The new iPhone 12 wasn't announced at the Apple September event, but we’re expecting to see the new series of phones at a separate event either later in September or in October, with October 13 currently looking to be the most likely date.
So what do we expect for the iPhone 12 when it does eventually arrive? In a first for Apple, it's expected the new iPhone could be joined by as many as three other phones.
These are rumored to be called the iPhone 12 Max, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max - though recently a leaker has suggested that the basic iPhone will be called the iPhone 12 Mini, and that what we were previously thinking of as the iPhone 12 Max will be called the iPhone 12.
In any case, there should be more iPhone choice than ever this year, especially once you factor in the iPhone SE (2020) which launched earlier in the year.
We're expecting some big upgrades from Apple, including the first 5G iPhone. With 5G networks rolling out across the world this will make the new phones far more future-proof than the iPhone 11 range.
Leaks and rumors also suggest that the iPhone 12 Pro models will get a LiDAR scanner, just like the iPad Pro 2020, and we've also heard talk of new screen sizes (starting out at a tiny 5.4 inches and topping out at a big 6.7 inches).
The big upgrade in power is all but confirmed, and that could have wide-ranging effects on the battery life too - the A14 Bionic chipset seen in the new iPad Air 2020 could be the upgrade many have been waiting for.
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro facts
- What is the iPhone 12? The new iPhone family from Apple
- When is the iPhone 12 release date? Possibly October 13
- What will the iPhone 12 cost? Expect $649 / £700 / AU$1,200 or more
Latest iPhone 12 news
iPhone 12 release date
When is the iPhone 12 release date?
Tuesday, October 13 currently looks to be the most likely date for the iPhone 12 launch. The most recent evidence for that is a source at a mobile network claiming as much (and adding that pre-orders will open on Friday, October 16).
Prior to that, Jon Prosser (a leaker with a mixed track record) had said that the iPhone 12 range will be announced on the week commencing October 12. That would likely mean an announcement on October 13, since Apple often unveils things on a Tuesday.
According to Prosser, pre-orders for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max would apparently then open on the same week - probably Friday, October 16 based on Apple's past form. So that's all in line with the leak above.
After that, the phones would apparently ship on the week commencing October 19 (likely meaning Friday, October 23). However, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max apparently won't be up for pre-order or ship until sometime in November.
We'd take these claims with a pinch of salt, especially as Mark Gurman (an Apple leaker with a good track record) replied with a thumbs down emoji, suggesting they think Prosser is wrong. But Prosser is in line with the leak above, and Gurman could have been referring to other product launch dates that Prosser spoke about in the same tweet.
Not every source agrees with this date though. One has suggested the iPhone 12 range could be just "days away", while on the other hand another fairly recent release date rumor points to an announcement in the second half of October.
Another report on the matter, which comes from “multiple suppliers in China”, suggests that the iPhone 12 range won't be announced until late October, with the 4G models hitting stores shortly after, while the 5G iPhone 12 models won't go on sale until November.
On the other hand, a source has now suggested that it's actually the 5G models that will land first, with the 4G ones potentially not arriving until early 2021, so we're not sure what's accurate there.
So we can’t be certain of an iPhone 12 release date yet, but our best guess for now is October 13. In any case, we’re sure to hear more from Apple in the near future.
iPhone 12 price
How much will the iPhone 12 cost?
The iPhone 12 price is something that leaks have made a little clearer than the release date, and from what we're hearing it's likely to stay broadly in line with 2019's iPhone range.
Prices for the next iPhone range probably won't be exactly the same though, as you can see in the chart below, which contains information taken from one big leak from YouTuber Jon Prosser. We've also included information from another leak, which suggests there will be 4G variants of two of the models.
|iPhone 12 4G||$549||No leaked information||No leaked information|
|iPhone 12 5G||$649||$749||Not an option|
|iPhone 12 Max 4G||$649||No leaked information||No leaked information|
|iPhone 12 Max||$749||$849||Not an option|
|iPhone 12 Pro||$999||$1,099||$1,299|
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||$1,099||$1,199||$1,399|
There's no clear information about prices for the UK or Australia, but we'd expect those to broadly fall in line with last year's models if the information above is accurate.
