We’re getting close to the launch of the 2020 iPhones, which are expected to be announced on October 13, 2020, but there are already dozens of rumors about the upcoming devices. We’re expecting the 2020 iPhones to be called the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro if Apple follows the same naming scheme it used for the 2019 iPhone lineup.
The 2020 iPhones will feature major updates, introducing some of the first design changes that we’ve seen since the iPhone X was released in 2017. We’re expecting four iPhones in three display sizes which could come in at 5.4, 6.7, and 6.1 inches (x2).This summary video shows the 10 things you should know about the iPhone 12:
At a rumored 5.4 inches, the 2020 iPhone 12 mini will be the smallest iPhone Apple has released since the 4.7-inch iPhone SE. At 6.7 inches, the 2020 iPhone 12 Pro Max will be Apple’s largest iPhone to date, topping the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max. The two 6.1-inch models will be similar in size to the existing iPhone 11.
All iPhones in 2020 are expected to feature OLED Super Retina XDR display technology regardless of price. There were early rumors that the iPhone 12 Pro models could support 120Hz refresh rates, but more recent info indicates Apple will wait until 2021 to unveil that feature.
Design wise, rumors suggest the new iPhones coming in 2020 will feature a significant redesign with a metal frame that’s similar to the frame of the iPhone 4 or the iPad Pro. The iPhone 4 had a distinctive, flat look for its stainless steel frame, which will be replicated in the new iPhones, bringing the design in line with the 2020 iPad Pro models.
There were rumors that Apple would use a new TrueDepth camera system that cuts down on the size of the notch on the front, but leaks are mixed on this subject and it appears there will be a smaller notch on the 5.4-inch model while the other models will have a notch that’s the same size.
Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end devices with triple-lens cameras, while the 5.4 and 6.1-inch models will be lower-end iPhones with dual-lens cameras and a more affordable price tag. There are also rumors of a 3D triple-lens rear camera system that uses a laser to calculate depth information for objects in the room, improving both photography and AR capabilities. This is likely to be similar to the LiDAR Scanner in the 2020 iPad Pro, and it appears it will be limited to the higher-end 6.7-inch iPhone model.
2020 will be the first year that Apple introduces 5G support in the iPhone, allowing the new devices to connect to 5G networks that are much faster than 4G LTE networks. According to rumors, all of the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup will feature 5G connectivity, though it’s not yet clear if all iPhone 12 models will have super fast mmWave support, and reports suggest mmWave speeds could be limited to certain countries.
The iPhone 12 models coming in 2020 will use an Apple-designed 5-nanometer A14 chip manufactured by TSMC. The A14 chip is expected to bring both speed and efficiency improvements that could bring small gains in battery life to compensate for 5G, which uses additional battery.
Size comparison: iPhone 12 dummy models compared to existing iPhones
Rumors have suggested that Apple has no plans to include a power adapter or EarPods in the box with the iPhone 12 models, letting the company cut down on production costs and packaging. Instead, Apple may offer a 20W power adapter that can be purchased separately. The USB-C to Lightning cable could get an upgrade, though, with rumors indicating Apple plans to offer a new braided cable design.
With the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple seems to have confirmed these rumors, as the latest Apple Watch does not ship with a power adapter. With the Apple Watch not including a power adapter, it seems almost certain Apple will make the same change to the iPhone 12 lineup.
This year’s iPhone 12 models will not ship out in September as usual due to delays caused by the global health crisis. Apple instead plans to introduce the iPhones in October, at an event that’s set to be held on October 13. Rumors have suggested we can expect a staggered release, so while new iPhones are coming in October, some models will not be coming until November.
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iPhone 12 Release Date
The iPhone 12 lineup will be announced at Apple’s fall “Hi, Speed” event that is set to take place on Tuesday, October 13 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Pre-orders for some iPhone 12 models could begin that Friday on October 16, and the first iPhone 12 shipments and an official launch could happen on October 23.
As Apple announced during its July earnings call, the 2020 iPhone 12 models are coming a few weeks later than usual, marking the first time that Apple has introduced new iPhone models in October.
In addition to a delayed October unveiling, there have been multiple rumors indicating that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models will launch at different times due to production problems and delays.
