THE IPHONE 12 LINEUP could be Apple's most expensive yet due to its added 5G components and new metal frame.
So says analyst Ming Chi-Kuo, who in a research note seen by Apple Insider claims a new, larger motherboard - necessary to accommodate the circuitry for connecting the new 5G antenna - could come with a 35 per cent increase in cost.
Additionally, the iPhone 12's redesigned iPhone 4-alike chassis will be 50 to 60 per cent more expensive to construct, while its glass looks set to be 40 to 50 per cent pricier than that found on the iPhone 11.
If Apple was to pass these extra costs onto consumers, the iPhone 12 will likely start around £1,100, compared to the iPhone 11's £729 price tag.
28/10/19: Apple's 2020 iPhones will reportedly be the first to ship with a 5nm processor.
So says Nikkei, which reports that Apple will release three iPhones with 5G connectivity next year that will utilise Qualcomm's X55 5G modem. This will come paired with the company's first chipset to be built using a 5-nanometer process, according to the report, which will likely arrive as the A14 Bionic.
As well as support for 5G connectivity and an all-new 5nm chip, Nikkei reports that next year's iPhones could debut Apple's first major redesign since 2017. It's heard from its sources that the iPhone 12's "leading-edge screens" could be the first to adopt under-display fingerprint scanners.
According to previous rumours, the handsets could also adopt an all-new chassis with a metal frame structure reminiscent of the iPhone 4.
28/10/19: Next year's iPhones could double the refresh rate of Apple's current handsets with 120Hz ProMotion displays.
So says hit-and-miss rumour-peddler Digitimes, which claims the iPhone 12 will follow in the footsteps of Apple's ProMotion iPad Pros with a Pixel 4-rivalling 120Hz screen, a significant upgrade over the iPhones' current 60Hz displays.
The iPhone will sport a high refresh rate OLED panel, according to Digitimes, unlike the iPad Pro's LCD offering.
Apple launched its first 120Hz screens in 2017 with the 10.5in iPad Pro and 12.9in iPad Pro. Bringing such a screen to its next-gen iPhones will undoubtedly improve the overall iOS experience on its smaller-screened devices, bringing increased responsiveness and more fluid scrolling and swiping.
24/10/19: Apple is reportedly plotting some major design changes for next year's iPhones and one of them could be the removal of the notch.
That's according to Twitter tipster Benjamin Geskin, who claims Apple is testing new Face ID prototypes with new optics, some of which are "smaller in width" and some which "fit in the top bezel."
While by no means confirmation - Geskin doesn't have a faultless track record - this suggests Apple is either looking to reduce the size of the notch or eliminate the cutout it completely.
Geskin also claims that the iPhone 12 lineup will sport wider antennas on the top, bottom (below) which will be made from a new material - either glass, ceramic or sapphire. This is no doubt to make them to compatible with 5G networks, with all iPhone 12 models tipped to support the next-gen connectivity.
2020 iPhone prototypes include wider antenna lines (>1mm) for 5G ⚡️— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) October 22, 2019
Instead of plastic lines it will use a new material (glass, ceramic or sapphire) pic.twitter.com/69z02kSTa8
And finally, the loose-lipped tipster says that in the long-term, Apple plans to get rid of the Lightning port. While next year's iPhones are expected to switch to USB-C, Geskin notes that, ultimately, iPhones will rely solely on wireless charging. However, this change is unlikely to be made until 2023 at the earliest.
"Apple long-term plan is to get rid of the Lightning port for the wireless charging and data transfer (UWD technology - 480Mbps (USB 3.0) speed at 3 meters, 110Mbps at 10 meters)," Geskin notes.
18/10/19: O2 has dropped the biggest hint yet than next year's iPhones will support 5G.
O2, which this week switched on its 5G network, has detailed a trade-in offer for £100 off an as-yet-unannounced iPhone. The deal, which is listed under the not-so-subtle heading "5Guarantee", will give buyers of an iPhone 11, 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max on a 90GB, 120GB or Unlimited 4G tariff £100 off the "the New Apple Smartphone" in 2020.
While this doesn't confirm that next year's iPhone will offer 5G, it's a pretty big hint given it's the only non-5G device mentioned in O2's 5G-focused press release.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also long-peddled the rumour that next year's iPhones will be the first to support 5G networks; he claims two "premium" Apple handsets will be 5G-ready at launch next year thanks to the inclusion of a Qualcomm modem and homegrown RF antenna designs.
25/9/19: Apple may have just released its iPhone 11 lineup, but renowned analyst Ming Chi-Kuo is already spouting rumours about next years handsets.
