iPhone 12 leak reveals big design upgrade — meet the mini notch

(Image credit: Jon Prosser)

The iPhone 12's notch design has been leaked on Twitter. Yes, it's still there, but thanks to Apple moving components around, it should be the smallest it's ever been.

Apple insider Jon Prosser tweeted a pair of images showing how the next iPhone's notch will look. The big change to note here is that the speaker, currently placed in the center of the notch on the iPhone 11, is moved out and into the phone's top bezel. 

This move would enable Apple to reduced the notch's width significantly, giving much-needed space back to the display.

Looking at this design, you might be wondering where the microphone fits into all of this. This is something several Twitter users asked Prosser, to which he replied that it's built into the speaker, but he hadn't annotated it as such. "Focus is mainly trying to label the hardware in the notch," he explained.

iPhone 12 notch design

(Image credit: Jon Prosser)

The bad news for some will be that Apple is still sticking with the notch. This makes some sense since it's apparently unwilling to drop Face ID for its flagship iPhones, no matter what some fans are demanding. The TrueDepth 3D camera needed for Face ID is apparently no so easily shrunk.

Android flagship users are likely chuckling to themselves, having had phones with smaller waterdrop or punch-hole notches available for a couple of years now, with companies like Samsung, Xiaomi and Oppo apparently working on under-display selfie cameras, eliminating the need for any notch or bezels on the front of the phone at all.

For iPhone fans, though, this new design would be progress. This will be the first major change to the front of the iPhone since 2017's iPhone X, the only external difference between the models we've seen since being the size of the handset. The iPhone 12 will therefore look more like an upgrade from previous models, which can be just as important as the actual improved features added to the phone.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone 12's design is rumored to be changing in other ways, including flatter sides and a thinner body overall. It should look more like the iPad Pro 2020

Other than this shrunken notch, the iPhone 12 is rumored to come in four different models - two standard and two Pros, with the smallest model being a svelte 5.4 inches and the largest being 6.7 inches. We're also expecting the displays to be OLED across the board, with a 120Hz refresh rate on the Pro versions. 

On the back, we're expecting a fourth sensor in the form of a LiDAR depth sensor to join the existing three cameras on the Pros, and inside there will be a 5G modem a new A14 Bionic CPU to run things smoothly.

From what we know, there's no major delays affecting the launch of the iPhone 12, which likely will make its debut around September this year. However, one rumor has said that the iPhone 12 Pro Max will be held back to October, to compensate for an elongated testing period.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.