No, this mockup isn't the iPhone 13

3d Printed Iphone 13 Mockup
3d Printed Iphone 13 Mockup (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • There's a 3D-printed mockup of what's said to be an iPhone 13 doing the rounds online.
  • It has no notch and what is supposed to be a USB-C port.
  • Neither of those things are very likely as soon as next year. If ever.

So here's the thing. There's a 3D-printed mockup doing the rounds – supposedly of an iPhone 13 – that Mac Otakara got its hands on. It seems to be based on information provided by "Alibaba sources". It isn't clear whether the mockup itself came from Alibaba, but it doesn't really matter. Because it isn't an iPhone 13.

It isn't just me that thinks so, either.

Let's get through what we're being shown, first. It's meant to be a 5.5-inch iPhone 13 that will arrive in or around September of 2021. That's next year, for anyone not near a calendar. A little over a year from now, in fact.

That mockup has no notch whatsoever. Not a smaller notch – no notch. That's just not going to happen as soon as 2021. I know we all want it and some other phones have eliminated the notch already. But Apple isn't likely to accept the compromises that brings, like hole punch displays and sliding camera mechanisms. It just isn't happening – especially not as soon as 2021. But advances in technology might allow it in the future. Hopefully.

The mockup also claims to have a USB-C port at the bottom which, again, Apple isn't going to do. And not just next year, either. Probably not the year after. The year after that? Who knows, but answer me this – what does Apple gain by switching the iPhone to USB-C?


What does it lose?

A lot, starting with the Reddit and social media threads full of people complaining their Lightning stuff doesn't work anymore. Yet others complaining that it's just another money grab by Apple to sell you yet more dongles for that old Lightning stuff. And all because, what? Some internet nerds – me included! – would like to use the same cables here and there.

If USB-C was smaller than Lightning, easier to water seal, whatever, then sure. And yes, I know the iPad Pro has USB-C. I'll let Rene explain why that is in the video below. But for now, I'll leave you with this – if this mockup is the iPhone 13, I'll eat my longest and chewiest Lightning cable.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.