iPhone 13 clickbait is SO BAD this year

Rene using an iPhone
Rene using an iPhone (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

Swear to Jobs, if I see one more piece of iPhone 13 clickbait that's not actually about the iPhone 13…

Last week, it was all "you keep using the word confirmed. I don't think it means what you think it means." I complained about it. MKBHD complained about it. The world cheered.

Something else is going on that I've been noticing a lot lately, though — titles and headlines that say iPhone 13 but really have nothing at all to do with the iPhone 13, or iPhone 12s, or whatever Apple calls it next.

I'm not calling anyone out here. I dearly love all the writers and creators, blogs, and channels, and I can't imagine the pressure some of them are under for attention and views after 2020 turned this into the darkest web timeline.

Also, I love an engaging, captivating, compelling, intriguing thumbnail as much as the next instant-gratification-tuned human. They're evolutionarily irresistible. And I'm super, super interested in the iPhone 13 specifically. The latest rumors. The latest reports. The latest leaks. All of it. As you can imagine. Literally my job.

And so I'll click on iPhone 13 faster than Superman can super-suit up. If you more-than-deliver on that click, if you over-deliver on it, if you serve me more of everything than I ever asked for — just real crisp, real clear, real credible new reports, new insights, new analysis — I will thank you. I will absolutely, positively, gladly, gratefully click again. And again. Basically, you got me.

But… if you burn me. If I click and I get two minutes of intro, followed by two minutes of disassembly, followed by 10 more minutes of filler and fluff. If that click is a trick attention, jack swerve back attack I… well, I won't even know about it because I won't ever have made it that far. I'll have NOT TODAY SATAN-ed out of that tab… so fast. Faster than speed force fast. And I'll feel burned by it, which means I probably won't click again. Not any time soon.

Me, one of the biggest fans of this topic, these blogs, these channels, in the world. And that's what makes actual clickbait so bad for everyone.

It perpetuates the myth that any type of captivating, compelling, intriguing title is by definition clickbait. Which is totally not true. You can, in fact, have the most amazing, evocative titles imaginable… you just can't bait and switch. You can't under-deliver. You can't extract value from the audience. Or steal attention. You have to actually provide value. Reward attention. Don't make us want to close the tab and never click again. Make us want to click again and again.

Because algorithms are really just the audience. If the audience is clicking on iPhone 13 content and enjoying it — like watching videos or staying on-page to read articles to completion and then clicking on another one and another one, we'll be happy, and the algorithm will just keep on serving us more of them to keep us happy.

If we're clicking on iPhone 13 titles and headlines, getting burned, and clicking out, and not clicking on as many iPhone 13 titles or headlines from then on, well… the algorithm is going to find us something else to make us happy. And… sucks for all the iPhone 13 content for a while. Even the good stuff.

So, if there's a new report out from Wedbush saying, based on their supply chain sources, the iPhone 13… or iPhone 12s… or whatever… is going to come with up to 1TB of storage.

That matches Jon Prosser on Front Page Tech's previous reporting on 1 TB of storage. And that matches the 1 TB of storage available in the iPad Pro, which requires 6GB of RAM, and the iPhone 12 Pro already went to 6GB of RAM last year, and you can provide analysis on the need for higher storage tiers based on higher resolution, higher dynamic range content, that's fantastic. Give it to me. Give it to me now.

Just don't call it confirmed — please don't call it confirmed — based on multiple rumor reports, because it's not, and don't base it on obvious anonymous twitter thirst traps claiming to be leakers, because they're not, or claim that the Spiral Eye emoji coming in iOS 14.5 is because of 120Hz ProMotion in the iPhone 13, because so very not.

I mean, it's totally coming; it's just not linked to any emoji, and don't you make a thumbnail or header graphic that it is!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.