As we get closer to the Oct. 13 iPhone 12 launch date, the leaks just keep on coming. The latest, from leaker Kang, confirms that Apple will release four phone sizes within the iPhone 12 lineup, all with 5G support. The leak also touched on price and release date, among other details. We’ve summarized all the rumors and leaks below. Until Tuesday’s virtual Apple event (which you can watch live from home starting at 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. BST), all we can do is speculate.
Every iPhone 12 feature we expect Apple to announce
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 of iOS 14 (which is available for download now), we can expect the phone to 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 5G 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.
Stay up-to-date on the latest news, reviews and advice on iPhones, iPads, Macs, services and software.
Top iPhone 12 rumors
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.
From Samsung to Motorola: 5G phones you can get right now
See all photos
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.
Now playing: Watch this:
Will there be five new iPhones in 2020?
Camera: iPhone 12 may have 3D depth sensing
Since the iPhone X, 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.
Following a livestream on its YouTube channel on Friday, iFixit published a full in-depth breakdown of its teardown for both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. And, it confirms what we basically already knew: Both phones are almost exactly the same on the inside and out.
For starters, the displays are interchangeable and can be swapped between the two phones (although, their respective max brightness a bit different). Considering the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro both feature 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR screens, this makes sense.
Apart from the camera shields, it’s tough to tell a difference between either phone under the hood. iFixit points out that these phones are actually so similar in layout, that where the 12 Pro has an extra camera sensor and LiDar scanner, the 12 packs a plastic spacer.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the new lineup, the iPhone 12 includes a dual camera module (a 12-megapixel wide-angle and 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle) while the 12 Pro has a triple camera setup with an additional 12-megapixel telephoto lens.
As for other similarities between the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, the teardown points out that aside from a few serial numbers, the logic boards on both phones are also practically identical. Additionally, both phones feature the same Face ID, flash modules, and Lightning connector assemblies.
But the one component I was waiting for confirmation on is battery life — specifically the exact size. Both the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have the same 2,815mAh battery, which is smaller than 3,110mAh on the iPhone 11 and 3,046mAh battery on the 11 Pro.
Apple claims the new A14 Bionic chip is supposed to help make up for that, but I can confirm from experience that battery life is iffy. In my review, I mention that the 12 Pro lasted me about seven and a half hours before reaching 22 percent on a busier day. The iPhone 11 Pro, on the other hand, lasted about three hours longer.
iFixit also notes the battery is no longer in an L-shaped design, as featured in its predecessors. According to rumors, Apple used parts that were cheaper in an effort to keep the cost low with the addition of 5G connectivity.
As for its repairability score, iFixit gave the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro a six out of 10 (10 being the easiest to repair). While its important parts are modular and easy to find or replace, the glass on the front and back make it super fragile — so you’ll most likely have gut the entire phone and replace the body itself if you break it.
Global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research, using the teardown expertise of System Plus Consulting, unpacked two 5G smartphones to confirm that smartphone OEMs are extending fully integrated modem-RF system designs to support 5G and LTE implementations over their flagship devices. The teardowns analysis shows that Qualcomm’s RFFE system design covers both sub-6 Gigahertz (GHz) and Millimeter Wave (mmWave) 5G options, as well as LTE frequency bands, which will enable OEMs to efficiently and cost-effectively integrate 5G with 3G/4G into complex form factors. Such a fully integrated modem-RF system design is vital to drive wider adoption of 5G beyond the traditional smartphone market.
“Of particular interest in these teardowns is the use of mmWave modules, which are showing signs of increasing adoption as they aim to reach markets beyond North America. The use of these modules will be even more crucial for enabling new and complex form factor designs, such as foldable phones, to support mmWave access,” states David McQueen, Research Director at ABI Research.
Smartphone OEMs favour integrated system solutions
With 5G smartphone sales expanding rapidly, the RFFE has now replaced the modem/chipset as the largest revenue growth opportunity in the industry.
“High design and RF components sourcing complexity are evident in 5G, so smartphone OEMs are seeking to favour integrated system solutions to accelerate time to market while differentiating in terms of performance and overall power consumption,” McQueen explains. “Optimizing integration between 3G/4G and 5G using a single supplier could not only provide a superior system design, enabling the production of cost-effective, smaller form factors, and low-power consuming devices, but it also has the potential to support newer features, such as 5G Carrier Aggregation (CA) and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS). Furthermore, 5G mmWave ecosystem momentum is gathering pace as the complexity of integration in smartphones is addressed through a fully integrated and miniaturized mmWave RF module design, which appears to have already matured enough to support ultra-thin foldable smartphone designs.”
Handling the complexity of the entire cellular radio systems for OEMs can only be achieved if the modem-to-antenna system as a whole is taken into consideration, including co-existing mmWave/sub-6 RFFEs.
“However, these latest teardowns suggest signs in the industry that this approach has expanded to encompass an optimized design that now includes 4G,” McQueen points out. OEMs cannot ignore this level of integration to rationalize RFFE procurement. “Moreover, this approach ensures that OEMs’ devices can address issues such as integrating all network technologies without compromising the efficiency of the RFFE system designs and the overall device form factor. It simplifies the complex and costly sourcing processes associated with RF components, involving collaborations with multiple suppliers, which could lengthen the overall product development time and their time to market,” McQueen concludes.
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available.
Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other…
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.