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As we get closer to the launch of the 2021 iPhone lineup, rumors surrounding what may come after the iPhone 13 have already begun circulating.

Beyond-iPhone-13-Feature2.jpg

Apple is believed to plan its new iPhones several years in advance of their release, so it is highly likely that plans for 2022 and 2023 iPhone models are well underway at Apple. There have now been a sufficiently large number of reports from reliable sources about Apple's plans for the iPhone over the next few years, allowing us to build a provisional idea of what may be in store.

2022: iPhone 14 and iPhone SE 3?

In 2022, the iPhone will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary. It will mark five years since the first "all-screen" iPhone design, which premiered with the iPhone X in 2017. Currently, the tentatively titled "iPhone 14" is expected to feature:

  • Hole-punch front-facing camera design, replacing the notch.
  • Snapdragon X65 10 Gigabit 5G modem and antenna system.
  • A16 chip, manufactured using a 4nm fabrication process.
  • Vapor chamber thermal sytem for improved cooling.
  • Unibody lens design for flatter rear camera bump.
  • Upgraded telephoto camera.
  • Upgraded ultra wide cameras expanded to all models.

2022 is also expected to see the release of a third-generation iPhone SE model, which would be two years after the launch of the current model.

Android-Style Hole-Punch Camera Design

In 2022, Apple is expected to make some substantial design changes to the iPhone. Most strikingly, iPhone 14 Pro models will allegedly see their notch replaced with a punch-hole design, as seen on a number of premium Android devices.

While the change is expected for the high-end 2022 iPhones, if manufacturing yields are sufficient, the lower-end iPhone 14 models could also feature the same design.

iPhone-Hole-Punch-2.jpg

Apple has applied for a number of patents related to under-display Face ID technologies, but the company could also conceivably push some Face ID components and the front-facing speaker into the top bezel.

Barclays analysts believe that a smaller notch on iPhone 13 models will be the result of a "more tightly integrated version of the current structured light system" for Face ID, adding that a "bigger shift" is likely to come in 2022, with Apple apparently aiming to adopt time-of-flight architecture for Face ID that would allow for an "even smaller footprint."

The World's First 10 Gigabit 5G Modem and Antenna

In February 2021, Qualcomm introduced the the Snapdragon X65, which is the world's first 10 Gigabit 5G modem and antenna system for smartphones. While the X65 is not expected to be used for the iPhone 13 in 2021, it is expected to be added to Apple's 2022 iPhone.

qualcomm-snapdragon-x65-10-gigabit-5g.jpg

4nm A16 Chip

TrendForce believes it is highly likely that the A16 chip in 2022 iPhones will be manufactured based on TSMC's upcoming 4nm process, paving the way for further improvements to performance, power efficiency, and density.

tsmc_semiconductor_chip_inspection_678x452.jpg

Flatter Rear Camera Bump

‌The 2022 iPhone models are said to be adopting a new "unibody lens design," which Apple will use to reduce the thickness of the rear camera module.

Redesigned Cooling System

Starting in 2022, high-end iPhone models are likely to adopt a vapor chamber thermal system, providing it meets Apple's requirements for reliability. The system is said to be currently undergoing aggressive testing.

The VC thermal system will be purportedly be required for the high-end iPhones to enable better performance and faster 5G connection speeds. There are already smartphones from companies like Samsung, Razer, and LG that use vapor chamber cooling technology to keep devices at a lower temperature when under heavy strain.

Telephoto and Ultra Wide Camera Upgrades

All 2022 iPhone models are currently expected to see significant camera upgrades. The iPhone 14 Pro models could feature camera improvements that focus on the telephoto lens, with Apple upgrading from a 6-element lens to a 7-element lens.

iphone-12-pro-triple-camera-video.jpg

In 2021, the iPhone 13 Pro models are expected to get significantly upgraded Ultra Wide cameras, increasing from f/2.4 to f/1.8 and from a five-element lens to a six-element lens, also gaining autofocus instead of the current fixed focus. In 2022, these upgrades to the Ultra Wide camera are expected to trickle down to the entire iPhone 14 lineup instead of being reserved for the Pro models.

Third-Generation iPhone SE

Various analysts have said that a third-generation iPhone SE will arrive in the first half of 2022.

iphone-se-3-feature.jpg

There is some uncertainty around whether the device will keep its current design with a 4.7-inch display or mirror the iPhone 11 with a 6.1-inch display, but it is expected to retain the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and LCD display technology. Upgrades are likely to include sub-6GHz 5G and a newer A-series processor. There is also the chance of the iPhone SE adopting the iPhone 11's dual camera system with an added Ultra Wide lens.

2023: iPhone 15 and Foldable iPhone?

In 2023, it will be ten years since the launch of the popular iPhone 5s, and five years since Apple revealed the first large full-screen iPhone design in the iPhone XS Max. 2023's presumably-titled "iPhone 15" is currently rumored to feature:
  • A true full-screen design with no notch or hole-punch.
  • Under-display Touch ID fingerprint scanner.
  • Periscopic telephoto camera.
  • A17 chip, manufactured using a 3nm fabrication process.
  • Apple-designed 5G modem.

Rumors have also indicated that a new iPhone model with a clamshell folding design may debut in 2023. Keep in mind that the 2023 iPhone rumors are still years off, and what we're hearing now in terms of rumors may not actually materialize.

The First Truly Full-Screen iPhone

A minimum of one high-end iPhone model in 2023 is expected to feature the first true full-screen design with no notch or hole punch.

Presumably, if the hole-punch front-facing camera design is not rolled out to all iPhone models in 2022, being kept for Pro models only, then in 2023 the design will reach the lower-end models too.