A comprehensive leak that covers all of the iPhone 12 features was published just ahead of the October event, giving us more detail on when the new devices might launch. The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 is expected to launch on October 23, as is the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro. The 5.4-inch iPhone mini is expected to launch on November 13 with pre-orders to begin on November 6, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max is expected to launch on November 20 with pre-orders to begin on November 13.
Apple in June registered nine unreleased iPhone models in the Eurasian Economic Commission database with the following model identifiers: A2176, A2172, A2341, A2342, A2399, A2403, A2407, A2408, and the A2411. Apple is required to register encrypted devices with the ECC ahead of release in order for them to be sold in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.
Ahead of the launch of the new iPhone 12 models, production lines at the Foxconn factory assembling the new devices are running “24 hours a day” with holidays canceled and overtime mandatory.
Apple’s iPhone naming plans have been confusing ever since the iPhone 8 debuted alongside the iPhone X in 2017, skipping the iPhone 9 entirely. Apple continued on with the confusing naming scheme in 2018 with the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, but things became clearer in 2019 with the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max.
Apple previously did a numerical increase and then an “S” year, but because the changes expected in 2020 are so significant, it’s unlikely that we’re going to get an iPhone 11S or similar, and much more likely that we’re going to see an iPhone 12.
If the lower-end followup to the iPhone 11 is named the iPhone 12 (which is what we’ll be calling it), then we can expect the two higher-end devices that are coming in 2020 to be the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Below are the names that Apple has used since the iPhone first launched in 2007:
- 2007 – iPhone
- 2008 – iPhone 3G
- 2009 – iPhone 3GS
- 2010 – iPhone 4 (new design)
- 2011 – iPhone 4s
- 2012 – iPhone 5 (new design)
- 2013 – iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c
- 2014 – iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (new design)
- 2015 – iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
- 2016 – iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
- 2017 – iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X (new design)
- 2018 – iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max
- 2019 – iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
There have been rumors circulating that Apple will call its smallest 5.4-inch iPhone the “iPhone 12 mini,” which would be the first time an “mini” iPhone with a “mini” naming scheme has been released.
The “iPhone 12 mini” could be sold alongside the standard 6.1-inch iPhone 12, the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The iPhone 12 mini name has also been referenced in alleged stickers that are said to be for Silicone iPhone 12 cases from Apple. The stickers also feature the names “iPhone 12,” “iPhone 12 Pro,” and “iPhone 12 Pro Max.”
Apple is planning to offer four iPhones in three different sizes in 2020, with Apple introducing new sizes for the first time in a few years.
Rumors indicate we’ll see a 5.4-inch iPhone, a 6.7-inch iPhone, and two 6.1-inch iPhones. 5.4 inches is smaller than the current iPhone 11 Pro, while 6.7 inches is bigger than the current iPhone 11 Pro Max. Rumors suggest the 5.4-inch device will be close to identical in size to the iPhone 8.
One 6.1-inch model and the 6.7-inch model will be higher-end “Pro” iPhones, while the other 6.1-inch iPhone and the 5.4-inch iPhone will be lower-end models and successors to the iPhone 11. The higher-end iPhones will feature newer camera systems with triple-lens setups, while the lower-end iPhones will feature dual-lens camera setups.
Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone
We designed images that let iPhone owners who have a full-display iPhone visualize the size of the upcoming 5.4-inch iPhone. The 5.4-inch iPhone will be the smallest iPhone that Apple has released in recent years, and should satisfy those who are looking for a smaller form factor.
To try it out, make sure to check out our article with the images that will let you preview the design.
The 2020 iPhones will feature an overhauled design with a metal frame that’s similar to the frame of the iPhone 4. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that the new iPhones will use a more complex segmentation design, and new trenching and injection molding procedures.
iPhone 12 dummy models vs. existing iPhones
The overall design, though, will resemble the iPhone 4 or iPad Pro with a squared-edged stainless steel or aluminum frame between two pieces of glass. Standard iPhone 12 models will feature an aluminum frame while higher-end Pro models will have a stainless steel frame and all four models will continue to use front and back glass for the body of the device, but Apple is allegedly introducing a new “Ceramic Shield” glass screen that could perhaps be more resistant to scratches and drops.
