The iPhone 13 is out, but it looks very similar to the iPhone 12. Can you save some money and get an old case for a new phone?
With a new iPhone for 2021, we wouldn’t be surprised to see folks rushing out and grabbing Apple’s latest and greatest, but there’s also a chance you’re going to want to protect it, as well. After all, the iPhone isn’t typically a cheap phone, and so keeping the latest models in the best condition is something you’re probably going to want to do.
If you’re in this predicament right now, there’s a pretty solid chance that you’re weighing your options and trying to work out whether you spend up on something new made specifically for the iPhone 13, or alternatively opt for something older that might be less expensive. Older iPhone cases from last year’s iPhone 12 may end up being less expensive and easier to find, even though the phone is still very much a part of the line-up, so if you find a case you like, will it work?
Will an iPhone 12 case fit an iPhone 13?
Sadly, the answer is no, an iPhone 12 case will not fit the iPhone 13.
While the iPhone 13 looks very much like an iPhone 12, complete with the same flat edges and glass front and back, the design is different enough to mean the cases are not compatible between generations.
Neither the iPhone 13 nor the iPhone 13 Pro will fit into an iPhone 12 case, with both sets of buttons on the new models ever so slightly lower than where they were on the iPhone 12.
In the iPhone 13, the silence switch and volume buttons are lower in position, while the power button is slightly lower, as well. At the same time, the camera placement at the back is ever so slightly off, making an iPhone 12 case incompatible with an iPhone 12.
What about an iPhone 13 Pro: will an iPhone 13 case fit the iPhone 13 Pro?
Bizarrely, an iPhone 13 case mightn’t be compatible with an iPhone 13 Pro, thanks in part to the larger camera section on the back of the iPhone.
While last year’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro shared the same camera square size, this year the sizes are completely different, and an iPhone 13 Pro cannot fit into an iPhone 13 case.
The other way is fine — an iPhone 13 can fit into an iPhone 13 Pro case — even if its camera looks a little strange sitting in the massive cut-out section, but the iPhone 13 Pro won’t sit comfortably in an iPhone 13 case. You will want to look for an iPhone 13 Pro case if you want protection on an iPhone 13 Pro.
Will an iPhone 13 case fit an iPhone 12?
Perhaps a little frustratingly, if you want to use an iPhone 13 case for an iPhone 12, you are similarly out of luck, thanks in part to those design differences.
In comparison, the iPhone 12 buttons are higher, which throws out the alignment of the volume buttons, silence switch, and power button, and also affecting the camera at the back, as well.
In short, the answer is no, and much like how iPhone 11 cases cases didn’t fit last year’s iPhone 12, you will need to buy something specifically for your iPhone model and generation at the moment if you want protection.
Simply put, if you want a case for an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro, you’ll want a case made for the iPhone 12, while if you want a case for the iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro, you’ll want one specifically for the iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro respectively. There seems to be no middle ground here, as the phones are just different enough to be incompatible with each other’s cases.