That said, some sources have claimed the price may be set to increase over last year's iPhones. For example, analyst Jeff Pu has claimed the basic model of the phone may start at $749.
Indeed, a detailed price leak from @komiya_kj also suggests higher prices than the chart above, with the 5G iPhone 12 apparently starting at $699 (roughly £540 / AU$975) for 64GB of storage, and rising to $749 for 128GB (which is the amount mentioned in the chart).
So that would make it $100 more than that earlier leak suggested for the same amount of storage, and other leaked prices from this source are similarly increased. However, the source doesn't have much of a track record, so we'd take this with a pinch of salt.
But this theory does line up with a previous report that suggested that the cost of materials for the iPhone 12 range might go up, which could mean higher prices at retail.
Indeed, Ming-Chi Kuo (an analyst with a good track record for iPhone information) has said that the cost of 5G components could add up to around $220 (roughly £165 / AU$305) to the production price of each iPhone 12 unit.
That's not to say the phones will cost that much more at launch, especially as Apple seems to be cutting costs elsewhere, with reports of the battery board being a lot cheaper than in the iPhone 11, and the phones potentially not coming bundled with earbuds or a charging plug, but it could mean a price increase of some amount.
Still, for now we'd say prices in line with those in the chart above are the most likely, given how reputable the main source is.
Whatever the case, the iPhone 12 range is sure to be expensive of course, but the iPhone 11 is likely to get a price cut when it lands, with a source suggesting that will drop by $150 (roughly £115, AU$210), while the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone XR will supposedly get discontinued.
In any case, you should probably wait for the iPhone 12 range to launch before buying any new iPhone, as our guide explains.
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iPhone 12 specs
What iPhone 12 specs should you expect?
We're expecting the iPhone 12 range to use a 5nm A14 Bionic chipset, which is almost certain to be included in the new iPhones thanks to it being debuted with the new iPad Air 2020.
The new processor inside will be capable of greater power efficiency, with six cores inside and a 16-core Neural Engine that's twice as fast as before. How that power efficiency will be deployed is still to be seen - whether the iPhone will allow smoother 4K video editing or extend battery life (or both) are the things we're waiting to see outlined on stage.
An A14 Bionic leaked benchmark showed it had a single-core and multi-score score that was ahead of the Snapdragon 865, the processor we've seen in almost all Android flagships in 2020, so it seems set to be, again, one of the most powerful mobile chipsets around.
Having said that, a more recent benchmark supposedly for the iPhone 12 Pro Max reveals scores that are lower than the Snapdragon 865 Plus (the top Android chipset of 2020).
The overall score is also only around 9% higher than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, suggesting that Apple's focus on efficiency might mean there's less focus on raw power. That said, the scores are still good, and the iPhone 12 range is sure to be very powerful.
The RAM could also get a boost, with analysts claiming that the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will have 6GB of the stuff, up from 4GB on their predecessors - though the standard phone will apparently stick with 4GB. This is something we've now heard again, again and again, so it may well be true.
And the iPhone 12 might also support the new 802.11ay specification, which could allow it to share content at speeds of at least 20-30Gbps.
How much storage will you have? A pricing leak from Prosser showed us the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max will apparently come in 128GB and 256GB models while the Pro and Pro Max will supposedly come in both of those and 512GB.
One leak may also have given us a clear picture of batteries you can expect in each of the iPhone 12 models:
- iPhone 12 may have a 2,227mAh battery
- iPhone 12 Max and iPhone 12 Pro may have a 2,775mAh battery
- iPhone 12 Pro Max may have a 3,687mAh battery
If this leak is accurate, it may not be positive news for the iPhone 12's battery life.
The iPhone 11 has a 3,110mAh battery, the iPhone 11 Pro has a 3,046mAh one, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 3,969mAh one – and that’s despite the iPhone 11 Pro Max having a smaller screen than the iPhone 12 Pro Max is rumored to have.
