The 2020 iPhones will feature an overhauled design with a metal frame that’s similar to the frame of the iPhone 4. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that the new iPhones will use a more complex segmentation design, and new trenching and injection molding procedures.
iPhone 12 dummy models vs. existing iPhones
The overall design, though, will resemble the iPhone 4 or iPad Pro with a squared-edged stainless steel frame between two pieces of glass. The new iPhone will feature a stainless steel frame, which will replace the current rounded stainless steel frame, and it will continue to use front and back glass for the body of the device.
The grooving and injection molding of the metal in the frame is said to reduce the negative impact of metal shielding on the high-frequency transmission efficiency of the internal antenna. Kuo believes Apple will use sapphire or tempered glass to protect the grooves in the frame. Slightly wider antenna lines are a possibility according to one rumor, though that has yet to be backed up by a reliable source.
A mockup of what the new iPhone 12 could look like
According to Bloomberg, at least two of the high-end iPhones Apple plans to offer in 2020 will have the new design with flat, stainless steel edges instead of curved edges, reminiscent of the design of the iPad Pro.
Japanese site Mac Otakara believes the 6.7-inch iPhone will have a thickness of 7.4mm, which would be quite a bit thinner than the 8.1mm thick iPhone 11 Pro Max. It’s also expected to be slightly taller than the 11 Pro Max. The 5.4-inch iPhone’s height is expected to be somewhere between the height of the iPhone SE and the iPhone 8. The 5.4, 6.7, and at least one 6.1-inch iPhone are expected to have different numbers of microphone holes along the bottom.
Along with the iPad Pro-style design and size tweaks, leaked schematics that allegedly reveal Apple’s plans for the device also show several other minor design tweaks worth noting, as listed below:
- Slightly larger camera lenses
- Thicker antenna lines at the side for 5G
- SIM tray relocated to the left side of the device
- Smart Connector-like input on the right (which may actually be an antenna)
- One less speaker hole on right side of the speaker grille
- Slightly lower power button
There will be a Lightning port on the iPhone 12, with Apple continuing to use Lightning instead of swapping over to USB-C.
Multiple rumors have suggested that the iPhone 12 Pro models will come in a new navy blue finish, which will replace the midnight green color that was introduced as an option for the iPhone 11 Pro. Apple’s Apple Watch launch this year in September did reveal a new “blue” color option. This suggests that the iPhone 12 blue color rumors are likely also true.
Another rumor suggests the iPhone 12 models could come in light blue, violet, and light orange, among other colors.
Schematics and Mockups
A rendering of the iPhone 12 Pro Max said to be based on leaked CAD designs was shared in April, and it lines up with many of the rumors that we’ve heard about the device so far. The new iPhone appears to take design cues from the iPad Pro, with a square-edged stainless steel frame between two pieces of glass and a larger 6.7-inch OLED display.
The render suggests the iPhone 12 Pro Max will be 7.4mm thick, quite a bit thinner than the 8.1mm thick iPhone 11 Pro Max. The camera bump is expected to be thicker, measuring in at 1.26mm, up from 1.21mm. The notch in the rendering is the same size as the existing notch.
It’s not clear if these renderings are entirely accurate, but given that they match well with the current rumors that we’ve heard about the upcoming iPhones, this could indeed be what the 2020 iPhones will look like.
Alleged iPhone 12 schematics that surfaced in April have suggested Apple will implement a smaller notch by integrating the front speaker for the device into the bezel. The updated hardware layout also features the ambient light and proximity sensors moved to a more central position within the TrueDepth camera system.
3D printed iPhone 12 mockups based on leaked schematics and info from Apple’s supply chain surfaced in June, providing a size comparison.
These mockups may not be entirely accurate as the camera setups depicted don’t feature the LiDAR 3D sensor that some of the iPhones are expected to include.
They do depict a relocated SIM tray, which rumors have suggested will be moved to the left side under the volume buttons in order to make room for the 5G antenna module. on the right side.
Images on Weibo said to be from the iPhone 12 depict a circular array of magnets in the body of the device. There are 36 individual magnets, which could be related to charging or mounting. There is speculation that it could be for alignment purposes should Apple release its own wireless charger at some point.
Dummy models representing the iPhone 12 lineup started coming out in June, giving us a clearer look at how the sizes and designs of the new devices compare to older iPhones.
The 5.4-inch iPhone, for example, is a bit bigger than the iPhone SE, but a tad smaller than Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhones like the iPhone 8, while the 6.7-inch iPhone will be the biggest iPhone that Apple has released.
iPhone SE on left, dummy model in middle, iPhone SE 2020 on right
These dummy models are based on leaked schematics and are designed for case makers. Case makers create cases based on these models to be the first out with a new case when the new iPhones launch.
Since these are designed for case makers, the rear camera setups and the front-facing TrueDepth camera design may not be accurate, as rumors have suggested a LiDAR sensor for some models along with a smaller notch. We could still see those features even though they’re not depicted in the dummy models.
iPhone 12 Pro Chassis
A short video surfaced in September showing off the chassis of the alleged 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro. It features a three-lens camera setup at the rear, and if accurate, the body suggests the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro could feature a LiDAR Scanner. There have been some rumors that have suggested Apple might limit the LiDAR Scanner to the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro, but that may not be the case.
Apple already introduced a LiDAR Scanner in the 2020 iPad Pro, introducing enhanced augmented reality capabilities. In the iPhone, this could also translate to new photographic capabilities. There’s an antenna area on the side that appears to be new for the 5G modem chip, and the overall design has iPad Pro-like flat sides, a departure from the rounded look that Apple has used since the iPhone 6.
Here it is! Official iPhone 12 Pro chassis leak. Confirms mostly same camera with new LiDAR placement, flat sides, magnet cutouts & smart connector-like 5G antenna? This seems to confirm the 6.1 Pro model will get LiDAR too. October can’t come soon enough. pic.twitter.com/YifSX7SWxh
— EverythingApplePro (@EveryApplePro) September 11, 2020
A photo of what could be the rear glass for the iPhone 12 Pro models surfaced in August. One of the glass parts features an extra cutout below the ultra-wide lens hole, which is likely for a LiDAR Scanner. Both Pro models are expected to feature triple-lens camera setups, but the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro could be the only model to get the LiDAR Scanner.
Alleged images depicting the display panel of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 were shared on social networking site Weibo in July, and if accurate, the design of the notch suggests that smaller notches could perhaps be introduced across the iPhone 12 lineup.
The display is for a smaller iPhone, but on existing iPhones like the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, the notch is the same size on both devices. If all iPhones in 2020 have the same size notch, the notch could be smaller than the current notch design.
An alleged iPhone 12 display unit leaked online in August, giving us a look at a possible iPhone 12 display component. The display unit looks notably different from a similar component designed for the iPhone 11 Pro and may be related to rumors of the logic board moving to the other side of the device to accommodate a 5G antenna module.
It’s not clear what size the display unit is, but based on the size of the notch, it could be from the 5.4-inch iPhone 12.
A14 RAM Component
Photos of the RAM component of the A14 chip surfaced in July, but there’s nothing to be gleaned from the images other than the chip component was manufactured in April 2020.
An image depicting an alleged iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro logic board leaked in May. It’s not clear which iPhone the logic board belongs to, nor is there much to be gleaned from it.
The logic board appears to feature a more elongated design compared to the compact boards seen in recent higher-end iPhone models.