iPhone 12: Everything We Know So Far [Updated]

iPhone 12: Everything We Know So Far [Updated]
Image: Getty Images

It’s been a year but the phone industry stops for no pandemic and Apple’s newest device, the iPhone 12 series is launching in just a few days. As always, there’s no shortage of educated guesses, analyses, rumours and leaks flying about potential features and how it will look. So, with that in mind, let’s dig in.

iPhone 12’s specs

First up, according to MacRumors, the iPhone 12 lineup will add a fourth addition to the lineup. If you cast your memory all the way back to October 2019 — decades ago in the consumer tech world — the iPhone 11 series had just the three. That included the standard edition as well as the oddly-titled newcomers, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

How the lineup will differ is still mostly under wraps but it’s suspected screen size will play a big part. MacRumors believes there’ll be a 5.4-inch iPhone 12, a huge 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max and two models at 6.1 inches — iPhone 12 Max and iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 and Max are likely to be marketed as the more ‘budget’ options while the iPhone 12 Pro and its larger 6.7-inch counterpart, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, will be its premium offerings.

In terms of connectivity, renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes all the models will be 5G-capable devices. There is some speculation, supported by recent leaks, that the two top-tier models will have the enhanced mmWave 5G while the cheaper devices will come with sub-6GHz 5G.

Ming-Chi Kuo has also said none of the models come packaged with a charger. That’ll be sold separately, allegedly.

Prominent leaker Jon Prosser said in May that ‘budget’ iPhone 12 models will be cased in an aluminium, while the two premium models will be stainless steel. All models are expected to arrive with the latest Apple processor — the A14 Bionic chip.

Storage is always a big concern and as expected the more affordable models will reportedly come with 64GB, 128GB and 256GB options. For the big boys, you’ll probably get an increased option of 128GB, 256GB or 512GB.

While the leaks provide a good idea of what might come, it’s really all about waiting for Apple to confirm the suspicions.

Update October 13: Renowned leaker ‘Kang’ took to Weibo to reveal an alleged four iPhone 12 models this year: the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

According to the leak all four will have 5G, Super Retina HDR displays and ceramic in the glass screens to make them more drop resistant.

Here’s what else he had to say about the new models:

  • iPhone 12 Mini: 5.4-inch display, black, white, red, blue, and green colour options, 64GB – 256GB storage options
  • iPhone 12: 6.1-inch display, black, white, red, blue, and green colour options, 64GB – 256GB storage options
  • iPhone 12 Pro: 6.1-inch display, gold, silver, graphite, and blue colour options, 128GB to 512GB storage options
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: 6.7-inch display, gold, silver, graphite, and blue colour options, 128GB to 512GB storage options

Kang also reported a new wireless MagSafe Charger that may be used in a yet-to-be-announced iPhone case that will charge your phone on the go.

Camera

Cameras are a major deciding factor for new phones, especially with diminishing points of difference between releases.

Prosser also said the ‘budget’ iPhone 12 and 12 Max will come with dual camera setups, while the two expensive models will come with triple rear cameras. Just how big these lenses are and what fancy features they come with is still unknown but expect big things given it’s Apple.

Update October 12: Just a few days out from the launch and the latest rumours suggest some camera-related upgrades in the iPhone 12.

According to leaker Max Weinbech (@PineLeaks), a redesigned TrueDepth camera system will not be seen on the higher-end models. However, he has said there will be hardware improvements in this area for the entry-level device.

He also said that FaceID will be getting an upgrade – it is said to be faster and work from more angles. There’s also talk of improvements to the digital zoom. You can read more here.

Update October 13: On the camera front, Kang also had some revelations.

He has said that the regular iPhone 12 and the Mini will come with wide and ultra wide lenses. The Pro will allegedly also have a telephoto lens with 4x optical zoom and a LIDAR sensor for AR. This tracks considering Apple hid an AR Easter Egg in its event invite (if you view it on an iPhone or iPad). As for the Pro Max it will be almost the same, but with 5x optical zoom.

Release date

Update October 7, 2020: Apple has now announced an October 14 launch date for the iPhone 12. You can read all about it here.

Thanks to COVID-19 we have known for awhile now that the iPhone 12 launch would be delayed. This was solidified when Apple ran its customary September event but made the hero products the new Apple Watch and iPad line ups.

But despite the launch date, we still don’t know when the phones will actually ship. There’s no guarantee that it will be in October. Forbes reports a November release is a likely reality given the implications a supply shortage and potential WeChat ban might hold for the company.

To convolute the rumours even further, prominent leaker Evan Blass shared an unnamed telco’s promo indicating a late October pre-order cut off date for our U.S. counterparts.

Update October 13: Kang also had a bit to say about the release dates, and they’re super interesting. If Kang is right, the releases will be staggered. The first cabs off the rank will reportedly be the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro with pre-orders going live around October 16-17 in the U.S. with a release date around the 23rd or 24th.

As for the Mini. Kang said it wouldn’t go on pre-order until November 6-7 in the U.S. The release date is pegged for a week later.

And if you were waiting on the top-of-thje-line iPhone 12 Pro Max, you’ll be waiting the longest. Kang reckons it won’t go on pre-order until the 13-14 of November and will be on sale around the 20-21st. Ouch.

iPhone 12 Australian price

While features and design are enough to make us um and ah, price is the ultimate deciding factor for most of us. Apple’s iPhones are known for being particularly pricey but it hasn’t stopped them from maintaining its large market share.

There have been a few reports of alleged prices for the upcoming iPhone 12 series, including from Prosser himself.

He speculated, from undeclared ‘sources’, that the iPhone 12 would be $US649 ($896), the iPhone 12 Max at $US749 ($1035), the iPhone 12 Pro for $US999 ($1380) and the iPhone 12 Pro Max at $US1,099 ($1,518).

Later speculation suggested the maximum price would see a further $US50 added to Prosser’s estimates.

For reference, the iPhone 11 started from $1,199 when it was released in Australia in September 2019. The 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max each started from $1,749 and $1,899 respectively.

Prosser’s estimates look to be quite low given the 12 series is expected to come with new chips and potentially, 5G capability. It’s also hard to say whether Apple’s Australian prices will be more in line with the 11 series’ prices given how the world’s economy is looking right now and issues with supply lines. One thing you can reasonably expect price-wise is that its budget options won’t really be ‘budget’ if previous years are anything to go by.

Either way, we’ll know soon enough. We hope.

Update October 13: Kang has a few price tags to throw at us, too:

  • iPhone 12 mini: $US699
  • iPhone 12: $US799
  • iPhone 12 Pro: $US999
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: $US1,099

While direct currency conversion is rarely useful for product launches, it does seem like the iPhone 12 Mini will at least come in below $1000, much like the iPhone SE earlier this year.

I guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out.