Watch this: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, Pro and Pro Max explained
Despite such disruptions and Apple's veil of secrecy, there are some things we do know about the iPhone 12. From what we've seen in iOS 14 (which is available for download now), we know the phone will have software features like widgets, app libraries and picture-in-picture. Unofficial hardware rumors include 3D depth sensing on its rear cameras and new screen sizes. Adding
connectivity would also make sense considering Apple's main rival, Samsung, launched several 5G phones this year, including the recent Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, as well as the flagship Galaxy S20 phones. The later timeline might have some unexpected positive consequences too, including giving carriers like Verizon more time to build out its 5G coverage.
Apple said the iPhone 12 will be available "a few weeks later" than the usual mid-September launch. Apple has since sent an invitation to its Oct. 13 event, where the iPhone 12 launch is expected.
There may be four iPhone 12 models in four different screen sizes: the iPhone 12 Mini (5.4-inch) the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro (6.1-inch), 12 Pro Max (6.7-inch).
The four iPhone 12 models could have different release dates: The iPhone 12 Mini may be available for preorder on Nov. 6 or 7, with a release date of Nov. 12 or 13. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro could start preorders on Oct. 16 or 17 and release Oct. 23 or 24. And the iPhone 12 Pro Max preorder date is rumored to be Nov. 13 or 14, released Nov. 20 or 21.
The iPhone 12 Mini model may start at $699, the same as the iPhone 11's starting price.
iPhone 12 phones may have 5G.
iPhone 12 may not come with earbuds or a power adapter.
iPhone 12 may come in dark blue.
iPhone 12's rear-facing camera(s) may have 3D depth-sensing technology.
Apple CFO Luca Maestri all but confirmed this on a quarterly earnings call, saying, "This year, we project supply to be available a few weeks later" than last year's mid-September launch.
Others have suggested not a single launch date but several. A rumor floated by DigiTimes and picked up by MacRumors, suggested that Apple may launch its 2020 iPhones in multiple stages. The two 6.1-inch iPhone models may launch first, with the 6.7- and 5.4-inch variants coming later. (For more on the different speculated iPhone sizes, read more below.)
The latest leak, however, prices the four models a bit differently, putting the iPhone 12 Mini at $699, the same as iPhone 11's starting price. The leak also shows a $799 price for iPhone 12, $999 for iPhone 12 Pro and $1,099 for iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Kang says that not only will all four phones (12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max) support low-band and midband 5G but that will support mmWave (which is faster but has much less range).
There are a couple of reasons why the company didn't jump on the trend in 2019. First, Apple usually isn't the first in on mobile trends, preferring instead to perfect an emerging technology before committing to it. For example, it was behind its competitors in making phones with 3G and 4G LTE connectivity when those networks just launched.
Design: iPhone 12 may be similar (or not) to iPhone 11
Every other year, Apple usually makes notable cosmetic changes to its iPhone to freshen up its look, much to the delight of anticipating buyers. But a report by Japanese publication Mac Otakara, citing an unnamed Chinese supplier, reported that the iPhone 12 will look similar to the iPhone 11. The only possible difference is that the iPhone 12's edges will be slightly bowed.
Ming-Chi Kuo expects that the iPhone 12 will ship without a power adapter as well, according to 9to5Mac. The reason is mainly for costs -- by foregoing it, Apple can keep costs down while loading the phone with 5G components. It would also help lower freight costs as the size of the packaging would shrink.
Given that the latest iPhones have the A13 Bionic processor, it is highly probable that the next proprietary chipset will be called the A14 Bionic. And like every year, we expect this one to be faster and more efficient than its predecessor. More specifically however, one Apple leaker on Twitter, Komiya, reported that the A14 will have a CPU gain of 40% and a GPU gain of 50%.
One of the more enduring rumors about the upcoming iPhones is that Apple may introduce new screen sizes. One of the models, rumored to be called the iPhone 12 Mini according to a Sept. 24 leak, could have a 5.4-inch screen (of the current iPhones, the iPhone SE has the smallest display, which measures 4.7 inches). And the iPhone 12 Pro Max could go as large as 6.7 inches (for reference, the
iPhone 11 Pro Max
has a 6.5-inch display).
It's already been predicted that all four new phones will have OLED displays. But leaker Kang suggests that all new phones will get Super Retina XDR screens, not just higher-end models like the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max did this year.
With the possibility of new display sizes, rumors that Apple will expand its iPhone line have been swirling around. In December 2019, CNET's Lexy Savvides wrote:
According to JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee, Apple will release four new iPhone 12 models in the fall of 2020: a 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch phones and a 6.7-inch phone. All of them will have OLED displays.
These size predictions were also backed this week by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who believes the current 5.8-inch size of the iPhone 11 Pro may be going away. So the 5.4-inch and one of the 6.1-inch models will be the lower-end devices, presumably called the iPhone 12. Then the more expensive phones will be the other 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, respectively.
As far as storage goes, it was rumored that Apple was getting rid of 64GB of storage in baseline models. Kang says that the 12 mini and 12 will still come with 64GB and up to 256GB. But the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max would be available with 128GB to 512GB.
Watch this: Will there be five new iPhones in 2020?
Camera: iPhone 12 may have 3D depth sensing
, newer iPhones have front-facing cameras that have 3D depth sensing. Known as Face ID, this feature scans your face for unlocking your phone and authorizing digital payments. It's been rumored that Apple may take it up a notch and introduce that same system to the rear cameras. In August 2019, CNET's Vanessa Orellana wrote:
Longtime Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors and 9to5Mac) said he expects two of the 2020 iPhones models to have a new time-of-flight camera lens on the back of the phone. The setup would be similar to that of the current True Depth camera system used for Face ID on the front of the phone, except it would use a slightly different type of technology that could allow it to 3D map objects from farther away. This would significantly improve its augmented reality applications and take certain camera features like Portrait Mode to the next level.
Renders of the iPhone's camera array integrating the depth-sensing lens have been circulating, with manyonlinecommenters remarking how the iPhone 12's possible camera layout looks similar to a stovetop.
It's unclear how many of the new iPhones would be equipped with this feature, if any.