We can't be certain these will be the batteries we'll see in the upcoming phones, but it's our best look yet at the cells you can expect in the new phones.
In other potentially bad battery news, respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that Apple might use a cheaper battery board for the iPhone 12 range than for the iPhone 11 - one that costs roughly half as much. This doesn't necessarily mean the battery life will be worse, but it's a worry - though it could also reduce the cost of the handsets.
Having said all that, one other rumor states that the batteries in the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max won't exceed 4,400mAh - a figure which in both cases would be an improvement on the battery sizes in their predecessors.
That said, the A14 chipset inside looks like it's going to be one of the most power-efficient ever from Apple - and that could offset those lower battery sizes some users might be worried about.
Wireless charging is expected to be included in the iPhone 12 - which isn't a huge surprise - and one leak suggests the phone will come with magnets that allow it to more easily line up with wireless chargers.
Will the iPhone 12 use USB-C? The rumors currently suggest it'll be sticking with a Lightning cable. Multiple sources have said USB-C won't happen, with the iPhone 12 likely sticking with Lightning, and the iPhone 13 potentially switching to a portless design.
That said, a recent EU ruling may also mean future iPhones won't be able to use Lightning cables in Europe. That may force Apple to switch the connector on future phones to USB-C, and while it's not clear yet whether this will be the case for the iPhone 12 it may be something to consider.
Certainly there are lots of reasons why we'd like the iPhone 12 to switch to USB-C, but overall it's not looking likely.
Another report from Chinese publication Caifa news also suggests Apple and other manufacturers may soon use GaN power adapters. These are currently used by Xiaomi, and allow for fast-charging speeds up to 65 watts.
There's no guarantee this will debut on the iPhone 12 - or any future iPhone for that matter - but it may mean we see an improved fast-charging experience along the line.
So, what's the takeaway on the new iPhone specs? Check out the chart below for a distilled look at what we're expecting. Note that it includes 5G information, more details of which can be found in the next section.
|iPhone 12||iPhone 12 Max||iPhone 12 Pro||iPhone 12 Pro Max|
|Chipset||A14 Bionic||A14 Bionic||A14 Bionic||A14 Bionic|
|5G||Just Sub-6||Just Sub-6||Both Sub-6 and mmWave||Both Sub-6 and mmWave|
|Storage||128GB + 256GB||128GB + 256GB||128GB + 256GB + 512GB||128GB + 256GB + 512GB|
iPhone 12 design
What will the iPhone 12 look like?
The iPhone 12 design looks set to be a big change from the latest few generations of Apple’s handset. Remember the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5? Reports suggest that the iPhone 12 range will be in part inspired by those phones, and there's supposedly even some elements of the iPad Pro 2020 mixed in.
Specifically, consistent leaks have suggested that the iPhone 12 will have a flatter metal frame than the iPhone 11 range, with Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who's a very trusted source, being among those to say this.
The rear of all four phones is still expected to be made of glass, but the edges are expected to be more squared than the rounded ones on current models.
Some sources speaking to Bloomberg claim similar, and they make comparisons to the design of the iPad Pro, saying that the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will have flat stainless steel edges, more sharply rounded corners, and flat screens.
The tweet below also shows off what the design may look like. The source claims these are official molds that will be used in the production of the next iPhone.
CAD draws #Apple #iPhone12 #iPhone12Pro pic.twitter.com/RG9au0gSYlJune 14, 2020
Similarly, we've also now seen dummy units of all four models, which you can see below. These are non-functioning devices that case makers use to design accessories for the phones ahead of launch, so they could well be accurate, but they could just as easily be fake.
In any case, there are certainly some errors with them, as the camera setup doesn't match what we're expecting (more on which below), but you can see that the design appears less curvy than the iPhone 11 range, lining up with other leaks.
Cases for the iPhone 12 range have started being listed too, and these also show flatter sides than the iPhone 11 range.
Elsewhere, we've heard that the entire new iPhone range could be thinner than the iPhone 11 range. A specific thickness is only given for the iPhone 12 Pro Max though, which is apparently 7.4mm (down from 8.1mm on the iPhone 11 Pro Max).
