Apple iPhone 12 and 12 Pro release date, rumours, news and features

The annual refresh of the iPhone is one of the biggest events in tech: it’s the phone that many aspire to own, one that sets trends and the phone that all others are looking to better.

While leaks and rumours are nothing new to the tech world, getting information about new Apple devices is fairly rare. They don’t tend to leak as comprehensively as a Samsung or Google phone – but we’re gathering up everything we hear about the new iPhone right here. We’ve also got a separate round-up for the iPhone 5G talking about when a fully 5G iPhone may or may not appear. We believe that the iPhone 12 will have 5G, but there is a chance it may be restricted to, say, the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max rather than being available on all devices.

Apple iPhone 12 release date

  • September 2020

Typically Apple holds its iPhone event in the second week of September and normally on a Tuesday. The company followed the same pattern for the 2019 iPhones – announcing them on 10 September 2019.

If the company follows suit again in 2020, we’d expect 8 September 2020 to be a good bet for the launch event of the iPhone 2020.

One unknown is around the spread of coronavirus and the effect it could have on new tech launches later in the year – including the iPhone 12.

Because of travel restrictions and reduced production capacity, it’s very unclear how the current global situation will affect things. There have been a few rumours suggesting a month delay meaning a late October launch, but the truth is it’s a complete unknown at present.

What will the iPhone 2020 be called?

  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Max
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
Pre-2017, it was pretty easy to predict what the next iPhone would be called. Following the iPhone 3G up to the iPhone 8, Apple used sequential numbers and that was that. With the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max having launched in 2019, it’s pretty likely the 2020 iPhones will be called the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Whether there will be separate naming for 5G models, it’s hard to tell, but we suspect not. There could be an additional model added, leading to an iPhone 12 Max too. This could also be an iPhone 5G sitting further up the range alternatively. It seems likely we are going to get four phones though.

Apple iPhone 12 design

  • All new design
  • Squarer edges?
The Apple iPhone 12 models are reported to be coming with a new design, according to rumours. It’s not yet clear what the design might be – though some renders show squarer edges compared to the rounded edges we have been used to since the iPhone 6. Supply chain sources have suggested that the phones will be slightly larger, due to larger displays, but thinner overall than the 2019 models. We’re hoping to see a reduced notch for the 2020 models – or no notch at all – and we hope the frosted matte glass rear from the 11 Pro models returns as it is beautiful in the flesh. There has been a patent filed for a notch-less phone, but how Face ID would be accommodated remains a puzzle. Rumours are actually saying that there will be four iPhone models – two sizes for the Pro and two sizes for the regular model – meaning a wider range of price points, and potentially a cheaper entry point.

Apple iPhone 12 displays

  • All OLED
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Different sizes

Rumours suggest that all 2020 iPhones will have an OLED display. Currently, the iPhone 11 has an LCD display, while the Pro models have OLED. There’s also reports of a variable refresh rate with a 120Hz refresh rate reported that can drop down to 60hz when necessary.

Apparently we might get a 5.4-inch model, a 6.1-inch model and a 6.7-inch in place of the 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch and 6.5-inch models we have at the moment. There may be two versions of the 6.1-inch handset, one a standard iPhone 12 and the other an iPhone 12 Pro.

Some speculation also suggests in-display fingerprint sensors although we think that’s probably innacurate.

Apple iPhone 12 cameras

  • 3D Depth cameras
  • Night Mode improvements likely

There have also been predictions of a quad camera on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, with a ToF sensor or Lidar sensor as in the 2020 iPad Pro. However, the general consensus is for there to be a triple camera again but yes, with a new sensor. As well as portrait mode, the new sensor will also help with ARKit apps. 

  • What is LIDAR and why is it in the new Apple iPad?

We also expect to see more improvements to Night Mode and it’s predicted that Apple might be adding a 3D-sensing laser array to make Portrait mode even better. 

For the front camera, it’s been reported that Face ID will have a wider field-of-view. 

Apple iPhone 12 hardware and software

  • 5G
  • A14 chip
  • iOS 14

Most reports suggest Apple will adopt 5G connectivity for the iPhone 12. Reports are suggesting that all models will have a 5G option and Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon has said that getting 5G into the iPhone is now a priority. Qualcomm has recently announced the X60 modem and a new antenna – more on that below. 

The most likely scenario at present – we think – is that the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max will be 5G. Whether the standard iPhone 12 will be is more of a debate and will unlikely still be an unknown as we approach September.  

We expect to see the A14 chip under the hood of the iPhone 12 models, with all offering the same hardware and we expect to see them all launch on iOS 14, which we will likely hear more about at Apple’s developer event in June.

We also expect all three models to feature the U1 chip – which brings enhanced short-range location and sharing.