The 2020 iPhones –which will presumably be called the iPhone 12 — are going to bring some new features and massive changes to the table. The lineup is going to be a major upgrade over the iPhone 11 Pro lineup from last year in terms of specs and features. While the iPhone 12 is still over six months away from its release, a lot of information about it has already leaked.
Apple is expected to offer the iPhone 12 lineup in three completely new display sizes along with a brand new design. The display refresh rate is also expected to be increased to 120Hz for a smoother experience. The camera setup is also going to get a notable upgrade which will include using bigger camera sensors and better optical zoom. The phones will also pack a new 3D depth camera sensor that could be used by Apple for offering new AR features. The entire iPhone 12 lineup is also expected to be 5G ready meaning one should get faster download speeds over mobile data.
iPhone 12 Display
The rumors and claims from reputed analysts point to Apple using bigger displays on its iPhone 12 lineup. The smallest iPhone will feature a 5.42-inch display, with the other two variants packing a 6.06-inch and 6.7-inch display. Another rumor claims that Apple will be once again expanding its iPhone lineup this year and launch four new models, with all of them featuring OLED displays of varying screen sizes. Two of these new iPhone 12 models will pack a 6.1-inch display, while the smallest variant will pack a 5.4-inch display. The largest iPhone 12 variant will have a 6.7-inch display.
At this point, it is clear that Apple is indeed going to change the display size on the iPhone 12 lineup this year. The exact screen sizes, however, are unclear for now. Apple is also rumored to use ProMotion 120Hz OLED display on all iPhones this year. High refresh rate panels are quickly becoming commonplace in smartphones nowadays and Apple cannot not include it in its iPhone 12 lineup now, especially since it has a major impact on overall device smoothness. Since a high refresh rate panel has a higher power draw, Apple is expected to use thinner and more power-efficient OLED panels to make up for the power drain.
All-New iPhone 12 Design
Apple has gotten into a habit of refreshing the design language of its iPhone lineup after every three years now. The company debuted a new design language with the iPhone X in 2017 and then further tweaked it with the iPhone 11 Pro in 2019. For 2020, the company is expected to overhaul the chassis design significantly. As per reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the chassis design of the iPhone 12 lineup is going to be similar to the iPhone 4. He believes the new metal frame will have “more complex segmentation design, new trenching and injection molding procedures, and sapphire or glass cover assembly to protect the trench injection molding structure.” The changes are needed to help with 5G mmWave network reception.
The front design of the iPhone 12 is not expected to change much though. The dreaded notch is here to stay for another year and it is unlikely to get a size reduction.
This is one of the best iPhone 12 concepts we have seen so far, which is closest to the iPhone 12 leaks and rumors we have seen so far:
iPhone 12 Specs
The iPhone 12 lineup is going to pack the routine yearly upgrades from Apple. This will include a faster and more power-efficient 5nm based A14 Bionic chip, improved GPU and AI performance, up to 512GB storage space, and more. Apple did not bump the RAM from 4GB on the iPhone 11 Pro lineup in 2019. However, for the 2020 iPhone 12 lineup, the company is expected to bump the RAM to 6GB at least on the ‘Pro’ variant. This should help improve multitasking and would go well with the new multitasking features that iOS 14 is expected to introduce.
The AI and ISP performance should also get a notable boost with the A14 chip. This will be needed as more and more features now rely heavily on the AI processor. Rumors also point to Apple including at least a 10% bigger battery on the iPhone 12 lineup. This will help offset the additional power drain that will be introduced by the higher 120Hz refresh rate display and 5G.
One of the major upgrades on the iPhone 12 lineup this year is going to be the addition of 5G. This is going to be a game-changer and many analysts expect hoards of existing iPhone owners to upgrade to the iPhone 12 for this. The inclusion of 5G is also the reason behind Apple making massive internal changes to the iPhone 12 as it needs space to accommodate the 5G modem and its antennas and account for the additional power drain it introduces.
Apple could launch two different variants of the iPhone 12 lineup — one with mmWave and sub-6Ghz 5G support and one with only sub-6Ghz support. The former variant will be launched in markets like the United States where carriers are rolling out 5G on mmWave frequency. In other markets, Apple could launch the model with only sub-6Ghz support. This will make sense since the existing 5G modem from Qualcomm is not interoperable, meaning it won’t connect to 5G networks outside of the region you purchase it from.
iPhone 12 Camera
Apple gave the iPhone lineup a major camera upgrade with the iPhone 11 series last year. For 2020 though, the company is again expected to improve the camera hardware of its iPhone 12 lineup by a notable margin. For starters, Apple is expected to switch to a bigger camera sensor. This will be in line with the industry trend as every Android flagship smartphone has launched with bigger camera sensors over the last six months to a year.
A bigger camera sensor would absorb more light that should help Apple in further improving the low-light imaging performance on the iPhone 12. Apple could also end up using sensor-shift image stabilization on the iPhone 12 which could allow the ultra-wide angle camera to be stabilized as well. Another rumor points to Apple using a 64MP camera on the iPhone 12, though there have not been any other leaks on this front from more reputable sources. The company is also rumored to bring Night mode to the selfie camera on the front and the telephoto camera. There will also be image processing improvements.
With the 2020 iPad Pro, Apple added a new LiDAR scanner to the tablet. The scanner helps improve the overall AR experience on the device and it can scan objects up to 5m away. Given the number of AR-based features that Apple is working to include in iOS 14, the iPhone 12 should also launch with the LiDAR scanner. It is possible that Apple will keep the scanner limited to the Pro models due to cost reasons.
iPhone 12 Release Date
Apple tends to launch its new iPhones in September every year. The 5G iPhone 12 would have also launched around that timeframe if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the coronavirus outbreak worldwide, it is now unclear when Apple will launch the iPhone 12 series this year. There have been conflicting reports about Apple delaying the launch by a couple of months and others claiming that the launch is still on track. New iPhones usually go into mass production in June so Apple still does have time in its hand.
Apple engineers tend to travel to China during this time of the year to work closely with various component suppliers and Foxconn on prototyping the next iPhone. This is currently not possible due to the international travel ban that is in effect due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Until and unless the situation improves rapidly by the end of April, there is definitely a possibility that Apple will end up delaying the iPhone 12 launch by a few weeks to a month or two.