iPhone 12 dummy units show off its retro iPhone 4-style design

iPhone 11 Pro
(Image credit: Future)

We've already heard that the iPhone 12 is likely to adopt a more straight-edged, flat design – reminiscent of the old iPhone 4 or the new iPad Pros – but now we've got pictures of how it's actually going to look, courtesy of a number of dummy units.

Photographed by Israeli Apple community HaAppelistim, via 9to5Mac, these dummy units appear every year. They're intended for case makers to get working on their designs and production lines so cases can be ready to go when the phones arrive.

And while dummy blocks like these don't show every little detail of a design (we can't see the iPhone 12 notch here, for example), they do usually give us a good indication of how particular handsets are going to look when they eventually break cover.

Take a peek at the images and you can see the less-curvy design across all four anticipated iPhone 12 models: the (expected) cheaper 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch devices, and the more expensive 6.1-inch Pro and 6.7-inch Pro Max editions.

Besides the front notch, another feature that the dummy units don't give us an accurate look at are the rear cameras. The camera arrays should be one of the main differentiators between the iPhone 12 models, with the Pro versions carrying on-board LiDAR according to rumors.

LiDAR has already arrived on the latest iPad Pro models, and is particularly useful for augmented reality apps where depth perception is crucial. Expect AR renderings that look better than ever through the rear camera on the iPhone 12 if the rumors are correct.

You can compare these molds against three that we saw back in June. Again, don't take the camera unit on these blocks as being the one we'll actually see – there are going to be some tweaks to the design, even if the overall shape and size of the array is the same.

Perhaps the biggest outstanding question about the new iPhone 12 handsets is when we'll actually see them: rumors of production delays have been swirling all year, and Apple itself has admitted there are issues. An announcement could come as early as September though, even if some of the models don't go on sale until a few weeks afterwards.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.