And the phones might not just be slim - a separate leak has suggested the standard (supposedly 5.4-inch) iPhone 12 looks smaller than the iPhone 7, but isn't as small as the original iPhone SE. You can see a video comparing those three phones here, while the tweet below provides another look at the possible 5.4-inch iPhone 12.
People who love tiny phones are in for a treat with the new 5.4-in iPhone. Smaller than a new SE! pic.twitter.com/cTSH2LBzKAJune 18, 2020
We've also heard from Jon Prosser - a leaker with a good track record - that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max will have aluminum frames, and that the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will have stainless steel ones, and that all four phones will have smaller notches than the iPhone 11 range.
All that said, leaked renders that are more recent than most of those above show some significant design differences to earlier leaks, as you can see below.
Based on these - shared by EverythingApplePro - the iPhone 12 Pro at least could have the old notch design (rather than a smaller notch), a large mmWave antenna cut-out, and a different camera arrangement to what we've seen in other leaks.
iPhone 12 design will likely not be what we thought. Recent iPhone 12 CADs paint a completely different picture. Did Apple pull a fast one on the leak community? pic.twitter.com/bPYoij4V41June 18, 2020
Sonny Dickson (a leaker with a good track record) has also now shared iPhone 12 range dummy units that appear to be in line with this - as well as having flat edges, as rumored above. You can see these here.
That said, other reputable sources seem skeptical of these leaks, particularly when it comes to the camera, so we'd take them with a pinch of salt. For now, we'd say the leaks and details towards the top of this section are more likely to be right.
Finally, one thing that we are expecting is that the iPhone 12 range will be water-resistant. It's very likely that Apple will retain the IP68 water and dust resistance rating found on the iPhone 11 range for the next iPhone, which means it will be able to be submerged in water but it won't be entirely waterproof.
And looking beyond the phone itself, it's possible that the charging cable will get a redesign, with a source pointing to a braided cable. Braided cables tend to be more durable, but we'd take this with a pinch of salt, and even if it's accurate, it's unclear whether all or just some iPhone 12 models would get this.
iPhone 12 colors
What colors will the iPhone 12 come in?
As for the iPhone 12 colors, we've heard a rumor that Apple will be debuting a navy blue on its top-end models. Reports say the Midnight Green color that debuted on the iPhone 11 Pro sold beyond Apple's expectations, so the company may also decide to keep that or it may be replaced in the lineup by this navy shade.
That dark blue rumor has actually resurfaced more recently, which makes us think that there might be something to it.
The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max were available in Space Gray, Silver and Gold alongside Midnight Green. Those shades may remain for the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, but we've yet to hear any firm evidence that those colors will return.
As for the standard phone, we're expecting a similar pastel range to the iPhone 11. That phone is available in Black, Green, Yellow, Purple, Red and White, so you should probably expect some of those colors to return for 2020's device.
iPhone 12 display
What screen will the iPhone 12 have?
The iPhone 12 screen is likely to differ a lot to the iPhone 11, especially the sizes it's available in. According to almost all leaks so far, the phones below will be included:
- iPhone 12 with a 5.4-inch display
- iPhone 12 Max with a 6.1-inch display
- iPhone 12 Pro with a 6.1-inch display
- iPhone 12 Pro Max with a 6.7-inch display
If this is accurate then we'd be seeing a non-pro 'Max' model for the first time in the form of the iPhone 12 Max. It looks set to have a larger screen size than the standard iPhone 12, designed for those who don't want to spend lots on an iPhone 12 Pro Max model but want a larger phone.
That said, the size is actually in line with the iPhone 11, so rather than making a bigger basic iPhone, Apple has seemingly shrunk the standard model, and if this information is right then you still only have three sizes to choose from, with the iPhone 12 Max supposedly being the same size as the iPhone 11.
There's also strong evidence of the 5.4-inch model, as 9to5Mac has found an update to the Display Zoom feature in an iOS 14 beta, which adds support for a smaller screen size.
