might come to the 2022 iPhone models.

UPDATE 2: The regular iPhone 12s / 13 alongside its mini version might have a slight camera layout change, arranged diagonally instead of being vertically-aligned like it used to.

Sensor-Shift OIS + LiDAR Scanner

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

The “Pro camera system” barrier between the regular and Pro models might be gone in the iPhone 13/12s series. It was reported that regular models will also feature LiDAR Scanners just like on the newer iPad Pro and iPhone 12 Pro series. Meanwhile, Sensor-Shift OIS (which is currently a 12 Pro Max-exclusive) might be present in all 13/12s models as well — or at least in the smaller Pro variant.

LiDAR Scanners are helpful for better AR experience and more precise autofocus in low-light situations. On the other hand, Sensor-Shift is an OIS technology where stabilization happens within the sensor which results to more stable video clips. Usual phone cameras rely on lens-based OIS and/or software-based EIS (Electronic).

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

With these latest reports, the report where iPhone is rumored to have a quad-camera setup with the inclusion of a 64-megapixel anamorphic lens might just stay as a myth that needs to be debunked.

UPDATE: LiDAR Scanners might still be limited to the Pro models.

Astrophotography Mode

If you’re a fan of astronomy and everything celestial, this new camera feature might be for you.

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Astrophotography mode is the ability to shoot photos of the night sky under a longer period — even longer than Apple’s existing Night Mode feature. Although this isn’t necessarily a new feature as this has already been around for years starting with the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL, it’s still a great addition for those who want it without leaving iOS and the Apple ecosystem.

8K Video Recording + Portrait Video Mode

Back in October 2020, a deleted tweet by @macintoshleak states that the next iPhone might feature native 8K video recording — either in 30 or 45fps (frames per second).

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Although it’s uncertain and the leaker already deleted his account, this might still be a possibility as Apple pioneered its Bionic and Silicon chips. It’s not far from happening as the latest Snapdragon, Exynos, and Kirin chipsets are capable of capturing 8K videos.

UPDATE 1: A prominent YouTuber and leakster EverythingApplePro reveals that the upcoming iPhone might also have a Portrait Video Mode where background blur is enabled when shooting videos. The user will also have the ability to adjust the blur strength after taking the video, just like how Portrait Mode works in existing iPhones.

UPDATE 2: 8K video recording support will most likely be introduced in the 2022 iPhone series.

Even better A15 Bionic Chip

The A14 Bionic Chip is one of the best around — but its built-in 5G modem from Qualcomm has some serious battery draining issues as reported by most iPhone 12 users in the Apple Community.

It’s rumored that Apple might ditch Qualcomm in favor of an in-house 5G chip currently in the works. This makes sense considering Apple acquired Intel’s 5G division two years ago.

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

With the slow and steady expansion of 5G connectivity across several nations and borders, Apple might also pick either between the mmWave or sub-6GHz band to reduce production costs. Previously, Apple equipped both, depending on one’s region.

There’s also a rumor for Wi-Fi 6E support. Barclays Analysts are confident that this new 6GHz Wi-Fi band will help achieve faster speeds and lessen latency.

UPDATE: Future iPhones will come with a 3-4nm processor made by TSMC with significant improvements both in performance and power consumption.

Portless iPhone Pro

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

As early as 2020, it was reported that Apple has envisioned an iPhone without any ports. With the introduction of MagSafe on iPhones, it’s pretty clear what path they’re trying to take.

Although the current MagSafe charging isn’t as fast as conventional wired charging, the portless model will still rely on it anyway. Other than that, physical buttons will be replaced by capacitive ones, and the physical SIM slot will be gone in favor of e-SIM.

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

This type of form factor might also introduce better water and dust resistance. Although there are still components with openings such as the microphone, speaker grilles, and earpiece, this might also make it the first smartphone that’s capable of shooting under deeper water depths. However, this will be a disaster for future repairs.

Other than that, another prominent leaker Jon Prosser said that Apple will eventually add a maxed out 1TB storage option to the Pro lineup — that will cost you another fortune. Meanwhile, the regular models will come in a larger 128GB base storage option instead of the measly 64GB.

UPDATE 1: It’s also said that the upcoming iPhone will have stronger and bigger magnets for an improved MagSafe charging and attachments.

UPDATE 2: 2022 Pro iPhones might still max out at 512GB of internal storage and still no 1TB storage option planned.

UPDATE 3: Apple is also planning to make iPhones more responsive under deeper water depths with a specialized camera interface known as Underwater Mode.

Reverse Charging

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

This technology isn’t particularly new — especially among Android flagships. Reverse wireless charging made one of its first appearances with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro in 2018. Samsung also did it through “Wireless PowerShare” with their Galaxy S10 lineup.

