Rumor Roundup: Everything We Know About the iPhone 12 Pro & 12 Pro Max

Everything We Know About the iPhone 12 Pro & 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are great upgrades to the iPhone XS and XS Max, introducing an excellent camera system, A13 Bionic chip, and new design choices. Still, there's a sentiment in the smartphone community that Apple didn't do enough with the 11 line to warrant an upgrade from the 2018 iPhones. Based on the latest rumors, it appears 2020 is looking to change that.

If you're looking for rumors about an iPhone 11 successor, as in Apple's "cheaper" iPhone option, you'll want to keep an eye out for the iPhone 12. The rumors here concern only the "Pro" iPhone line. You know, the iPhones we expect to cost $1,000 and up.

Jump to a section: Names | Dates | Storage | Prices | Body | Basics | Display | Performance | Battery | Cameras | Audio | Sensors | Connectivity | Security | Software | In the Box

Names

Apple used to have it easy when it came to naming conventions. Introduce a new number every one year, tack an "S" on it the next. Rinse and repeat. Then, the iPhone X came along the same year as the iPhone 8. Where do you go from there? XS, XS Max, and XR, apparently. Last year brought some sanity back to the mix — iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max are easy enough to follow. So what about 2020?

For the longest time, there were no good rumors yet about what Apple was leaning towards for names. We decided to go with iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max just for the time being, but that might end up being right on the money. According to Jon Prosser, Apple is going with iPhone 12 Pro for the smaller Pro model, and iPhone 12 Pro Max for the larger model.

  • iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

Side note, get used to seeing Prosser's name a lot throughout this piece. The noted Apple leaker unveiled a laundry list of major iPhone rumors on Monday, May 11, so we'll be sharing those throughout.

Dates

Let's face it — it's way too early to know when the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max will be announced. It's usually too early in the weeks leading up to the event, let alone months. Add in uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus outbreak, which Apple admitted will affect Q2 revenue, and it simply isn't clear what will happen this year with the iPhone's release.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is about one month behind on iPhone 12 production. The report doesn't confirm if Apple is planning a launch outside of September, but based on that information, it seems possible the earliest we'll see an iPhone 12 launch is October, if not November.

  • Announcement date: possibly September 2020, likely October or November
  • Preorder date: possibly September 2020, likely October or November
  • Release date: possibly September 2020, likely October or November

Storage

Apple has made strides in the past few years in the storage department, dropping the terrible 16 GB base storage option in favor of 64 GB. That said, we've wanted to see Apple go even further. Make 128 GB standard for the base model iPhones, then up it to 256 GB. We don't even have a 128 GB option at the moment — it just right from 64 GB to 256 GB, for a considerable fee.

According to Prosser, our prayers might just be answered. Prosser claims Apple is making 128 GB the default storage option for all new iPhones this year, not just the Pros. If you opt for a 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max, you'll also have the option to upgrade to 256 GB or even 512 GB.

  • Storage available: likely 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
  • Expandable storage: no

Prices

When it comes to the Pro iPhone models, we all know what Apple's going to do — $999 minimum for the 12 Pro and $1,099 for the 12 Pro Max. That's the price Apple's set for its premium iPhone since the X. Look, it's not within the realm of impossibility that Apple toys with a price reduction. The iPhone 11, after all, costs $100 less than the iPhone XR's original price. Still, we expect the brick price tag to remain the same.

Prosser confirmed these base prices with his latest leak, plus prices for additional storage sizes. The iPhone 12 Pro will go for $999, $1,099, and $1,299, while the 12 Pro Max will run $1,099, $1,199, and $1,399. Those additional storage prices are actually cheaper respectively than the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max upgrades, which is always nice to see.

  • iPhone 12 Pro Price: likely $999, $1,099, and $1,299
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max Price: likely $1,099, $1,199, and $1,399
  • AppleCare+: likely $199 or $299 (or $9.99 or $14.99 each month)

Body

The 2020 iPhones could be the biggest design change since the iPhone X, a welcome change for all of us a bit bored with the three-year-old design. Interestingly, we might see an iPhone that resembles the 4 and 5, as well as recent iPad Pros — more square than round, with raised sides. You can see that in these designs by PhoneArena, based on design reports by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Prosser claims the body will be stainless steel for the Pros.

