apple iphone 12

A man walks inside the Apple store in Hong Kong on October 10, 2019. Photo: AFP/Philip Fong

iPhone 12: Renders, first look and design updates [video]

Apple’s most recent patent documents contain hints as to what we could expect from the iPhone 12 in 2020.

apple iphone 12

A man walks inside the Apple store in Hong Kong on October 10, 2019. Photo: AFP/Philip Fong

Tech insider Benjamin Deskin predicted that Apple may be testing Face ID prototypes with new optics which would significantly reduce the size of the handset. We might have proof of that now.

Apple is reportedly planning to do away with the notch altogether. The notch has formed part of the iPhone’s design since the iPhone X, but Apple might finally be taking a leaf out of Android’s book.

iPhone 12 design: Here’s what we know so far

iPhone 12 redesign

Update 11 January 2020: Apple releases top-of-the-line devices every year, and while we are blown away by the innovative strides the company has taken, the device design remained unchanged.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing – Apple sells tens of millions of devices each quarter so they must be doing something right – but they say a change is as good as a holiday. And it’s about time, too.

Trusted Apple insider, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, claims that Apple will be giving the upcoming iPhone 12 a design overhaul reminiscent of the company’s beloved iPhone 5 model.

Allegedly, the familiar smooth, curved edges of iPhones over the past six years will give way to flat metal edges. Graphic designer Pallav Raj released a concept design based on Kuo’s predictions.

Watch: iPhone 12 concept

New iPhone designs in 2020

Update 31 December: Rumour has it that Apple will shake things up in 2020 and go with a completely different design for its new devices. According to China Times, the new designs will be unveiled at MWC2020 in February.

The report claims that future devices will have a full-screen display, a TrueDepth under-screen camera and an in-display fingerprint scanner on the front of the device, replacing the Face ID feature.

Watch: iPhone 12 Pro introduction

Video via Let’s Go Digital. Updated 28 January.

The fingerprint scanner will be placed under the screen for all new iPhone models. The under-screen camera will allegedly only be found in Apple’s flagship devices, according to China Times.

The budget iPhone 12 models will then be based on the existing iPhone 11 series. This aligns with Apple’s trends; after all, the iPhone X got a design upgrade in 2017 while the iPhone 8 Plus retained the old design.

Camera and fingerprint scanner

The Let’s Go Digital team did some investigating and uncovered three Apple patents, which can be viewed here, here and here. The new designs show an iPhone with a notch.

The patents were published by Japan’s Patent Office (JPO) on 23 December 2019, and includes four images per patent. The new iPhone incorporates an in-display fingerprint sensor and an under-screen camera.

Apple iphone 12
Image via Let’s Go Digital

In addition, the screen edges are identical on all four sides, while the receiver is placed in the middle of the device, in the upper bezel. There is no selfie camera or Face ID option visible. 

The screen design is also remarkable. It is a rectangular screen in a round housing; bye bye rounded corners. Volume buttons are situated to the left, along with a button to quickly switch between ring mode and silent mode.

Concept design: This is what the iPhone 12 could look like

Note: The high-resolution 3D renders used in this article were created by Let’s Go Digital.