With the iPhone 12 being one of Apple's bestsellers and a massive success, the company’s challenge a year later, is to get similar attention for their iPhone 13.
For the iPhone 12, Apple touted 5G wireless as one of its key new features and promised more reliability as well as faster downloads. Apple may well be looking at the heavens for the next big breakthrough for this year's iPhone.
It is expected Apple will offer the iPhone 13 that may include technology that allows users to make emergency phone calls even while cellular signals are not available. This new feature, which apparently uses a chip that can communicate with satellites, may however not yet be available this year. The new iPhone will however still use 5G wireless technology to achieve normal connectivity.
The new feature, if available this year, may help the latest iPhone differentiate itself, although it will look virtually the same as the iPhone 12. The only visual difference is reportedly a smaller notch for the front-facing sensors and camera. Other features that may likely be included are new colors, an improved screen, and an upgraded camera.
The launch this year will be yet another test for Apple. The company already has a billion iPhones being used around the globe actively and the phone's popularity is still growing.
The iPhone 12 was such a big success that it propelled Apple's profits and sales to new highs, despite being launched during one of the worst economic and health crises on record. The iPhone 13 will need to assist Apple in keeping the momentum going, even as the pandemic stubbornly keeps going.
The hype surrounding new iPhones typically appears muted when the same outward design is used. Apple acknowledges this to some degree and adds the letter "S" to the name of iPhones that only have internal changes. This started with the iPhone 3GS launches in 2009, and the company originally claimed it stood for "speed." Apple has used these ‘S’ version iPhones to introduce new internal features.
The Siri voice assistant was introduced with the iPhone 4S, while the Touch ID fingerprint sensor was incorporated in the iPhone 5S for the first time.
It won't matter whether Apple names its latest iPhone the iPhone 13 or the iPhone 12S. What will matter is if Apple is able to add enough new features to the phone after last year’s one of its biggest iPhone launches in its history.
The company does however seem to already have a head start. A phone reseller, SellCell, found in a survey that 44% of current iPhone owners are already planning to upgrade to iPhone 13 models when these are launched. This alone would result in tens of millions of new iPhones being sold.
Boosted by Apple Watch
The Apple Watch is definitely no longer only an iPhone accessory.
Apple's success has in part been due to interconnecting products such as the Apple Watch, and AirPods wireless earbuds. This ecosystem of companion services and products has helped create the giant of industry.
It is therefore worth mentioning that although the iPhone may this year not change much physically, it is reported the Apple Watch will.
The new watch may be known as the Apple Watch 7, and reports suggest it will come in 45mm and 41mm sizes, slightly bigger than the 44mm and 40mm currently available. This small increase will reportedly enable a new, flat-edge design. This will be a significant move away from the curved edged design used since the device was first launched in 2015. Reports also indicate the screen's bezels may reduce in size, thereby enabling an increased viewable screen area.
Though Apple Watch sales are nowhere close to that of iPhones, reports indicate it sells more units than the Swiss watch industry’s entire output. It has also become the key crowning device for iPhones, and Apple reports that 75% of sales are from users buying their first Apple Watch.
An analyst at Strategy Analytics, Neil Mawston, wrote last year that traditional Swiss watch makers, such as Tissot and Swatch, were losing the smartwatch battle. Apple’s products are better and the firm delivers via deeper retail channels. Apple Watch also appeals more to younger consumers who increasingly demand digital wristwear.
5G Still a Factor
A year after the iPhone 12’s success in adopting superfast 5G wireless, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple believes that was only the beginning of 5G wireless upgrades.
During a conference call with analysts, Cook noted that people around the globe don't have easy access to 5G signals yet. This means that people currently have less reason to upgrade and potentially more reason to do so once the signals are freely available.
Connectivity via satellite may also be an additional feature that helps the iPhone stand out from its competitors. Whether this is a regular feature or more of an emergency-use perk however remains to be seen.