The iPhone 12 is shaping up to be one of the more significant upgrades to the iPhone in recent memory with a serious design change expected for the first time since the iPhone 6. Also, a handful of hardware changes that should, as Apple likes to say on stage, make the iPhone 12 the best iPhone Apple has ever made.
Unfortunately, iPhone fans are likely going to wait a little longer than they are used to this year to see the latest from Apple, but if even most of the rumors hold true, it is going to be worth the wait.
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The flagship competition from Samsung is stronger than ever this year with the Samsung Galaxy Note Ultra looking like an absolute powerhouse, while others like the Google Pixel 5 may actually be taking a step back from the flagship market. Can the iPhone 12 find a way to take on both of these competitors?
We have gathered up all of the rumors we could uncover regarding the iPhone 12, including the release date, pricing, cameras, specs and more, and amazingly, it seems like it might be able to pull it off. Read on to find out everything there is to know about the iPhone 12.
iPhone 12 release date
While Apple has traditionally held its big iPhone event in September each year, there have been multiple sources indicating that it will be slipping to a later date this year.
Most notably Apple’s CFO, Luca Maestri, stated in an earnings call at the end of July that, “last year we started selling iPhones in late September. This year, we project supply to be available a few weeks later,” placing the release date sometime in October.
That also aligns with a recent rumor from one of the more reliable leakers in the business, Jon Prosser, who believes the iPhone 12 event will be the week of October 12 with the devices shipping the following week. Apple quickly dashed hopes of the iPhone 12 arriving at its September 15 event when it teased only two devices: a new Apple Watch and iPad.
New, adjusted Apple dates!Apple Watch & iPad- Via press release- Week 37 w/c Sep 7iPhone 12 event- Week 42 w/c Oct 12iPhone 12 devices - Preorders week 42 w/c Oct 12- Shipping week 43 w/c Oct 19iPhone 12 Pro devices- Preorder and shipping in Nov (no exact date yet)August 12, 2020
While again, this date slip is out of character for Apple, it is hardly surprising given the sheer volume of iPhones that Apple needs to produce to meet demand and the manufacturing delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
One side effect of the move is that the phone will most likely be launching almost right alongside the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a XL, which we believe will launch on or around October 8.
iPhone 12 price
As you would expect, Apple has had nothing official to say about the pricing of the iPhone 12 yet, but there have been rumors from a number of credible sources.
Perhaps the biggest shock is that most rumors suggest that the iPhone 12 will be cheaper than the iPhone 11, which was, in turn, cheaper than the iPhone XR that preceded it, an unusual trend for Apple to say the least. This is all the more surprising as the iPhone 12 should be the first to support 5G, something that has been a source of rising prices on the Android side, but Apple is again reaping the benefits of producing its own chipsets as the pricey Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 is a prime factor in the price jump for Android flagships this year.
This is supported by reports from the ever-reliable Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo who attributes the move to a significant savings Apple has been able to make on the battery for the iPhone 12 and also gets the thumbs up from Apple leaker Jon Prosser. Prosser offered up the prices he was seeing from his sources back in April, starting with a standard iPhone 12 at $649, which would be a $50 drop from the iPhone 11.
Been seeing some reports speculating on iPhone 12 prices, so I asked my sources 👇5.4 iPhone 12 D52GOLED / 5G2 cam$6496.1 iPhone 12 D53GOLED / 5G2 cam $7496.1 iPhone 12 Pro D53POLED / 5G3 cam + LiDAR$9996.7 iPhone 12 Pro Max D54POLED / 5G3 cam + LiDAR$1,099April 30, 2020
A larger 6.1-inch iPhone 12 would jump up to $749, which is where you see a bit of a gotcha from Apple on this pricing as this matches the size of the iPhone 11, making it $50 more expensive than the comparable offering from last year. Looking to the iPhone 12 Pro lineup, the smaller 6.1-inch model would start at $999 and the larger 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max at $1,099. We’ll address the features in later sections, but these phones reportedly feature OLED displays and 5G, the former was limited to the Pro models previously and the latter wasn’t available at all on the iPhone 11.
One wild card is a possible 4G-only version of the iPhone 12 at a lower price point coming in early 2021. This was originally reported by Business Insider based on an investor’s note from analysts with Wedbush Securities. Of course, this could also be the follow-up to the iPhone SE (2019) rather than another iPhone 12 model, but regardless, it’s not something anyone expects to be available at the October launch.
iPhone 12 specs
Naturally, these are all unconfirmed specs at this time, but here are the best estimates for the four iPhone 12 models based on available rumors and leaks.
|iPhone 12||iPhone 12 Max||iPhone 12 Pro||iPhone 12 Pro Max|
|Display||5.4-inch Super Retina OLED||6.1-inch Super Retina OLED|
|Processor||A14 Bionic||A14 Bionic||A14 Bionic||A14 Bionic|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB|
|Cameras||Dual rear cameras||Dual rear cameras||Triple rear camera array with LiDAR||Triple rear camera array with LiDAR|
|5G support||Sub-6GHz||Sub-6GHz||Sub-6GHz and mmWave||Sub-6GHz and mmWave|
|Battery||2,227 mAh||2,775 mAh||2,775 mAh||3,687 mAh|
iPhone 12 design
Apple is reportedly changing things up in a big way with the iPhone 12 design, giving it a makeover that borrows from the design language of the new iPad Pro (2020). This rumor originated from Bloomberg back in April and has seen the light of day in dummy unit form courtesy of a MacRumors forum user based on leaked schematics for the iPhone 12.