According to his latest research note, seen by MacRumours, Apple's 2020 iPhones will sport a "significant" new design complete with metal frame structure reminiscent of the, er, iPhone 4. Additionally, the redesigned chassis will feature "a more complex segmentation design, new trenching and injection moulding procedures, and sapphire or glass cover assembly to protect the trench injection moulding structure," Kuo notes.
"We predict that the new 2H20 iPhone design will change significantly [...] The metal frame and the front and rear 2/2.5D glass are still used, but the metal frame surface will be changed to a similar design to the iPhone 4, replacing the current surface design," the research note reads.
While it might seem bizarre that Apple would recycle the aesthetic of a 10-year old smartphone, particularly one that suffered signal issues caused by its "defective" design, the firm's most recent iPad Pro tablets feature a more blocky, industrial design that's somewhat reminiscent of the iPhone 4.
Kuo also reiterates his earlier predictions that next year's iPhones will be the first to offer 5G support, noting that the inclusion of next-gen connectivity will increase Apple's smartphone shipments to 85 million units in 2020, compared to 75 million new iPhone shipments in 2019.
And if his guesswork is on the money, you can also expect next year's iPhones lineup to comprise 5.4in and 6.7in OLED variants and a 6.1in LCD variant, with the higher-spec models set to boast a rear-facing time-of-flight 3D camera that will support augmented reality
11/9/19: Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to release three 5G-capable iPhones in 2020.
Kuo originally predicted that just two 5G iPhones would launch next year, in the form of Apple's premium 5.4in and 6.7in handsets. However, in a new research note seen by MacRumours, he claims all three of next year's iPhones will be 5G-ready as Apple looks to better compete with lower-cost 5G Android handsets.
The analyst's change of heart follows Apple's $1bn acquisition of Intel's smartphone modem business, which has seen it scoop up 2,200 of the chipmaker's employees, along with its 5G-related intellectual property, equipment and leases.
Apple's 2020 iPhones will likely still make use of Qualcomm's chips, though. While the company is working on its own modem chips, these are unlikely to be ready until 2021.
According to Kuo, the 5G-ready iPhones will support both mmWave and Sub-6GHz spectrum to meet the requirements of the US market but notes that it's not yet but it is not clear if Apple will launch a lower-cost 5G iPhone that only supports Sub-6GHz.
22/7/19: Apple's looks set to equip next year's iPhones with 120Hz ProMotion displays.
While such high refresh rates are typically reserved for gaming-focused handsets like the Razer Phone 2 and newly-announced RoG Phone 2, tipster Ice Universe claims that Apple's 2020 iPhones will double their current 60Hz refresh rates to 120Hz.
Apple is considering a switchable 60Hz/120Hz refresh rate screen on the iPhone in 2020, and is discussing with Samsung and LG. pic.twitter.com/4aoU303umu— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) July 21, 2019
According to the tweet (above), Apple is "considering a switchable 60Hz/120Hz refresh rate screen on the iPhone in 2020", and is currently in talks with OLED display suppliers Samsung and LG.
If the rumour is legit, Apple's 2020 iPhones won't be its first devices to boast 120Hz screens - the 10.5in and 12.9in iPad Pros have boasted the super-fast refresh rates since 2017, with the tablets boasting LED Retina ProMotion displays.
11/7/19: Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has been at the speculation sauce again and has spat out some rumours about Apple's 2020 iPhones.
Though Android OEMs are ditching the notch in favour of punch-hole cutouts and, er, rotating cameras, it doesn't look like Apple is planning to get rid of the screen cutout any time soon.
Kuo, via Apple Insider, expects next year's iPhones will adopt a smaller front-facing camera lens - and in turn a sized-down TrueDepth camera array - that will allow the firm to shrink the size of the notch.
The camera on the back will also get a re-jig; the analyst says the 2020 rear-facing camera will boast an all-new seven-piece lens system.
Apple could also debut a new iPhone design next year, with Kuo predicting a switch away from the current design, which was first debuted on the iPhone X and continued by the current-gen iPhone XS and XR. There are no details as to how the design will change exactly, though.
Kuo has also spouted some predictions about Apple's 2021 iPhones, which he claims will adopt full-screen fingerprint recognition technology and an under-screen TrueDepth camera.
18/6/19: Apple will release two 5G iPhones in 2020, reckons trustworthy analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
This isn't the first time we've heard this rumour, but Apple's first 5G iPhone was originally slated to use an Intel radio chip. Since, however, Intel has canned its 5G modem biz after Apple and Qualcomm settled their differences.
In a research note seen by 9to5Mac, Kuo says that Apple's first-generation 5G iPhones - 5.4in and 6.7in OLED models - will heavily rely on Qualcomm when they arrive in 2020, though notes that Apple will use its own power amplifier and RF antenna designs.
