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iPhone 12: Everything you need to know

iPhone 12: Everything you need to know
(Image credit: GSMArena)

While the iPhone 12 family was rumored to appear at the traditional September event, we're still waiting on this latest iPhone to be announced. However, the rumors are flowing thick and fast, so read on below to find out the latest details on the iPhone 12 series.

In the lead up to last year's iPhone 11 launch, there were plenty of whispers concerning 5G technology. Considering that other manufacturers had been producing 5G-capable phones for months, it felt like Apple had somewhat missed the boat when the iPhone 11 eventually came out sans 5G. 

However, the good news is that it looks like the iPhone 12 will be getting the major update that Apple fans were expecting last year (better late than never, eh?). This includes four 5G capable models, new cameras, a new design and a new screen.

• Read more: Best iPhone for photography 


• The iPhone 12 is due to be officially announced on 13 October, with the first batch arriving at distributors on 05 October. See 'When will the iPhone 12 be released?' below.

When will the iPhone 12 be released?

(Image credit: GSMArena)

With rumors of delays having dogged the iPhone 12 for months now, the traditional September Apple event that usually unveils the latest iPhone technology was instead filled with news of the latest Apple Watch and iPads. 

In terms of what is affecting the production of the iPhone 12, there are reports that problems with the lens for the ultra wide angle camera may lead to delayed shipments of this component, which could possibly affect the launch of the iPhone 12. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the lenses for the two non-Pro iPhones are prone to cracking during the high temperature/ high humidity test. 

Tech analyst Jon Prosser has also shared some fresh details on the iPhone 12 release dates and shipping dates. According to his information, the iPhone 12 event will be in the week beginning on 12 October, with Apple opening the pre-orders for the non-Pro iPhone 12 models in the same week. These non-Pro phones will then begin shipping the following week, beginning on 19 October. 

Meanwhile, after a false start with the September Apple event, it seems more and more likely that the iPhone 12 will be making its debut in early October. According to a GSMArena article, during a recent BT (British Telecom) internal video keynote, CEO Marc Allera said that the iPhone 12 launch is a matter of "days away".

This coincides with existing rumors that point to Tuesday 13 October as the official iPhone 12 launch date – although Allera himself didn't say anything specific. While the handsets are rumored to be announced on 13 October, users apparently won't be able to pre-order the phones until 16 October. 

NEW 30/09: According to the latest rumors, we could be seeing the iPhone 12 launch event on 13 October. This lines-up with the previous leak from the BT internal video keynote – and it's also backed up by a new rumors from notorious leaker Jon Prosser. He says that the first batch of iPhone 12 models will be arriving at distributors on 05 October, which will give them enough time for the 13 October announcement. 

Apparently, the first iPhone 12 models in stores will be the 5.4" iPhone mini and the 6.1" iPhone 12 Max. These are the budget iPhone 12 models and will be available in 64GB, 128GB or 256GB storage options. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone Pro Max will be arriving later in the year – although there aren't any confirmed dates as of yet. Apparently, these two phones will have 128GB of storage as standard.

What will the iPhone 12 look like?

(Image credit: GSMArena)

While previous consensus has been that Apple will be launching four iPhone 12 models in 2020, most leaked comparison images of the upcoming handsets will only show three. This is apparently because the iPhone 12 Max and the iPhone 12 Pro will come with the same 6.1" screen. 

According to some rumors, the smallest handset in the lineup will have a 5.4" screen, which will make it smaller than any of the iPhone 11 family, with a reputed resolution of 960 x 2079 pixels. The largest iPhone 12 will have a 6.7" screen and the triple-camera unit will remain the same as it did on the iPhone 11 Pro Max on all units, while the back of the phones is flat, as previous rumors suggested. 

NEW: With the full iPhone 12 line-up due to be announced at some point in October, we've had some fresh information on what the smallest model will be called. Apparently, the entry-level iPhone 12 will be called the 'iPhone 12mini'. This handset will measure just 5.4 inches, which is the same height as the iPhone 7. Apparently, the handset that was formerly thought to be called the 'iPhone 12 Max' will now just be called the 'iPhone 12'. See below for what is thought to be the full line-up of names for the iPhone 12:

How much will the iPhone 12 cost?