Display Zoom allows you to change the size of the interface on an iPhone to match that of a smaller screen iPhone. So for example the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max can switch to a 5.8-inch display view, which makes all the icons bigger and more zoomed in. However, now there's an option for a 960 x 2079 display, which doesn't match any current iPhone but would make sense for a 5.4-inch model.
We've also seen what appears to be the screen for the 5.4-inch model on a production line, showing just how small it might be.
iPhone 12的真机屏幕，5.4英寸的刘海全面屏，单手掌握，这不就是你们想要的小屏旗舰吗[笑而不语] pic.twitter.com/esAyjSQGXDJuly 27, 2020
The iPhone 11 features an LCD display, while the iPhone 11 Pro features OLED technology. So a move to OLED on all of them may allow for a far stronger screen on the standard iPhone 12 models, although we don't yet have any clear details on the resolution you can expect from any of the four phones' displays.
The other big rumored change for the 2020 iPhone display is the move to a 120Hz refresh rate. The current iPhones - and a lot of other smartphones - sport a refresh rate of 60Hz, so upping that to 120Hz makes the screen reload quicker and gives you a smoother experience when scrolling through social media feeds or gaming.
Max Weinbach shared some leaked information on the iPhone 12 Pro that suggested this was the model that would get the improved screen tech. Prosser since suggested that tech would also come to the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
This is a claim we've now heard more than once, with a list of 2020's current and upcoming 120Hz phones also including the two iPhone 12 Pro models. Indeed, some phones already have higher refresh rates than 60Hz, as do some iPads, so this move isn’t unbelievable. That's especially true as top-end phones like the Samsung Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 Pro now feature the tech too.
All of this said, the source that provides information to Prosser has said that Apple may "nerf" the technology. That may mean there are limitations to when the 120Hz refresh rate works, and that may come down to the battery life of the handsets.
As of late August, Prosser has doubled down on his 120Hz claims, backing them up with footage that supposedly shows a settings screen on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, complete with an option to 'enable high refresh rate' or 'adaptive refresh rate', along with the explanation that the latter will “alter the refresh rate from 120Hz to 60Hz in accordance to the content displayed on-screen”.
That said, we've also heard, via YouTuber EverythingApplePro, that Apple is apparently struggling with the 120Hz tech in the Pro model. And one analyst has said they've heard from sources that Apple won't be including the necessary component tech to make it a reality.
We've also heard from a display supply chain expert (Ross Young) that none of their contacts could corroborate reports of a 120Hz display, so they don't think any iPhone will get one until 2021.
As of late August, Young has said that Apple can get the 120Hz panels, but won't be able to source the 120Hz driver integrated circuits in time, meaning that unless the company comes up with a fix or delays the phones, they will only have 60Hz screens.
Plus, an iPhone 12 Pro Max benchmark also suggests the phone has just a 60Hz screen.
So it's unclear right now whether or not we'll see a 120Hz iPhone 12 screen, with two major sources (Ross Young and Jon Prosser) seemingly being in disagreement.
Finally, we've also heard from another source that the two Pro models will use a form of OLED that's both thinner and cheaper to produce than the screens used in the iPhone 11 Pro range. That could mean lower prices and thinner devices, as well as potentially better battery life, and it's a claim we've heard more than once.
iPhone 12 camera
Will the iPhone 12 camera be good?
A lot of the new iPhone leaks suggest that we're going to see some big changes to the camera on each device.
The main change is likely to be the addition of a LiDAR scanner, just like we've seen on the iPad Pro 2020. This can accurately judge distances and therefore depth, and would allow for improved augmented reality and Portrait mode.
We've heard specific mentions of a LiDAR scanner being included on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max (alongside three lenses), while the basic iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max are said to have two camera lenses and no LiDAR scanner. These claims have been made by multiple sources, and the below image (made by Phone Arena) shows how the camera could look on the Pro model.
Three of the lenses look like those on the iPhone 11 Pro, if perhaps slightly bigger, but the new fourth lens looks like the LiDAR scanner found on the iPad Pro 2020, just like in the render above.
