Images emerged on Chinese social media platform Weibo over the weekend purporting to show display panels for Apple’s upcoming “iPhone 12” lineup. The images also appeared briefly on Slashleaks before being taken down on Monday.
The photos depict what looks like several packed rows of smartphone panels from an assembly line. The panels have the same notch size as the iPhone 11, but seem to show an improved screen to bezel ratio, although it’s possible this could just be down to their pre-assembly appearance.
Despite the hand in the image, it’s not immediately obvious from the photos which size of iPhone 12 that the panels are supposed to be destined for, but Weibo blogger Digital Chat Station claims they are for the 5.4-inch model.
Apple is expected to release four OLED iPhones this fall, including one 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch models, and one 6.7-inch model. Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end devices with triple-lens cameras, while the 5.4 and 6.1-inch models will be lower-end iPhones with dual-lens cameras and a more affordable price tag.
According to Bloomberg, at least two of the high-end iPhones Apple plans to offer in 2020 will have the new design with flat, stainless steel edges instead of curved edges, reminiscent of the design of the iPad Pro.
We’ve heard conflicting rumors about the size of the notch on these new “iPhone 12” devices. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg believe that at least one new iPhone in 2020 will feature a smaller front camera lens for an improved screen to bezel ratio, ultimately resulting in a smaller notch at the front.
Leaked images said to depict the iPhone 12 have also pictured a notch that is approximately 1/3 smaller than the current notch on iPhones. Meanwhile alleged iPhone 12 schematics that surfaced in April have suggested Apple will implement a smaller notch by integrating the front speaker for the device into the bezel. The updated hardware layout also features the ambient light and proximity sensors moved to a more central position within the TrueDepth camera system.
However, other alleged leaked CAD images have suggested Apple’s new devices will have the same size of notch and triple-lens camera layout as found on the current iPhone 11 Pro series. CAD images of unreleased iPhones shared online are usually presented as official designs leaked from production factories, but are often made by case makers themselves to predict the design of unreleased devices.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple plans to launch its iPhone 12 lineup in 2020, but mass production on the devices will be delayed for around a month.
Apple supplier Broadcom believes the 2020 iPhone models will be delayed for several weeks, and will launch later than usual in the fall.