iPhone 12 and iPad Air 4 reportedly get a few crucial changes

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On the eve of the September 15 Apple Event, another investor note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has surfaced, and he expects all the iPhone 12 notches to stay the same size – except for the 5.4-inch model, which will have a ‘slightly narrower notch area’ to display more info in the top left and top right corners, according to 9to5Mac.

He also anticipates that we won’t be getting 120Hz display refresh rate on any of the four iPhone 12 models we’re expecting – mainly because 5G has already impacted battery life, and adding such a high refresh rate would have ‘significantly hurt the user experience,’ Kuo allegedly wrote. Those 120Hz screens might come in the iPhone 13 line in 2021, though.

Kuo’s other expectations are in line with previous rumors: the iPad Air 4 will include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor in its lock button and the Apple Watch 6 will get blood oxygen support (assumedly via a sensor like the SpO2 sensors that have cropped up in other wearables like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3). But otherwise, the newest Apple Watch will have a form factor much like its predecessor, the Apple Watch 5.

More iPads will integrate Touch ID into their lock/power buttons in 2021, Kuo predicted, but it’s unclear if this will spread to both the standard iPad line and/or the iPad Pro tablets. 

Kuo: mass production won’t start until September for tablets, October for phones

Kuo’s other expectations regard delivery dates – and it looks like no iPhone 12 models will roll off the assembly lines until October. Per the note seen by 9to5Mac, the iPhone 12 Max (presumably the 6.1-inch) will start production in mid-October, while the iPhone 12 Pro (6.1-inch) and iPhone 12 Pro Max (6.7-inch) will start mass production in late October.

Further, there will apparently be different waves of production depending on 5G compatibility: the above mass production windows are for the sub-6 5G versions – and interestingly, Kuo predicted all four will come with 5G – while versions supporting mmWave 5G will follow at unspecified windows. 

As for the iPad Air 4 and Apple Watch 6, Kuo pridects both will start mass production in mid-September, but didn't offer expectations for when they'll ship.

David Lumb

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.