A leaked chassis for the iPhone 12 Pro further suggests the LiDAR scanner will be included. You can see that shot of the phone below:
Here it is! Official iPhone 12 Pro chassis leak. Confirms mostly same camera with new LiDAR placement, flat sides, magnet cutouts & smart connector-like 5G antenna? This seems to confirm the 6.1 Pro model will get LiDAR too. October can't come soon enough. pic.twitter.com/YifSX7SWxhSeptember 11, 2020
A LiDAR scanner then is looking very likely, at least on the Pro models, and we're also quite confident of the lens numbers, given the large amount of leaks.
The table below lays these details out clearly. Note that the LiDAR scanner is in addition to the number of cameras listed below.
|iPhone 12||iPhone 12 Max||iPhone 12 Pro||iPhone 12 Pro Max|
|How many cameras?||Two||Two||Three||Three|
Having said all that, the image below supposedly shows a case for the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and it doesn't have as many lens holes as we were expecting, so there are still some questions over camera numbers.
As for the specs of the camera, that's something we're less clear on so far, but one source says the iPhone 12 might have a 64MP main camera, over the 12MP snapper on the previous few versions, which would be a huge upgrade. This leak also suggests that the phone will have multiple lenses that support night mode shooting, and that the ultra-wide snapper could have a dedicated macro mode.
Plus, reputable leaker Max Weinbach says he has heard that the iPhone 12 Pro will feature Smart HDR functionality for improved low-light performance. That's alongside a 3x optical zoom, which is an increase from the 2x zoom capability featured in the iPhone 11 range.
Ming-Chi Kuo, a respected tech analyst, meanwhile has said he believes Apple will be making big improvements to autofocus on the iPhone 12 by using new parts from a different supplier.
We've also heard that the top-end new iPhone (likely the iPhone 12 Pro Max) will get a new image stabilization tech called 'sensor-shift', which would allow the sensor to move in order to counteract camera shake.
And we've also heard that all four new iPhone models might get a camera improvement in the form of a 7-element wide-angle lens. That's one more element than current models, which could lead to fewer aberrations and less distortion.
On the video front, a leak suggests that both 4K footage at 120fps and 4K slow motion footage at 240fps will be possible.
We haven't heard much about the front-facing camera yet, but what we have heard suggests big changes could be coming to that too.
A pair of Apple patents detail a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor seemingly designed to replace the current depth sensor on the front. ToF sensors send out optical beams and judge how long it take them to bounce off an obstacle in order to sense depth.
Switching to this sort of sensor might improve Face ID (which we've elsewhere heard might be faster and work from more angles than currently), but it also opens up new possible features, such as in-air gestures for touchless navigation, as seen on the likes of the LG G8 and Google Pixel 4.
It's worth noting however that while Patently Apple, which unearthed these patents, specifically links them to the iPhone 12, there's no guarantee that they'll actually make it to that - or any - iPhone.
What do we want to see the iPhone 12 camera do? Mark Wilson, Cameras Editor at TechRadar says...
"The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro’s cameras gave us great new shooting options, but what I’d really like to see on the iPhone 12 is Apple ramping up the quality on those ultra-wide and telephoto lenses.
"Both of those have smaller sensors and slower apertures than the main camera, and can struggle in lower light. It’d be great to see Night Mode available in all shooting situations and also a brighter lens on the ultra-wide with optical image stabilization.
"I’d also love to see Apple’s take on the periscope lens design we’ve seen from Samsung, Huawei and Oppo for a boost in optical zoom, though we may have to wait a bit longer for that.
“Away from pure photography, one other thing I’m keen to see on the iPhone 12 is a LiDAR scanner, like the one on the iPad Pro 2020. Even if the Apple Glasses don’t arrive for a while yet, this could give us a ringside seat to some next-gen AR experiences, which were hinted at during WWDC 2020.
"In particular, the new ‘location anchors’ in ARKit 4 show that Apple’s AR tech is about to step outside, which could open up some fun gaming possibilities. A Lidar scanner could also see photography evolve in new directions, as Halide’s proof-of-concept Esper app shows”.
iPhone 12 5G
Will it be the iPhone 12 5G?
