Detailed Compilation of All the Leaks and Rumors
For starters, iPhone 12 rumors roundup kickstarted well before iPhone 11 Series could see the light of the day. So, while this post may seem a little too early for some, it’s actually a little late in the ballpark. Talking about iPhone 12 features, Apple is gearing up for a big show (come September ) with plenty of new add-ons on the cards.
So, if you want to catch up with all the leaks and rumors surrounding the 2020 iPhones, now is the right time to take a trip!
iPhone 12 Features: Detailed Compilation of All the Leaks and Rumors
So, What’s There in a Name?
Considering that the naming scheme of the iPhones has got a lot of twists and turns recently, predicting the name of the upcoming iPhones has become slightly tricky; especially after the introduction of iPhone X.
In 2017, Apple unveiled iPhone X alongside iPhone 8, giving the iPhone 9 naming scheme a miss. In 2018, the company did adopt the traditional “S” but removed the “Plus” from the high-end model and instead added “Max”.
Again in 2019, the tech giant went for a little different naming scheme – iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Going by the pattern, the upcoming devices should be named as iPhone 11s, iPhone 11s Pro, and iPhone 11s Pro Max.
But it’s highly unlikely that the company may go for these names as the upcoming iPhones are said to be the biggest upgrade since iPhone X. That’s the reason why it won’t be an “S” year (which generally brings a spec bump). So, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max naming schemes seem more relevant.
iPhone 4 Inspired Design
Probably one of the biggest highlights of 2020 iPhones is the brand new design sporting a metal frame that looks quite akin to the frame of the iPhone 4. According to the well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the new iPhones will sport a different segmentation design.
“We predict that the new 2H20 iPhone design will change significantly […] The metal frame and the front and rear 2/2.5D glass are still used, but the metal frame surface will be changed to a similar design to the iPhone 4, replacing the current surface design,” Kuo said his research note with TF International Securities.
With a square-edged stainless steel frame between two pieces of glass, the iPhone 12 will have a striking similarity with the iPhone 4. Just in case, you are wondering why Apple is looking back for inspiration, let me tell you that the grooving and injection molding of the metal in the frame can play a vital role in decreasing the adverse impact of metal shielding on the internal antenna’s high-frequency transmission efficiency.
Besides, the use of sapphire/tempered glass can also shield the grooves in the frame.
The Fab-Four In Three Different Sizes
Going by the rumor mills, Apple is likely to launch four new iPhones in three different sizes. There will be a 5.4-inch iPhone, 6.7-inch iPhone, and two 6.1-inch iPhones. According to reliable sources, the 5.4-inch variant’s form factor will be identical to that of the iPhone 8.
According to Kevin, a tech YouTuber from France, Apple might consider 6.1″ and 6.8″ iPhones with ProMotion XDR Display (AMOLED).
While one 6.1-inch model and the 6.7-inch model will be high-end with all the major specs, the other 6.1-inch and 5.4-inch variants will be low-end. Predictably, the high-end models will come with the upgraded camera systems with triple-lens setups. And the lower-end devices will sport dual-lens cameras.
Side Note: Since four new iPhones will launch in 2020, many of you might be thinking what could be the name of the two lower models as it’s more or less certain that the two high-end models will be called iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. While one lower model may be named as iPhone 12 (6.1-inch), the other (5.4-inch) may be called something like the iPhone 12e as it’s targeted for budget-minded customers.
OLED Display Across the Board
All the four iPhones (both the high-end and low-end) models will feature OLED display as Apple is likely to do away with LCDs. If it happens to be true, it would be a big departure from the past when the lower-end models used to feature a comparatively inferior display. However, Kevin predicts that 6.1″ and 6.8″ variants will have ProMotion XDR Display (AMOLED).
Apart from enhancing the viewing experience, OLED display will also play a pivotal role in giving a more flexible design to the smartphone. While Samsung will continue to be the biggest manufacturer of the OLED displays for the 2020 iPhones, the well-known Chinese company BOE Display (already supplies LCDs for iPad and MacBook) is likely to play a supportive role as a backup.
As per many reports, the upcoming iPhones will feature a Samsung technology named Y-OCTA. What it basically does is enables the touchscreen circuitry to be patterned on the OLED panel directly, thereby eliminating the need for a separate layer. Thus, the display becomes not only thinner but also costs a lot lower.