Image by PhoneArena/YouTube

We'll talk more about the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max's 5G capabilities down below, but for the time being, know that the rumors point to a larger antenna line design to accommodate this new technology. The antenna lines could be made from glass, ceramic, or sapphire, and will come in at 1.83 mm, an increase over the 11 Pro's 1 mm antennas.

We might also see a smart connector on the new iPhones, similar to what we get an iPad Pros. What would this be connector be for? That remains to be seen. An Apple Pencil for iPhone has been rumored for years at this point, so a smart connector could be used for that purpose. Until we get more information, however, we won't know for sure. All we do know is this connector appears in the leaked 12 Pro Max CAD, as seen below.

Image by EverythingApplePro/YouTube
  • Frame: stainless steel
  • Back: likely glass
  • Finish: unknown

Basics

This year is new for us as far as dimensions are concerned. In the past, we could assume Apple would keep the measurements somewhat similar, but considering this year's design refresh, we'll likely see some more significant changes in that department.

EverythingApplePro tweeted schematics on April 16 shedding light on the dimensions for the 12 Pro Max, specifically. These schematics compare the body of the 12 Pro Max to the 11 Pro Max, and we do see a difference. According to the tweet, the 12 Pro Max will come in at 7.39 mm thin, 0.71 mm thinner than the 11 Pro Max.

In addition, EverythingApplePro shows off a schematic that suggests the 12 Pro Max will have a height of 160.84 mm and a width of 78.09 mm. That would represent a 2.89 mm increase in height and a 0.25 mm increase in width over the 11 Pro Max.

Image by EverythingApplePro/YouTube
  • Height: possibly 160.84 mm
  • Width: possibly 77.84 mm
  • Depth: possibly 7.39 mm
  • Weight: unknown
  • Dust/water resistance: likely IP68 under IEC standard 60529
  • Mobile network operators: likely AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon

For the environmental operating requirements, it's been the same since the iPhone 7, so we don't expect any change.

  • Operating temp: 32° to 95° F
  • Nonoperating temp: -4° to 113° F
  • Relative humidity: 5–95% noncondensing
  • Operating altitude: up to 10,000 feet (though could be more)

Display

The 2019 iPhone lineup features recycled device sizes — the iPhone 11 Pro copies the same screen size as both the iPhone XS and X, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max has the same size displays as the XS Max.

Prosser confirms the rumors we've seen for months — the 12 Pro will come in at 6.1 inches, while the 12 Pro Max will see a jump to 6.7 inches. These displays will both use Super Retina XDR OLED panels made by Samsung, and come with 10-bit Color Depth, all of which offers a decent contrast to the cheaper iPhone 12 and 12 Max.

While Prosser confirms the sizes in his rumor leak, he was far from the first to discuss these specifications. One prediction from Kuo suggested the 2020 lineup would feature https://[www.macrumors.com/2019/06/17/5-4-inch-and-6-7-inch-iphones-2020-kuo/ refreshed screen sizes for the two premium models. The 11 Pro Max successor could see a jump in size from 6.5 inches to 6.7, while the 11 Pro successor could see a reduction from 5.7 inches to 5.4.

If you listened to Kuo later, however, the 12 Pro was to come in at 6.1 inches. A more recent prediction from the analyst suggested that Apple plans to release four iPhones this year; one 5.4-inch, two 6.1-inch, and one 6.7-inch model. The former two will include two cameras, suggesting they're the "budget" options, while the latter two will feature three cameras, suggesting they're the "Pro" versions.

In addition, EverythingApplePro showed the 12 Pro Max's bezels will shrink considerably compared to the 11 Pro Max. The 12 Pro Max's bezels will be 1.55 mm thin, much smaller than the 2.52 mm bezels found on the 11 Pro Max. The new screen will reach 72.73 mm from edge to edge, 3.92 mm larger than the 11 Pro Max's 68.81 mm.

