A new set of images of the next iPhone show that 2020 will be a game-changer for the line’s industrial design. This new version of the iPhone, likely called iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, will have a design that merges the most beloved elements of the past several generations. That includes the flat, single-panel backside, the uniquely shaped display up front (complete with a collection of cameras/sensors), and a set of flat sides. This is a new generation of iPhone, to be sure.
The imagery leaked today shows what’s included in the front-facing collection of sensors, speakers, and cameras. Before now, this “notch” section included an infrared camera, flood illuminator, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, speaker / microphone, a single front camera, and a dot projector. Now it’ll include an infrared camera, flood illuminator, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, speaker/microphone, a single front camera, and a dot projector.
But wait, you might be saying – isn’t that the same list of items that were in the device before? Yes, pretty much. Where the microphone previously noted as a separate element in Apple’s official layout on Apple.com, here we see the speaker shown as a single element – but the microphone is in that one shape. By the time we get Apple’s take on the layout in official consumer-facing graphics, we might well get an indicator for the exact location of the microphone.
The layout and spacing of the elements we see here show a maturing of technology. There’s less need for space in-between individual elements, so the “notch” can shrink in size significantly. Not that Apple’s trying to get rid of the notch altogether – but still, it’s definitely less of a major factor in the aesthetic of the phone.
This next-generation iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, etc., will have a far more svelte look to it. Where the space from the display to the very end of the phone was nearly as big as the (then larger) notch area, now the space between the display and the edge of the phone is smaller even than the notch, which itself is significantly smaller than the original notch.
The iPhone 12 collection will – if precedent acts as indicator – be revealed in September of 2020. The devices will likely launch inside of October of 2020. A lot of elements here remeain unknown largely because of the global pandemic to which we are all currently subject. At the same time, Apple DID launch an iPhone SE this year – so we’ll see!