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iPhone 13 could get plastic Face ID lens instead of glass, says Kuo

Iphone 12 Pro Review
Iphone 12 Pro Review (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A new report says Apple may adopt plastic lenses for Face ID in the iPhone 13.
  • That would replace the glass on the current model.
  • Kuo also says Apple will upgrade its lenses next year, and introduce a periscope telephoto lens with better zoom.

A new report from supply chain insider Ming-Chi Kuo says the iPhone 13 may adopt a plastic Face ID lens, replacing the glass cover of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.

In a note seen by iMore, Kuo notes how Apple's Face ID transmitter lens has previously used glass to avoid deformation due to heat that is generated from the lasers that scan your face. Now, however, improvements in coating technology mean the iPhone coming in 2021 will be the first to adopt a plastic, rather than a glass lens. It's unclear why Apple would make the switch, but it's possible plastic would be cheaper to use, or perhaps might crack less easily under stress.

A more minor change, Kuo has previously stated says the 'Pro' iPhone 13 models will get improvements to the Ultra Wide camera including a new f/1.8 6P lens, an increase on the f/2.4 5P currently used. However, Kuo has also stated more recently that Apple might actually go for a 7P lens, as the development of that option is proceeding more smoothly than expected.

Beyond 2021 and the iPhone 13, Kuo says Apple will introduce a new all-in-one camera that will reduce the size of the front camera module, possibly indicating the first step on the path to Apple ditching the notch in favor of a hole-punch camera on next year's iPhone.

Long-term, Kuo says Apple also has plans to introduce a periscope telephoto lens in 2023, suggesting improved zoom capabilities.

Whilst the iPhone 12 was the best iPhone in recent memory, the 2021 model is expected to be a more minor tweak, with reports indicating it will actually be called iPhone 12S, rather than iPhone 13.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.