While the iPad Pro is the more recent model for this design, it really harkens back to the beloved iPhone 5 design with the flat edges that died on the original iPhone SE. And with that said, iPhone SE fans should also perk up because the 5.4-inch screen size on the standard iPhone 12 without the Touch ID home button at the bottom is awfully close to the same size as that eminently pocketable smartphone.
It will be interesting to see the general reaction to the design change as it has been a long time since the move to the more rounded design (this happened with the iPhone 6), and many users have never actually experienced the iPhone 5 design.
Here you go, internet. 😏 pic.twitter.com/REfSw28KSXApril 20, 2020
One change that is likely to be universally appreciated is a reduction in the size of the notch at the top of the display. According to schematics posted by reliable Apple leaker Jon Prosser, it will be roughly half the width of the current notch.
While the specs and general dimensions of the phones are known, many of the finer details remain a mystery. The exact layout of the rear camera, for example, for both the standard iPhone 12s and the iPhone 12 Pros have seen numerous possible designs. The placement of the LiDAR sensor may cause a more drastic change to the former arrangement than some have imagined.
And on a purely aesthetic note, there are some limited rumors regarding the colors that the iPhone 12 will come in. The standard iPhone 12 is likely to get a similar myriad of color options as the iPhone 11, but the iPhone 12 Pros are also rumored to be getting a new option in the form of a Navy Blue per XDA Developers Max Weinbach. Whether this would replace the Midnight Green option or give Pro users four options is unknown.
Navy blue iPhone 12 Pro. I want it so badly. https://t.co/xtTlMsYNIYJanuary 21, 2020
iPhone 12 cameras
Cameras have become perhaps the most significant battleground in the smartphone world in recent years and while nothing suggests that Apple is going to try to match Samsung’s massive 108MP sensor or 50-100x telephoto options, it does appear to have some interesting updates planned.
The basic layout of the cameras for each model of iPhone 12 appears to be similar to the iPhone 11 with a wide-angle and standard on the iPhone 12 and a telephoto added to the mix on the iPhone 12 Pro models.
One new feature is the introduction of a LiDAR sensor on the iPhone 12 Pro models similar to what is found in the iPad Pro (2020). It would both enable superior AR performance, an area where Apple continues to dominate thanks to its ability to accurately detect distances, and contribute to better portrait shots. This rumor first appeared courtesy of a schematic posted by Apple leaker @choco_bit and was subsequently supported by the aforementioned pricing leak from Jon Prosser.
@appleinsider @MacRumors @9to5mac you guys excited about iPhone 12Pro and 12ProMax with Lidar? pic.twitter.com/CQaQcb6hQ5April 5, 2020
One of the additions to the iPhone 12 that may be responsible for the delayed launch is a 7th lens element. We turn again to Ming-Chi Kuo for this rumor originally caught by AppleInsider. The primary benefit of this added element should be a reduction in aberration, but it could also point to some magnification like what we have seen from Samsung’s recent flagships.
While 108MP isn’t in the cards for the iPhone 12, according to Max Weinbach, a step up to a 64MP sensor might be happening this year. He originally reported this in an interview with YouTuber EverythingApplePro. While it is always important to remember that the resolution of the camera is far from everything, it’s a massive step up from the 12MP that Apple has been using for years now. If this leak is accurate, it should allow for greater digital zoom without falloff among other features.
The iPhone 12 will reportedly introduce “sensor shift” technology, according to supply chain sources of DigitTimes. The feature would impact both photos and videos on the iPhone by augmenting the existing optical image stabilization by recognizing the motion of the smartphone and making micro-adjustments to the camera sensors to account for the movement. This should allow for both steadier video and improved low-light performance for handheld photography.
Finally, turning specifically to video features, something that Apple has dominated in recent years, we look again to EverythingApplePro who claims that the iPhone 12 Pro will be able to capture 4K video at up to 240 frames per second, which would be a 4x increase over the iPhone 11 Pro and presumably attributable to the power of the A14 processor.
iPhone 12 display
There seems to be a consensus among the various rumor sources that all iPhone 12 models will be moving to OLED screens, which will finally bring the greater contrast ratio and black levels to the full lineup. Similarly, we’ve seen widespread agreement on screen sizes, with the standard iPhone 12 coming in at 5.4 and 6.1-inches and the larger iPhone 12 Pro models at 6.1 and 6.7-inches.
