In Depth

iPhone 12 2020 rumours: design, 5G support, SE2 and more

Apple’s next handset range is expected to support new superfast network

The iPhone 11 has been on sale less than a month but the rumour mill is already churning out reports about Apple’s next smartphone. 

Unveiled at the tech giant’s September product keynote, the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max handsets look almost identical to their predecessors, but the Pro models get a new triple-lens camera system and Apple’s most powerful mobile processor to date - the A13.

However, some features found on the iPhone 11’s key rivals are notably absent. Apple has yet to adopt “punch-hole” cameras - where the screen wraps around the front-facing lens, as found on the Samsung Galaxy S10. And support for 5G networks has also been omitted.

But early rumours indicate that all might change with Apple’s next smartphone range. Here is what we know so far: 

What will the next iPhone be called?

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, described by TechRadar as a “trusted analyst in the iPhone world”, Apple will name its next smartphone the iPhone 12.

This would be an unexpected move, since the company typically launches an “S” variant of its smartphones after introducing a new number. For example, the 2014’s iPhone 6 was followed by the 6S a year later. 

However, the company chose to skip “S” versions of the iPhone 7 and 8, before reintroducing the variant in 2018 with the iPhone XS.

When will it come out?

Apple typically launches its new smartphones in the autumn. This year’s models were announced on 10 September, and the iPhone XS range was unveiled on 12 September 2018 - so expect the new devices to appear at a similar time next year.

What will it look like?

The last three iPhones have all shared the same curved-edge design, but that could change with the iPhone 12.

Early rumours suggest that the next iPhone will have “squarer edges”, possibly mirroring the more angular design of the current iPad Pro range, Pocket-lint reports. Many fans will also be hoping that the “notch” - the small black bar at the top of the screen containing the mobile’s front-facing camera and sensors - featured on previous iPhones will either be “reduced” or removed for the next device.

Apple is expected to retain the same three-product line-up with the iPhone 12, but the screen sizes are tipped to change. “Apparently, we might get a 5.42in model, a 6.06in model and a 6.67in in place of the 5.8in, 6.1in and 6.5in models we have at the moment,” says the gadget news site.

Is 5G on the way?

Yes. Analyst Kuo claims that following Apple’s acquisition of Intel’s 5G chips in July, all three versions of the rumoured iPhone 12 range will support the next-generation mobile network, Tom’s Guide reports. 

If true, iPhone users will benefit from significantly faster download speeds while out and about compared with that offered by today’s 4G networks. Testers for The Verge recorded an average 5G speed of 200Mbps in London - significantly higher than the 4G average of 20.5Mbps.

Only a select few cities in Britain are currently part of the 5G grid, but network providers plan to add more locations over the next 12 months.

Will there be an iPhone SE2?

Perhaps. Based on the iPhone 5 but with the processing power of the 6S, the iPhone SE was Apple’s attempt at a budget phone in 2016. The device proved to be popular and remained on sale until September 2018. 

Now, a new version look set to join the range, possibly as early as next year. The handset will reportedly be based on the iPhone 8 but will feature the A13 processor and 3GB ram configuration from the iPhone 11, says Trusted Reviews.

However, it is expected to retain the iPhone 8’s LCD display, as opposed to the OLED panels introduced on 2017’s iPhone X, and to get a single-lens rear-facing camera.

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