The price of the iPhone 13 - rip off or justified?

Updated on 3 June 2024

Published on 3 June, 2024 - We put the iPhone 13 model under the microscope for you. Here’s the report on our experiences.

The iPhone 13 with price and performance at a glance

With the iPhone 13, Apple presents a familiarly high-performance smartphone with some new features. However, some of the big leaps that were rumoured did not come to fruition. There are some innovations though, especially when it comes to the battery and the processor’s efficiency. 

👉 Click here for the comparison: iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13

But does that really make the iPhone 13 price worth A$1,100? As a reminder, you can get cheap iPhone deals like a used iPhone 12 with 128 GB of storage starting at around A$500 without a contract, so about A$600 less. This iPhone price drop, amongst other models will continue to increase over time too.

First things first: the technical specifications at a glance

So that you know what we're talking about with the iPhone 13, we've put together an overview of all the technical details here:


146,7 x 71,5 x 7,65 mm

Available Storage

128 / 256 / 512 GB


4 GB


12MP wide and ultra-wide angle lenses


6.1 inches with 2532 x 1170 pixels at 460 ppi

👉 Is the camera the decisive point to buy the more expensive iPhone 13?

The iPhone 13 has basically the same camera as the iPhone 12 Pro Max with image stabilisation sensor shift, except that instead of the three cameras on the Pro version, it has "only" 2 cameras. On the main camera, you have the usual 12MP resolution, an f/1.6 aperture and a 23 millimetre focal length. The ultra-wide angle camera also takes pictures at 12MP, has an f/2.4 aperture, and a 13 millimetre focal length which represents a 120-degree field of view. So, if it's just the photos you're after, then you probably should go for the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

What justifies the price, however, is the added Cinematic Mode. With it, you can make videos in portrait mode that look as if you shot them with a professional camera!

The new chip should ensure stability for years to come

For some years now, Apple has been causing a stir with its in-house SoC (Systems on a Chip) processors. Here, all the important functions of a phone or computer are integrated on one unit. In addition to the CPU itself, the graphics card and the neural network system NPU are also present. With the iPhone 13 and its A15 Bionic SoC, Apple relies on the ARM v8 architecture.

This sounds innovative at first, but really it’s nothing too different from the earlier A14 Bionic found in the Apple iPhone 12. It uses two high-speed cores with a clock speed of 2.99 GHz on the CPU, supported by four energy-efficient cores and with 4GB of LPDDRX RAM. So far, there is no difference between old and new.

Where there seems to be an improvement or a greater focus is in energy efficiency. The chip is a bit improved in this respect, and in combination with the better battery, gives you more battery life (more details later). In addition, the number of transistors has been significantly increased (from 11.8 to 15 billion), and there is a new image processor.

✅ The summary:

Sharper and faster-loading graphics, although the differences are barely noticeable compared to the iPhone 12. At least, we couldn't notice any significant changes. If you want to get an even bigger edge, you have to go for the higher-tier model, the iPhone 13 Pro, which was previously starting at A$1,699 on Apple’s site.

Storage media: how much fits on the iPhone 13?

In terms of storage, the iPhone 13 series does see a difference compared to previous models: the number of options for storage space has been doubled. While the iPhone 12 only offered 64GB, 128GB and 256GB, you can buy its successor with either 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage.

The starting prices are as follows:

Apple Launch


iPhone 13 with 128GB storage


Under A$700

iPhone 13 with 256GB storage


Under A$700

iPhone 13 with 512GB storage


Under A$800

Just some additional information: for a refurbished iPhone 13 Pro, you can pay as low as A$800 for the minimum configuration (128 GB) - the maximum 1 TB going upwards of A$1,000. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max are no longer available for purchase on Apple’s website since the release of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15. 

If we compare these costs with those for a refurbished model of the iPhone 12 series, you pay considerably less for the same storage space and similar quality. Prices at Back Market start at around A$490 for an iPhone 12 with 128 GB of storage, and you can expect to pay an additional A$50 or so for the 256 GB version. If storage space isn't that important to you, the iPhone 12 with 64 GB of storage starting at around A$425 could be the best choice for you. 💚

What can the iPhone 13 do in the graphics area?

