Apple has unveiled its most recent flagship smartphone to a lukewarm reception. As a result, next instalment in the series needs to kick things up a gear.
After all that build-up and speculation, the Apple Event has finally been and gone and we have a brand new iPhone 13 on our hands (well, almost).
It would be unfair to describe the device as disappointing, as not only is it still an excellent phone, but it also met all of our prior expectations, based on leaks and rumours that had emerged before the launch.
Nonetheless, it does feel a little underwhelming as very little has changed. A 20% smaller screen notch and a diagonally-arranged cameras are all the difference you’ll notice if you were to pick one up, while even the A15 Bionic chip doesn’t boast many upgrades over its impressive predecessor.
If ever there were a time to give a device the S suffix, indicating a half-step upgrade rather than a whole new generation, this would have been it. Yet Apple, in all its mysterious ways, decided to christen it the iPhone 13 nonetheless (perhaps just to get rid of the “unlucky” number in preparation for a fresh launch next year).
While it is acceptable to have a sub-par year every now and then (we can’t expect a fresh miracle every twelve months), it does up the ante for the iPhone 14 which needs to be a real breakthrough if Apple wants to stay on top of its game.
Fortunately, from existing rumours, it seems like this may well be the case.
Getting rid of the notch altogether in favour of a hole-punch camera, whilst eliminating the camera bump entirely, are two very promising steps in terms of design that will mark the most significant advance since 2017.
But on top of that, we’d like to see Apple introduce its variable refresh rate displays across the entire range, and finally back down and introduce USB-C to its smartphones, as it has at last with its iPad range of tablets. These changes would lift the standard iPhones in terms of both quality and efficiency, whilst also making Apple’s smartphones far more widely compatible with the rest of the market for both charging and data transfer.
A good performer might know to leave the stage with the audience still begging for more, but the encore has got to be worth the wait. Let’s hope Apple hasn’t forgotten the secrets to its showmanship and brings up the curtain with something truly special next year.