The coming year, 2020 seems to be a revolutionary year for Apple. Not only is the first 5G iPhone is expected, but the devices will also get a new design. It will be the first major design update since the introduction of the iPhone X in September 2017. Although the Essential Phone was the very first smartphone with a notch, it was the Apple iPhone X that caused smartphone manufacturers to massively switch to integrating a notch at the top of the screen. Thus, the widescreen edges could be reduced.
However, the notch has never been loved by smartphone fans and so manufacturers went in search of new solutions. In order to arrive at a full-screen design, we have now seen numerous alternatives, such as a pop-up camera, a hole-punch camera, and even some dual-display phones.
2020 must be the year that all these alternatives become a thing of the past because the technology is now at such a stage that all the necessary components - such as the fingerprint scanner and the selfie camera - can be processed under the screen. Oppo and Xiaomi have already given a demonstration of an under-screen camera earlier this year. This means that only the receiver will be visible, it is small enough to be processed even in the narrowest screen edges.
iPhone 2020 models
Halfway through this year the rumor arose that Apple will opt for a completely new phone design in 2020. China Times was able to gather revealing information at MWC Shanghai about a Credit Suisse presentation. The Swiss financial services provider reported that Apple suppliers are finalizing the development of a full-screen display for the iPhone 2020.
To achieve a full-screen display, a TrueDepth camera will be processed under the screen. The new Apple iPhone 12 will also have an in-display fingerprint scanner. The Face ID functionality is therefore canceled.
The fingerprint scanner will be placed under the screen for all new iPhone models. The under-screen camera will only be found in the top model, the Chinese publication stated. This sounds plausible. The cheap iPhone 12 models will then be based on the existing iPhone 11 series. Just like in 2017, the iPhone X was given a completely new design, while the simultaneously introduced iPhone 8 (Plus) retained the old design.
iPhone camera and fingerprint scanner under the screen
Apple Inc. has applied for three notable design patents in Japan, showing an iPhone without a notch. The documentation was published by the JPO (Japan Patent Office) on December 23, 2019, and includes four images per patent.
Although the patent mainly concerns the user interface, it is very remarkable that Apple displays this conscious design. All the more so because all previous recent Apple patents simply showed a notch - as can also be seen in the image above, where the right picture comes from a design patent that was granted to Apple Inc. 11 months earlier.
The screen edges are identical on all four sides. The receiver is placed centrally in the middle, in the upper bezel. There is no selfie camera and / or Face ID visible. All essential components are placed under the screen with this model. The 3D face detection function will give way to an in-display fingerprint sensor - a new form of Touch ID. The selfie camera is also placed under the screen.
The design of the screen is also remarkable, it is no longer rounded in the corners. It is a rectangular screen in a round housing. Just like with the iPhone 8 and all previous models.
The button structure is identical to the current iPhone 11. On the right-hand, we see an elongated multifunctional side-button - which among other things serves to switch the phone on and off. On the left, you will find two volume buttons and a small switch to quickly switch between the ring mode and silent mode.
There is no photo of the rear included, so the design of the main camera remains unknown. Judging by the images from the side and top, the camera location seems to remain unchanged. This is still located in the top left corner.
If Apple is actually able to present the first iPhone model with an under-screen camera in 2020, it can put itself back on the map. Although it must be said that Apple will probably not be the first manufacturer to apply this particularly advanced camera technology. The first phone models with a camera under the screen are expected at the end of February, these devices will be exhibited during MWC 2020.
Since the iPhone 2020 models will be introduced around September, Apple will therefore probably not be the very first manufacturer with such an innovative selfie camera. Nonetheless, the loyal Apple fans will undoubtedly be willing to wait half a year longer. Let's hope the technology is ready on time and we don't have to wait another year.
First 5G iPhone arrives in 2020
It is obvious that the new Apple phones will also offer 5G support.
Apple has settled the mutual disputes with Qualcomm, in order to still be able to produce a 5G iPhone in 2020. The company would also have turned to Samsung, which is also capable of supplying the required 5G technology.
For the (medium) long term, Apple appears to be planning to develop its own 5G modem. Halfway through this year, the smartphone modem branch was taken over from Intel for an amount of $ 1 billion USD. In addition to the required technologies, over 2,000 employees of Intel were also taken over.
Price of the new iPhone models
2020 promises to be an innovative year for Apple. However, every medal also has a downside. Because the key question remains; what should this innovative model cost?
It is already being said that the two cheaper models will not have an under-screen camera. It is possible that the iPhone 12 Pro Max will again undergo a considerable price increase. Because you can assume other differences - for example, the main camera configuration - will continue to exist.