Image by EverythingApplePro/YouTube

Have you been holding out for higher refresh rates? 2020 might be your year. Apple leaker Ice Universe claims Apple is thinking about a variable display that can alternate between 60 Hz and 120 Hz.

To add support to these rumors, Max Weinbach and EverythingApplePro confirm Apple's intention to include 120 Hz displays this year, but only for iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. They claim Apple is updating iOS to support this variable refresh, which would switch between 60 Hz and 120 Hz when needed to save on battery life.

Another major rumor? Economic Daily reports Apple is considering implementing in-display fingerprint reader in the 2020 iPhones. In-display fingerprints aren't new — Samsung, OnePlus, and other major OEMs have added this technology to their flagships in recent years. It would, however, be a major step for Apple. Face ID became the standard for dealing with authentication in iOS, although Apple did reintroduce Touch ID with the new iPhone SE in 2020.

Speaking of Face ID, Weinbach and EverythingApplePro claim Apple will improve the tech with the latest batch of iPhones. The biggest update? Face ID should have a larger scanning range that it currently does. That was an update for last year's iPhones as well, although we didn't notice a huge difference. EverythingApplePro doesn't think these new iPhones will be able to unlock when flat on a table, but hopefully the greater range of scanning will make unlocking your iPhone even easier.

Another Face ID update, according to Weinbach and EverythingApplePro, could include Face ID compatibility when using your iPhone is landscape mode. The duo claims Apple has filed a patent for the idea, where your iPhone would switch its Face ID scanning capabilities depending on which orientation your iPhone was in.

Finally, let's talk notches. Yes, the notch. First introduced with the iPhone X in 2017, the notch was famously mocked for its design, then copied by almost every smartphone OEM in the world. Nowadays, OEMs have found workarounds to reduce or even eliminate this notch design. Will Apple do the same? Tough to say. Some reports show Apple planning a design much like the recent iPad Pros, with the Face ID cameras tucked away in the thin bezel at the top of the display. Others, however, point to a smaller notch, which provides extra screen real-estate, but still looks odd compared to recent Galaxy or OnePlus phones.

Lately, however, it seems more and more likely that Apple will shrink the notch in the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. Jon Prosser shared a supposed schematic of the new design, which shows a notch about one half the size of the current cutout. How does Apple manage this? By moving the speaker into the top frame of the iPhone, outside of the notch area. Other smartphone OEMs have made this move, but it would be a first for Apple.

  • Screen size: 5.4 inches or 6.1 inches (12 Pro) and 6.7 inches (12 Pro Max)
  • Screen resolution: unknown
  • Pixel density: likely 458 ppi
  • Screen type: likely OLED, Super Retina XDR
  • HDR: likely Dolby Vision and HDR10
  • Notch: likely yes
  • Screen-to-body ratio: currently unknown
  • Aspect ratio: likely 19.5:9
  • Minimum brightness: Unknown
  • Maximum brightness: likely 1,200 nits
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz, possbily 120 Hz
  • Color temperature: Unknown
  • 3D Touch: likely no

Performance

At this point, we know Apple is going to put its latest chipset into the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. TSMC is reported to be nearing production on the A14, a continuation of the A13 Bionic chip found in last year's devices. Rumors also point to the chip being 5 nanometer in size, which could make it the first of its kind to hit the market.

Johnny Cross of Macworld believes the A14 could match the 15-inch MacBook Pro's power, which would be an incredible achievement for Apple's mobile chipset. Cross says if the A14 really packs in 15-billion transistors, he could see the new iPhones breaking 5,000 on Geekbench's multi-core score, the same score territory the 15-inch MacBook Pro currently holds.

Prosser adds that Apple is planning on 6 GB of RAM for the 12 Pro models, the largest amount of memory ever in an iPhone.

  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Processor: likely Apple A14
  • Chip size: likely 7 nanometer
  • Coprocessor: unknown
  • CPU frequency: unknown
  • CPU cores: unknown
  • GPU: Apple-designed (unknown model)
  • GPU cores: unknown

Battery

Rumors suggest the 2020 iPhones could see larger batteries due to new circuitry. How much larger those batteries may be is unclear, but thanks to a smaller module inside the new iPhones, there might be more room to expand battery size.

