Apple Rumored to Finally Embrace Bigger Batteries on the iPhone 13

Illustration for article titled Apple Rumored to Finally Embrace Bigger Batteries on the iPhone 13
Image: iFixit (Other)

For years, Apple has been able to equip its iPhones with smaller batteries than its Android counterparts thanks to the strong energy efficiency of the company’s A-series chips, but it seems that for the iPhone 13, Apple might finally increase the size of the iPhone’s power packs.

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The latest info comes from noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) who said in his most recent report that the iPhone will feature “a larger battery capacity than the iPhone 12 series, thanks to the space-saving design of many components. Hence, the new 2H21 ‌iPhone‌ models are also slightly heavier than the ‌iPhone 12‌. The space-saving design includes integrating the SIM card slot with the mainboard, reducing the front optical modules’ thickness, etc.”

By reducing the size of other internal components, Apple can free up the inside of the iPhone 13 for larger batteries across all of the various models. While Apple traditionally doesn’t list the size of the iPhone’s battery on its website, based on iFixit’s teardown we can see the Apple uses a 2,815 mAh battery in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, which is significantly smaller than the 4,000 mAh battery Samsung uses in the similarly sized and priced Galaxy S21. 

And while in many cases, the iPhone’s smaller battery capacity isn’t an issue, with the increased power draw caused by 5G (especially mmWave 5G), many users have found the iPhone 12 sucking up more power than normal, especially the iPhone 12 Mini whose even smaller 2,227 mAh battery and lackluster longevity is often cited as one of the phone’s major shortcomings.

The obvious downside to putting bigger batteries in the iPhone 13 is that the devices will be slightly heavier than the current generation of iPhones. However, since the smartphone industry has largely moved past the days when phone makers often tried to outdo their competition in thinness and lightness purely for bragging rights, adding a bit of heft to ensure better battery life is something almost everyone can get behind.

Furthermore, with Apple’s upcoming A15 chip expected to feature another round of energy efficiency upgrades combined with the improved performance of future 5G modems, it looks like Apple has a number of solutions to offset the increased power demands of 5G networking.

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And while we’re still a ways out from the iPhone 13's expected debut later this fall, previous reports indicate other improvements include a smaller notch, new support for Wi-Fi 6E, improved camera stabilization, and more.

Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.

DISCUSSION

Thank goodness. The battery life of my past couple iPhones have usually started out lasting about as long as the two-years old iPhone they were replacing. Enough.