Various reports have also pointed out that the upcoming iPhones may adopt low-power LTPO display technology found on Apple Watch. For the uninitiated, the low-temperature polycrystalline oxide features Oxide TFT structure that makes it more power-efficient. Besides, it consumes up to 15% less power than the low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) found on the existing iPhones.
The reports of the touch-integrated displays supplied by LG are also doing the rounds. Some reliable sources have also said that LG will kickstart the production of the LTPO backplane technology in the second half of 2020 to supply highly power-efficient displays for the iPhones.
Promotion Technology with 120HZ Refresh Rate
While quite a few Android smartphones including OnePlus 7 Series already boast a high refresh rate (90HZ/120HZ), iPhones are yet to embrace it. For those unfamiliar, a refresh rate refers to the number of times a screen updates each second.
The higher refresh rate delivers much smoother motion and also allows users to respond faster. Moreover, 120Hz also enables the screen to depict 24 FPS, 48 FPS, and 60 FPS video content with more accuracy.
As there is less time between each frame displayed, the action appears fast-paced on the screen. Though the high-refresh-rate can hugely appeal to gamers, anyone who is fond of snappier and smoother display would appreciate it.
According to some reports, Apple may introduce a switchable 60Hz/120Hz refresh rate on iPhone 12. Since the tech giant has already adopted the ProMotion technology on the iPad Pro (first introduced on 2017’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro) the possibility of its implementation on the iPhones seems quite feasible. So, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for it.
Laser-powered Time-of-Flight 3D Rear Camera
If 2019 saw iPhones reign supreme in camera department thanks to the triple-lens camera setup on the iPhone 11 Pro/Pro Max, 2020 may witness even bigger improvements.
According to several reports, Apple will reportedly include a laser-powered time-of-flight 3D rear camera on the high-end 6.1 and 6.7-inch iPhones. From an augmented reality perspective, it’s considered to be a big deal.
“Two of the iPhones set to be released in 2020 will feature 3D sensing rear camera setups with time-of-flight (ToF) camera lenses”, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. “A time-of-flight camera system measures the time that it takes for a laser or LED to bounce off of objects in a room, providing an accurate 3D map of the surroundings.” MacRumors
By taking advantage of a laser, a time-of-flight (ToF) camera calculates the time taken for the laser to bounce off of objects in a specific environment. After that, the ToF camera set-up uses the data to make an accurate 3D image of the existing environment – resulting in much-improved depth perception and placement of virtual objects. Besides, it will enable images to capture the depth with more precision.
The ToF camera setup will be able to scan areas up to 15 feet from the device as compared to the existing infrared-powered front-facing TrueDepth camera that only works at distances of 25 to 50 centimeters.
Rumors also suggest that the top-tier iPhones may also feature sensor-shift image stabilization technology. It enables OIS (optical image stabilization) to be applied to the camera sensor. If it happens to be the case, the image stabilization will be available for the ultra-wide-angle lens as well.
As for the lower-end 5.4 and 6.1-inch iPhones, they would feature dual-lens cameras with minor upgrades.
Unlike its predecessors, the future iPhones likely to have 3D sensor, which is a notable addition to the existing line of sensors 12MP Regular, Ultra Wide and 2x Telephoto, Kevin adds.
Redesigned TrueDepth Camera System
Looks like Apple is giving a serious thought on trimming down the notch! Though the implementation won’t be seen across the board.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo Apple may fit in a smaller front camera lens on at least one iPhone for an enhanced screen to bezel ratio. Another report from Credit Suisse has stated that the tech giant will get rid of notch or Face ID on at least one model in favor of an under-display fingerprint sensor. Well, here lies the contrast as Kevin’s claims suggest smaller notch with more advanced Face ID updated with smaller and more accurate sensors.
Recently, Apple supplier AMS unveiled a new camera sensor technology that will enable the RBG light and the IR proximity sensor used for the TrueDepth camera system to be integrated under the display. This new sensor tech can play a major role in creating smaller Face ID equipped notch.
Hold On… Touch ID Could Come Back In A New Avatar
Ever since Face ID arrived, Apple hasn’t looked back on Touch ID. While the former has been widely appreciated for making authentication more secure and convenient, many have asked for an alternative – especially for the times where the facial recognition either doesn’t work or doesn’t seem convenient to use.
According to Taiwanese site Economic Daily News, Apple may introduce an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor on one of the iPhones. And guess what? The tech giant may use Qualcomm’s 30x20mm in-display fingerprint sensor that was announced in late 2019.
