A new report shows 3D-printed mock-ups of four iPhone 12 units, revealing a potential physical design and some insight: if they’re to be believed, this year’s Apple phones have all had their SIM trays relocated to make room for 5G antennas.
The iPhone 11 series had the SIM slot and tray on the right side below the power button, but photos of 3D-printed mock-up units of the iPhone 12, which were posted by Japanese tech site Macotakara, shows they’ve been moved to the volume rocker on the left side. They were relocated to make room for a 5G antenna in package (AIP) like Qualcomm 5G NR’s mmWave antenna module, Alibaba sources told the site.
We’ll take this early rumor with a grain of salt, especially since these are the first time we’ve seen supposed physical designs of the upcoming phones. It’s unclear where the 3D design came from – if the models were leaked or just measurements – but for clarity, here they are:
The models do align with what we’ve heard before, which suggest four total iPhone 12 units: two lower-end units that come in 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch displays, with higher-end Pro and Pro Max versions featuring 6.1-inch and and 6.7-inch screens (curiously, the Macotakara report mentions 6.0-inch measurements for both middle-sized versions).
But the dummy units match those predictions, with the presumed lower-end models packing two rear cameras versus three cameras on the back of the two higher-end models. And since all the SIM slots were moved, it suggests all four units will be getting 5G – another prior prediction for the iPhone 12 line.
- iPhone 12: all we know about the next iPhone
- Best phones: where the iPhone line will almost certainly end up
- iPhone 11 Pro: compare with the most advanced iPhone currently on the market
Other discoveries from iPhone 12 mock-ups
Given this is the first we’ve seen of the iPhone 12’s supposed physical design, we’re not sure how accurately they’ll predict the Apple handsets’ final looks. But if they are true, there’s a few things to note.
First, they retain the wide notches of Apple’s phones since the iPhone X. Their overall design is boxy, much like the squared-off iPhone 4 and iPhone 5. Per the mock-ups, the iPhone 12 will also retain the Lightning port, opposing rumors that they’ll be switched to USB-C, like the latest iPad Pro.
These 3D-printed models are also of identical size to the mock-ups Macotakara previously unveiled, which claimed all models will be 7.4mm thick. That’s about the same size as the iPhone 8 (and 7 and 6S before it), but remarkably thinner than the latest phones, with the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 thicknesses at 8.1mm and 8.3mm, respectively.
It’s too early to give these details much credence, but it does suggest that Apple may have trimmed down its next array of flagship phones.
- iPhone SE 2020: the recently-released mid-range iPhone
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.