We are probably only a few weeks away from Apple taking the rejections from its 2020 iPhones, and the rumor mill is in full swing and suggests some major changes this year.
If you’ve been hanging on to the first generation iPhone SE because you just love the squared edges, the latest iPhones may be for you – it already is a lot about rumors pointing to a whole new design with square edges instead of rounded ones. (If you keep it SE because of its smaller size, it may also be good news for you this year.)
And all indications are that this is the year the iPhone gets 5G, which will give you faster data speeds ̵
There’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the next iPhones – they haven’t leaked as much as, for example, the latest Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy handsets – but it’s probably out there to put together a decent picture of what Apple is planning.
The most likely rumor of them all? We get four new iPhones this year.
Four new iPhones this fall, with two new screen sizes
All the most reliable sources of Apple rumors seem to agree: Instead of announcing three new iPhone models, as Apple did in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the company will reveal four:
- A new 5.4-inch model, which would be smaller screen than the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro (and probably be a completely smaller phone)
- An advanced 6.1-inch model – same screen size as iPhone 11 – with similar specifications as 5.4-inch siblings
- ONE second 6.1-inch model with advanced specifications
- A new 6.7-inch model, which would be a larger screen than the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max (and probably also larger)
Originally, the credible rumor came from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has reliably predicted the sizes and features of new iPhones for several years now – but Wall Street Journal also confirmed the screen sizes in April, and from the last week, Bloomberg also reports them as fact.
A new industrial design reminiscent of the iPhone 4 and 5
Apple has stuck with the same basic silhouette for the iPhone – a rounded rectangle with rounded sides – since the iPhone 6, a phone that came out all the way back in 2014. But this year, rumors are circulating that the latest iPhones may have flat edges, returning iPhone designs to the heyday of the iPhone 4, iPhone 5 and iPhone SE. (Or the latest iPad pros, if you want a newer reference point.)
Apparently the dummy models of the phones have been floating around this summer, based on the expected dimensions of the upcoming iPhones, and they give us our best idea of what the new design might look like, and how their size can be compared to other phones in Apple’s range. . .
Check out this picture of the dummy models from MacRumors. They remind me a bit of the iPhone 4:
Bloomberg reports that all four new iPhones will have square edges, and will continue to have stainless steel edges on the more expensive models and aluminum on the cheaper ones.
If you want to get a feel for how these phones can size up to Apple’s 2019 iPhones, check this out MacRumors mail:
I’ll find this next MacRumors The image is particularly exciting, comparing the rumored 5.4-inch model (center) to the first-generation iPhone SE (left) and the second-generation iPhone SE (right). I wanted an iPhone that is smaller than the iPhone X / XS / 11 Pro with an edge-to-edge screen so bad, and the size of this dummy model looks almost perfect to me.
In addition, if you want to see what the rumored new iPhone sizes may look like in person, you can check out MKBHD’s video where he comes in handy with a set of dummy models:
The first iPhones with 5G, but what flavors?
IPhones from 2020 are expected to be the first to support 5G mobile networks, which means that phones may benefit from faster network speeds – depending on 5G coverage in your area, and possibly depending on which version of the next iPhone you quit to purchase.
Wall Street Journal reported in April that “some” of this year’s iPhones would get 5G, while Bloomberg said 5G will be added to “as many as four new handset models.” Fast company has a source claiming that only the top model will offer the fastest mmWave flavor of 5G.
Back in January, Ming-Chi Kuo said that all four upcoming iPhone models will support both sub-6GHz and the faster (but far shorter range) mmWave 5G, and we will generally weigh his rumors a little higher than the rest … but to and with Kuo revised its guide last week to say that shipments of mmWave 5G iPhones would be “lower than expected”, without specifying whether any iPhones had dropped the technology.
So it seems like a sure bet that 5G will come to new iPhones – Qualcomm and Apple fought hard to make it happen – but right now it’s just not clear which phones can have which forms of 5G.
An OLED screen on every iPhone, but what about refresh rates?
Apple’s entire fall iPhone series is finally expected to have OLED screens this year, Wall Street Journal reported in April, and Bloomberg now agree. Despite the fact that much of the industry switched to OLED many years ago, LCD monitors have hung around in some of Apple’s recent phones, including the iPhone XR from 2018 and iPhone 11. 2019. OLED monitors have some advantages over LCD – because each pixel on an OLED screen is individually lit, the screen can only turn off these pixels when they display black. It can mean deeper blacks, true colors, more vibration and sometimes better battery life.
Flagship Android phones have also moved to high-refresh screens for smoother scrolling, animations and games, but it’s unclear if the technology will reach some iPhones this year. We have heard rumors both ways, and some sources say that Apple has tested prototypes with and without the feature.
If the iPhone 12 offers 120Hz, don’t be surprised if Apple calls it “ProMotion” on stage – that’s the brand name it uses on its iPad pros, which have had high refresh rates since 2017.