Under-Display Touch ID

Apple is believed to be planning to implement a fingerprint scanner under the display of at least one high-end iPhone in 2023.

iPhone-12-Touch-ID-Feature-Img.jpg

Periscope Camera

In 2023, the iPhone is expected to adopt a "periscopic telephoto lens" for the first time. Periscope technology would allow for significantly increased optical zoom on iPhones, well beyond the current 2x and 2.5x limits on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, respectively. Huawei's P40 Pro+ smartphone, for example, features a periscope lens with up to 10x optical zoom.

Huawei-P30-Pro-periscope-camera-cross-section-920x485.png

Apple has allegedly run into trouble developing its own periscope camera system because much of the technology is guarded by other patents, and thus Apple is instead exploring purchasing the components from the patent holders instead. Samsung, for example, owns the "ball-type actuator" technology used in many periscope lenses.

3nm A17 Chip

Apple has committed to order chips fabricated using TSMC's 3nm process, which will be used for the A17 chip. The 3nm process yields 30 percent and 15 percent power consumption and performance improvements over the 5nm process, respectively, indicating notable advancements.

Apple-designed 5G Modem

Amid rumors of Apple working on its own 5G modem to move away from Qualcomm, recent reports have indicated that Apple could debut its custom-designed 5G cellular modem in all 2023 iPhone models.

Apple-5G-Modem-Feature-16x9.jpg

Apple reportedly began developing the modem in 2020, after acquiring the majority of Intel's smartphone modem business a year earlier to bolster its efforts, and 2023 may be when the modems are ready to be included in iPhones. Barclays previously said the modem will support both sub-6GHz and mmWave bands of 5G.

The First Foldable iPhone

Apple is purported to have started work on an iPhone with a foldable display. Multiple sources have stated that Apple could release a foldable iPhone with a 7 to 8-inch flexible OLED display as soon as 2023.

There have also been various corroborated rumors from the Asian supply chain about a foldable iPhone being tested.

foldable-iPhone-concept-feature.jpg

This may also be the first iPhone to feature Apple Pencil support due to its larger screen size.

For more on Apple's foray into foldable devices, make sure to check out our foldable iPhone guide.

iphone-13-mystery.jpg

It is essential to take rumors surrounding future iPhones with a pinch of salt, as there is still plenty of time for Apple's plans to change. Nonetheless, given the track record of many of the analysts and leakers from whom these reports are derived, it is likely that there is some truth to them.

For now, eyes are set on the iPhone 13 lineup, expected to arrive later this year. For more on Apple's most immediate new generation of iPhones due to arrive later this year, see our detailed roundup.

Article Link: Beyond iPhone 13: Long-Term iPhone Rumors
 
Last edited:

Populus

macrumors 68000
Aug 24, 2012
1,760
1,794
Valencia, Spain.
Wow, I was starting to wonder how the iPhone 16 was going to be like.

Now, more seriously, I am going to be brave here: I’m positive about the punch-hole camera, if that comes some day. I like that, specially if it looks like the render.

What I am genuinely interested about, is if the 2022 iPhone is still going to have a 5,4” or even 5,8” display, or rather the mini is going to disappear and the smallest size will be the huge 6,1” iPhone.

Let’s say I am primarily interested in overall sizes of the iPhone going forward. Because the 6,1” iPhone is too big for my hand.
 
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otternonsense

macrumors 68020
Jul 25, 2016
2,092
6,079
Berlin
these rumors make you think, you live in the past - with all the obsolete stuff we have today
In fact they make me think that Apple actively keeps us in the past because it's to their best interest to keep milking existing tooling than fast track new designs (people still buy them in droves so why not).

Nothing mentioned in the article is unheard of or groundbreaking in the industry.
 
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TheSuperE

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2014
118
115
Portland, OR
I wonder if any manufacture had worked on a slightly more triangle type phone as it pertains to speakers, cameras all on a ‘heavy’ side of the device and slimming on the back like a built in vertical screen angle on the back. (Obviously doesn’t help in horizontal usage) Then it’s more comfortable sitting on a table as it is and all the important ‘stuff makes slopes on the backside.
 
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Art Mark

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2010
343
579
Oregon
In fact they make me think that Apple actively keeps us in the past because it's to their best interest to keep milking existing tooling than fast track new designs (people still buy them in droves so why not).

Nothing mentioned in the article is unheard of or groundbreaking in the industry.
I don't think they 'keep us' in the past as you can buy a phone with almost any one feature they are talking about. But using those features together in well integrated ways that don't drain batteries and provide real value to a user is what Apple does. Samsung will have a phone with a blender and spoon attached and people will be like "Well, Apple doesn't have a blender-spoon built in, they are living in the past." instead of saying - why?
 
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WhoDaKat

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2006
352
526
They are not going to transition from their (love it or hate it) iconic notch to a hole-punch camera the competition has been using for years. Especially if they are within 1 or 2 product cycles of no notch or hole punch at all. I get Apple‘s version would still come with FaceID and it’s components but copying 3 or 4 year old features when there is no real advantage to gain makes no sense.

Also, by 2014, at least one iPhone will have zero ports.
 
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alpi123

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2014
1,532
1,739
these rumors make you think, you live in the past - with all the obsolete stuff we have today
When it comes to Apple - this might be the case. I much prefer having a good zoom than an ultra-wide, but damn, it's gonna take another 2 years for them to bring a periscope zoom lens when we've had it for 2 years now...
 
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macsareveryinteresting

macrumors 6502a
Dec 7, 2020
654
374
Colorado Springs
It is hard enough to keep focused on the here and now without adding 2 - 3 years forward, when plans can change and often do for one reason or another.

All this thread will be good for, is people arguing over these rumors as if they are etched in stone facts.
I mean if you say it like that. MacRumors is trying to show you things that the iPhone 13. That’s why is called beyond iPhone 13. It is going to be complete pro.
 
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