Apple's 'significant' 2020 iPhone redesign is likely to thrill fans of one specific old model

Apple's 'significant' 2020 iPhone redesign is likely to thrill fans of one specific old model
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and although plenty of people seem to like the design of Apple's latest iPhones, many others are not exactly impressed by that wide notch, square-shaped rear camera protrusion, or even the textured matte glass back and polished stainless steel band combination of the premium Pro models.

The iPhone 11 family also bears a strong resemblance to 2018's XS, XS Max, and XR all in all, which makes this year's upgrades feel iterative rather than game-changing, but at the same time, pretty much guarantees the 2020 generation will be something special. We're not just talking about major cellular speed enhancements or screen size revisions, mind you, as Ming-Chi Kuo expects the external iPhone appearance next year to change in a deeper, more substantial way as well.

iPhone 4 vibes with a modern twist


Apple doesn't usually like to look back with nostalgia at things that used to work and were abandoned for various reasons, so something tells us the company will be avoiding any comparisons between the iPhone 12 lineup and 2010's iPhone 4 when the former is unveiled roughly 12 months down the line. But reputable financial analyst and prolific Apple prognosticator Ming-Chi Kuo has no problem naming the purported inspiration behind the next big iPhone redesign.


Apple's 2020 iPhones are predicted to adopt a boxier look than their predecessors, with a metal frame sporting a "more complex segmentation design, new trenching and injection molding procedures, and sapphire or glass cover assembly to protect the trench injection molding structure." If that sounds like gibberish to you, it should be enough to pit the iPhone 4 against the 11 and 11 Pro to understand the change Kuo is talking about. 

If you ignore the thicker profile and screen bezels, odds are you'll find the iPhone 4 still looks better, with an eye-catching piece of premium metal sticking out between front and rear glass panels. It's not exactly clear how Apple intends to adapt that undeniably exquisite design to the modern smartphone world, but Kuo expects curved glass to continue playing a role in this "significant" new look.


What's essentially etched in stone is that Apple plans to improve iPhone durability as well, which means the production costs of the revamped metal frame and glass case are likely to increase considerably. Namely, by anywhere between 20 and 50 percent compared to the current bill of materials.

Price hikes seem unavoidable


The iPhone 11 pretty much stole the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max's thunder with its respectable specifications and great price, but if all of Kuo's predictions pan out, we don't see how Apple might be able to pull off a similarly affordable iPhone 12 variant. While it's definitely possible that the aforementioned changes will not apply to 2020's entry-level model given that the non-Pro iPhone 11 also comes with slightly inferior build materials, 5G connectivity could be integrated across the board. Or not.


A smaller notch and high-quality OLED displays for all three 2020 models are virtually guaranteed, not to mention the usual processing power improvements, an expected Face ID upgrade, and possibly even rear-facing Time-of-Flight cameras aiming to take augmented reality to the next level. All these significant changes are bound to contribute to a big bump in manufacturing costs, which Apple is likely to pass on to the consumers.

Before anyone talks numbers of this sort, however, Ming-Chi Kuo is tackling a different figure, anticipating around 85 million iPhone 12-series sales by the end of 2020, compared to the 75 million units the iPhone 11 lineup is expected to rack up this year. That would represent a much-needed progress for a business that's currently struggling from a global volume standpoint.

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28 Comments

1. Demo-jay

Posts: 77; Member since: Feb 13, 2018

Tempting

2. User123456789

Posts: 1008; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

I like the design of the 5/5s. Top and botom of rear panel with different colours.

3. Be_Mine

Posts: 290; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

We keep hearing this almost every year... And it's always next year, again.

26. AnTuTu

Posts: 1620; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Exactly my thoughts LOL :p

4. SatvikBahaley

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 07, 2017

Do anything but get rid of those ugly camera protrusions once and for all. Having a absolutely flat back is not an engineering challenge at all. Wish Steve was alive and kicking.

5. chris2k5

Posts: 282; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

The camera hump on Android Flagship’s is bigger if you measure.

8. sgodsell

Posts: 7443; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You are lumping all the Android flagships together. However some Android flagships have no humps.

