Why You Should Skip iPhone 11 for the iPhone 12

(Image credit: Concept Creator)

Sales for the iPhone X were worse than expected. The iPhone XS has struggled and sales are dropping at record pace. And analysts are expecting that the iPhone 11 will be a yawner and with disappointing sales. Clearly, the iPhone 12 in 2020 will be the one to get.

Perhaps that’s why the rumor mill is burning with 2020 iPhone speculation, wishful thinking, and alleged leaks. Here are all the reasons why you should skip the iPhone 11 and get the one in 2020.

iPhone 12 will be a new design (allegedly without notch)

The iPhone X and iPhone XS were an improvement and brought Apple closer to a full screen. But don't get expect a wow design for the iPhone 11. In fact, it could be getting worse. Tech YouTuber Marque Brownlee called dummy units of the iPhone 11 “underwhelming.” 

According to industry master Ming-Chi Kuo, the 2020 iPhone will be a complete redesign. In fact, there’s a persistent rumor of a smaller full-screen iPhone a little bit bigger than the iPhone 5 — but with a screen as big as the iPhone X.

This may be the first time Apple breaks with a long tradition of using the S year models as guts-only upgrades, but Apple needs to release a new design so good that people can’t avoid lusting after it.

The departure of Jony Ive may catalyze the change. Hopefully we will see a return to the classic iPhone 4 lines — perhaps the best industrial design ever to come out of Apple after the original Macintosh.

Or maybe there will be something completely new. We don’t really know. We can only hope it gets rid of the notch — as the rumors point out — by using the same under-display sensor technology that Chinese Android manufacturers are already using in commercial products

The iPhone 12 will have 5G

Reportedly, the iPhone 11 won’t. If you want to connect to the fastest network ever and enjoy demonic download speeds, 2020 is your only choice, with two or possible three 5G enabled iPhones.

Apple couldn't nail down a 5G modem for the iPhone 11, but the company's truce with Qualcomm paves the way for a 5G iPhone next year. So far in our 5G speed tests, we've seen speeds as high as 1 Gbps. But it's going to take until the end of 2020 (at least) to see widespread coverage.

All screens will reportedly be OLED

There’s no reason to use LCD anymore, really. Especially if you are charging top dollar for your phones (the iPhone XR uses an LCD screen and it’s more expensive than better top-of-the-line OLED-based Androids). And in any case, Apple has to pay penalties for not using all the manufacturing capacity that it agreed with Samsung. They need to use those panels.

A ToF sensor on the main camera

That unsightly iPhone 11 camera patch has three sensors, but it will still be behind what the best Android phones are doing today. According to the rumor mill, you won't see a 5X optical zoom on the iPhone 11 and no Time-of-Flight sensor for depth sensing.

According to a new report by Digitimes, the 2020 iPhone will have this sensor — one that can work capturing depth on large areas. This will allow the phone to do some really neat depth-of-field photography tricks, but also to have advanced augmented reality features, like placing AR objects behind real objects. The sensor will also apparently track multiple subjects and faces, instead of only one, like the current FaceID camera.

Who cares about the processor when you can’t take advantage of it?

As usual with every new flagship, there will be a new processor in the iPhone 11. There are no details about the new 7-nanometer A13 Bionic’s performance boost or energy savings, but does it really matter for 99% of the mundane things you do with your phone? Unless you factor in things like the aforementioned advanced AR features — which require a ToF sensor — there’s not much use for all that extra power. And users care more about design and features than specs.

iPhone 2020 may have full-screen Touch ID

Again catching up with the Android phones, two years later. But better late than never. Apple will reportedly move towards a design that will enable Touch ID on the entire display. People who hate FaceID — myself included — would be able to just use their finger. As it should be.

iPhone 12 may have a much better, longer lasting battery

According to Kuo, Apple is actively working on better batteries with more capacity, longer life, and faster charging. While the iPhone 11 will probably see the first results, it will be the 2020 iPhone that will probably enjoy the biggest boost.

It's worth noting that no iPhone cracked the top 10 list of phones with the best battery life.

Android phones are really advancing fast in this front, with massive 4,000mAh batteries that charge in minutes. Fortunately, Apple seems to be taking this seriously at last.


Clearly, whatever happens with iPhone 11, things need to dramatically change in 2020 if Apple wants to prevent falling sales and market share

With Android phones beating Apple in every category — from battery capacity to camera performance to design — except raw processor benchmarks, Apple should really step up its game. With the iPhone 11 already set in stone, 2020 seems like the best (and maybe last) opportunity to do so.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.