There is some conflict regarding the features of the display. The point of contention centers around whether the iPhone 12 Pro models will feature a 120Hz ProMotion display like the iPad Pros have since 2017. With Samsung going to 120Hz across its Galaxy S20 lineup this year, and on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, it would be an easy target for Samsung to go after if Apple were to fail to introduce it in its top-end iPhone models.
The first reports suggesting that Apple wouldn't be able to bring 120Hz to the iPhone 12 Pro came from Ross Young, an analyst with DSCC that has proven to have some solid sources in the display supply chain. He has specifically claimed that Apple has been unable to secure the necessary 120Hz driver integrated circuits (ICs). He originally made this claim on August 4 and then further elaborated on it on August 24 indicating that are would either need to be a significant launch delay or the displays will again be 60Hz.
Hearing that Apple can get 120Hz Pro panels, but not 120Hz driver ICs. So they will either have to come up with a fix which will be difficult, wait for 120Hz driver ICs and delay the launch possibly significantly or launch with 60Hz. We are hearing they will launch with 60Hz.August 24, 2020
Following this second claim a couple of prominent voices in the leaker community, Jon Prosser and Max Weinbach, also voiced differing levels of concern over Apple's ability to deliver 120Hz on the iPhone 12 Pros. While Prosser's simple statement, "Don't give up on 120hz on 12 Pro yet..." isn't exactly a full vote of confidence, it is a bit more hopeful than Weinbach's, "It's more making it to launch that I'm pretty sure ain't happening."
At this point, too many reliable sources are indicating that this is not going to happen this year for it to be ignored. It sounds like iPhone 12 owners will all be running 60Hz displays this year which is unfortunate as those who have experienced 120Hz displays know that as our reviewer said of the 120Hz display on the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus it makes "animations look and feel buttery smooth."
iPhone 12 software
iOS 14 will, of course, be ready in time for the launch of the iPhone 12 and it is bringing some interesting new options to iOS users. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.
Homescreen customization is something that power users on iOS have had to covet on Android for years now, and with iOS 14, it is finally coming close. Users can add widgets that will allow them to monitor and control apps and services on their devices without actually jumping into an app.
The “App Library” view is another feature Android users will be familiar with so rather than having to view every app on your screen, you will be able to hide some and let Apple automatically organize them or sort them by a variety of methods.
Picture-in-picture is not just for iPads anymore, iPhone users will also be able to view content, like a video, while working in another app.
Some notifications are also getting tamped down a bit, most notably is the call notification which has traditionally taken over your screen completely and will now only cover roughly the top third to allow you to keep working while you think about taking that call.
iPhone 12 accessories in the box
Why would we bother to bring this up? Well, Apple is looking to break new ground in terms of what it doesn’t give you in the box. Traditionally, you’ve found a set of EarPods, a charger and a charging cable. But iPhone 12 buyers may only find one of those items in the box when they get home.
The charging cable is rumored to be the sole pack-in accessory with the iPhone 12, according to a report from Ming-Chi Kuo and originally covered by MacRumors, Apple may drop the EarPods in order to drive additional buyers to its AirPods and AirPods Pro.
While some will be frustrated by this exclusion, the next omission comes as an even greater surprise and that is the removal of the charger. Yes, you might be getting nothing but a USB Type-C to Lightning cable in the box with your iPhone 12. The justification will supposedly be to avoid some of the waste associated with devices as virtually every user already has headphones and a charger, but it is also a clear attempt to upsell buyers that have already spent a fortune on a new phone so it isn’t likely to be met with cheers from consumers.
On the plus side, there is also a rumor courtesy of a since-deleted tweet from leaker @L0vetodream that the iPhone 12 will finally ship with an improved braided USB Type-C-to-Lightning cable, which would be a massive upgrade from the standard version that Apple has been including for years now.
iPhone 12 outlook
While the design change is likely going to be the most attention-grabbing feature of the iPhone 12 when it launches, there is a lot going on under the hood as well. Apple dealt a real blow to the mid-range smartphone market last year with the release of the $399 iPhone SE and, with the pricing on the iPhone 12, it looks like it may extend that battle further up the market.
We are seeing a perfect example of how Apple’s complete control of its chipset manufacturing is paying off in mobile and how it could pay off in its laptops and desktops as well. While Android manufacturers had to contend with the high-priced Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and raise prices accordingly, it seems like Apple might be able to offer greater value while presumably maintaining its margins.
But ignoring the business side of things, based on the rumors, the iPhone 12 is shaping up to be an amazing update from Apple with a reimagined design and an impressive array of software and hardware updates that should thrill most iPhone fans.