iPhone 12 design rumors: The iPhone might get smaller in 2020

New renders show the 2020 iPhone with a familiar look.

Lexy Savvides Principal Video Producer
Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.
Expertise Wearables | Smartwatches | Mobile phones | Photography | Health tech | Assistive robotics Credentials
  • Webby Award honoree, 2x Gold Telly Award winner
Lexy Savvides
3 min read

Apple could change up the design of the iPhone 12 in 2020 and surprise us with a new, yet familiar look. We rounded up all the rumors about the next iPhone's design and features, including a four-camera array. On this week's Apple Core roundup, we also check in on the latest rumors about Apple's AR glasses and find out why Apple TV Plus is making waves.

What will the iPhone look like in 2020?

The iPhone 11 is old news in the world of Apple leaks and rumors, so it's time to speculate about what we'll see on the 2020 iPhone.

Let's recap some of the basics about what we're expecting from the rumors so far: 5G support, 120Hz refresh rates, a time-of-flight camera and a new design. Longtime Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said that Apple may reduce the screen size of the 2020 version of the iPhone 11 Pro . Instead of the 5.8-inch screen it has now, it would be 5.4 inches.

PhoneArena has consolidated many of the rumors into some intriguing renders that show the site's concept of what the iPhone 12 may look like.


A render of what the iPhone 12 could look like.

Phone Arena

You'll notice the rounded corners we know from today's iPhones are all but gone. Instead, the design may look more like the iPhone 4 and 5 from years past. Those flat edges and sharper lines harken back to the older design. It wouldn't be a complete surprise if Apple decides to go back to this aesthetic, especially considering the redesigned iPad Pro from 2018.

After moving to the three-camera array on this year's iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max , Apple may add a time-of-flight camera. Some other phones such as the Galaxy Note 10 Plus have this camera to help capture depth information. This could do a number of things like help with AR mapping, but could also mean we finally get the ability to have portrait mode in video.


Another render from Phone Arena.

Phone Arena

However, these renders show a four-camera array with all the lenses (including the time-of-flight camera) being the same size. It seems likely that this fourth camera would be smaller given the examples we've seen from other phone manufacturers, like the Huawei P30 Pro .

Apple + Valve = AR glasses

We first reported that Apple was working on some sort of AR headset or glasses back in 2018. 

Initially, it was thought the glasses would have 8K displays and be able to work across both AR and VR, with no exterior sensors needed for tracking and positioning. But other rumors predicted the glasses would be tethered more closely to the iPhone, using it as the main brain to overlay texts, games, maps and more on your field of vision.

A few weeks ago we heard rumors that Apple would partner with another company to bring the technology to market. This week, DigiTimes via MacRumors reports that Apple's partnering with game developer Valve.

Valve already has a VR headset of its own called the Index that came out earlier this year. Apple and Valve have worked together previously to bring VR support to MacOS High Sierra in 2017.

The market for smart glasses and headsets is growing. Analyst firm CCS Insights predict that 75 million VR and AR devices to ship in 2023.

Watch this: iPhone 12 renders show a retro-looking design

Apple TV Plus launches with some surprises

Apple TV Plus arrived last week across many different platforms including iOS , Apple TV, the web and even some Fire TV and Roku devices. While it can't match Netflix, Prime, Hulu and of course Disney Plus for catalog, it may have some other tricks up its sleeve. For starters, it's free for the first year if you have bought an eligible Apple device.

Shows on Apple TV Plus also have the highest-quality of any streaming service in 4K, according to a forum post reported by 9to5Mac. Shows like See averaged around 29Mbps and peaked at 41Mbps when streaming over an Apple TV 4K box.

Apple TV Plus does automatically adjust the streaming quality dependent on bandwidth, but unlike Netflix, for example, there's no way to manually select your streaming rate for now.