iPhone 12 leak reveals good news and bad news about design

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone 12, at least according to the rumors, is meant to be a huge step up in comparison to this year’s already great iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. We were therefore expecting a big design refresh to for what's expected to be one of the best phones of the year.

However, that idea has been thrown into doubt by news that the iPhone 12 will actually look quite a lot like the iPhone 11. The good news is that the iPhone 12 may have a thinner profile while offering larger displays.

Taller iPhone 12 with thinner body

This information has come from Mac Otakara (via Apple Insider), which cites a rumor within the Asian supply chain that provides Apple with the components for the devices it designs.

Mac Otakara reports some of the dimensions of the iPhone 12. The 5.4-inch model will be sized between the iPhone SE and the iPhone 8, while the 6.1-inch model will be smaller than the iPhone 11 but larger than the iPhone 11 Pro, which fits with the rumor that Apple will be making the iPhone a taller and narrower handset. Unsurprisingly, the largest 6.7-inch model will be larger than the current largest 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max.

In addition, the source provided one more precise measurement, saying the iPhone 12 series will have an average depth of 7.4mm (0.29 inches), which also marks a slight size reduction from the existing iPhone 11 range, which has a depth of between 0.32 and 0.33 inches. This is good, but perhaps a more drastic change would help differentiate what is meant to be the first 5G iPhone, and the first iPhone launched since designer Jony Ive left the company, from what came directly before.

Design too much like iPhone 11?

Mac Otakara also says that the iPhone 12’s chassis will closely resemble the iPhone 11’s, except for the sizes. The iPhone 11 series ranges in size from the 5.8-inch 11 Pro to the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max, whereas recent rumors for the iPhone 12 is rumored to span 5.4 inches to 6.7 inches.

Previous expectations, including those by respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, have said that the iPhone 12 will look very different, in part due to a new frame design and new manufacturing processes. Some rumors, picked up on by render artists, have predicted a metal-railed design similar to that of the iPhone 4. However, it looks like we’ll be getting another iPhone with slightly rounded metal edges based on this report.

There’s much more to learn about the iPhone 12 from the current crop of rumors and leaks. If you aren’t up to speed, our frequently updated iPhone 12 rumors hub has everything you need to know.

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.