Apple has had better months. Having already admitted iPhone 11 owners are subject to secretive location checks, found its latest iOS 13.3 update has two gaping flaws and been caught up in last week’s sensational smartphone tracking scandal, now the first iPhone 12 designs have leaked and you might not like what you see.
Camera – the headline news for the iPhone 12 is Apple’s move to integrate a long-range 3D camera. This has now been leaked by multiple sources and it will enable the iPhone 12 to actively map its environment up to about 15 feet. It will be laser-based unlike the 25-50 centimetre range of the dot projector-based 3D mapping system used in Face ID on the front of current iPhones.
While a 3D camera may help photographs with things like Portrait mode (where depth measurement is a major factor), the big win is augmented reality (AR). Expect Apple to make a big deal of this come launch time.
Display – While it may look the same, the new iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max family is understood to be tweaking its screen sizes with both bigger and smaller panels:
iPhone 12: 6.1-inch (same as iPhone 11)
iPhone 12 Pro: 5.4-inch (Vs 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro)
iPhone 12 Pro Max 5G: 6.7-inch (Vs 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max)
In addition to this, Apple is expected to introduce new 120Hz ProMotion displays. Jumping to a 90/120Hz panel is essential to keep up with rivals, many of which made the move in 2019 and Samsung will fit the Galaxy S11 with a 120Hz panel in 2020. Coincidentally, Apple will also adopt Samsung’s Y-OCTA display technology for slimmer panels and OLED may come to the entry-level iPhone 12.
Biometrics – Face ID is not expected to change much in the iPhone 12 other than slight performance tweaks and, perhaps, a fractionally smaller notch. But the return of Touch ID integrated into the display, is a major event which has been leaked time after time. While facial recognition and fingerprint sensors have their own pros and cons, the real value of its return is when used in conjunction with Face ID for extremely high level security. Hopefully, where and when will be user selectable.
Release Date – there’s nothing on this at present, but Apple has a long tradition of launching new iPhones in September and (the early release of one new budget model, aside) I don’t expect that to change in 2020.