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Even though we know that the iPhone 12 isn’t going to actually go on sale until October, it’s still entirely possible that Apple could choose to unveil it at a September event, which could be only weeks away, which means that it’s still that time of the year when we start to get some more detailed leaks on what the new iPhones may look like as accessory makers start preparing for the new models to debut.
As usual, it’s the case makers that provide us with the most detailed leaks on the physical dimensions and design of the newest iPhones, since it’s important for many of these companies to get their products manufactured and on sale in time for the release of the new model, and it seems that many aren’t taking any chances in making sure that they’ll have a ready supply of cases out for the various iPhone 12 models.
In order to produce cases, these companies create dummy iPhone models that match the physical design of the upcoming iPhones so that they can design their cases to fit properly. Not surprisingly a few of these images always manage to leak out in the blogosphere each year, and while the leaks have been fairly pedestrian over the past few years of relatively unchanging iPhone designs, this time around it’s more interesting because of the rumours that at least some iPhone models will get getting a more flat-edged design.
Now reports from an Apple fan community in Israel, HaAppelistim, unearthed by 9to5Mac are seemingly confirming this new design, with a series of images that appear to have come from accessory maker Skech showing us what the new iPhone 12 may look like in practical terms.
As we first heard last fall, the pictures show the expected throwback to the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 designs, but what’s interesting is that they seem to run the entire gamut of sizes, from the smallest 5.4-inch size of the iPhone 12 to the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. This contradicts earlier reports that Apple may have only been planning to redesign the “Pro” models in an effort to further distinguish the lineup.
To be clear, Apple is expected to announce four new iPhone 12 models in the coming weeks. The current 6.1-inch iPhone 11 will be succeeded by a pair of “iPhone 12” models, with a smaller 5.4-inch version joining the more traditional 6.1-inch size. On the higher end, the iPhone 11 Pro lineup will be replaced by a 6.1-inch “iPhone 12 Pro” and a 6.7-inch “iPhone 12 Pro Max,” representing slight increases in the screen sizes of prior models, although it’s unclear if the physical dimensions of the actual iPhones will change, since the new design could allow for a smaller bezel.
Regardless of whether there are size changes, however, it’s clear that the new models will undergo a fairly radical design change, eschewing the smoother curves that we’ve seen for the past few years into something that’s much more akin to Apple’s recent iPad Pro models.
Keep in mind that these dummy iPhone units have been created expressly to fit cases, so they don’t include anything that wouldn’t be of relevance to a case maker. For example, they don’t give us any insight into what Apple’s plans are for the notch, which several sources have suggested might get slimmed down this year (although that’s something we hear every year), or possibly disappear entirely (although that seems extremely unlikely).
You also shouldn’t be misled by the fact that these dummy units show the iPhone 11 style camera design, as it’s not necessary for case makers to get the latest camera specs in order to build cases — they simply need to know the size of the camera bump, and by all reports Apple isn’t expected to change that this year, since it already has the space it needs to add the rumoured LiDAR Scanner on the back of the Pro models, and most rumours have suggested that the non-pro iPhones will be sticking with a dual-camera design anyway.
While we shouldn’t expect any of the new iPhone 12 models to be available until at least early October, it’s still possible that Apple could choose to hold an event in early September to announce them, especially since there are reports that the Apple Watch Series 6 and at least one new iPad model could still be ready for a September release. Alternatively, however, Apple could choose to push those out more quietly via a press release and defer its actual iPhone event until closer to the October release date.