Japanese site Mac Otakara believes the 6.7-inch iPhone will have a thickness of 7.4mm, which would be quite a bit thinner than the 8.1mm thick iPhone 11 Pro Max. It’s also expected to be slightly taller than the 11 Pro Max. The 5.4-inch iPhone’s height is expected to be somewhere between the height of the iPhone SE and the iPhone 8. The 5.4, 6.7, and at least one 6.1-inch iPhone are expected to have different numbers of microphone holes along the bottom.
A mockup of what the new iPhone 12 could look like
Along with the iPad Pro-style design and size tweaks, leaked schematics that allegedly reveal Apple’s plans for the device also show several other minor design tweaks worth noting, as listed below:
- Slightly larger camera lenses
- Thicker antenna lines at the side for 5G
- SIM tray relocated to the left side of the device
- Smart Connector-like input on the right (which may actually be an antenna)
- One less speaker hole on right side of the speaker grille
- Slightly lower power button
There will be a Lightning port on the iPhone 12, with Apple continuing to use Lightning instead of swapping over to USB-C.
Multiple rumors have suggested that the iPhone 12 Pro models will come in a new navy blue finish, which will replace the midnight green color that was introduced as an option for the iPhone 11 Pro. The blue will likely be the same shade as the new blue Apple Watch Series 6, which Apple introduced as a new Apple Watch color in September.
Other iPhone 12 Pro colors will include silver, gold, and graphite, while the standard iPhone 12 models are expected to be available in black, white, red, blue, and green.
Schematics and Mockups
A rendering of the iPhone 12 Pro Max said to be based on leaked CAD designs was shared in April, and it lines up with many of the rumors that we’ve heard about the device so far. The new iPhone appears to take design cues from the iPad Pro, with a square-edged stainless steel frame between two pieces of glass and a larger 6.7-inch OLED display.
The render suggests the iPhone 12 Pro Max will be 7.4mm thick, quite a bit thinner than the 8.1mm thick iPhone 11 Pro Max. The camera bump is expected to be thicker, measuring in at 1.26mm, up from 1.21mm. The notch in the rendering is the same size as the existing notch.
It’s not clear if these renderings are entirely accurate, but given that they match well with the current rumors that we’ve heard about the upcoming iPhones, this could indeed be what the 2020 iPhones will look like.
Alleged iPhone 12 schematics that surfaced in April have suggested Apple will implement a smaller notch by integrating the front speaker for the device into the bezel. The updated hardware layout also features the ambient light and proximity sensors moved to a more central position within the TrueDepth camera system.
3D printed iPhone 12 mockups based on leaked schematics and info from Apple’s supply chain surfaced in June, providing a size comparison.
These mockups may not be entirely accurate as the camera setups depicted don’t feature the LiDAR 3D sensor that some of the iPhones are expected to include.
They do depict a relocated SIM tray, which rumors have suggested will be moved to the left side under the volume buttons in order to make room for the 5G antenna module. on the right side.
Images on Weibo said to be from the iPhone 12 depict a circular array of magnets in the body of the device. There are 36 individual magnets, which could be related to charging or mounting. There is speculation that it could be for alignment purposes should Apple release its own wireless charger at some point.
Dummy models representing the iPhone 12 lineup started coming out in June, giving us a clearer look at how the sizes and designs of the new devices compare to older iPhones.
The 5.4-inch iPhone, for example, is a bit bigger than the iPhone SE, but a tad smaller than Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhones like the iPhone 8, while the 6.7-inch iPhone will be the biggest iPhone that Apple has released.
iPhone SE on left, dummy model in middle, iPhone SE 2020 on right
These dummy models are based on leaked schematics and are designed for case makers. Case makers create cases based on these models to be the first out with a new case when the new iPhones launch.
Since these are designed for case makers, the rear camera setups and the front-facing TrueDepth camera design may not be accurate, as rumors have suggested a LiDAR sensor for some models along with a smaller notch. We could still see those features even though they’re not depicted in the dummy models.
iPhone 12 Pro Chassis
A short video surfaced in September showing off the chassis of the alleged 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro. It features a three-lens camera setup at the rear, and if accurate, the body suggests the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro could feature a LiDAR Scanner. There have been some rumors that have suggested Apple might limit the LiDAR Scanner to the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro, but that may not be the case.
