We’ve finally entered the “ber” months, and this time of year would normally be when Apple announces their latest lineup of iPhones. But with the COVID-19 pandemic causing production delays, there were quickly murmurings among fans and industry experts that the iPhone 12 release date might be pushed back – speculations which Apple CFO, Luca Maestri, would later confirm.
At the company’s quarterly earnings call, Maestri was heard to say that while Apple started selling iPhones in late September of 2019, they now projected that supply would be a few weeks late and were thus eyeing the staggered launch of two devices in early October, followed by another two in November.
On that note, we’re here to spill all the tech tea (so far) on Apple’s so-called iPhone 12.
What’s in a Name
Another factor that’s making all of this gadget gossip more difficult to confirm is that no one even knows for sure what this new batch of iPhones is officially called. At the risk of sounding pedantic, Apple’s iPhone naming scheme has never been consistent, but things became markedly different when the iPhone 8 debuted alongside the iPhone X in 2017. Did we all just miss something — like maybe an iPhone 9?
This pattern only became more difficult to follow with the subsequent release of the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. Thankfully, we simply had to contend with an iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max in 2019.
In any case, iPhones typically go up one number each year, and the updates expected of the 2020 model are so pronounced that it’s a fairly safe bet it will be called the iPhone 12. For those who’d like a refresher, however, here are the names of all the iPhones that have come out from 2007 to the present day:
- iPhone (2007)
- iPhone 3G (2008)
- iPhone 3GS (2009)
- iPhone 4 (2010)
- iPhone 4s (2011)
- iPhone 5 (2012)
- iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c (2013)
- iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (2014)
- iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (2015)
- iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (2016)
- iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X (2017)
- iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max (2018)
- iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max (2019)
Exceeding the “11”
After all the misgivings people had about Apple after Steve Jobs passed away, as well as some of the supposed missteps the company made afterwards, the generally positive reception of the iPhone 11 seemed to signify that they were finally hitting their stride again.
Carefully balancing affordability, new and improved specs, and anything else an iPhone buyer may care to look for – be it distinctive design, peak performance, or simply “aspirational value” – the iPhone 11 was one of the most successful devices to come out of Apple Park in Cupertino over these last few years.
All of this begs the question: Should I just buy the iPhone 11 or wait for whatever the iPhone 12 has to offer?
Rumors have been circulating that Apple will be offering four new iPhones in three different sizes – something they’ve not done in quite a few years. If the hearsay is to be believed, we can expect a 5.4” iPhone, two 6.1” iPhones, and a 6.7” iPhone. The latter two are said to be the high end “Pro” models, whereas the former are low-end, more immediate successors to iPhone 11.
For those who are well and truly over the whole “phablet” thing and would like to be able to grip their new iPhone with one regular-sized human hand, the 5.4” model should be quite appealing.
According to Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, the 2020 iPhone lineup will be redesigned in such a way that closely resembles the iPhone 4 – complete with the square-edged stainless steel frame between two pieces of glass.
However, he also claims that these new models will have a more complex segmentation design, grooving and injection molding that reduces the damper metal shielding typically puts on the internal antenna’s high-frequency transmissions, and either sapphire or tempered glass.
Multiple sources have stated that the iPhone 12 Pro models will be available in navy blue (vs the iPhone 11 Pro’s midnight green). And while there is as yet no official word from Apple, still other rumors point to the iPhone 12 having light blue, violet, light orange, and other variants.
All that said, which color would you be willing to line up for?
While Apple may be offering low-end and high-end versions of the iPhone 12, all the devices will likely come equipped with OLED displays to allow for a more flexible handset design. Recent iPhone models are already said to use Samsung OLED displays, but the 2020 lineup may also adopt newer Samsung tech known as Y-OCTA, which would result in a thinner display at lower production costs.
Leaked details list the iPhone 12 variants as having the following displays:
- 5.4” iPhone 12: Samsung OLED display with Y-OCTA integrated touch
- 6.1” iPhone 12 Max: BOE or LG OLED display with 2532 x 1170 resolution and 460 PPI
- 6.1” iPhone 12 Pro: Samsung OLED display with XDR
- 6.7” iPhone 12 Pro Max: Samsung OLED display with Y-OCTA support and XDR
Rumor has it that at least one of the new iPhones will have a “3D Camera” on the back – very likely the same LiDAR Scanner feature that Apple added to 2020 iPad Pro models.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg believes that at least one of the same iPhones will come with a smaller front camera lens that will help improve the screen to bezel ratio. Barclays analysts, however, assert that the iPhone 12 will include a “refreshed” TrueDepth camera system that allows for a smaller Face ID notch.
With Apple and Qualcomm having finally buried the hatchet in 2019, the two tech giants are now said to be working together to get the latter’s 5G tech into the latest batch of iPhones.
Frustratingly, Fast Company has gone on record to explain that Apple will only be offering premium 5G (i.e. mmWave 5G) with the iPhone 12 Pro Max models to be sold exclusively in Korea, Japan, and the US.
Accessories, if Any
Apple being the first company to do away with the trusty headphone jack, they’re liable to ditch even the charging adapter and Airpods as standard accessories of the iPhone 12. If true, this bit of news is bound to put a few would-be buyers off.
We’re all still waiting with baited breath, but word on the street is that the iPhone 12 will sell for as little as $649 – the lowest that Apple has ever charged for an OLED-equipped iPhone. With the highest estimated price being $1,099, the rumored range is as follows:
- 5.4” iPhone 12 = $649
- 6.1” iPhone 12 = $749
- 6.1” iPhone 12 Pro = $999
- 6.4” iPhone 12 Pro Max = $1,099
And finally, in more far-fetched news…
Apple is said to be working together with LG to develop and roll out a foldable iPhone by 2020. The former is also said to be devising touchless, gesture-based controls and curved screens that could be unveiled within the next three years.