In a tweet by Mark Gurman last October 2020, it was revealed that Apple submitted an FCC filing where there’s a “hidden” reverse charging feature for iPhones. Though there’s no workaround in the latest iPhone 12 series, the iPhone 13 might actually have it built-in. It might also be extra handy if the upcoming AirPods would come with MagSafe so it magnetically snaps onto the back of the iPhone.

The mini might be gone for good

Image by GadgetMatch

Bad news for fans of everything mini, Apple might just scrap the smaller model for good. ICYMI, Apple has currently reduced the production of the iPhone 12 mini due to low sales and demand. Other than the smaller display, battery drain issues might also be a reason. We’re still hoping that they’ll make a successor of the same size but with improved battery life.

Foldables: Is this the future of iPhone?

In last year’s rumor listicle, Apple had no early plans of announcing a foldable iPhone. But with the continuous developments of devices with foldable displays from major brands such as Samsung, Huawei, OPPO, Xiaomi, motorola, and even smaller brands like TCL and Royole, Apple’s R&D department might be gearing towards the goal of launching one (or two) folding devices in 2022 to be able to catch up with the current foldable race.

UPDATE: Apple might delay the launch of their first foldable in 2023 instead.

iFold = iPhone and iPad in one?

In a patent submitted by Apple last November 2020, it reveals an illustration that looks like a folding iPad. Another patent also reveals how Apple tried to create self-healing displays that might be helpful for the continuous wear and tear of flexible displays over time.

To make the plan closer to reality, it was reported that Apple has partnered with Foxconn and New Nikko for the hinges. For the flexible displays, it will obviously be supplied by Samsung. Moreover, it was seen in a Foxconn plant in China that they were done with the hinge durability tests for two Apple foldable prototypes.

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

This new form factor opened the possibilities of owning a foldable within the reach of the consumer’s pockets. This is the most iconic (yet the most expensive) foldable — it’s a large phone when shut but transforms into a bigger tablet when unfolded. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Z Fold2 are the pioneers of this form factor. Other than those two, Huawei also has the Mate X and Xs in its portfolio.

UPDATE: Another insider reveals that the foldable iPhone (or iPad) may have an Apple Pencil support right out of the box. This makes sense considering the latest iPads support the first and second-generation Apple Pencils.

Weird iPhone Flex, But Okay

“Weird flex, but okay” is a phrase you hear among younger Gen Zs who love flexing their parent-bought luxuries — including the iPhones they use.

With the latest clamshell offerings like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip and the motorola razr, it would be appealing (or maybe appalling for some) to see a clam shell iPhone.

In the latest YouTube video by Jon Prosser, Apple might actually launch this first over the other with several dazzling colors in tow, closely targeting the younger audience. But unlike the previous claim, Prosser believes this will be launched as late as 2023.

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Imagine, a large-screen iPhone folding into a smaller factor that fits right in your jeans’ pocket — that would be useful for most who dislike the absurdity of phablets. For the sassier ones, shutting the phone to ignore someone’s call might actually be another form of the “iPhone Flex”.

The Dual-Screen Approach

Based on the same Foxconn report, the first prototype is a dual-screen model. This form is the most cost-efficient by having two flat displays connected by a hinge mechanism like what you find in most laptops. Again, this isn’t a new type of foldable as there are devices like LG’s V60 ThinQ 5G and Velvet Dual Screen, as well as Microsoft’s Surface Duo.

Concept by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

There was a prototype that came out in the news as early as June 2020 with hints of the multi-link hinge patent — similar to a metallic watch band. Another hinge patent was also submitted as recent as January 2021. This time it’s made out of a Fabric Composite Friction material.

Is this a more practical approach towards iPhone’s first foldable device? Or would you rather pick those with flexible displays?

iPhone SE 3: Better late than never?

The leaks about the next-generation iPhone SE are uncertain. Last year, it was rumored to have a bigger form factor than the current SE — either with a 5.5-inch Retina Display a la iPhone 6, 6s, 7, and 8 Plus or a full 6.1-inch screen just like on the iPhone XR and 11.

While the latest report from Mac Otakara and Kuo state that it will be launched sometime in April 2021 together with the new AirPods Pro, Ross Young denies the rumor by saying that it will be delayed until Q1 2022.

The generation between the first and second-generation iPhone SE took four years, but with Apple selling the latest iPhone SE like hot pancakes, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see an updated SE after a year.

Concept by Vincenz Lee

Several renditions show that it might be based on the iPhone 12 mini’s form factor with a 5.4-inch punch-hole display. But knowing Apple, they want their phones to look as streamlined as possible. Although it’s given that the Face ID will be ditched for cheaper costs, the notch will most likely stay. And unlike the in-display Touch ID of the upcoming iPhone 13/12s series, this might have an embedded one instead.

