iPhone 13 Launched After Specs Leaked for Months
Apple announced the iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, with the iPad Mini and the base iPad refresh. Despite Apple’s threats, virtually all of the info had been leaked weeks/month ago. There is a smaller notch thanks to a more compact FaceID sensor array, a new display, with the Pro models getting a 10-120Hz refresh panel for a mix of ultra-smooth scrolling and gameplay and battery savings, an A15 Bionic chip, better camera, bigger battery, and some new colors. Apple also adopted Samsung’s On Cell technique for the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini, 6.1-inch iPhone 13, 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max,
The addition of 3x optical zoom vs. the previous 2X in the Pro models and 120Hz variable refresh are improvements but are no reason to trade in an iPhone 12. On the camera front, Apple emphasized the high-end camera capabilities and retained the 12MP sensor which aids video capture, as Android smartphones go for megapixel counts that can be up to 10 times higher.
Apple still won’t bring USB-C to its iPhone and is stuck squeezing a form factor down to the last nth feature unless phone design radically changes to support more serious glass. Apple dropped the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone XR from its lineup, remaining iPhone 11 and 12 phones saw $100 price cuts, with the iPhone 11 now sitting at $500 (The Verge).
The new larger display 8.3-inch 2021 iPad Mini is expensive at $499 but has the A15 Bionic chip (meaning 5G) and USB-C support and retains Touch ID relocated to the sleep/wake button. It’s like a big ol’ iPhone, but it runs iPadOS. The 10.2-inch 2021 iPad, Apple’s entry-level option, steps up to the A13 Bionic processor, and remains stuck on Lightning. It’s meager but good enough for an entry-level device, which starts at $329.
Apple maintained pricing for this year’s iPhone 13 family relative to last year, however in China the price of the new iPhone 13 series, while higher than in the US, is lower than the starting prices seen for the iPhone 12. Apple’s biggest competitors in China, OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi, have shares of 21.2%, 23.7%, and 17%, respectively, outperforming Apple’s 11.8% share in Q221. Of course, Apple doesn’t compete the low end market, where the Chinese get ~50% of their volume Apple While Apple is looking to squeeze a few more share points out of China for the remainder of the year by lowering prices a bit, they will also likely slow those domestic brands from moving up the price curve at the same time.