  • Battery: likely rechargeable lithium-ion
  • Capacity: Unknown
  • Wireless charging: likely yes, Qi standard (7.5 W)
  • Charging port: likely Lightning
  • Wired charging: likely yes, USB PD (18 W)

Cameras

According to Kuo, the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max will exclusively ship with 3D "Time of Flight" (ToF) cameras. This type of camera system allows for greater application of AR, a field that Apple has been pushing for years now.

Depending on who you ask, the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max might come with either three or four cameras. According to Kuo, the Pros will sport a triple-camera system similar to those on the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. At the same time, other reports suggest the fourth camera could be the ToF camera mentioned above. Kuo also reports that high-end smartphones in 2020 will feature longer optical zooms, although he doesn't specify if the iPhone will be among them.

Image by PhoneArena/YouTube

Weinbach and EverythingApplePro claim the telephoto lens will, in fact, receive 3x optical zoom, as Apple debates adding 20x or even 30x digital zoom to the package. They also suggest Smart HDR will get an upgrade, thanks to the power of the A14 chip. New features could include better noise reduction in low light.

The latest CAD leak also suggests Apple will go with a triple-camera system, but at first glance you could mistake it for four cameras. That fourth "camera" will actually be a LiDAR scanner, basically an upgrade ToF sensor used for enhanced augmented reality. This wouldn't be a surprising addition, considering the newest iPad Pros shipped with LiDAR sensors in their camera modules.

DigiTimes claims that Apple will be adding "sensor-shift" stabilization to the pro iPhones this year, which brings stabilization directly to the camera sensor itself.

Other than that, there's not much out there about any of the new cameras. For now, we simply must expect an upgrade of some sort, alongside carrying the quality of the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max's camera.

Front Camera

  • Resolution (Photos): likely at least 12 MP
  • Resolution (Videos): likely 1080p and 4K
  • Max frame rate: likely 60 fps for 1080p and 4K
  • Slow motion: likely yes, 1080p at 120 fps
  • Aperture: likely at least ƒ/2.2
  • Zoom: unknown
  • Flash: likely screen-based
  • Image stabilization: likely software-based
  • RAW support: likely no
  • Object detection: likely bodies, faces, winks, tongues

Rear Camera (Photos)

  • Resolution: likely at least 12 MP (wide-angle), 12 MP (telephoto), 12 MP (ultrawide)
  • Aperture: likely at least f/1.8 (wide-angle), f/2.0 (standard), f/2.4 (ultrawide)
  • Zoom: possibly 3x optical, possibly 20x or 30x digital
  • Flash: likely Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync
  • Image stabilization: possibly sensor-shift, wide-angle and telephoto
  • Time of Flight lens: likely yes
  • RAW support: likely yes
  • Lens cover: likely sapphire crystal
  • Object detection: likely bodies, faces
  • Formats: likely HEIF, JPEG, RAW
  • HDR: likely Smart HDR

Rear Camera (Video)

  • Resolution: likely 720p, 1080p and 4K
  • Max frame rate: likely 30 fps for 720; 60 fps for 1080p and 4K
  • Slow motion: likely yes, 1080p at 120 or 240 fps
  • Time-lapse: likely yes, with stabilization
  • Photos: likely at least 8 MP stills while recording 4K
  • Zoom: likely at least 4x optical, 6x digital
  • Flash: likely Quad-LED True Tone flash
  • Image stabilization: possibly sensor-shift
  • Lens cover: likely sapphire crystal
  • Object detection: likely bodies, faces
  • Audio: likely stereo sound
  • Formats: likely H.264, H.65 (HEVC)

Audio

We might see some better speakers on this year's iPhones. According to a source of Max Weinbach, the speakers used in the new Pros will be 10–15% louder than last year. We're always excited to see better speakers in our iPhones, so we hope this rumor turns out to be true.