5G is expected to make its debut on an Apple phone with the iPhone 12. In fact, rumors suggest we'll see all the models feature some form of 5G connectivity, powered by a custom-made 5G antenna. Prosser has suggested as much in information that he apparently learned from a source at Apple.
The big caveat here is that the base iPhone 12 models may not support mmWave 5G technology. It's expected this will be a feature reserved for the two top-end models, as shown in the chart above.
Those models are thought to support both mmWave and slower Sub-6 5G, while the cheaper two models might just support Sub-6. Not only is that slower, but some carriers such as Verizon in the US only offer mmWave, so customers of that network may have to opt for a pricier model.
A more recent report goes against that information though and suggests that only the iPhone 12 Pro Max will be built with mmWave 5G connectivity. If that's the case, that'll limit the phones people can use with US network Verizon.
Further evidence that every iPhone 12 model will get 5G of some sort though is a leak revealing 3D-printed models of all four iPhones, which suggests that all four have had their SIM slot relocated from the right side to the left, with a source stating they were moved to make room for 5G antennas.
A final leak on the topic of 5G is that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max may both come with 4G options. That's from an unverified source, but it may allow you to get a cheaper device than the top-end 5G options.
Having said that, with 5G being far more future-proofed, you might want to think hard before buying a 4G iPhone 12, especially if the costs aren't much lower.
- A full exploration of whether the iPhone 12 will be 5G-ready
- Don't know much about next-gen internet? Here's our full guide to 5G
iPhone 12 and iOS 14
What does iOS 14 bring to the iPhone 12?
iOS 14 is the latest version of the iPhones operating system, and it's available now on your existing iPhone. It's only suitable for certain models, but all the most recent devices Apple has released are able to download the upgrade.
It's almost guaranteed that any new iPhones released in 2020 will come with on from day one.
So, what new features should you expect? Improved home screen widgets so you can better personalize your phone's main page for one, plus there's also a new way of filing your apps away called the App Library. This sits at the end of your home screens.
iOS 14 also debuts "light and fast" versions of certain apps that allow you to use some features without downloading the full app. These are called App Clips, and Apple believes they'll be useful in scenarios such as hiring electric scooters or paying for parking.
Other minor improvements are such things as tweaks to the Messages app, Apple Maps, Siri, and a variety of other first-party applications. There's a lot that's being tweaked, and while iOS 14 may not bring any hugely game-changing features to the iPhone 12 it's the best software from the company so far.
- How to get iOS 14 on your iPhone
- The iOS 14 tips and tricks we've found so far
- What iOS 14 can tell us about the iPhone 12
iPhone 12 accessories
Will your iPhone 12 come with AirPods?
The short answer to the above question is no. It's very unlikely Apple will put a pair of AirPods in the box with a new iPhone as they've been a major money maker for the company when sold separately.
Apple may choose to unveil the rumored AirPods 3 alongside the new handset at its event, but it's heavily rumored that the company will not be including a pair of earbuds of any kind in the iPhone 12 box - not even cheap ones.
Similarly, we've now heard that Apple might not include a power adapter either (though you'll still get a charging cable). This could however mean costs will be reduced. It could also allow for smaller packaging and make it lighter and therefore cheaper to ship, though how much of this saving will be passed on to consumers is unknown.
It seems Apple has already surveyed customers about this potential change.
It's a move that would also reduce e-waste, which based on a recent interview seems to be something that Apple is very keen to do.
However, another report has also suggested that Apple is working on a 20W charger, and that may be included in the box alongside the new phone. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max both featured an 18W charger, while the iPhone 11 had a 5W option.
Leaked images have shown the 20W charger, but it's unclear if it's made to be included with the top-end devices or the whole range. If it is just for the top-end devices, we're hoping Apple increases the wattage for the standard models over 5W.
It may be that these chargers are sold separately in the end; we likely won't know anything for certain until Apple mentions it on stage at the launch event.
Should you wait?
Should you buy the iPhone 11 or wait for iPhone 12?
The iPhone 12 is no so near, you may want to wait and see what happens. It's likely still a little way off, but with the iPhone 12 release date rumored for next month it's worth waiting to upgrade to a new iPhone.
