iPhone 12 (2020) release date, price, new features, expectations: all the rumors

iPhone 12 (2020) release date, price, new features, expectations: all the rumors
As the unveiling date for the 2019 iPhones is coming closer, the rumor mill is becoming more and more insistent that there will be nothing to blow our minds this year. Instead, it’s the 2020 iPhones that would get major revamps and some features worth dropping upgrade money on.

So, with that said, let’s take a good look at what leaksters are claiming for next year’s iPhone 12 lineup and put it through the filter of rational thought.

Design: notch-ing to see here, just a homage to the iPhone 4

The Notch has been a highly controversial topic ever since the iPhone X dropped in 2017. In order to make room for the front camera, the earpiece, and all the Face ID sensors, Apple had to make a cutout in what would otherwise have been a perfectly rectangular, edge-to-edge display.

It's clear that The Notch won’t be staying for long — it is just a temporary fix until the technology evolves to the point where said sensors can either be hidden under the screen or made smaller so that they can fit tinier spaces.

Well, the former is not happening, but the technology to at least shrink all of these sensors certainly is. Rumors (or wishful thinking) heavily suggest that the notch will be at least less prominent in 2020’s iPhone 12. Some hoped that Apple would move to under-the-display Face ID scanners and be done with any sort of cutouts entirely, but it doesn't seem like that's happening.

It has been said on multiple occasions now that Apple will be changing the iPhone's aesthetic just a bit. Instead of having rounded sides, it would switch to a frame with flat sides to match the look of the most recent iPad Pro. Some also call this move a callback to the iPhone 4's design language.

What about the back of the phone? The square-shaped chimney of a camera bump is making a comeback, and it's housing even more cameras this time around, as the long-rumored ToF cameras might finally be making an entrance with the 2020 iPhones.

Holding my breath 'til I'm blue!

Every new iPhone iteration brings along a new color. In 2019, the Pro line got a cool Midnight Green. In 2020, it's said that will be replaced by a Navy Blue option. This is not the first time we hear Apple thinking about going with blue, though that hasn't happened so far (excluding the iPhone XR and its selection of vibrant paintjobs).

Display: OLED you glad we switched?

Allegedly, the screens’ diagonals would measure at 5.42, 6.06, and 6.67 inches (recent rumors round these numbres to 5.4 for iPhone 12 Pro, 6.1 for iPhone 12, and 6.7 for iPhone 12 Pro Max). In other words, the iPhone XS’s grandson will be a bit smaller, the XR’s successor will be around the same size, and the XS Max’s descendant will be a tad bigger than the current one.

We've been hearing that Apple plans to ditch LCD on its 2020 iPhones for a while now. Analysts seem adamant that we should see a full OLED lineup in 2020 and a report in Korean media pointed out that Apple will be buying the OLED panels from Samsung and LG. Word is, Samsung will be the main supplier for the Pro models, while LG will be helping out for the 6.1-inch models only.

Rumors say the supposed iPhone 9 (a.k.a. iPhone SE2, if it ever comes to exist) will still have an LCD panel, though.

Hardware: steeds in your pocket

The Apple A13 Bionic processor is already extremely powerful. Many would argue that it’s being held back by iOS but the ultimate point is that it provides for super snappy performance and raises the iPhone 11’s computational photography to a whole new level.

Rumor has it, we haven’t seen anything yet. In 2020, Apple will introduce a new chip, built on a 5 nm process, which would supposedly kick the A13 Bionic to the curb. Whispers through the grapevine say it would bring the iPhone's performance prowess up to MacBook Air levels.

Of course, take this with a grain of salt. Even if the processor itself is capable, it still needs to adhere to some limitations. Like the fact that it needs to operate on a battery without draining it immediately and that it's enclosed in a small body and heat production needs to be managed.

What’s with the nanometers? Basically, the smaller the distance between the components, the less energy they drain and the smaller the processor is. So, in terms of battery drain to productive power conversion, the less nm, the better. The current A13 is built on a 7 nm process, which is pretty impressive as it is. The projected speed boost for the 2020 Apple processors is about 15% over the current generation.

Cameras: we got them

Triple cameras were all the hype in 2019, but where do we go from here? A combination of ultra-wide, wide, and telephoto lenses seems to cover pretty much everything a smartphone photographer might want or need, right? Well, time to start messing with Augmented Reality!

A new rumor also says Apple is experimenting with a 64 MP sensor this time around. Not to let Samsung run the Second Megapixel Wars, Apple might be planning a huge resolution upgrade as well as possibly a better zoom for its iPhone 12 Pro series. There has been no word on any type of periscope technology being worked on by Cupertino, so it's possible that Apple might be working on software-augmented zooming instead.