Apple already introduced a LiDAR Scanner in the 2020 iPad Pro, introducing enhanced augmented reality capabilities. In the iPhone, this could also translate to new photographic capabilities. There’s an antenna area on the side that appears to be new for the 5G modem chip, and the overall design has iPad Pro-like flat sides, a departure from the rounded look that Apple has used since the iPhone 6.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=macrumors&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1304529976486776833&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macrumors.com%2Froundup%2Fiphone-12%2F&siteScreenName=macrumors&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px
Here it is! Official iPhone 12 Pro chassis leak. Confirms mostly same camera with new LiDAR placement, flat sides, magnet cutouts & smart connector-like 5G antenna? This seems to confirm the 6.1 Pro model will get LiDAR too. October can’t come soon enough. pic.twitter.com/YifSX7SWxh— EverythingApplePro (@EveryApplePro) September 11, 2020
A photo of what could be the rear glass for the iPhone 12 Pro models surfaced in August. One of the glass parts features an extra cutout below the ultra-wide lens hole, which is likely for a LiDAR Scanner. Both Pro models are expected to feature triple-lens camera setups, but the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro could be the only model to get the LiDAR Scanner.
Alleged images depicting the display panel of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 were shared on social networking site Weibo in July, and if accurate, the design of the notch suggests that smaller notches could perhaps be introduced across the iPhone 12 lineup.
The display is for a smaller iPhone, but on existing iPhones like the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, the notch is the same size on both devices. If all iPhones in 2020 have the same size notch, the notch could be smaller than the current notch design.
An alleged iPhone 12 display unit leaked online in August, giving us a look at a possible iPhone 12 display component. The display unit looks notably different from a similar component designed for the iPhone 11 Pro and may be related to rumors of the logic board moving to the other side of the device to accommodate a 5G antenna module.
It’s not clear what size the display unit is, but based on the size of the notch, it could be from the 5.4-inch iPhone 12.
A14 RAM Component
Photos of the RAM component of the A14 chip surfaced in July, but there’s nothing to be gleaned from the images other than the chip component was manufactured in April 2020.
An image depicting an alleged iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro logic board leaked in May. It’s not clear which iPhone the logic board belongs to, nor is there much to be gleaned from it.
The logic board appears to feature a more elongated design compared to the compact boards seen in recent higher-end iPhone models.
Though Apple is expected to continue offering both higher-end (aka more expensive) iPhones and lower-end (more affordable) iPhones in 2020, all of the devices may come equipped with OLED displays this year, with Apple doing away with LCDs for its iPhone lineup. Apple may call its displays “Super Retina XDR.”
Apple’s use of OLED across the iPhone lineup will allow for “more flexible handset design.” Apple is testing OLED displays from Chinese company BOE Display, which makes LCDs for Apple’s iPads and MacBooks. Apple has been using Samsung OLED displays in recent OLED iPhones and is expected to continue doing so, with Samsung supplying up to 80 percent of displays used for iPhone 12 models.
Some of the new iPhones coming in 2020 are expected to adopt a Samsung technology called Y-OCTA, that allows touchscreen circuitry to be directly patterned on the OLED panel without the need for a separate layer, resulting in a thinner display and lower production costs, though it’s not clear if this translates to a thinner body design.
Apple supplier BOE reportedly failed to deliver the first shipment of OLED panels for Apple’s iPhone 12 after the displays were unable to pass OLED quality control tests, and BOE’s panels will not be used in the first 2020 iPhones. Apple will instead use displays from other suppliers such as LG Display.
Display details expected for each iPhone have leaked, with details below:
- 5.4-inch iPhone 12 – OLED display from Samsung Display with Y-OCTA integrated touch. 2340 x 1080 resolution with 475 PPI.
- 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max – OLED display from BOE/LG Display with a 2532 x 1170 resolution and 460 PPI.
- 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro – OLED display from Samsung, possibly with XDR. ProMotion possible, but not guaranteed based on power requirements and lack of LTPO. 2532 x 1170 resolution and 460 PPI.
- 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max – OLED display from Samsung with Y-OCTA support and possibly with XDR. ProMotion possible, but not guaranteed based on power requirements and lack of LTPO. 2778 x 1284 resolution at 458 PPI.