“Qualcomm just recently announced the evolution of its 3D ultrasonic fingerprint scanning technology and, truth be told, we did find it to be a huge step forward. 3D Sonic Max, as it is called, checks off almost all the complaints that real-world users had with it on the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10, at least on the company’s demo units. Unsurprisingly, hopes are running high that this new piece of tech would be adopted by more smartphone makers, including Apple.” SlashGear
However, Ming-Chi Kuo has said that Apple will launch iPhones with both Face ID and an in-display fingerprint sensor in 2021 – and not 2020. His prediction is based on Apple’s patents related to fingerprint on display technology.
More RAM in the Offing
The high-end models like iPhone 12 Pro (6.1-inch) and 12 Pro Max (6.7-inch) will reportedly feature 6GB RAM, while the low-end models (6.1-inch and 5.4-inch) will come with 4GB RAM. Though iPhones are still way faster than their Android counterparts, some of the high-end rivals from Samsung and OnePlus featuring up to whopping 12GB RAM have not only come very close to the speed of the latest iPhones but also beaten Apple’s offerings in some face-offs.
So, while iPhones may still be ahead of the curve when it comes to speed and overall performance, the tech giant may want to continue to top the leaderboard by a noticeable margin. Besides, more RAM has become the need of the hour, especially for power users.
More Compact, and Faster A14 Chip
It’s a no brainer, is it? Is anybody confused about what will be the next iteration of the A-Series chip and which company will produce it? I guess most of us already know it. Then, the only question is whether it will be a 7 or 5-nanometer chip.
If reports are to be believed, Apple is going to use the 5-nanometer chip manufactured by TSMC. As compared to the 7-nanometer variant found on the latest iPhones, it will be smaller, faster, and also more energy-efficient thanks largely to the improved thermal management.
Interestingly, A14 chip could make iPhone 12 on par with the 15-inch MacBook Pro as far as speed and efficiency are concerned.
Taking advantage of the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, the chip offers 80% more logic density. Furthermore, it’s said to run either 15% faster at the same power as its 7nm predecessor, or 30% lower power at the same performance level.
“With the big jump in transistor density from 5nm, Apple might add a third big core or significantly boost the performance of the high-efficiency cores, which would really boost multithreaded performance. For what it’s worth, the fastest Android phones score around 3,000 on this test, and a score of 5,000 would be similar to 6-core mainstream desktop CPUs or high-end laptop CPUs. It’s a 15-inch MacBook Pro territory.” Macworld
Although the iPhone 12 won’t see a huge boost in terms of battery capacity, it will be a noticeable upgrade. Many reports have suggested that Apple will use a custom battery protection module, which could be up to 50% smaller and thinner. Despite having a more compact design, it will deliver a better battery life. And more significantly, it will also free up valuable space for other technologies.
Finally, 5G Will Roll Out On iPhone
As Apple and Qualcomm have eventually buried their hatchets, the arrival of 5G on iPhones seems certain in 2020. As per reports, Apple will use Qualcomm’s X55 5G modem chip that delivers 7Gb/s peak download speeds and 3Gb/s upload speeds. Moreover, it is designed to support all the notable operation modes, network deployments, and frequency bands.
For the uninitiated, there are two kinds of 5G networks: mmWave and sub-6GHz. While the former is faster and limited in range, the latter is a bit slower but more prevalent.
According to reports, mmWave 5G technology will be available only in major cities and dense urban areas due to its short-range. And the sub-6GHz technology will be rolled out in rural and suburban areas as it’s wider.
Apple will reportedly launch iPhone models with mmWave and sub-6GHz in major markets including Canada, the U.S., UK, Australia, and Japan. The tech giant will roll out iPhones with just sub-6GHz connectivity in other countries. It’s also worth reiterating that sub-6GHz could be turned off in the countries where 5G is either yet to be launched or has low penetration.
iPhone 12 (2020) Release Date
For the past several years, Apple announces new iPhones at a much-awaited September event. And if the tech giant remains in line with the trend (there doesn’t seem to be any reason why it won’t), the iPhone 12 series will see the light of the day in September.
According to a well-known analyst from Susquehanna, Apple will launch 5G iPhones in two phases. While the Sub-6GHz models may arrive in September 2020, and mmWave variants may be rolled out in December 2020 or January 2021.