15. oldskool50 unregistered

Which ones troll? Because I recall when everyone harassed Samsung over camera humps. But at least theirs was centralized and if you laid then flat, they wobbled equally on both sides, while with iPhone the hump is on the corner which is really awkward. Funny how all the iPhone's up to the 5's, all had flush cams. Then afterwards they didn't. But no one bashed Apple over humps. and this new hump is not only ugly, it's so big the phone wobbles worse than the older models. But you only trying to call out Android phones? You really need a life bruh. To try to attack some other brand, over something your own brand of choice is equally guilty of, is completely stupid and ignorant. Stop trolling bruh!

20. Vokilam

Posts: 1278; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

1. Yes android phones were bashed for camera humps when iphons didn’t have em. 2. No, iPhones ARE BASHED for their camera humps and Samsung doesn’t have any. 3. Camera protrusions are ugly - end of story!!!

6. baldilocks

Posts: 1540; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Never liked the sharp edges of the iPhone 4 and 5 series. At least I'd be able to slap a case with rounded edges on it.

7. pooma

Posts: 96; Member since: Oct 01, 2015

ain't gonna happen till 2030

9. andrew_wight

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

I've decided to skip the iPhone 11 and wait until next year. If it's true that Apple is going back to the squared edges like the iPhone 4/5 and the iPad Pro then I'm fully on board. I like that design more than the current rounded edges.

10. JackWolfe

Posts: 12; Member since: Dec 06, 2018

I never liked Steve Jobs but the man knew how to make exciting products.

16. oldskool50 unregistered

I would say he knew how to make boring products exciting.

21. Vokilam

Posts: 1278; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

You know how to make trolling comments boring.

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31304; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

The iPhone 5S was the best design to me. Let's see what they do, but the software needs a major redesign as well, and more features.

22. tedkord

Posts: 17413; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It was the last good looking design.

27. Vokilam

Posts: 1278; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

I would easily give up my “wireless” charging for a metallic back phone.

29. darkkjedii

Posts: 31304; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I don't mind the notch, and I like the design of the 10 series.

23. Vokilam

Posts: 1278; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

5s is still my all time favorite phone design compared to all iPhones AND android ever created. That’s the only phone I kept - specifically for it’s design (just holding it feels so right). And it’s the first full 64bit device with 64bit software. It’s the first slo motion camera on a phone. And Steve was right - it’s still the perfect device for one hand use!

25. tedkord

Posts: 17413; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It was beautiful. I understand why they went away from the straight edges for bigger phones (comfort), but something was definitely lost.

12. Vancetastic

Posts: 1567; Member since: May 17, 2017

More glass. Yay.

14. oldskool50 unregistered

Well in their history, in most cases, they used the same design for 3 or 4 years before changing. Even though they have enough money to make a new design every year. At leats giving us somethign new to look forward too. Other OEM's made new designs every year. Funny how Samsung was atatcked because he S3 and S4 looked pretty similar, yet the original iPhoen remained the same for 3 models, the 4 and 5's basically were similar, the 6,6S,7 & 8 were all pretty identical. And now the X, XS and 11 are all identical other than a few cosmetic difference, mostly on the back. So yes it is time for change and I will wait for that model to see what happens. I expect they will replace Face ID, with ToF cameras, which will shrink the notch, but it will still be there. They will likely go back to an under display FPS. They will improve AR with the ToF cameras. They will likely add a depth sensor ot the rear camera, and you can expect a even bigger Max model. But funny how everyone attack Samsung and claiming the phone to too big, but yet Apple is making similar sizes and not so much of any complaints on size. a price hike on the $1000 models basically means the end of the road. An increase of even just $100 will surely cause more sales drops outside the US especially. Apple needs to find a way to improve without raising costs even higher. because if they don't, that means they will have to keep a cheaper model and rely on them and sales of older models which also will be cheaper and their ASP is gonna fall down to Samsung levels in just a couple more years.

17. Iodine

Posts: 1495; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Nah, they just really skimp on their S releases lately... Looks like I will be forced into buying a whole number.

18. SaRPeR

Posts: 147; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

I bet by saying significant redesign, they mean slightly thinner bezels and notch. Knowing Apple, they will just change the color of power button or something and present it as if it is the next big breakrough in phone design.

24. Vokilam

Posts: 1278; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

I don’t think anyone has “presented” color change of anything as “ the next big breakthrough”. Your an idiot by saying that.

28. Vokilam

Posts: 1278; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

You’re*

30. senjido

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 25, 2019

"The iPhone 11 Pro is certainly not ugly, blending curved matte glass and stainless steel" Tell that when you change that black background hides the notch bigger than my future.

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