It’s a new year (and new decade), which means the annual Apple iPhone rumors are beginning to heat up. The rumor mill is already buzzing about the “iPhone 12” lineup likely to arrive in September and perhaps earlier. Here’s a look at the current rumors for Cupertino’s next flagship device.
New Models and Camera Specs
Four. That’s the number of new handsets Apple’s probably launching this fall. These could include a 5.4-inch, 6.7-inch, and two 6.1-inch models. For the first time, every fall iPhone could feature higher quality OLED displays rather than LCD. Apple first offered OLED on the 2017 iPhone X. Since then, it has continued producing at least one model with lower-cost LCD. The current 2019 iPhone lineup includes the OLED-based iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 11 with LCD.
The 6.7-inch iPhone 12 and at least one of the 6.1-inch models could feature triple-lens cameras, while the other two will offer dual-lens cameras. The current iPhone 11 has dual 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide cameras, while the iPhone 11 Pro/iPhone 11 Pro Max features triple 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras.
If this lineup is correct, the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 would be the largest in the history of the iPhone, surpassing the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max.
What About the iPhone 9?
Separate rumors suggest Apple will replace the iPhone 8 with another 4.7-inch model. Likely called the iPhone 9, this model would continue the tradition of using some variance of LCD. It would also use Touch ID versus Face Ithat’s found on the 2019 models. The iPhone 9, if announced, would probably launch this spring before the other four.
The more recent iPhone 9 rumors suggest the new handset will include an A13 Bionic processor and just one camera around the back.
Apple currently sells the following handsets:
- iPhone 11, 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD display, released in 2019
- iPhone 11 Pro, 5.8-inch Super Retina XDR display, 2019
- iPhone 11 Pro Max, 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR display, 2019
- iPhone XR, 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD display, 2018
- iPhone 8, 4.7-inch Retina HD display, 2017
- iPhone 8 Plus, 5.5-inch Retina HD display, 2017
The likely 2020 lineup:
- iPhone 9, 4.7-inch Retina HD display, mid-2020
- 5.4-inch OLED, lower-cost option, late-2020
- 6.1-inch OLED, lower-cost option, late-2020
- 6.1-inch OLED, higher-cost option, late-2020
- 6.7-inch OLED, premium option, late-2020
For the first time since the iPhone arrived in 2007, Apple’s expected to change the layout for iPhone this year. Interestingly, the design for at least one new iPhone could look familiar to the boxy 2010 iPhone 4. That design carried over until the iPhone SE in 2016 and featured a flat stainless steel frame. Whatever design change does happen this year with iPhone might not be carried over to the entire lineup, but rather only to the two most expensive new models.
The iPhone notch isn’t going away this year, but it probably will get smaller. The controversial location at the top of the current phones houses the True Depth Camera system. To make the notch smaller, Apple might switch to a new camera system that relies on lasers.
5G and Other Technology
Apple’s likely to introduce its first 5G-compatible iPhone this fall, although the technology is almost certainly not going to be available on every new model. Given the slow 5G rollout so far in the United States, this would-be decision sounds like the correct one. It also means 5G on every 2021 iPhone is a near certainty.
In terms of other internal upgrades, this year’s iPhones may support a handset version of Apple’s ProMotion technology that’s currently only available on the iPad Pro. ProMotion is an adaptive screen refresh technology which makes a device feel faster without compromising on battery life.
The new phones will also include an “A14” processor, although it’s unclear what that would entail. Apple chipmaker TSMC has secured orders for the “A14” processors, according to DigiTimes.
Touch ID … again?
Since the iPhone X, Apple has embraced Face ID over Touch ID for authentication. Rumors suggest Cupertino could offer advanced fingerprint technology alongside Face ID for authentication. Though one of the 2020 handsets could feature this dual authentication system, the odds are higher Apple will wait until 2021 to roll it out.
No Folding iPhone?
At least for now, Apple will let Samsung and others play around with foldable handsets. However, by 2021, the company might have no choice but to release a foldable display iPhone.
Should You Wait Until the iPhone 12?
If you typically hold off on buying a new iPhone until there’s a design change, you’ll soon get rewarded. This fall’s lineup will almost certainly feature something shiny and new, so you should wait. If you’re an iPhone SE owner looking to purchase another small handset, you too should wait. The so-called iPhone 9 could arrive in just a few weeks to likely replace the iPhone 8.
For everyone else in the market for a new iPhone, now may be the perfect time to upgrade. Vendors know Apple is planning a significant iPhone refresh this fall, which means they are more likely to offer huge discounts on the current models.
Stay tuned, as it should be an exciting year on the iPhone front!