Don’t expect four cameras, but advanced iPhones can get LIDAR
This year’s iPhones are expected to retain a dual camera setup for the lower models and a triple camera setup for the advanced models. The highest model can also get something new, according to Bloomberg: a LIDAR sensor, which can detect objects using lasers. In theory, it can enable better augmented reality experiences, because your phone can get a better sense of your surroundings.
Apple first added a LIDAR sensor to the iPad pros in March, and in its review, my colleague Dieter Bohn found that the LIDAR sensor “seems quite advanced, but built for a software future that has not yet arrived.” We have to wait and see if Apple can make it strong on the iPhone.
No charger or headphones in the box
One of the biggest changes in this year’s iPhone series may be in the box they come in. Apple is rumored to be removing both the in-box charger and earplugs, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported in June. This would be a big shift, as iPhones have come with power adapters and earphones since the first iPhone was launched in 2007. But maybe Apple is just trying to avoid giving everyone another optional power adapter or set of headphones that only slide into a drawer. (The decision could also significantly reduce e-waste.)
That does not mean that Apple will not offer ways to charge the phone – the new iPhones apparently still come with a Lightning to USB-C cable, according to Kuo, which allows you to connect the phone to a computer or an power adapter. with a USB-C port. (Rumors of a Lightning to USB-C cable suggest that the phone itself is unlikely to have a USB-C port this year, although the iPad Pro switched to USB-C in 2018.)
Kuo also said that Apple will sell a new 20-watt charger, which may have been confirmed by this photo posted on Twitter. If this charger is a genuine Apple product, it can charge your devices faster than the 18-watt charger that comes with the iPhone 11 Pro and likely a lot faster than the anemic 5-watt charger that comes with the iPhone 11.
And without the included charger and headphones, the new iPhones can have a thinner box. The concept for the Instagram account iPhone released a rendering of a board that could be included in the new box, and it seems to only have room for a wound cable and maybe some papers and instructions.
The smaller box can help Apple claim that these iPhones are even more environmentally friendly than in previous years.
As usual, the new iPhones will have a new processor
This year’s iPhones are expected to have yet another new Apple-designed processor. Bloomberg reports that the new phones will have “a significant upgrade to the processor with an emphasis on speeding up artificial intelligence and AR tasks.”
It seems like a sure bet that the next iPhone’s processor will have the A14 in the name, as the processor for the iPhone 11 series was called the A13 Bionic. Apple has marked the “Bionic” moniker for the A11 and A12 as well, so maybe we will see an A14 Bionic this year.
This year’s iPhones will be launched later than usual
The release of a new iPhone in September almost feels like something you can set the clock for, but Apple has already said that this year’s iPhones will be available “a few weeks later” than the usual launch date in September. Bloomberg says we will get cheaper iPhones soon than the advanced models as well.
None of this precludes Apple from holding its regular major release before the iPhone release sometime in September – perhaps in conjunction with the launch of iOS 14.
And while restrictions on personal collections due to the COVID-19 pandemic mean that Apple is unlikely to host a grand personal unveiling of the iPhone at the Steve Jobs Theater, there is always the chance that the company will hold another high-profile video conference that it did for this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
Other things: battery, storage, price, name
There are some other rumors floating around the upcoming iPhones. Apple leaker @ L0vetodream said in May that low-end phones can start with 64 GB of storage, while high-end models can have a base of 128 GB. They also said that the low-end iPhone would have 4 GB of RAM and the high-end would have 6 GB.
We can also have an idea of the battery sizes of the new phones, thanks to reported certifications. The rumored 5.4-inch iPhone can have a 2227mAh battery, 6.1-inch iPhones can both have a 2775mAh battery, while the 6.7-inch iPhone can get a 3687mAh package. In comparison, these batteries will be smaller than the reported capacity of iPhones of the same size in the current series (apparently the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro has a 3,045 mAh battery, the 6.1-inch iPhone 11 has a 3,110 mAh battery, and iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 3,969 mAh battery).
And despite the fact that the lowest iPhone is probably physically smaller than the current iPhone 11, it is unclear whether Apple will change the starting price of this year’s iPhone series to reflect that change. The iPhone 11 starts at $ 699, which in itself was a price drop of $ 50 from 2018’s equally large iPhone XR. Here, Apple hopes to drop another $ 50 for a starting price of $ 649.
We also do not know what the next iPhones can be called. If you ask me, rumored design changes and the addition of 5G seem like significant enough departures from the iPhone 11 series for Apple to skip the “S” it sometimes uses for specific shocks and jump straight to the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and so on .
But with four new models on top of the iPhone SE as it was already launched this year, Apple may take the opportunity of a new naming plan. “IPhone 11 Pro Max” still sounds pretty ridiculous.