The telephoto and ultra-wide cameras will be getting a small upgrade, too. Reportedly, they will be able to support Night Mode — a feature that is currently limited to just the main camera of the iPhone 11 series. Not only that, the ultra-wide camera of the iPhone 12 will have a 35% wider aperture — F1.6 — which would let much more light hit the sensor.

Rumor is, Apple will be adding a ToF camera in the back, also called a 3D sensing camera. It'll be able to accurately scan the environment and objects around you, so you can interact with them in digital space. Or vice-versa — see how digital items will look in the real world through your viewfinder. It should also help with making even more convincing Portrait Mode shots. Apple has said time and again that it does believe that AR is the future, so we should soon see why and how that is...

iPhone 9: another rerun

Update: recent reports are claiming that Apple was forced to cancel, or at the very least postpone, the iPhone 9 (iPhone SE 2). Fingers crossed that the concept makes it back later on.

In 2016, we saw the revival of the iconic iPhone 5. It came back as the iPhone SE. Well, at least its body did — the iPhone SE was pretty much an iPhone 6s in the shell of the classic model. “Why?” you might ask? Well, believe it or not, there still were (and are) naysayers around the world who didn’t want bigger screened phones. Not to mention, they had been holding on to their iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S for so long that they had surely amassed tons of accessories for them that simply wouldn’t fit an iPhone 7.

So, Apple launched the iPhone SE to nudge these users to finally upgrade to a device that supports Apple Pay has a faster processor and a better camera.

Word on the street is that, in 2020, Apple might do the same for those that are still clasping on to their iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 units. An alleged iPhone 9 would pop up as the new “compact iPhone”, sporting the good old home button with Touch ID, but a newer and faster processor. Will it have 3D Touch, though? One can dream… But hey, since we are on the topic of finger-related things.

Fingerprint scanners?

On the topic of fingerprint scanners, the rumor mill has been kind of erratic. Some claim that Apple plans to put under-the-screen Touch ID in the near future, others insist these plans have been shelved. And we have to say, it doesn’t sound very Apple-ish if they put both Touch ID and Face ID on the iPhone. It was always about minimalism and never about stuffing the iPhone chock-full of features.

Yet, some unnamed sources allegedly claimed that Cupertino is busy testing in-screen fingerprint tech and looking at options of implementing it. Reasons — unknown.

A very curious report came out in the past, which kind of rekindled the in-display Touch ID talks. Allegedly, Apple was thinking about producing a special iPhone version just for the Chinese market. This one would have no Face ID and would sport a fingerprint scanner embedded in the display. It’s supposed to be a bit cheaper than your regular iPhone and would be positioned to battle giants like Huawei and Xiaomi on their home turf. Interesting for sure, and it sounds like it might be an epic battle.

Where’s that 5G?

Oh, it went by so fast, you couldn’t see it. In seriousness, though, Apple is known to not be first in line when it comes to adopting technology while it’s still in its shaky stages. And that’s where 5G is — limited coverage, clunky components required to support it, and so on.

Reports say that we will see 5G iPhones in 2020 at the earliest and we've already heard crazy talks that the iPhone 12 lineup might consist of up to 6 different variants. That would be because the 5G models would be sold as separate units. Kind of an iffy prediction, we'll have to wait and see what happens with this one.

iPhone 12 release date and price

Usually, we expect to see the iPhone lineup announced in early- to mid-September. But the iPhone 12 may be delayed due to the viral pandemic, which has spread across the world. Reports are coming in the numerous factories in China were forced to close or slow down production. This will definitely hit many tech companies, Apple included.

How much will the iPhone 12 be delayed by? The optimistic forecast states a few weeks. The worst case scenario — a few months. We will just have to sit tight and wait for more information.

Price-wise, we do think that the iPhone XS generation kind of hit the price ceiling for the next few years. So, we expect the 2020 trio to cost $699, $999, and $1099. If there happens to be an iPhone 9 as some rumors suggest, it'll probably start at about $499.

Related phones

iPhone 12 Pro
  • Display 6.1 inches
  • Camera 64 MP (Quad camera)
    12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A14 Bionic, 6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • OS iOS
iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Display 6.7 inches
  • Camera 64 MP (Quad camera)
    12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A14 Bionic, 6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • OS iOS
iPhone SE (2020)
  • Display 4.7 inches
    1334 x 750 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A13 Bionic, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1700 mAh
  • OS iOS

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