Will iPhone 12 look the same as iPhone 11? New rumors say yes, kinda

It's a surprise to me too.

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Lexy Savvides
3 min read

Update, April 22: Read our iPhone SE 2020 review. Original story follows.

For months we've been hearing that Apple's iPhone lineup for 2020 will feature a new design. On this week's Apple Core roundup, we dive into a report that claims the total opposite: The iPhone 12 will look the same as the iPhone 11.

Hang on, so the iPhone 12 might look identical to the 11?

Not exactly the same, but close enough. A new report by Japanese publication Mac Otakara claims that the iPhone 12 will have a very similar metal chassis to the iPhone 11, but with slightly bowed edges. The publication cited an unnamed Chinese supplier as the source of this information.


A return of the round edges for one more year?

Sarah Tew/CNET

This report contradicts the rumors we've heard earlier, particularly those from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Over the past few months, Kuo has said that the 2020 iPhone will have an entirely new design that is reminiscent of the iPhone 4 from way back when (or more recently, the iPad Pro ). That means squared edges rather than the curved design we have come to know from the current iPhone 11 line.

Despite the mixed messages, there is one rumor Mac Otakara does seem to corroborate. The iPhone 12 is still expected to come in three different screen sizes: one 5.4-inch, two 6.1-inch and one 6.7-inch phone. We've seen this detail elsewhere for a few months. In this report though, the largest iPhone (let's call it the iPhone 12 Pro Max for now) is expected to be taller and slimmer than the current iPhone 11 Pro Max .

The iPhone 12 Pro in a new color

In other iPhone rumors this week: leaker Max Weinbach shared details with Everything Apple Pro about a new iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max color option. 


A render of the iPhone 12 in navy blue.


Instead of the midnight green that Apple introduced with the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, Apple's new iPhone color could be navy blue (perhaps Apple got the memo about the hottest 2020 color trends?). We'll have to wait until September to find out if navy blue ends up being branded as "phantom blue," as the trend report suggests.

Apple was awarded a new patent for in-screen TouchID

This week, Apple was awarded a patent showcasing an OLED display with inbuilt fingerprint reader. Discovered by Patently Apple, the filing describes this display working in two modes: one for optical sensing to allow TouchID to work under the screen and the other for touch sensing.


The ultrasonic fingerprint reader on the Galaxy S10 Plus.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

According to the abstract, the display will also be capable of differentiating between water and an object like a finger, or something like ambient light and a finger. Some ultrasonic fingerprint readers on Android phones , such as the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, can work when your fingers are a little wet. So we'll have to wait and see how Apple will distinguish this technology from what's out there.

At this stage, the rumors are still unclear on whether or not we'll see TouchID make its return under the screen on the 2020 iPhone 12 or the 2021 iPhone.

Watch this: Will the iPhone 12 look like the iPhone 11?

Apple's low-cost iPhone goes into production

The iPhone 9 could be going into production starting in February, according to Bloomberg. Likely costing $399 (which converts to about £300 and AU$580), this cheaper iPhone would fill a gap in Apple's lineup that's existed ever since the iPhone SE was discontinued in 2018. It would be the same size as the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 and sport the same overall design -- that means a physical home button with TouchID. As we reported last week, the phone could go on sale sometime in March.

Read more: Here's how Apple can make the iPhone 9 (aka iPhone SE 2) successful

Compare photos from the iPhone 11 Pro against last year's iPhone XS

See all photos

Originally published last month.