If you do need a new top-tier Apple phone now, you’re looking at the iPhone 11 or the higher-spec iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max. Here are the best prices in your region:
Alex Hughes, Phone Deals Editor at TechRadar, says...
"One of the most exciting financial factors of the iPhone 12 is the effect it will have on the price of last year’s iPhone 11. New phone launches are the ideal time to buy older models with prices rapidly falling.
"When the iPhone 11 launched, the iPhone XR was dropped by £100 in the UK, and we'd expect a similar effect to kick in this year for the iPhone 11 range."
What we want to see from the next iPhone
The iPhone 11 range was a strong - but safe, and thus a bit dull - upgrade for Apple.
So for the iPhone 12 we want to see bigger, riskier changes, such as the following. We wrote these elements that we want to see soon after we reviewed the iPhone 11 range, so some may match the leaks we've seen since then.
1. Exciting new features
First things first - the new iPhone needs to be good. Brilliant. Better than expected. We’re talking things that we haven’t even thought of. Things that we’re hoping Apple’s brightest minds are currently dreaming up in the company’s labs.
This might sound like a very vague request, but Apple is one of the biggest companies in the world and if any brand could make a decent folding handset, or one with detachable VR glasses, it's Cook's Crew.
Because a tweaked design and improved specs are expected, ordinary, and no longer enough as consumers are holding onto their handsets for longer than ever. Come on Apple, give us something mind-blowing.
2. A new design
Perhaps the thing we want most from the iPhone 12 is a new design. Apple has been rolling out basically the same design for several years now, ever since it refreshed the look with the iPhone X.
Sure, some things get tweaked, but the core is the same. And it’s starting to look a bit dated. That’s thanks mostly to the large notch, which might be necessary for all the camera components needed for Face ID, but which we’d like to see shrunk or removed if possible.
Beyond that, we’d really like a whole new look. There’s not too much wrong with the rest of the iPhone 11 Pro’s design, but it certainly feels overly familiar at this point.
3. An in-screen everything
We’d like the iPhone 12 to have an all-screen front, and one way to achieve that is to move the front-facing camera under the display. If Apple can effectively achieve that, it’s sure to impress.
While it’s on, we’d like Apple to re-add a fingerprint scanner, for those times when Face ID isn’t working quite as slickly as it should. But we want this in the screen too, or better yet, make the whole screen one big fingerprint scanner, as it has been rumored Apple might be planning for a future phone.
4. A higher refresh rate
One way some companies are further improving their displays is by upping the refresh rate from the standard 60Hz. The OnePlus 7 Pro for example has an optional 90Hz refresh rate, while the Razer Phone 2 goes up to 120Hz.
This can help make interactions with the handset and animations feel silky smooth, so we’d like to see Apple offer a higher refresh rate of its own. It’s not out of the question, especially as some iPad Pro models have a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. Indeed, exactly that refresh rate has been rumored for the upcoming iPhones.
5. Further battery boosts
For the first time in years, with the iPhone 11 range it feels like Apple has really prioritized battery life in its phones, but we want the company to go even further with the iPhone 12. Or at the very least not go backwards.
We’re still waiting on an iPhone that can comfortably last two days, and we’d like the iPhone 12 (or at least the iPhone 12 Pro Max) to be it.
6. 5G support
Apple’s lack of support isn’t a big deal right now, as 5G coverage is still very sparse in most countries, but by the time the iPhone 12 launches it will be more widely available and a large number of other handsets will support it, so it will be time for Apple to jump on board.
The good news is that it’s heavily rumored that 2020’s iPhones will support 5G, so this is one thing we’re likely to get.
7. A lower price
We ask for this every year with new iPhones and this year we actually kind of got it, with the base iPhone 11 starting at less than the iPhone XR did. So it’s actually not impossible that we could see an even lower price – or a reduced price for the rest of the range – with the iPhone 12.
We wouldn’t count on it, but Apple’s more affordable phones are typically its best-selling in recent years, so there should be some incentive to cut costs where possible.
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