Although we’d be absolutely shocked if Apple’s iPhone 12 makes an appearance at tomorrow’s big event, that doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped hearing reports about what may be coming when Apple finally does take the wraps off its latest iPhone lineup.
To be clear, although Apple did announce a big September event that’s being held tomorrow, our excitement for an iPhone announcement was short-lived when reliable sources suggested it would actually be mostly about the Apple Watch.
While Apple will almost certainly have a few other products to fill the time, such as a new 11-inch iPad Air and possibly even its much-rumoured AirTags, it’s all but certain at this point that we won’t be hearing any news about this year’s iPhone.
Instead, rumour has it that Apple will be holding another event in October to give the iPhone 12 the debut it deserves closer to its actual launch date.
However, that hasn’t stopped the analysts, leakers, and other sources from providing more insight about the new device as it gets closer to launch.
Firstly there’s a new revelation from the venerable Ming-Chi Kuo suggesting that the highly anticipated smaller iPhone 12 — the 5.4-inch model — will actually see a slight reduction in the notch area.
Of course, it would kind of have to, when you think about it, since by every estimate the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 will actually get almost down to the same physical size as the classic four-inch iPhone 5 series models, which will be a welcome arrival for those who have been wishing for a return of the original 2016 iPhone SE form factor.
However, according to Kuo, who is still expecting an October announcement for the entire iPhone 12 lineup, only the 5.4-inch iPhone will be seeing any changes to the notch size. This is simply because it’s pretty much a necessity on the smaller iPhone if Apple still wants to be able to display any useful information in the status bar area.
The two 6.1-inch iPhone models and the 6.7-inch “Pro Max” model will apparently retain the same notch size as the current iPhone 11 lineup. This throws some cold water on earlier rumours that the notch would be shrinking across the board, but we now suspect those were confusing the changes in the 5.4-inch model and assuming they’d be applied across the board.
No 120Hz Display
Kuo also confirmed a report from last week that the 120Hz “ProMotion” display technology will in fact not be making it into the iPhone 12 this year.
Despite indications that it was present in at least some testing devices, we’d already heard that Apple was at a decision point that would have forced them to either scrap their plans for the faster display or delay the iPhone 12 Pro further than it already has been.
The earlier report suggested that Apple was having a hard time sourcing the necessary chips to drive the newer displays, but according to Kuo the other big issue is that Apple couldn’t make it work within the battery constraints, which is pretty much what we suspected when we heard the news last week. That said, Apple is still working to bring it to next year’s iPhone lineup, Kuo says.
mmWave for All
Kuo is also adding to his earlier predictions about support for ultra-fast mmWave technology with the prediction that all of Apple’s iPhone 12 models, from the diminutive 5.4-inch iPhone 12 right up to the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max will support mmWave.
That said, Kuo predicts that there will be two versions of every iPhone 12 model — one with only sub-6GHz 5G support, and one with mmWave. It’s likely the mmWave models will only be coming to relatively few countries and carriers, although Kuo didn’t really offer any additional insights there.
If true, this is actually pretty big news, as most analysts suspected that mmWave would be the exclusive domain of the two Pro models, and in fact some had suggested that it might only come to the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max due to the larger battery and antenna requirements.
According to Kuo, however, the mmWave models will still arrive a bit later, as he claims production on those models isn’t expected to even begin until after the sub-6GHz iPhone models ship, which could easily push it into November.
Despite reports last week that at least some iPhone 12 models have already entered mass production, Kuo is indicating that this actually won’t begin in earnest until October, suggesting that the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 will begin mass production in early October, with the 6.1-inch model mid-month, and the two Pro models going into mass production at the end of October.
If true, this would align with the recent rumours we’ve heard that the Pro models aren’t coming until November, although a conflicting report has suggested that the two 6.1-inch models could be coming first.
A First Look?
Meanwhile, over the weekend a leaked video surfaced purporting to show the chassis of the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro. Discovered and shared by EverythingApplePro, the video doesn’t offer too many surprises, mostly just confirming the dummy units that have been making the rounds for the past couple of months.
If the video is accurate, however, it does confirm that the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro will also be gaining the LiDAR Scanner, contradicting previous (albeit somewhat dubious) rumours that only the Max model would gain the new sensor.
Apple hasn’t ever differentiated the core hardware between the two sizes of its “Pro” iPhone models, so we were skeptical that it would add the LiDAR scanner to only the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro, but it also wouldn’t be completely unprecedented; back in the days of the iPhone “Plus” models, both the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus featured a second telephoto camera that was omitted from their smaller single-lens “non-Plus” siblings, which was in itself a departure from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s era, where the Plus models differed only in their larger sizes.
The video also reveals an area on the right side that may be related to the 5G antenna placement, along with the flat-sided design that we’ve known was coming for a while, and a shift of the SIM tray to be placed underneath the volume button, a move which was most likely made as a result of internal design changes.