Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a technology that allows accurate depth measurement. Apple primarily uses it for its devices' AR capabilities as well as Portrait photos in Night Mode, among other things. LiDAR was included in the 2020 iPad Pro, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max and there were some rumors swirling around that it would be coming to all iPhone 13 models as well, this does not appear to be the case anymore.
According to reputable leaker @dylandkt on Twitter:
LiDAR will only be coming to the pro iPhone models. Earlier this year it seemed Apple wanted to release all iPhone 13/12S models with LiDAR but due to one reason or another, it won’t be happening this year.
Multiple reports from earlier this year had indicated that Apple would be including LiDAR scanners on all its iPhones instead of just the premium ones. These rumors were only fueled when the Cupertino tech giant awarded optical company II-VI $410 million to invest in research for new components - including LiDAR scanners - for its upcoming devices.
However, it now appears that plans have changed as the leaker is now claiming that the technology is only coming to Pro iPhone models this year. That said, it is important to remember that this is just a leak without any official support, and that plans do sometimes change leading up to the eventual release of hardware.
It's still early days, and although we don't know the full list of specifications for iPhone 13 yet, it was purportedly spotted in some regulatory filings, and there have been rumors that this year's iPhone refresh will feature an always-on 120Hz display, a smaller notch, a vapor chamber for better cooling, smaller batteries and a storage option of up to 1TB. There has also been speculation that it will support faster 5G in multiple countries. We'll know for sure how much all of these rumors hold up once Apple officially unveils its new hardware in September.