These days, you spend a lot of money on a smartphone to get top-end graphics and high-tech cameras. With the iPhone 13, a vibrant OLED display is included in the price for each version. This innovation was already available on the iPhone 12, but before that, Apple was using the somewhat outdated LCD technology. Since the switch to OLED, however, there have been no huge leaps in the base series. Like the iPhone 12, the iPhone 13 offers 2532 x 1170 pixels at 460 ppi and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The improved 120 Hz refresh rate was reserved exclusively for the iPhone 13 Pro.

The only one real improvement to mention is that the brightness now reaches 800 nits in the iPhone 13. Put more simply: the iPhone 13 is significantly brighter.

How do the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 differ in a direct comparison?

Considering the iPhone 13 price, you should take a close look at the cheaper predecessor in your research and decide whether the upgrade is really worth it or not.

We looked at all the details in our  iPhone 11 vs iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 guide. If you’re looking for a comparison to the successor, you can find it here: iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13.


iPhone 12

iPhone 12 Pro

iPhone 13

iPhone 14


12 MP dual camera (ultra wide angle and wide angle) + 12 MP selfie camera

12 MP triple camera (ultra wide-angle, wide-angle and telephoto) + 12 MP selfie camera

12 MP dual camera (ultra wide angle and wide angle) + 12 MP selfie camera

12 MP dual camera (ultra wide angle and wide angle) + 12 MP selfie camera


6.1 inch display with 2532 x 1170 pixels

6.1 inch display with 2532 x 1170 pixels

6.1 inch display with 2532 x 1170 pixels

6.1 inch display with 2532 x 1170 pixels


Apple A14 Bionic

Apple A14 Bionic

Apple A15 Bionic

Apple A15 Bionic






Starting Price

(New from Apple vs Refurbished on Back Market

Unavailable new

A$425 refurbished

Unavailable new

A$570 refurbished

A$1,099 new

A$695 refurbished

A$1,299 new

A$900 refurbished

Conclusion: the rumoured big leap didn’t appear

A big quantum leap was expected with the iPhone 13, but it did not happen. The iPhone 13 price is mainly justified by improved efficiency and some camera upgrades. In a nutshell, the device lasts longer, is brighter, and takes (marginally) better photos. Also, unlike the 12, it is made available with up to 512GB of storage. 

👉 So the question is: Is the iPhone 13 worth its price considering its minor changes?

If you compare it to its predecessors like the iPhone 12 or the iPhone 12 Pro, the result is a clear no - especially if you already have an iPhone 12. In addition, the price of the 12 series in the second hand iPhone market has already dropped further. There are refurbished iPhones available currently that perform similarly to the iPhone 13. 

  • For the same money, you can buy, for example, a used iPhone 12 Pro with 256 GB instead of a new iPhone 13 with 128 GB.

  • Prices for a refurbished iPhone 12 Pro start at around A$570, and you get three great cameras, 6 GB RAM and the same excellent OLED display. It’s an alternative that’s definitely worth considering!

  • The iPhone 12 price is slightly better than the iPhone 13 price, and it’s the same phone in many ways. 

BUT: If you own an older iPhone (older than the iPhone 8, for example) and want to take a big leap, then the iPhone 13 is well worth it, because here you’ll get some of the latest Apple technology and won’t have to worry about an upgrade for the next few years!

Buy used iPhones and save the environment

If you want to save money when buying iPhones, check out Back Market's second hand iPhone collection. These have been extensively repaired by our partner repair shops and offer like-new performance. So you can pay up to 75% less and still have a top-quality phone in your hand.

We even give you a 12-month warranty to guarantee that it functions perfectly. You can see the condition of the used iPhone listed transparently at the point of purchase. Of course, by buying refurbished, you are also making the world a more sustainable place.🌿 So what are you waiting for? Get the cheapest iPhone to buy outright only at Back Market!

Back Market

Written by Brian

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