"We believe that the content of Apple and Qualcomm's previous settlement includes Qualcomm's release of partly 5G baseband chip source code to Apple for Apple's development of own 5G PA/FEM," Kuo says.
The 5G compatibility in the 2020 iPhone would apparently support both leading standards; sub-6GHz and mmWave technology.
They might be more than a year away, but Kuo has some more details on the 2020 iPhones. Along with 5.4in and 6.7in models - which would suggest the XS is getting smaller and the XS Max bigger - Apple will release a "low-end" 6.1in OLED iPhone, ditching the LCD screen currently found on the iPhone XR.
Kuo notes that all new iPhones will support 5G starting in 2021, and believes that Apple will have its own 5G modem ready by 2022 or 2023, which should reduce its dependence on Qualcomm.
17/4/19: Apple is said to be plotting a 4.7in iPhone for 2020 that'll arrive as an upgraded iPhone 8.
So says a report at Economic Daily News, which citing sources from Taiwan-based Fubon Securities Investment Trust claims that Apple's revised iPhone 8 will make its debut in March 2020.
The pint-sized smartphone will reportedly feature the same 4.7in LCD display as the iPhone 8 but will feature souped-up internals including an A13 processor and 128GB of base storage. The device, which could arrive as the iPhone XE, will also retain a single-lens rear camera and a similar design to the iPhone 8, according to the report, complete with a home button and chunky bezels.
This is likely to keep the price of the device low, the EDN suggesting it'll feature an "aggressive" price tag of around $649 (around £500).
4/4/19: Apple will reportedly release three OLED iPhones in 2020 that will feature different screen sizes to its current crop of handsets.
Citing sources in Taiwan's supply chain, Digitimes claims that Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup will comprise of 5.42in, 6.06in and 6.67in models; currently, the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max sport 5.8in, 6.1in and 6.5in screens, respectively.
Further, backing up previous rumours, the report claims that all of next year's iPhones will adopt OLED screen technology, with Apple ridding of the LCD display on its cheapest model.
It notes that Samsung will remain Apple's main OLED panel supplier for Apple next year, adding that the smallest model coming in 2020 will include Samsung or LG touchscreen tech that will allow Apple to make the display thinner than on previous handsets.
"The 5.42in model to be released in 2020 may come with either Samsung Display's Y-Octa or LG Display's TOE touch technology, indicated the sources, noting that both touch solutions promise to trim down the display cost," Digitimes reports.
"Y-Octa is an advanced flexible AMOLED display technology that removes the film substrate and allows the touch circuit to be directly patterned on the film's encapsulation layer, making the display thinner, indicated the sources."
22/2/19: Apple's 2020 iPhones will reportedly ship with a 5-nanometer (5nm) chip manufactured by TSMC.
Digitimes, just weeks after claiming that TSMC will be the sole supplier of 7nm chips for this year's iPhones, reports that the chipmaker "is expected to secure the first 5nm chip orders from Apple for the 2020 iPhones".
Further details are scant, but it looks like Apple could be one of the first to use the 5nm chip, which looks set to advanced AR and AI applications and offer a significant boost to battery life.
6/11/18: Does your iPhone XS already bore you? Good news: as sure as night follows day, new iPhones are always just around the corner, and the latest report suggests that the 2020 model will be the first company handset to pack 5G in.
If that news leaves you feeling sad that Apple seems to be dragging its feet, it's probably worth reflecting on the fact that having 5G in your phone in 2019 will likely be an entirely pointless endeavour in future proofing. Like ensuring your new shoes will be great for the office and the first Martian colony.
Yes, a bunch of Android phones will have 5G modems in the next year, but the opportunity to use that speed will be almost pointlessly limited - and that's before you even get into the likely bugginess and huge battery drain that the smartphone vanity plates will have. Those points withstanding, do you really want to give Apple an excuse to raise their prices further?
With that in mind, even 2020 may feel a tad optimistic, but FastCompany reckons that Apple has already planned Intel as its modem supplier. The report suggests that Apple is using Intel's 8160 chip for testing, but hopes that the 10nm 8161 will provide faster speeds and greater efficiency for the finished product.
Indeed, sources report that the current 8060 model is having problems with heat dissipation, which isn't ideal for something that spends much of its life in your pocket, perilously close to your sensitive regions.
As a backup, the report says, Apple will turn to MediaTek. Of course, Qualcomm also has its own X50 modem for 5G, but given the escalating legal battles between the chip giant and Apple, you would imagine that a deal will only be struck there once Hell freezes over. Which, helpfully, may well occur before 5G actually delivers on its promise. µ
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