(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

Back in May, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple was considering removing earphones from the iPhone 12 retail package. Many were dismayed to hear this, but a few weeks later and it seems that unfortunately this rumor might have some legs to it. A few days ago, analysts at Barclays not only agreed that the earphones might not appear, they also hinted that the charger might not even be included. 

Ming-Chi Kuo has agreed with the Barclays analysts' assessment, saying that Apple will introduce a 20W charger with USB Power Delivery that will be sold separately. This move will likely be justified as an environmentally-friendly way to reduce electronic wastage. However, it's also likely to be motivated by the high costs of adding 5G to the iPhone 12 models. 

According to GSMArena, we will apparently not be seeing a price hike for the iPhone 12, despite the additional manufacturing costs. This means that the prices for the iPhone 12 family will pretty much line up with their iPhone 11 counterparts.

While we'll have to wait for September for official numbers, we can fairly confidently say that it'll be in line with current models. The iPhone 11 starts at $699 / £729 / AU$1,199, the iPhone 11 Pro starts at $999 / £1,049 / AU$1,749 and the iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1,099 / £1,149 / AU$1,899.

What will the iPhone 12 camera be like?

This render from PhoneArena suggests the top-of-the-range iPhone 12 Pro models will have increase the number of cameras from three to four. (Image credit: PhoneArena)

We've heard some tantalizing rumors about the iPhone 12 camera, and we can't wait until the September release to get some official specs. However, in the meantime, here are the most interesting rumors we've seen so far. 

We've seen some exciting rumors that the iPhone 12 might have a 64MP main camera, which would be a massive upgrade from the 12MP currently seen on the iPhone 11. Whether or not this camera will involve some sort of pixel binning will remain to be seen. It's also been suggested that the iPhone 12 will have multiple lenses that support night mode shooting, and the ultra-wide lens could even have a dedicated macro mode.

There has also been rumors that the top end iPhone 12 will get a new image stabilization technology entitled 'sensor-shift', which would allow the sensor to move in order to counteract camera shake. 

Recently, Max Weinbach, an Apple leaker who shares rumors on the YouTube channel EverythingApplePro, has claimed that the iPhone 12 models will feature a 3x telephoto zoom lens (as opposed to the iPhone 11 Pro's 2x optical zoom), improved Smart HDR software, even better low-light performance, sensor-shift image stabilization and auto white balance improvements. 

Meanwhile, according to a report from PineLeaks and EverythingApplePro (see tweet below), the new source code inside iOS 14 Beta 1 shows that the iPhone 12 series will be able to record 4K videos at 240 frames per second. This is likely to be a slow motion mode, but apparently users will also be able to capture 4K video at 120fps in real-time as well.

This is a significant step-up from the iPhone 11 series, which can capture 4K video at 60fps and slow-mo 240 fps video at 1080p. 

What will the iPhone 12 design be?

(Image credit: PhoneArena)

Apple is known for its beautifully designed technology, so we're expecting big things from the iPhone 12. One rumor has indicated that the iPhone 12 could return to a more angular design, as seen on the iPhone 5. 

According to Max Weinbach from the YouTube channel EverythingApplePro, there will also be a 2x to 3x boost in autofocus performance due to the LiDAR sensor that's rumored to be on both of the Pro models. However, while the iPhone 12 Pro models will apparently be receiving a bumper gift of new features, the base models might be slightly less impressive. The base iPhone 12 models will only have two rear cameras and will likely miss out on the LiDAR sensor and telephoto camera. However, we might also see all iPhone 12 models with an OLED screen, rather than only the more premium models as seen in the current iPhone 11 generation. 

We could also be seeing a small update to the Face ID technology, with the Face ID sensor array getting smaller and being able to work at wider angles. This means that you might be able to unlock your phone while it's laying on your desk. There might also be an increase in the size of the iPhone 12 batteries as well, with the 6.7" iPhone rumored to have a battery over 4,400 mAh to handle the additions of 5G and a potential 120Hz screen. 

