iPhone 12: leaks, rumours, release date – what we expect to see

We’re under a week away from the expected launch of the new iPhone 12 lineup and we’re excited to what Apple has in store for the 2020 flagships. At the event, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are all set to be revealed. Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s expanded set of iPhones.

Apple sent out the invites and we now know we’ll be seeing the new iPhones on October 13. The huge event kicks off at 6 PM BST (10 AM PDT).

Unlike most years, Apple has seen September come and go without launching iPhones. Instead, the company’s September event saw the reveal of Apple Watch 6, iPad Air 4 and iPad 8. There have been some rumours we could see more than just the iPhone next week, but recent leaks have poo-pooed this notion.

The event is closing in fast and there’s plenty to catch up on before the big launch. Read on for our handy guide on all the important stuff – from release date, design, specs, camera and more. We’ll be keeping this page up to date leading up to and throughout the upcoming event, so make sure to bookmark it and come back for more.

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All the iPhone 12 rumours at a glance

  • What is it? The iPhone 12 is the follow-up to 2019’s iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
  • What will the iPhone 12 look like? We could see a design more akin to the angular iPhone 5, rather than the softer curves of the iPhone 11, but the notch isn’t going anywhere.
  • When’s it out? October 2020. Apple CFO Luca Maestri previously confirmed a short two-week delay was likely for the iPhone 12 (via Macworld). We now also know the iPhone 12 launch event will happen on October 13.
  • What will it cost? We’d expect the price to be in line with current models, so upwards of £700 – though this could rise due to recent increases in manufacturing costs.
  • Will iPhone 12 have 5G connectivity? Almost certainly, but recent reports point towards mmWave 5G only being available for the iPhone 12 Pro Max and only in the US, Korea and Japan.
  • Will it come with USB-C? Rumours suggest we’re in for another year of Lightning, this time with a braided cable to stop it from breaking.

iPhone 12 release date – When will it come out?

We’ve been expecting it but now we know, iPhone 12 will be revealed on October 13. Numerous sources had pointed to this date before the event and Apple has now confirmed the date via invites for the event.

A new report from prolific Apple leaker Jon Prosser has shaken up expectations for when customers will be able to get their hands on the various new models of iPhone 12.

Prosser’s reporting on iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro coming first and the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini coming later opposes what we’ve seen from MacRumors and Bloomberg.

These reports to the contrary have pointed towards the more conventional expectation that the regular iPhone 12 models will come first, with the Pro models to follow in November. However, both sources point to the same dates, even if the products remain unconfirmed.

iPhone 12 price – How much will it cost?

We’ve already seen some leaks and predictions regarding price, with the standard iPhone 12 being touted as starting at either $749 or $799 thus far.

The ongoing uncertainty continued this week through to separate leaks pointing to these different prices:

However, the lower-priced suggestion has been more widely corroborated with prolific Apple leaker Jon Prosser touting the same prices way back in April:

Jon Prosser was the source of a great deal of insider information on the iPhone SE 2, so these estimates are easily the most reliable prices we’ve seen for the iPhone 12 series. They’re also roughly in line with our expectations.

As aspect of the new lineup that could have a big impact on price this year is 5G. However, Apple seems to know this and wants to do something about it. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), Apple will be looking to cut the costs of battery technology to make up for the additional 5G pricing. The battery tech would feature “a simpler and smaller design with fewer layers,” with the plan that it would lower battery costs by 40-50%.

We don’t know if this would be enough to prevent Apple passing any 5G charge onto consumers, with Kuo stating Sub-6GHz 5G costs of $75–$85 for Apple and millimetre wave will cost $125–$135. Bank of America analyst Wamsi Mohan has also told CNN Business he believes Apple will likely push the price of the highest-end iPhone 12 model up by $100 to account for the addition of 5G connectivity.

How many models of the iPhone 12 will there be?

UBS analysts believe that Apple will release not one, but four new iPhones in 2020, with the following specifications:

  • A 6.7-inch iPhone with 6GB of RAM and a triple-lens rear camera with 3D sensing
  • A 6.1-inch iPhone with 6GB of RAM and a triple-lens rear camera with 3D sensing
  • A 6.1-inch iPhone with 4GB of RAM and a dual-lens rear camera
  • A 5.4-inch iPhone with 4GB of RAM and a dual-lens rear camera

While we are pretty comfortable in those two top-end models being iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, there’s seems to be murmurings of a different name for the bottom-end 5.4-inch iPhone.

L0vetodream, a leaker with a decent track record, has claimed that the small model will, in fact, be called iPhone 12 Mini – rather than just iPhone 12. Apple has used the “Mini” name convention before with iPods, so it isn’t out of the question.

iPhone 12 specs – How powerful will it be?

As you can see from Jon Prosser’s most recent reporting on release date above, the leaker is also stating the base iPhone 12 will begin with just 64GB of storage. You’ll have to fork out extra cash if you need more. Prosser added in a follow-up tweet that the Pro models would start at 128GB, however.

While the upcoming Apple Silicon Macs are getting most of the attention when it comes to Apple processors, the company still has a speedy iPhone 12 to facilitate.

If these new leaked benchmarks (via IceUniverse) are anything to go by, the new A14 chip may fall short:

The benchmarks show the A14 chip getting beat by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865+ processor. While some may be disappointed by this, it is always hard to judge Apple devices solely on a benchmark, with Apple’s control over its whole ecosystem allowing key performance gains in real-world performance.

iPhone 12 camera – What is LiDAR?

We don’t know a whole lot about the camera setup for iPhone 12, with some upgrade on the dual-camera setup of iPhone 11 expected. However, one interesting inclusion could be LiDAR technology from iPad Pro.

Jon Prosser’s recent leak added weight to the notion that LiDAR will appear on the iPhone 12 Pro Max:

On the left image, you can see the option named “Enable LiDAR CA” and is described as “LiDAR assisted auto focus and subject detection for Video and Night Mode”.

While LiDAR on the regular iPhone 12 still seems like a stretch, it’s exciting to see the depth-sensing tech being tested for any of the iPhone 2020 lineup.

iPhone 12 design – What will it look like?

The primary focus of early iPhone 12 design speculation has been the transition to a more industrial design that invokes the iPad Pro 2020 and older iPhones like iPhone 5 and iPhone 6. However, many people will be eager to know the status of the controversial notch.

Jon Prosser provided an update on the notch’s status in his recent leak:

From the image, you can see for yourself that it seems like the notch will remain. According to Prosser, the notch does at least appear smaller due to a larger display and slimmer bezels.

If you’ve also been hoping for a refreshed colour palette, then there’s yet more good news on the way. As well as the hints we can take from the new colours that debuted recently on the iPad Air 4, Tipster Max Weinbach, who recently polished his reputation with a flurry of highly accurate Samsung Galaxy S20 leaks, has stated that the upcoming iPhone 12 Pro is set to be available in navy blue (shown above in a rendered image). The current model, the iPhone 11 Pro, is available in the following four tones: Space Grey, Silver, Midnight Green, and Gold, so we’re not sure if this new colour will be an extra or a replacement.

These colours don’t perfectly match up to what we saw from iPad Air 4, but Weinbach is specifically referring to the Pro models, which did offer different colours to the iPhone 11 last time out. iPhone 12 colours matching up with the new colours on the latest iPad Air, that being new pastel blue and green alongside Apple’s usual fare, seems a pretty safe bet.

iPhone 12 screen – Will it have 120Hz?

A big point of contention for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro is the display. Many smartphones, from budget to flagship, have moved to up to 90Hz/120Hz high refresh rate displays. Apple is yet to release a phone with this tech, however, it does feature on iPad Pro – courtesy of “ProMotion”.

Early in the iPhone 12 rumour lifecycle, it seemed we could be treated to the technology in 2020 but it was squashed by several sources. However, prolific leaker Jon Prosser has asserted a 120Hz display could be back on the table – even if it’s only for one iPhone 2020 model.

Let’s take a look at what Prosser has said:

Here we see, via the image on the right, toggles for high refresh rate and adaptive refresh rate. The latter is only present when the former is toggled on.

YouTuber Filip Koroy and tipster Max Weinbach have also come together to reveal information about the suspected ProMotion display. According to Koroy (via Forbes), the Pro Max could be the only model to include a 120Hz display as a result of Apple’s decision to downgrade the batteries in it’s 2020 line of iPhones.

However, these rumours have also been debated by prominent Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), who believes that even the Pro Max model will max out at the iPhone 11’s 60Hz, again due to the smaller battery.

While a higher refresh rate would boost the iPhone’s gaming and video streaming capabilities with smoother graphics – a perk Apple Arcade and Apple TV Plus would surely take advantage of – it can be taxing on battery life.

In other battery news, the iPhone 12 range is set to support 20w charging. The upgrade from iPhone 11 is quite measly, at just 2w, and it doesn’t reach the heights of many Android phones – however, it remains a welcome enhancement.

Related: Best phone

Will the iPhone 12 have 5G?

Nikkei has reported that Apple is preparing to ship a total of 80 million units of 5G-enabled modems for this year’s iPhone. This news almost certainly means that each phone in the new flagship range will support 5G, in a complete U-turn from the surprising omission in last year’s range.

While we are fully expecting 5G to come to all models of iPhone 12 in some form, it looks like there’s going to be a few caveats.

According to Fast Company, iPhone 12 Pro Max looks set to be the only model to include mmWave 5G. mmWave 5G offers even faster speeds than “regular” sub-6Hz 5G but does struggle at longer ranges. Along with being restricted to the 12 Pro Max, it seems it will also only be available in US, Korea and Japan. The news may frustrate Pro fans looking to futureproof their iPhone but don’t fancy the beefy Max model.

Will iPhone 12 have a charger?

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) reports you likely won’t get a power adaptor in the box with any iPhone 12 model. That means you’ll either have to use a charger you already have or pay up and purchase the new 20w brick. This seems even more likely now Apple has confirmed the Apple Watch 6 will not come with a USB adapter in the box.

Kuo states that one reason behind this move could be to offset the higher production cost of the 5G phones. It also seems like Apple will stop production entirely of 5w and 18w chargers and remove it from iPhone SE 2 boxes later this year.

We’ve seen rumours suggest the iPhone 12 will support 20w charging, that’s a 2w boost over the iPhone 11 series. However, it’s important to note that while the iPhone 11 does support 18w charging, only the Pro and Pro Max models come with that faster charger in the box. If you’ve got an iPhone 11 you’ll need to buy it separately, or stick with the slow 5w charger that is included.

An extra 2w might not seem like much, but with the iPhone still so far behind Android rivals when it comes to charging speeds any improvement is welcome.

Will the iPhone 12 come with EarPods in the box?

Another, slightly minor, piece of information we have heard surrounding the next iPhone is that it might be the first flagship from Apple to ditch the included EarPods headphones. Now, don’t expect this to mean you’ll find a pair of AirPods nestled in the iPhone 12’s packaging, instead, it seems like you’ll have to provide your own buds. A couple of iterations ago Apple ditched the included headphone dongle so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise the ‘Pods themselves might be next.

We’ve also seen another rumour suggesting that the iPhone 12 will, once again, use Lightning as its main connection port – rather than the now far more common USB-C port you’ll find on the iPad Pro, all of Apple’s laptops and just about every Android phone.

iPhone 12 software – iOS 14 arriving in June

Apple announced iOS 14 during the keynote presentation for WWDC and it is shaping up to be a big update.

You can download the beta now and it’s coming to all the phones that supported iOS 13 and we expect it to come installed on the iPhone 12.

Check the list below for some of the big new features:

  • An improved home screen layout with widgets and app storage
  • The ability to set alternative default apps
  • Improved Siri with new design
  • Plenty of new UI tweaks
  • Improved Home app with new automation options
  • A translate app
  • Big updates to Maps and Messages

Check our dedicated iOS 14 features page for loads more on the new software update.

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