Image by EverythingApplePro/YouTube

It's safe to say the headphone jack isn't coming back (neither is the adapter).

  • 3.5 mm headphone jack: likely no
  • Stereo speakers: likely yes
  • Mics: likely three total (on rear, front, and bottom)
  • Max speaker volume: unknown

Sensors

We expect the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max to carry on the sensors of its predecessors.

  • Sensors: GPS, barometer, accelerometer, three-axis gyroscope, proximity sensor, barometer, digital compass

Connectivity

While some were disappointed by the lack of 5G in the 2019 lineup of iPhones, 2020 seems to be another story altogether. According to Kuo, the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max will feature 5G connectivity for both mmWave and sub-6 GHz bands, increasing the lifespan of the devices with regards to connectivity speeds. That's backed up by reports that Apple is implementing wider antennas in the design to compensate for 5G. A new rumor even suggests that only the US versions of the iPhone 12 line will even get 5G.

That said, Kuo has some doubters. Analyst Susquehanna claims that only sub-6 GHz bands will be supported this year, with mmWave technology coming to future iPhones. The latter supports speeds of up to 1 Gbps, while the former supports a range between 100–150 Mbps. Kuo subsequently followed up with a later report confirming support for mmWave 5G, appearing confident in his earlier statement.

Why did it take Apple so long to implement 5G in the first place? CNET notes that waiting an extra year could have made things a lot easier for Apple. 5G phones need both a 5G chip and 5G modem inside, whereas future chips (like the one built for a 2020 iPhone) could combine these functions into one.

  • Wi-Fi: likely 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
  • Bluetooth: likely 5
  • NFC: likely yes
  • Cellular: likely dual Nano-SIM card tray, Gigabit-class LTE and 5G
  • Port: likely Lightning
  • Other: likely iBeacon microlocation, AirPlay, AirDrop

Security

The only rumored upgrade in security this year revolves around the in-display fingerprint reader. Face ID appears unlikely to change unless we see reports of Apple improving its technology. Right now, Face ID has a "one-in-a-million" chance of failure according to Apple, so it will be interesting to see how secure its new in-display fingerprint scanning is by comparison.

USB restricted mode will surely be present as well. The feature prevents third-party devices from connecting to your iPhone via USB and extracting your data. When the feature is enabled, you need a passcode to authenticate yourself when plugging your iPhone into a computer.

  • Security: possibly Face ID, Touch ID, and USB restricted mode

Software

The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max will most likely be running iOS 14, which Apple will probably have been testing since June 2020's WWDC. However, given any hiccups or advancements with the software, Apple could ship the new iPhones with a later build of iOS 14, something like iOS 14.0.1 or 14.1.

  • Software: likely iOS 14

Built-in features will likely include Wi-Fi or cellular FaceTime video calls, FaceTime audio, voice over LTE (VoLTE), Wi-Fi calling, and full Siri support. A variety of language options, QuickType keyboard, Siri, dictation, dictionaries, and spell check, will also likely be available.

The following audio files will probably be supported — AAC-LC, HE-AAC, HE-AAC v2, Protected AAC, MP3, Linear PCM, Apple Lossless, FLAC, Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), Dolby Atmos, and Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+) files. Video playback support likely includes HEVC, H.264, MPEG-4 Part 2, and Motion JPEG, as well as High Dynamic Range with Dolby Vision and HDR10 content.

In the Box

AirPods, anyone? There's a rumor going around that Apple is going to include its wireless earbuds in the box with your iPhone 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max. Would that raise prices? Who knows! All I know is, I assumed that was the plan when Apple announced AirPods to begin with. I guess they preferred taking an extra $159 from its users. Go figure.

Other than AirPods, we expect the rest of the iPhone box to stay the same:

Keep Your Connection Secure Without a Monthly Bill. Get a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for all your devices with a one-time purchase from the new Gadget Hacks Shop, and watch Hulu or Netflix without regional restrictions.

Buy Now (80% off) >

Cover image by PhoneArena/YouTube

Daily iPhone Hacks

Direct to your inbox.

Be the First to Comment

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest