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Possible Release Month
We’re a few months away from the launch of the 2020 iPhones, which are expected in September or October 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 that is 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).
Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end OLED 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. All iPhones in 2020 are expected to feature OLED displays regardless of price, and a 120Hz “ProMotion” refresh rate could be included in some of the higher-end models, though that’s not guaranteed due to battery life constraints.
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Specs
At a rumored 5.4 inches, the 2020 iPhone 12 will be the smallest iPhone Apple has released since the 4.7-inch iPhone SE. At 6.7 inches, the 2020 iPhone 12 Pro will be Apple’s largest iPhone to date, which is the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Design-wise, rumors suggest at least two of 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 could be replicated in the new iPhones, bringing the design in line with the 2020 iPad Pro models.
Rumors suggest there will be a new TrueDepth camera system that cuts down on the size of the notch on the front (though not all iPhones may feature a smaller notch), and there are 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 will be limited to the higher-end iPhone models.
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 models will have super fast mmWave support in all 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.
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
Of course, until the new devices are released, there’s no confirmation that these new devices are set to be called the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max, but it’s the guess that makes the most sense at this time.
Rumors suggest Apple will offer four iPhones in three different sizes, but the sizes are said to be changing in 2020.
So far, 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 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.
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.
The overall design, though, will resemble the iPhone 4 or iPad Pro with a squared-edged stainless steel frame between two pieces of glass. The new iPhone will feature a stainless steel frame, which will replace the current rounded stainless steel frame, and it will continue to use front and back glass for the body of the device.
The grooving and injection molding of the metal in the frame is said to reduce the negative impact of metal shielding on the high-frequency transmission efficiency of the internal antenna. Kuo believes Apple will use sapphire or tempered glass to protect the grooves in the frame. Slightly wider antenna lines are a possibility according to one rumor, though that has yet to be backed up by a reliable source.
According to Bloomberg, at least two of the high-end iPhones Apple plans to offer in 2020 will have the new design with flat, stainless steel edges instead of curved edges, reminiscent of the design of the iPad Pro.
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.
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.