5G technology

Meanwhile, at first it seemed that only the high-end models would have 5G, and the basic models would only run 4G. However, a previous rumor stated that all four iPhone 12 handsets would indeed run 5G.

Interestingly, the latest rumor from GSMArena sheds a little more light on the 5G debate. While all four iPhone 12 models will run 5G, only the high-end models will run mmWave 5G. Meanwhile, the lower-end iPhone 12 handsets will only support sub-6GHz 5G, which will be slower than the beefed up mmWave 5G.

There's also the question of whether all of the iPhone 12 handsets will arrive at the same time. Due to an apparent problem with the antenna on the higher-end mmWave 5G models, the design has been adjusted (mmWave is super-fast, but the signal is easily blocked). Previous rumors have stated that we might not even see these high-end iPhone 12 models until 2021, but we'll have to wait and see whether this will indeed be the case.

According to a report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has been looking for ways to reduce the manufacturing costs of the iPhone 12 series. Apparently, adding sub-6GHz 5G to an iPhone between $75–$85, while mmWave 5G costs between $125–$135. Unless Apple is willing increase the price of the iPhone series to pass the cost along to the consumer (which it apparently isn't), the company will need to cut costs somewhere.

Apparently, Apple has been applying pressure on its suppliers in order to reduce the cost of parts. It will also reportedly use a simpler battery design in the iPhone 12 series – but apparently this will not affect the user experience.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo's report (via My Fix Guide), the iPhone battery board specifications have declined most significantly among all of the iPhone components. The battery soft and hard board of the iPhone 12 is reduced by the number of layers and smaller areas. This means that the average unit price is 40–50% lower than that of the iPhone 11. 

Screen refresh rate 

We've previously seen quite a few rumors regarding whether some, or all, of the iPhone 12 models will have a 120Hz refresh rate. The current iPhone 11 models are all 60Hz, but bumping up the refresh rate to 120Hz will mean that the interactions on the phone will feel smoother. This is because Hz stands for how many times a screen reloads per second. A 60Hz screen will reload 60 times per second, so a 120Hz screen will be twice as smooth. A screen like this is particularly good for gamers, as it will improve the quality of the gaming experience.

It seemed that both the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max models would have 120Hz screen refresh rates, but now industry inside Ross Young has some unfortunate news. Apparently, the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max models will now not have the 120Hz screens. This is reportedly because of an issue in the supply chain.

Apparently, the 120Hz OLED panels are secured and ready to manufacture, but Apple isn't able to find the driver ICs to drive the pixels at 120Hz. In order to prevent a delay to the launch of the iPhone 12 series, Apple is rumored to have decided to use the 60Hz refresh rate instead.

Considering how many smartphones are being released with 120Hz screens, its seems pretty disappointing that the iPhone 12 series could be released with technology that is growing increasingly outdated. However, we'll have to wait until the official launch to verify whether this is an accurate rumor. 


The iPhone line has never had official support for China's BeiDou satellite navigation system, which has long been one of the biggest complaints among Chinese iPhone users. However, this is apparently due to change according to a new report. On Wednesday, BeiDou spokesperson and director of the China Satellite Navigation Office, Ran Chengqi, said: "Apple will use the BeiDou navigation system sooner or later." 

This casual remark was later backed up, with sources claiming that Apple is currently in the process of debugging the iPhone 12 models' performance and compatibility – and apparently one of these tests centers around verifying proper support for the satellite navigation system. 

With coverage over 200 countries, over 100 million users and 200 million daily sessions, BeiDou is considered the norm in the local market and across most of the Asia-Pacific region. If Apple are able to include this technology in the iPhone 12 series, then this could help make them a little more tempting to consumers in this competitive field.

(Image credit: Apple)

NEW: A14 chipset

The new iPhone 12 models are said to be powered by Apple's first chipset on the 5nm process, called the A14. This chipset was unveiled at the September 2020 Apple event that announced the new Apple Watches and iPads. This is the first chipset to be built on the 5nm process, which could give these chipsets the edge over Android, which is still using 7nm chips. The A14 SoC will come with a six-core CPU and quad-core GPU, bringing a 40% CPU improvement and 30% boost in graphics over the A12.

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