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.
In a new scoop, popular Japanese site Macotakara (most famous for revealing Apple would remove the headphone jack with the iPhone 7) has attained what it understands to be the first 3D printed mockup of the 2020 iPhone 12 Pro Max. And it appears Apple will be sticking with the iPhone X core design for a fourth generation.
12/26 Update: it looks to be all change for the iPhone 12 internally as 9to5Mac reports Apple will improve image stabilisation by integrating it directly into the rear camera modules. Currently, it is built into the lens rather than the module as a whole. So yes, if you can get past the iterative look of the iPhone 12, this is going to be a big upgrade year. (Many more iPhone 12 features are listed towards the end of this article)
It isn’t just the external design of the iPhone 12 Pro Max mock-up which is so similar (and, arguably, underwhelming), even the dimensions have barely changed. Macotakara reports it is still a 6.5-inch model (earlier leaks suggested a larger display), but the dimensions are virtually identical as well:
- iPhone 12 Pro Max (mock-up) – 159mm x 78mm x 7.1mm
- iPhone 11 Pro Max – 158 x 77.8 x 8.1mm
The obvious talking point is the reduced thickness, something the iPhone 11 range increased in order to fit much larger batteries – a move which has proven popular. By contrast, Apple hasn’t made a phone be as thin as this new mockup since since the iPhone 6 Plus. With 5G coming, this is a little concerning.
Gordon’s Top Apple Daily Deals:
- STAR DEAL – iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro – save up to $800 with AT&T / $700 when you buy two iPhones on Verizon – Membership Wireless – shop deals now
- STAR DEAL – iPhone 6S / iPhone 6S Plus – Unlocked – 32GB – Total Wireless or Straight Talk – $99 / $149.99 – Walmart – shop deals now
- AirPods with Charging Case (typically $159.99) – Amazon: $139.00 / B&H – $144.00 / Best Buy: $144.99 / Staples: $139.00 / Target: $144.99 / Walmart: $144.00
- AirPods with Wireless Charging Case (typically $199.99) – Amazon: $199.00 / B&H – $184.99 / Best Buy: $199.99 / Target: $169.99 / Walmart: $169.00
Look closer and you’ll notice the mock-up ditches the curves of its predecessor for more angled edges akin to the iPhone 4. This is a change which has been widely leaked and, given the iPhone 4 was a beloved design, an alteration which should prove popular.
There are two further small changes. Macotakara reports the volume and mute switches “are lowered about half of the size of each button… and the SIM slot seems to be lowered by one slot.”
What about the white finish? I understand this is just the output colour from the 3D printer to make the design easier to see.
Macotakara has spotted one change, however, which it cannot identify. On the left side of the mock-up “seems to be a mysterious connector… The shape is similar to the magnetic connector of iPad Pro (11-inch) and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation).”
One theory is this could be an Apple Pencil connector and charger, though it seems a highly impractical and insecure way to carry one around. So, for now, it remains a mystery.
Macotakara attained the iPhone 12 Pro Max mock-up from a source within Chinese giant Alibaba and it states that the mock-up is understood to be “one of several designs” Apple is working on at this stage. As such, it may be a fallback device incase some of the more radical ideas aren’t ready in time.
12/24 Update: it may look familiar, but a new investor report from Wedbush (obtained by 9to5Mac) shows the raft of internal changes (detailed below) and headlined by the move to 5G will see up to one third of existing iPhone owners upgrade to the 2020 model. I don’t blame them, this is a phone to get excited about.
That said, much like the iPhone 11 series, the main appeal of the iPhone 12 models appears to be technical rather than superficial upgrades. These include 120Hz ProMotion displays, ditching the Lightning port, reintroducing Touch ID and the addition of a long-range 3D camera. 5G is also coming to all new models but without a significant price penalty.
With the iPhone 12 be worth the wait? On paper yes, but the lack of external changes and urge to upgrade to Apple’s excellent iPhone 11 series may be overwhelming given the extreme discounts currently available