Throughout the iPhone 12 rumor cycle, there were endless mixed rumors on whether Apple will implement 120Hz “ProMotion” displays in the iPhone 12 lineup, but reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often accurately predicts Apple’s plans, said in September that the iPhone 12 models will not support a 120Hz refresh rate due to battery life concerns.
Instead, ProMotion display technology is expected to be introduced in 2021 after iPhones are updated with lower-power LTPO display technology, which is also a rumor we heard earlier this year when doubt began to be cast on 120Hz displays in this year’s lineup.
A ProMotion iPhone would work similarly to the ProMotion iPad Pro, which dynamically adjusts the display to the movement of the content on the screen for fluid scrolling, greater responsiveness, and smoother motion.
The iPad’s display refresh rate changes based on what’s being viewed to conserve battery life. If you’re watching a movie or playing a game, for example, the refresh rate may be at 120Hz, but if you’re reading a web page or looking at a photo, you don’t need a 120Hz refresh rate, so the frame rate lowers automatically.
An improved refresh rate could bring more fluidity and realism to viewed content, significantly improving the OLED displays of the iPhone.
Rumors suggest TSMC will manufacture the 5-nanometer chips Apple will use in its 2020 iPhone lineup. The 5-nanometer process will produce chips that are smaller, faster, and more battery efficient due to improved thermal management.
The A14 chip could feature 15 percent increased performance and a 30 percent reduction in power consumption compared to the A13 chip.
The A14 chip will focus on speeding up artificial intelligence and AR tasks, according to Bloomberg.
A leaked benchmark of the A14 chip confirms that the new fourth-generation iPad Air offers significant improvements over the prior-generation model. It features a single-core score of 1583 and a multi-core score of 4198, which is a good deal faster than the 1112 single-core score and 2832 multi-core score earned by the A12 Bionic chip in the third-generation iPad Air.
UBS analysts also believe the four iPhones in development will feature varying amounts of RAM. They’re expecting a 6.7-inch iPhone with 6GB RAM, a 6.1-inch iPhone with 6GB RAM, a 6.1-inch iPhone with 4GB RAM, and a 5.4-inch iPhone with 4GB RAM.
The iPhones coming in 2020 could have some small gains in battery capacity as Apple suppliers are working on a custom battery protection module that’s 50 percent smaller and thinner than the same component in previous iPhones. That could free up valuable space in the iPhone.
Certifications for three batteries that could be destined for Apple’s iPhone 12 models suggest the iPhone 12 lineup could perhaps use batteries with lower capacities than the batteries in the iPhone 11 models.
The three capacities include 2,227 mAh (perhaps for the 5.4-inch iPhone), 2,775 mAh (for the 6.1-inch iPhone), and 3,687 mAh (for the 6.7-inch iPhone). A separate filing for a 2,815mAh battery suggests that the higher-end 6.1-inch iPhone could perhaps have a slightly larger battery. Comparatively, the iPhone 11 Pro has a 3,046 mAh battery, the 11 Pro Max has a 3,969 mAh battery, and the iPhone 11 has a 3,110 mAh battery.
It’s not known if these battery capacities are accurate, but if they are, with processor improvements, battery life could be about the same as the prior-year models. 5G connectivity is a concern, however, so we’ll need to wait to see how battery life in the iPhone 12 compares to iPhone 11 battery life.
Because the 5G components in the iPhone 12 models are so expensive, Apple is looking to save money when it comes to other components. Apple is moving to a battery board design that’s simpler and smaller with fewer layers, which will be 40 to 50 percent cheaper than the equivalent part on the iPhone 11 series.
Power Adapter and EarPods
Apple appears to be planning to nix the accessories from the box in order to cut down on iPhone 12 production costs as adding 5G support has been expensive. The new Apple Watch Series 6 models introduced in September also do not ship with power adapters, which seemingly confirms the rumors, and code found in iOS 14.2 removes a mention of “supplied headphones,” indicating there will be no EarPods made available.
With no power adapter or EarPods included with the iPhone 12, the boxes for the device are expected to be thinner with less packaging included. An alleged rendering of a box insert for the iPhone 12 that’s supposedly based on a “really reliable source” depicts a thin box size that has room for a cable, an iPhone, and paper inserts, but no space for a power adapter or EarPods.
