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 rumours 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.
Design-wise, rumours 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 could be replicated in the new iPhones, bringing the design in line with the 2020 iPad Pro models.
At a rumoured 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. The two 6.1-inch models will be similar in size to the existing iPhone 11.
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 moulding procedures.
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, which is not in line with rumours about a smaller notch.
hough 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’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 % 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 thinner body design.
Future iPhones could adopt the Apple Watch’s low-power LTPO display technology. LTPO, or low-temperature polycrystalline oxide, has an Oxide TFT structure that uses up to 15 % less power than LTPS, or low-temperature polysilicon, the backplane technology that Apple currently uses. It’s not entirely clear if Apple will adopt this technology for the iPhone 12 or a future iPhone.
Some of the iPhones coming in 2020 are also rumoured to include touch-integrated displays supplied by LG, with LG also planning to switch to LTPO backplane technology in the second half of 2020, perhaps supplying more power-efficient displays for some 2020 iPhones if the displays are ready in time.
- 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.
Rumours suggest TSMC will manufacture the 5-nanometer A14 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 will focus on speeding up artificial intelligence and AR tasks, according to Bloomberg.
The iPhone 12 Pro models will feature 6GB RAM, while the iPhone 12 will have 4GB RAM, which has also been echoed by leaker Bloomberg.
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 % smaller and thinner than the same component in previous iPhones. That could free up valuable space in the iPhone.
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.
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. Rumours suggest some 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 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 point 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 rumoured 3D camera in the iPhone is likely to work similarly, if not identically.
Apple is said to be using VCSEL lasers from San Jose-based company Lumentum to provide the 3D depth sensor that is expected to be included in at least one of the iPhone models coming in 2020. Apple has used VCSELs or vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers since 2017 for the TrueDepth front-facing camera, but the VCSEL lasers set to be used for the time-of-flight camera are more advanced.
YouTuber Jon Prosser has suggested the iPhone 12 lineup will start with 128GB models, which means 128GB of storage minimum across the board. Another leaker, though, has said that the two lower-end iPhone 12 models will start at 64GB of storage while the higher-end models will start with 128GB of storage.
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 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.
Been seeing some reports speculating on iPhone 12 prices, so I asked my sources 👇— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 30, 2020
5.4 iPhone 12 D52G
OLED / 5G
6.1 iPhone 12 D53G
OLED / 5G
6.1 iPhone 12 Pro D53P
OLED / 5G
3 cam + LiDAR
6.7 iPhone 12 Pro Max D54P
OLED / 5G
3 cam + LiDAR
The iPhone 12 Pro, which would have three rear cameras plus a LiDAR sensor, may start at $999 or $1,049. The iPhone 12 Pro could also feature a 120Hz ProMotion display, but that’s not a lock quite yet.
Last but not least, the iPhone 12 Pro Max would feature a 6.7-inch display and cost $1,099 or $1,149 to start.
With that being said and all the rumours being exposed the iPhone 12 will be an interesting phone to have.