Even though we’re getting a fairly clear picture of the new technology that Apple plans to pack into this year’s iPhone lineup, there’s been a lot of back-and-forth about what the actual sizes of the new 2020 iPhones may be.
We first heard rumours last June that Apple planned to change up the sizes for its iPhones this year, with the idea that the iPhone XS (and iPhone 11 Pro) successor would move down to a 5.4-inch screen from the current 5.8-inch size, while the “Max” version would scale up from 6.5 to 6.7 inches. A series of new renders quickly appeared too, giving us an idea of what this might look like, but it still remained somewhat unclear what Apple was actually up to here.
More rumours surfaced suggesting that Apple was prototyping a notchless 6.7-inch iPhone, suggesting that the size increase may have been related to a slightly larger bezel — it’s only 0.2 inches, after all — and then subsequent rumours that Apple plans to release five new iPhones in 2020 (or possibly even six), made things even more confusing, especially after another report suggested Apple might even ditch the Lightning port entirely on at least one of them.
No Design Changes?
Now, however, Japanese blog Mac Otakara has provided some of its own insights that seem to confirm the rumoured 6.7-inch model from sources within Apple’s Asian supply chain, while suggesting that it might actually be noticeably thinner than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, but actually feature the same housing design as prior models.
This largely contradicts earlier reports that the iPhone 12 would feature a squarish design more akin to the iPhone 4, iPhone 5, and 2018 iPad Pro, a rumour that came from reliable sources like Ming-Chi Kuo and was even seemingly confirmed by a mockup that Mac Otakara previously shared late last month.
If true, the camera technology would be the only visible differentiator between the prior iPhone 11 Pro Max, since this year’s models are widely expected to get a new time-of-flight laser camera system, and a “bigger sensor than the rear camera of the iPhone 11 Pro Max,” according to Mac Otakara. With the 0.2-inch increase, the new “Max” model is said to be slightly taller, says Mac Otakara, and may also be 0.5 mm thinner than its predecessor, coming in at 7.4 mm instead of 8.1 mm.
The report also confirms the rumours we’ve been hearing for a while that Apple plans to go all-in on OLED this year, but it also says that the 5.4-inch and lower-end 6.1-inch models will only incorporate dual-lens rear camera arrays. This last part suggests that the 5.4-inch model may not be a direct successor to the iPhone 11 Pro, but could perhaps be a smaller variation on the successor to the 6.1-inch iPhone 11.
Confused Yet? It’s Not Just You
If you think all of this is starting to sound confusing, you’re not the only one, and it seems that Mac Otakara is getting a lot of different information and it’s not yet clear how all of the pieces fit together. A report it shared on the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 last week muddied the waters even further, leaving the case of the smaller iPhone largely a mystery, possibly confusing it with the reported iPhone 9 that would be a direct successor to the 2017 iPhone 8, in the style of the classic iPhone SE from a few years back.
While it’s almost certain that Apple plans to release direct successors to the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, and that they’ll all feature 5G technology, OLED displays, and improved camera systems, the overall sizes and designs still remain something of a mystery, especially down in the 5.4-inch and 5.8-inch range. At this point, however, there seem to be only two likely possibilities: Either Apple plans to reduce the standard iPhone 12 Pro down to 5.4 inches, making it even smaller than the iPhone 8 thanks to its virtually bezel-less design, or there is still going to be a 5.8-inch iPhone 12 Pro accompanied by a 5.4-inch iPhone 12, as a smaller version of the 6.1-inch model. That said, we still can’t rule out the possibility that Apple is going to surprise us with something completely different, and the rumours will likely take more of a solid shape as September approaches.