It’s not clear if the rendering is accurate given that it doesn’t come from a particularly reliable source, but if Apple does indeed eliminate the power adapter and the EarPods from the box, the box insert could indeed look something like this.
Lightning to USB-C Cable
While Apple is rumored to be eliminating the power adapter from the iPhone 12 boxes, the company may introduce a new USB-C to Lightning cable with a more durable braided design that’s an improvement over the standard rubber used in prior Lightning cables.
Leaked in July, the cable is similar to the existing USB-C to Lightning cables that Apple offers, but it is made from a gray and white woven fabric that may better withstand usage over time. It’s not known if all iPhones released in 2020 will get the new braided cable as in 2019, a USB-C to Lightning cable was limited to the higher-end, more expensive iPhones.
Apple made major changes to the rear camera system in the 2019 iPhone lineup with the new triple-lens setup of the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, and 2020 may bring even more camera improvements. Rumors suggest at least one of the new iPhone models coming in 2020 will feature a 3D camera, which sounds like the LiDAR Scanner feature that Apple added in the 2020 iPad Pro models.
The LiDAR sensor and dual-lens camera in the 2020 iPad Pro
The LiDAR Scanner in the iPad Pro uses reflected light to measure the distance from the sensor to surrounding objects that are up to five meters away, which is equivalent to 16.4 feet. It works indoors and outdoors, and is essentially able to map the environment around you at the photon level at nano-second speeds.
Depth frameworks in iPadOS combine depth points measured by the LiDAR Scanner, data from cameras, and data from motion sensors to create a more detailed and complete understanding of a scene for improved augmented reality capabilities. The rumored 3D camera in the iPhone is likely to work similarly, if not identically.
Rumors indicate the higher-end 6.7-inch and 6.1-inch iPhones coming in 2020 will use the new time-of-flight rear camera, so it is not likely to be available in the lower-end iPhones that are going to have a lower price tag.
As with the 2019 iPhone lineup, the 2020 iPhones are expected to have different camera technology. UBS analysts believe Apple is working on high-end 6.7 and 6.1-inch iPhones with triple-lens cameras, while lower-end 5.4 and 6.1-inch iPhones could feature dual-lens cameras.
The iPhone 12 Pro may feature an improved zoom lens with up to 4x optical zoom, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max may feature a zoom lens with up to 5x optical zoom. Apple may also be planning to improve Smart HDR for better low-light performance and improved Night Mode functionality.
The high-end 6.7-inch iPhone in 2020 is rumored to be getting sensor-shift image stabilization technology, which could potentially bring image stabilization to the ultra wide-angle lens on those devices. Sensor-shift technology allows the optical image stabilization to be applied to the camera sensor, rather than the individual lenses.
Both the Pro models are expected to support Dolby Vision video with higher dynamic range, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max is expected to get a 47 percent larger camera sensor than the iPhone 12 Pro and an “Expansive” super wide angle feature for the ultra wide-angle lens.
Future iPhone cameras could adopt circuit boards based on liquid crystal polymer (LCP), which would allow them to transmit higher-resolution images at higher speeds. Higher transmission speeds are necessary to allow for high-resolution images in live streaming and AR applications in the 5G era. This could be implemented with the launch of the iPhone 12.
TrueDepth Camera System
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg both believe that at least one new iPhone in 2020 will feature a smaller front camera lens for an improved screen to bezel ratio, ultimately resulting in a smaller notch at the front, but other iPhones will not have this feature.
Kuo in September said that the 5.4-inch iPhone will have a slightly smaller notch to accommodate display information in the top left and top right corners of the device, but the rest of the lineup will have a notch that’s the same size as the notch in the current iPhone 11 lineup.
Barclays analysts believe the iPhone 12 will feature a “refreshed” TrueDepth camera system, though there are no details from Barclays on what might be improved.
Face ID in the iPhone 12 models may also feature a wider view angle to support unlocking at a wider range of angles.
Rumors suggest that storage space on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini models will start at 64GB, with Apple also offering 128 and 256GB storage options as an upgrade. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max could start at 128GB of storage, with 256 and 512GB options also available.
In 2020, Apple plans to transition back to Qualcomm modem chips instead of Intel chips, using Qualcomm’s 5G technology in its iPhones. Qualcomm and Apple were previously embroiled in a bitter legal battle, but managed to settle their disagreements in April of 2019.
