With Apple expected to release as many as five new iPhones this year (and some are even suggesting six), there’s naturally been a bit of confusion as to exactly what the company has in store for its smartphone lineup, which has only expanded to offering three different models in the past few years, most recently the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
While the so-called “iPhone 9” is expected to arrive this spring, and presumably makes up one of the five models in the 2020 predictions, that still leaves room for a mysterious fourth model. Reports of a new 5.4-inch iPhone have further added to the confusion. Early rumours suggested that it would be a part of a plan for new iPhone 12 sizes overall, making it a direct successor to the iPhone 11 Pro, while the the “Max” version would grow slightly to 6.7 inches.
However, the possibility of an extra iPhone in the lineup has left some speculating that the 5.4-inch version might actually be a smaller successor to the 6.1-inch iPhone 11, allowing Apple to offer the non-pro model in a more pocketable size that would be fairly close to the iPhone SE.
There have also been some suggestions that Apple might release two “iPhone 9” models, the second of which could be a larger “Plus” version to succeed the iPhone 8 Plus, since it seems unlikely that Apple would continue to sell either model of the 2017 iPhone once the new budget model is released in the coming months, but these are far more scattershot, and have also been conflated with rumours of a larger budget iPhone in early 2021 that could feature a significant redesign with a full-screen display and a Touch ID sensor on the side power button.
In late December, we shared a mockup of a 6.5-inch “iPhone 12 Pro Max” that Mac Otakara got its hands on, which offered some interesting surprises by not only retaining the 6.5-inch screen size, despite rumours that it would grow to 6.7 inches, but also showing a space for an Apple Pencil.
Even so, however, Mac Otakara later shared another report suggesting that the rumoured 6.7-inch model was still in the works, adding that it might be noticeably thinner than the current iPhone 11 Pro Max, but — contrary to the mockup it previously shared — would retain the same housing design as prior models.
Now Mac Otakara has apparently received another set of 3D printed mockups purporting to represent the iPhone 12 lineup, this time including a 5.3-inch version, a 5.9-inch version, and a 6.4-inch version. Of these, the two smaller ones show dual-lens cameras, while only the 6.4-inch version features a triple-lens system.
While this latest set of mockups offers a decent illustration of what the relative sizes of the new iPhones could be, they should be taken with a healthy dose of salt, since Mac Otakara can’t verify the veracity of the source from which they were received, and if nothing else they add more confusion to the mix.
Reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has gone on the record predicting that this year’s models will include one 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch versions with different camera specs — likely one pro version and one standard version — and a 6.7-inch “Max” iPhone, so it’s unclear where the 6.4-inch mockup would fit into this — even if we take it as a 6.5-inch model.
That said, the two smaller ones do seem to roughly fit Kuo’s predictions, with the dual-camera profile adding support to the theory that the 5.4-inch iPhone will actually be smaller variation on the standard iPhone 12. As we predicted last spring, the smaller iPhone could come in pretty close in size to the now-discontinued four-inch iPhone SE, thanks to the bezel-less full-screen design, and the measurements of Mac Otakara’s latest mockup would seem to confirm this. This would provide an even better option for those looking for a more pocketable iPhone.
What seems to be missing from this latest set of mockups however is the smaller “iPhone 12 Pro” which if Kuo’s predictions are correct, could also get a bump from 5.8 inches to 6.1 inches this year, making it the same size as the current iPhone 11 and iPhone XR models.
With Apple having changed its iPhone lineup last year to divide it between standard and “pro” models, it does make sense that it would also begin to offer the lower-cost iPhone in two sizes to correspond to the more expensive Pro models, offering more choices for consumers and helping the entry-level iPhone to feel more like a lineup in its own right. Still, with the number of rumours that are swirling lately about what Apple is doing with its iPhone lineup this year, the only thing that’s really clear is that the company definitely plans to do something different.