UPDATE 1: The next-generation iPhone SE wasn’t released this 2021 and will most likely be announced in Early 2022.

UPDATE 2: The iPhone SE Plus with a bigger 6-inch display might come as late as 2023.


We’ll update this article with every new leak and/or rumor on the Apple iPhone 13/12s, as well as the foldable iPhones and SE 3.

Laptops

Samsung, Intel are making a slidable PC

Prototype right now

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When Samsung heralded the coming of the foldable phone, all eyes were unfortunately fixed on the ghastly crease stretching from end to end. Years since that moment, the crease never really disappeared. Smartphone brands did their best to reduce their impact, but it still remains a problem. Samsung, perhaps doubling back to fix the long-standing problem, has introduced a new form factor for the future: the slidable PC.

During Intel’s Innovation event, Samsung Display and Intel unveiled a prototype device showcasing a unique (but not altogether new) concept. Instead of a foldable hinge, the 13-inch display “slides” into a 17-inch display. Both companies effectively created a tablet that can turn into a laptop.

Since the prototype already works as a display, it’s easy to see how an eventual device might work. Starting off as a large tablet, the device expands and connects to an external keyboard (or another accessory).

The prototype should look familiar, too. Although Intel uses “slidable” as a term, other brands — like LG — have created similar form factors but labeled as “rollable.” Unfortunately, LG exited the smartphone business before creating a workable product for everyone.

Without other brands, it looks like Samsung and Intel are both on the hunt to bring the device to reality. At the moment, it is still a prototype. There is no timeline for a product yet. However, Intel seems resolute that foldable isn’t the future of PCs.

SEE ALSO: Samsung teases that sliding, rolling displays are coming

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Steam announces when next sales are

Autumn, Winter, Spring

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Christmas is right around the corner. If you want to get a head start on buying something for yourself, it’s important to know when the biggest sales are. Now, gamers have a date on when they can bust out their wallets. Valve has officially announced when the autumn, winter, and spring Steam sales are happening.

The next sale — the traditional Autumn Sale — will happen between November 22 through 29. It’s quite a big gap for a head start, but it should give gamers a healthy library to play when the Christmas vacation starts.

On the other hand, if rush shopping is more you, the Winter Sale will happen between December 22 through January 5. It’s a Christmas treat.

If you’re familiar with Steam’s usual calendar of sales, you might not have heard of a Spring Sale before. Traditionally, the platform holds the Lunar New Year Sale in lieu of a seasonal theme. This time, Steam is keeping things consistent. The newly dubbed Spring Sale will happen between March 16 through 23. It’s also a later date than the previous Lunar New Year Sale.

Steam sales are usually a treat for gamers who play on a PC. Though the platform frowns on gigantic 95 percent off discounts now, platform-wide sales events can still house delectable bargains. Now, whether or not you’ll have time to play all of them is another story altogether.

SEE ALSO: Steam: No more 95% off sales

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WIKO 10 smartphone introduced to the Philippines

French brand joins entry-level segment

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WIKO 10

French brand WIKO is entering the Philippine market and challenging competitors, introducing the WIKO 10 smartphone in the country.

Operating on Android 12, the entry-level WIKO 10 will have identical specs and features like most counterpart devices in its segment.

First off, it is powered by a Helio G37 chipset and a 5,000mAH battery that support for 22.5W WIKO SuperCharge and wireless reverse charging which powers smaller devices like a smart band or wireless headsets.

With 4GB of memory and 128GB storage, the phone may also be used for gaming, given that it has a multi-stage overheating current control mechanism incorporated.

The display is a 6.74-inch (1600 x 720) large full-screen LCD with an aspect ratio of 20:9. 

When it comes to the camera setup, the smartphone has a triple camera setup at the back bannered by a 50MP main shooter (F1.8) that has a Smart HDR feature. In front is an 8MP selfie camera.

Other features include:

  • Dual SIM
  • microSD slot
  • 4G LTE
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Fingerprint scanner

WIKO Buds 10 also released

Alongside the phone’s launch, WIKO has also announced the WIKO Buds 10, a pair of wireless earbuds with Bluetooth 5.2 technology that offers up to 30 hours of usage with its charging case.

The earbuds have a 12mm dynamic driver to deliver high-quality audio with deep bass. It also has environmental noise cancellation. What sets this pair apart from the others is its built-in dual mics for voice capturing.

Pricing, availability

The WIKO 10 will be available in three colors: Klein Blue, Silver, and Black. It will retail for PhP 8,990 on Shopee, Lazada, and authorized WIKO stores and kiosks.

The WIKO Buds 10, meanwhile, will be sold for PhP 1,499.

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