All of the iPhones expected in 2020 will use 5G technology, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. All four iPhones will feature Qualcomm’s X55 5G modem chip.
The X55 chip offers 7Gb/s peak download speeds and 3Gb/s upload speeds, though these numbers are theoretical maximums and actual speeds will depend on carrier network. The chip is Qualcomm’s first 5G chip that supports all major frequency bands, operation modes, and network deployments.
There are two kinds of 5G networks — mmWave (faster and limited in range) and sub-6GHz (slower but wider spread) and there could be some differences in which countries and phones support which specifications. mmWave 5G technology will likely be limited to major cities and dense urban areas because of its short range, while 5G networks in rural and suburban areas will use the slower (but still speedy) sub-6GHz technology. For more on the differences between mmWave and sub-6GHZ 5G, make sure to check out our guide.
Kuo believes iPhone models with mmWave and sub-6GHz support will be available in main markets like the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, and Japan, while in some other countries, Apple may offer iPhones with just sub-6GHz connectivity. Sub-6GHz could also be disabled in countries that do not offer 5G or have shallow 5G penetration, allowing them to connect only to 5G networks.
There have been rumors that suggest mmWave support will be available only on Apple’s higher-end Pro models, with the more affordable iPhone 12 models limited to sub-6GHz. One rumor from Fast Company says that just the high-end 6.7-inch iPhone will get mmWave support as it’s the only iPhone big enough to support both the antenna components and the larger-sized battery needed to support it. Further, Fast Company the iPhone 12 Pro Max with mmWave technology will be available only in the United States, South, Korea, and Japan.
5G technology is still in the early stages of rolling out, but by the time Apple releases its new iPhones, the major carriers in the United States will have laid the groundwork for connectivity in most areas. For more on 5G technology and what we can expect when Apple rolls out its 2020 devices, make sure to check out our 5G iPhone guide.
Apple may be planning to use Qualcomm’s modems but not Qualcomm’s RF front-end components due to time constraints, which could potentially impact maximum wireless speeds, though we’ll need to see how Apple’s implementation plays out to know for sure.
Though multiple sources have suggested the 2020 iPhone lineup will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modems, Taiwanese site DigiTimes believes the devices could instead use the Snapdragon X60.
The X60 is more power efficient and has a smaller footprint than the X55, and it is able to aggregate data from mmWave and sub-6GHz bands simultaneously for a more optimal combination of high-speed and low-latency network coverage. It’s not clear if DigiTimes is accurate as the X60 was released in February, which isn’t enough time for testing. Qualcomm has also said that chips using the X60 won’t launch until 2021.
Apple may add a “Smart Data Mode” for the iPhone 12 models that will intelligently switch between 4G and 5G depending on bandwidth needs to save battery life.
Apple is using Qualcomm’s X55 5G modem chip in its 5G iPhones, but Apple is planning to design the antenna module that will accompany the chip itself. Apple reportedly “balked” at the design of Qualcomm’s antenna because it “doesn’t fit into the sleek industrial design Apple wants for the new phone.”
Apple is now working on its own antenna module, but there’s a chance that Qualcomm’s could also be used should Apple’s in-house work on the antenna not pan out.
Apple’s 2020 iPhones could instead support a new Wi-Fi standard known as IEEE 802.11ay, a followup to 802.11ad, which quadruples the bandwidth and adds up to four streams of multiple transmission/reception. The WiFi spec uses the 60GHz spectrum and is expected to be finalized by the end of 2020.
Apple’s iPhone 12 models will not come with the wired EarPods included in the box, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says that Apple will leave out the EarPods to drive demand for its AirPods and to cut down on iPhone 12 costs.
To promote the AirPods to iPhone users, Apple may offer some kind of AirPods promotion in late 2020, perhaps offering a discount to customers who purchase a new iPhone.
iPhone 12 Price
Rumors suggest that the iPhone 12 will be priced starting at $699 this year for the smallest iPhone 12 mini model, with prices going up to $1,099. Pricing is expected to be as follows:
- 5.4-inch iPhone 12: $699
- 6.1-inch iPhone 12: $799
- 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro: $999
- 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max: $1,099