We know a lot about Apple’s 2020 iPhone plans. Or we thought we did, because new information just blew expectations out of the water.
12/12 Update: MacRumors has obtained a new research note from acclaimed Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo which reveals 5G versions of the iPhone 12 are unlikely to see a major price increase. This is due to the company leveraging efficiencies in its supply chain and shifting more research and development in-house. If Kuo is correct (and he usually is), this is a huge win for Apple fans and could be sizeable differentiator compared to 5G Android rivals.
12/15 Update: TrustedReviews reports that Apple has bought Spectral Edge, a UK-based imaging company which using infrared and machine learning to improve the detail and white balance of photos. While this is clearly an acquisition to boost iPhone photography in the long time, the site suggests the technology could make it into the iPhone 12. It will not.
In a private note to investors attained by AppleInsider, analyst Jun Zhang of international brokers Rosenblatt Securities revealed that Apple plans to launch no less than six iPhone 12 models next year including both Plus and Max versions. The company breaks down the models as follows:
- iPhone 12 4G: 6.1-inch LCD, dual cameras
- iPhone 12 Pro 4G: 5.4-inch OLED, dual cameras
- iPhone 12 Pro 5G: 5.4-inch OLED, dual cameras
- iPhone 12 Pro Plus 4G: 6.1-inch OLED, triple cameras, Time-of-Flight 3D sensing capabilities
- iPhone 12 Pro Plus 5G: 6.1-inch OLED, triple cameras with ToF
- iPhone 12 Pro Max 5G: 6.1-inch OLED, triple cameras with ToF
Intriguingly, Zhang states that 5G iPhones will have a “number of different components entirely” compared to their 4G counterparts but he doesn’t expand on this. All models, he adds will get faster wireless charging speeds.
Three Takeaways, Two Questions
Looking at the Rosenblatt report, I’m struck by three things:
1. Apple is wise to offer 4G and 5G versions of its phones, because 5G adds a significant price premium and 5G will has very limited availability in most countries around the world.
2. Apple is shrinking the iPhone 12 Pro down to a truly pocketable, one-handed size which many will welcome.
3. The new line-up will prove extremely confusing to many buyers. Even more because of the imminent arrival of the iPhone SE2, a new iPhone 8-styled phone with Apple’s latest A13 chipset, which is expected to be called the iPhone 9.
As for my questions, personally, I’m shocked Apple is considering restoring the Plus brand – it seems like marketing suicide. While I suspect Zhang made a typo when referring to the iPhone 12 Pro Max size as 6.1-inches. My understanding is Apple will actually increase the size of the Max from 6.5 to 6.7-inches thanks to an even slimmer bezel.
In addition to these things, Apple fans can also look forward to the following upgrades in the iPhone 12 range: an upgraded design, 120Hz ProMotion displays, the end of the Lightning port, the return of Touch ID and some incredible 3D camera tricks.
Yes, Apple may have its fair share of problems right now. But after two iterative iPhone generations, it’s clear Apple fans should be getting excited about 2020.