Screenshot reveals the name of the 5G 2021 iPhone line; more about satellite connectivity

Remember when it wasn’t clear whether the upcoming 2021 iPhone line would be called the iPhone 12s or iPhone 13? Well, those days are gone if an image showing MagSafe cases for the iPhone 13 Pro Max is legit. A screenshot shows that the top-of-the-line 2021 iPhone model will be called the iPhone 13 Pro Max which means that the entire line will use the iPhone 13 name.

We could see the new iOS flavored handsets debut as soon as next week which means that the leaks and tips are going to be flying around furiously over the next few days. We expect the new iPhone 13 Pro models to have a 120Hz refresh rate which will vary based on the content being shown on the display. A necessary hike in battery capacities should be seen across the entire line, and improvements to the cameras across the entire line have been rumored.

You should look forward to seeing a somewhat smaller notch and the two rear cameras on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will be mounted diagonally instead of vertically. Pricing and screen sizes are expected to be the same for the iPhone 13 line, which includes the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini (that model’s swan song by all accounts), the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The 2021 iOS handsets are rumored to be a tad thicker than last year’s phones with the volume and power buttons dropping down a quarter of an inch. Last month, we showed you a photo of an alleged case for the iPhone 13 Pro Max that revealed a larger-sized camera module on the back of the phone.

While we are on the subject of the iPhone 13 series, you might recall that last week TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told clients in a note that the iPhone 13 could launch with a customized Qualcomm chip supporting satellite communications. Many were hoping that Apple would offer a way for iPhone users to bypass the carriers and have data beamed to them from the sky which was something that the late Steve Jobs considered once upon a time.
Don’t expect Apple to bypass the carriers with satellite delivery of data right now because of three good reasons

Apple still hopes that in the future, it might be able to allow users to have the internet beamed to iPhone users from company-owned satellites. But for now, it appears that satellite communications will be available for emergency situations only. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in his weekly newsletter, says that Apple is working on two different options for users.

One option will allow emergency text messages to be sent in areas where there is no access to a cellular signal (using a gray text bubble), and the other option will allow users to send SOS distress signals for plane crashes and sinking ships in areas without cellular networks. Gurman says that the hardware for satellite connectivity will be found inside the iPhone 13 line, but the functionality won’t be turned on until next year and only in certain markets.

As for those who like the idea of bypassing their wireless providers and using a constellation of satellites owned by Apple, the Bloomberg scribe says that this is not going to happen anytime soon. Gurman gives three reasons why this is neither practical nor feasible at the moment. One, such a setup would be very expensive, and two, the technology that Apple would use in such an endeavor is not ready for prime time.

But perhaps it is the third reason that scares Apple the most. Bypassing the carriers is not going to be cool with the executives who run these companies and Apple needs the carriers to push sales of its devices. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

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