iPhone 12 Rumor Roundup: 5G, 3D Camera & a Brand New Design

As we gear up for fall, the tech world is looking ahead to the biggest announcement of the year: the 2020 iPhones. While Apple has been known to throw us some curveballs with its naming patterns, if the company follows last year's lead, we'll be looking at the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro. The global upheaval of this year may affect the release of the new iPhone, but we've been following all the iPhone 12 leaks and rumors out there, and have put together a picture of what the iPhone 12 may have in store. The first thing to know is there are expected to be four versions: a 5.7-inch iPhone, two 6.1-inch iPhones, and one 6.7-inch iPhone. We'll see the first year of 5G support, as well as rumors of all OLED displays, a triple-lens 3D camera, a brand-new physical design. Let's take a closer look.

Related: 2020 iPad Rumors: Will We See a New iPad, iPad Pro, Air & Mini at the Next Apple Event?

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Will the Apple Special Even Include the iPhone 12?

Apple confirmed in a press release that its special event will take place on September 15th at 10:00 A.M. Pacific time. It is likely to follow the format of WWDC in terms of being an entirely virtual event, but it is currently unclear whether it will be live or pre-recorded. While normally this is when the new iPhones are announced, Apple Insider expressed doubt as to whether they will be included in the September 16th event.

iPhone 12 Release Date

Although the announcement is only six days later than it was in 2019, Apple CFO Luca Maestri has said the 2020 iPhones will be available "a few weeks later than the 2019 iPhone 11 models, which came out at the end of September." This means we'll likely see them around the middle of October, and could be an indicator that they won't be announced until after the September 16th special event. Apple leaker Jon Prosser told Forbes the release will be staggered, so we may be seeing the lower-end models first and the higher-end ones come a bit after. This may indicate stock differences, so availability may vary between the entry-level and Pro versions.

OLED for All

While there is still expected to be entry-level and Pro versions of the iPhone 12, one difference they are not expected to have is OLED displays. According to The Wallstreet Journal, all 4 models will have OLED displays. It was originally rumored that the difference between models may include the higher-end versions having a 120 Hz "ProMotion" refresh rate, but industry insider Ross Young says this is not the case, and no models will feature this.

Big Design Changes

If the rumors of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 are true, it will be the smallest iPhone since the SE, while the rumored 6.7-inch model would be the largest. Rumors from Bloomberg include a metal frame similar to the iPhone 4 or iPad Pro, with a square frame of stainless steel with glass still making up the front and back body. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the grooving on the frame and the new injection molding procedures will help the internal antenna's performance by reducing the metal frame's negative impact.

Rendering shared by EverythingApplePro and Max Weinbench allegedly based on leaked CAD designs.

We also may be looking at a new navy blue color option, along the lines of the midnight forest green introduced with the iPhone 11. The YouTube channel EverythingApplePro and Max Weinbench released a video that included light blue, violet, and light orange as color options as well. We also may be seeing a smaller notch at the top

iPhone 12 A14 Chip: Too Good to Be True?

Every model will use an Apple-designed A14 chip that TSMC manufactures. In addition to providing speed and efficiency boosts, the A14 chip could help compensate for the extra battery 5G uses. Bloomberg says the chip will have a focus on speeding up AR tasks and artificial intelligence. Barclay analyst Blayne Curtis predicts the Pro models will have 6 GB RAM while the iPhone 12 will have 4 GB RAM. Overall, we should be seeing a big boost in performance, with much less power used, which almost sounds too good to be true. But the new 4nm process should enable the A14 Bionic chip to use 30 percent less power while providing 15 percent faster performance.

iPhone 12 Camera Gains

The iPhone cameras have a reputation to uphold. The iPhone 11 brought them back up to the top in the smartphone camera kingdom, and the tech world is watching to see what the 2020 iPhones will bring. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have been making noises about a triple-lens arrangement, which brings up the possibility and even likelihood of a 3D camera on all the models. Are we going to see something similar to the LIDAR scanners on the 2020 iPad pro on any of these models? The possibility seems real, at least for the Pro models.

Rendering shared by EverythingApplePro and Max Weinbench allegedly based on leaked CAD designs shows possible new camera.

5G Comes to the iPhone

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has confirmed every model of the 2020 iPhone will use 5G technology. The company will use Qualcomm X55 5G model chips rather than Intel chips, which will offer peak download speeds of of 7Gb/s and upload speeds of 3Gb/s. mmWave, the faster but limited in range 5G network, is being set up throughout the US, but not all countries have implemented mmWave technology yet, so it is unclear where it will be available and if the slower but wider ranged sub-6 GHz network will be used in some areas instead. Kuo predicts we may see both mmWave and sub-6 GHz networks in countries such as US, Canada, UK, Australia, and Japan, while other countries may have only sub-GHz networks, at least to start off. The implementation is well under way, so we hope to see a strong start to 5G once these phones launch.

New iPhone Packaging

We can say goodbye to the earbuds and chargers that came in the box with our new iPhones. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, this may be because of reduced demand for wired ear buds due to the popularity of AirPods. There may be a related deal on AirPods down the road, such as a discount code with the purchase of an iPhone, but nothing official has been announced there. The dropping of the charger, however, indicates Apple may be more thinking about production costs with this one. No accessories means less packaging, which is good news for the environment, and better news for the company footing the bill.


Names & Pricing for the New iPhones

Assuming Apple follows the naming structure it used for the iPhone 11, we'll probably be looking at two iPhone 12 models (5.4 inches and 6.1 inches), a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and a 6.7-inch iPhone Pro Max. Most rumors have been indicating the pricing will be along the lines of the following:

  • $649 for the 5.4-inch iPhone 12
  • $749 for the 6.1-inch iPhone 12
  • $999 for the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro
  • $1,099 for the 6.7-inch iPhone Pro Max

However, analyst Jeff Pu believes the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 will start at $749, which could bring the 6.1-inch version up to $799 or $849. Whether or not this increase would affect the Pro versions is yet to be seen.


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Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both's picture

Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both

Amy Spitzfaden Both is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, an award-winning novelist, and an iPhone enthusiast. Over the past decade, her work in the publishing industry has included live coverage of industry events including the Yale Publishing Course and Magazine Innovation’s ACT 9 Experience, providing editing services for several start-up publishing houses, and acting as newsstand consultant for magazines such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac and The New York Review of Books. She graduated from M.I.U. with a Bachelor’s in Literature and Writing, and has gone on to publish two novels and two short stories. Her debut novel Untold won the 2014 Chelson Award for Fiction.
Writing everything from book reviews to skincare tips, Amy discovered a passion for bringing exciting and useful information to even the most casual researcher. The mix of usability and endless possibilities is what drew her to Apple products originally, and the more she learns, the more she loves.
Amy lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing or glued to her iPhone, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and creating her own tea blends.