The iPhone 11 line-up just launched this month, but the rumor mill has already moved on to the iPhone 12. We’re now hearing that the iPhone 12 design could be very reminiscent of the iPhone 4, which was released in 2010. Of course, next year’s models should also contain all of Apple’s latest and greatest features, many of which did not exist yet when the iPhone 4 was released.
Ming-Chi Kuo says iPhone 12 will feature iPhone 4-like design
Well-connected Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, who has correctly predicted details about numerous Apple products, made the revelation in a note seen by MacRumors. Kuo said the iPhone’s design will change “significantly” in 2020.
He predicts that the iPhone 12 line-up will sport a new metal frame with “a more complex segmentation design, new trenching and injection molding procedures, and sapphire or glass cover assembly to protect the trench injection molding structure.” He also expects the front and back 2/2.5D glass to still be used for the iPhone 12, but the surface of the metal frame could look more like the design of the iPhone 4.
The iPhone 4 was the first design to have an exposed aluminum frame with square edges between two pieces of glass. Apple has changed its smartphones quite a bit since then as the iPhone 11 line-up features more rounded corners. The iPhone 11 has an aluminum frame wrapped around the display’s corners in an all-glass case, while the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max have matte glass encased in stainless steel.
Will the iPhone 12 price increase dramatically?
Interestingly, Kuo also talked about pricing. He believes the cost of the iPhone 12’s glass case could rise by 40% to 50%, while the metal frame could cost 50% to 60% more. If Apple chooses tempered glass for the grooved metal cover, then the cost of the chassis could rise by 20% to 30%, while the cost of the metal frame in the middle of the device could increase by 25% to 35%.
It doesn’t sound like he said anything in his note about Apple passing those extra costs on to consumers. It’s hard to imagine that the company won’t pass at least some of the extra expenses on. However, if the bill of materials is really going to increase that much, it seems unlikely that Apple will be able to pass on all of the extra costs. That would make the iPhone 12 line-up unbelievably expensive.
Kuo does expect the iPhone 4-like design to be hugely popular though, possibly boosting shipments to 85 million new iPhones next year from 75 million this year. That suggests that the price probably won’t increase dramatically.
He said in a previous report that he expects the iPhone 12 line-up to ditch the LED panels entirely and include two 5G models.