Rumor: New matte black color option for iPhone 13 Pro, LiDAR-enhanced Portrait mode

According to a report by Max Weinbach via EverythingApplePro’s YouTube channel, Apple is doubling down on the colorways for the iPhone 13 refresh, at least for the Pro models. The iPhone 13 is expected to mostly resemble the iPhone 12’s industrial design, albeit with a smaller display notch. In these ‘iterative’ years, it is common for Apple to switch up the colors to help make the phones look new.

For 2021, it seems Apple is launching a premium pure black finish to replace the gray ‘graphite’ color found in the iPhone 12 Pro lineup. The render mockups of this color look fantastic.

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For people who love rich deep blacks, the iPhone 12 Pro Graphite color is unfulfilling. The cheaper iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini do feature a ‘Black’ option which is glossy. The rumored iPhone 13 Pro color would be similar in shade, but in a matte finish.

Apple has also apparently experimented with a bronze/orange color but this is said not to be launching this year. The phones will also purportedly feature a new anti-fingerprint coating to reduce imperfections in the appearance of the glass and the stainless steel band.

Other features reported by Max Weinbach include an overhaul to how Portrait mode works, the simulated bokeh effect that was first introduced with the iPhone 7 Plus. Portrait mode uses the parallax of two camera lenses and a computer algorithm to try and calculate the edges of the subject in focus. However, it does not always guess correctly, especially for smaller gaps.

Weinbach says Apple is working on a dramatically new version of Portrait mode. The new system would supposedly combine camera data with depth information from the LiDAR scanner. This should enable much higher fidelity edge detection and reduce the number of times that Portrait mode shots simply look wrong.

Weinbach’s reporting has a mixed record of accuracy over the years. He has previously said that Apple is working on Portrait mode video effect as well, to allow users to add dynamic bokeh blur to captured videos as well as static images.

The iPhone 13 lineup is expected to debut in September, and will feature the same screen sizes as the iPhone 12: 5.4-inch, two 6.1-inch models and a 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max. Apple is believed to be using new OLED screens that will support 120Hz high-refresh rate displays.

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Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.