All four, maybe five of them

The iPhone 12: When It’s Coming and What You Should Know

April 29, 2020 Tech By
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Apple just announced the new iPhone SE, which is a new affordable iPhone in the body of the iPhone 8 (released in 2017) and isn’t expected to announce new flagship iPhone until the fall. Still, that doesn’t stop the rumor mill from turning. Here is what we know (and think we know) about the next iPhone so far.

Will Apple stick with “12”?

We already know that Samsung skipped nine generations of smartphones when it jumped from the Galaxy S11 to the Galaxy S20 in one year. It’s a clear play to sound better than all other new smartphones, but it’s unclear if Apple will attempt to shake up its naming scheme too. There’s little in the way of specific rumors on this topic, but given that Apple already took the plunge on numbers above ten with the iPhone 11, we’re guessing an iPhone 12 is likely.

How many iPhones will there be?

Following last year’s approach, we’d expect that the next batch of iPhone’s would be called the iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, but there’s strong speculation that Apple is going to announce four new iPhones, not three. According to the rumors, the spread would include a 5.4-inch iPhone (smaller than the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro) and a 6.7-inch iPhone (larger than the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max), along with two 6.1-inch iPhones (the same size as the vanilla iPhone 11).

How many Pro phones and how many normal ones?

Of the four iPhone 12s, rumors indicate two will be premium Pro models and two be more affordable. Given that that iPhone 11 is the most popular and the cheapest new iPhone of the current generation, it makes sense for Apple to try to give its more price-sensitive and numerous customers more options. The theory goes that the large 6.7-inch iPhone and one of the 6.1-inch iPhones will be Pros, with better OLED displays and better camera systems. Meanwhile, the other 6.1-inch iPhone and the 5.4-inch iPhone will be the more baseline models with two-camera systems and LCD displays.

What will they be made of?

It’s a little bit of a long shot, but there could be a big design change to all iPhone 12 models. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reported that Apple might bring back the metal frame that was on the iPhone 4. This metal chassis would square off the edges of each new iPhone, like the iPhone 4, and make them a little easier to hold. As of April 2020, the Twitter account @EverythingApplePro appears to have uncovered a leaked CAD file of what is potentially the iPhone 12 with a squared chassis, adding full to this rumor:

What will be new with the cameras?

With all the different iPhone 12 models expected to be announced, it’s difficult to say exactly how all of their camera systems will be different. For the flagship models, however, it’s been reported by Fast Company that they’ll have a 3D depth camera in their rear-camera systems for the first time. Apple has had depth a camera in its iPhone’s front-camera systems for a few years, enabling them to unlock via Face ID and to turn your face into an Animoji. In the rear camera system, a new depth camera is expected to add a few photo and video features/effects, such as better bokeh and focus, but you’ll see the majority of the benefits while using augmented reality apps. Apple is continuing to build out its catalog of AR apps (It’s been three years since Apple rolled out ARKit to developers.)

PetaPixel also recently reported that the two iPhone 12 Pro models will have an upgraded 64-megapixel sensor, which is a huge leap for Apple considering it’d mark the first time in years that Apple had gone away from the 12-megapixel sensor. Of course, a bigger sensor doesn’t always translate to better photos (at least when it applies to a smartphone), but it’s pretty exciting to think about an iPhone with a larger sensor.

Is this the year Apple kills the notch?

Early indications are that the next-gen iPhones are expected to have a smaller TrueDepth camera system in the front. This will enable the notch to shrink down even further into the bezel. Whether the notch is just smaller or gone completely, that obviously remains to be seen.

Will they support 5G?

2020 is primed to be a big year for the rollout of 5G but will the new iPhones support it? The answer is yes, or at least probably. The brand-new iPhone SE doesn’t support 5G, but that’s probably due to the fact that it’s in the body of an iPhone from 2017; plus, Apple likely wanted to keep its price down. Analysts suggest that it will. Not to mention that Samsung’s flagships do, and Apple certainly wouldn’t want to fall behind. That said, recent reports suggest that the coronavirus crisis could delay Apple’s 5G iPhone plans.

When will Apple release the new iPhones?

If recent reports are true, Apple is expected to delay the release of all its new iPhones by at least a month due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company is still expected to hold its keynote event and announce all its new smartphones at the start of September, but they’ll likely start shipping sometime in mid-to-late October. These delays aren’t a huge surprise given that most of Apple’s iPhone manufacturing facilities are in Asia, an area hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

Review: iPhone 11 Pro

Apple’s new flagship offerings have some key advantages over the more affordable iPhone 11. The question you have to ask yourself: Will you use them? Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Tucker Bowe

Tucker Bowe has been on Gear Patrol's editorial team since 2014. As a Tech Staff Writer, he tracks everything in the consumer tech space, from headphones to smartphones, wearables to home theater systems. If it lights up or makes noise, he probably covers it.

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