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We’ve been hearing for a while that this year’s iPhone lineup will likely expand to at least four models, and now it looks like Apple may be almost done with the prototypes for the new devices.
According to a new leak by John Prosser, the four new models line up with the reliable reports we’ve already heard, which include two stainless steel “Pro” entries along with two smaller aluminum-bodied variations.
Essentially, the new lineup would include a pair of slightly larger iPhone 12 Pro models plus a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 that would be direct successors to the current iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and iPhone 11.
However, a new fourth model would provide a more pocketable success to the iPhone 11, coming in at 5.4 inches.
This makes sense, as the lower-cost iPhone has shown itself to be extremely popular ever since Apple released the iPhone XR back in 2018, and with last year’s decision to go with the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro naming, Apple tacitly acknowledged that the iPhone 11 was the standard model for most users.
According to Prosser’s information, all four models are expected to feature 5G support, and Apple’s new A14 processor, of course, plus the smaller notch that’s previously been rumoured, while the iPhone 12 versions will be made out of an aluminum body and the iPhone 12 Pro will feature a stainless steel construction, similar to the current iPhone 11 lineup.
What’s also noteworthy is that although the report confirms that the Pro models will gain a LiDAR sensor in addition to the triple-lens camera, the non-Pro models will be sticking with a dual-lens camera system, likely an iteration on the cameras already found in the iPhone 11.
Prosser has also offered up internal codenames for the new models, with the iPhone 12 variants being D52G for the new 5.4-inch and D53G for the 6.1-inch model, and the iPhone 12 Pro models listed as D53P and D54P, respectively.
The report also confirms previous rumours that the iPhone 12 Pro is expected to grow from 5.8 inches to 6.1 inches, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max will hit 6.7 inches, an increase from the current 6.5-inch model. Note that these are screen sizes, however, so the impact on the physical size of the new iPhones will depend on how much Apple is able to shrink the bezel.
While Prosser’s report doesn’t comment on the display type, all of the 2020 iPhones are expected to make the switch to OLED screens, which means that the non-Pro iPhone 12 models could see a slight size reduction due to the ability to use a smaller bezel, in which case the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models could be identical in size.
Venerable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo first made the prediction last year that Apple would release four 5G iPhones this fall, and we’ve heard very little to contradict that information since then. As Prosser notes, the only real question at this point remains whether Apple will release the new iPhones on time in the midst of the global pandemic that’s slowing much of the economy down right now.
What’s in a Name?
At this point we don’t even know for sure that Apple is going to call this year’s iPhones the “iPhone 12,” although that certainly seems likely after it switched back to numbers for the iPhone 11 last year.
What’s more of a mystery right now, however, is what Apple will do with the “Max” naming. At its simplest, Apple could just choose to use “Max” for both models, but it would be confusing for a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max to be the same size as the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, so this opens up the possibility to a return of some other moniker like “Plus.” It’s also conceivably possible that Apple could choose to distinguish the smaller iPhone 12 in some way instead with a name like the “iPhone 12 Mini.”
It’s also possible that Apple could eventually choose to drop the size-based naming altogether, since the iPhone lineup remain the only products that Apple distinguishes in this way. Apple makes all of its MacBooks and its iPad Pro in two sizes each, but distinguishes these only by the actual dimensions — there is no “iPad Pro Max” but rather only the “iPad Pro 12.9-inch.” As Apple continues to expand its iPhone lineup, there’s little reason to see why it couldn’t go the same route with its iPhones as well.