New Leaks Reveal iPhone 12 Pro May Have a Smart Connector for the Apple Pencil

iPhone 12 Pro Max Concept Credit: EverythingApplePro
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More details are emerging about Apple’s upcoming iPhone 12, which almost certainly has been finalized by now in terms of both its design and features, and the latest series of leaks suggests that the new design may be thinner and could even include Apple’s Smart Connector, previously only found on the company’s iPads.

With Apple’s final iPhone prototypes reportedly nearing completion, it’s not surprising that more details are starting to leak out from Apple’s supply chain, and while we already saw a report earlier this week that the more squarish iPad Pro style design may only come to the Pro models, a new set of schematics alleging to be for the iPhone 12 Pro Max reveal a thinner body with smaller screen bezels.

These schematics, which were acquired by Max Weinbach are seemingly from a reliable source, although they may not represent the final iPhone 12 Pro Max design. However, Weinbach and EverythingApplePro managed to put together some CAD renders that show off the new design, which highlights a lot of what already know: the new squarish design with flat edges, 2D glass, and a small notch.

However, the schematics also suggest that the new design will be thinner and that Apple may have figured out a way to shrink the bezel down even further. This would actually be consistent with one prevailing theory that the new iPhone 12 screen dimensions may not represent a big change in the physical casing sizes. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is expected to grow to 6.7 inches from its 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max predecessor, while the iPhone 12 Pro would jump to 6.1 inches from the current 5.8-inch version. Both of these size increases could easily be the result of the smaller bezels that we’re seeing here, with actual physical dimensions that might not change much at all.

In fact, the new flat-edged design would also give Apple more space to work with, since it wouldn’t have to worry about the more chamfered edges of the current iPhone design. Sharp right angles at each screen edge would give it a wider surface area for the display.

What’s a bit more interesting is that the iPhone 12 Pro Max could get noticeably thinner, shrinking down to 7.4mm, as compared to the 8.1mm iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Apple Pencil Mini?

The schematics also show the SIM card tray being moved to the other side of the iPhone, with some sort of Smart Connector taking its place. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this, either — a mockup late last year showed the same “mysterious connector,” and if all of these reports are true, the most likely purpose for it would be to charge an Apple Pencil — likely the “Apple Pencil mini” that we’ve heard could be in the works.

There have been rumours for years that Apple could bring Apple Pencil support to the iPhone, going back so far as the iPhone 8, but this is the most solid evidence we’ve seen that it could actually be coming this year. It’s difficult to imagine what else this Smart Connector could be used for at this point, since Apple isn’t likely to encourage keyboard use with any iPhone model, even the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max, and normal Qi-enabled wireless charging doesn’t require a special connector.

It’s not uncommon for schematics such as this to leak out to accessory makers so that they can try and get a head start on cases, and Weinbach’s source indicates that they work with a company that usually receive rough CAD drawings of upcoming iPhones and iPads. That said, there are indications that the leaked details are a few months old, so it’s possible that they don’t represent all of the final design details.

Other details from the drawings line up with everything else we’ve been hearing lately, however, including the new four-lens design to include a new LiDAR Scanner, a thicker camera bump, and some minor changes to the placement of switches and buttons on the side. The source also notes that the new Navy Blue color option is happening for the Pro model replacing this year’s Midnight Green. The iPhone 12 (non-Pro) is also expected to gain at least two new colors that could include light blue, violet, or light orange.

By all reports, Apple plans to release four new iPhone models this fall, expanding the standard iPhone 12 into its own two-size lineup, with a 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch version, while the iPhone 12 Pro will feature a new design with slightly larger 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screens. It’s not yet clear exactly how Apple will differentiate these models.

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