This iPhone 12 is entering production first of all four models

iPhone 12 5.4-inch with AirPods
(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

We now know which iPhone 12 model will likely be produced first. And there's some bad news for folks planning on getting the entry-level versions of Apple's next phone.

According to a report in Digitimes, volume production for the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 will start in July-August, which will be before the rest of the Apple’s lineup. The report says that that Apple’s iPhone 12 launch for all four models will likely still be in October instead of the usual September event. 

The report also confirms a trade-off we’ve heard previously about the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max. Apparently only the iPhone 12 Pro phones will offer both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G, which enables the fastest speeds.

Meanwhile, the regular iPhone 12 models may only feature sub-6Hz 5G support. This means that you should enjoy faster speeds than LTE, but not the 1Gbps downloads offered by mmWave. 

To be fair, mmWave has very limited range and requires line of sight to nearby 5G nodes. However, Verizon is doubling the number of cities that offer mmWave by the end of the year. And AT&T has also started to roll out mmWave 5G on its network.

Digitimes also says that all four iPhones will come with OLED displays, which we’ve heard previously. Samsung Display has reportedly landed 75% of the OLED panel orders, which includes those for the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and the 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pros. LG Display and BOE are said to share the orders for the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max.

The 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch flexible OLED panels will Samsung’s Y-OCTA Touch technology. That means those handsets won’t require “out-cell touch modules and laminating processes.” The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 models will apparently require out-cell touch modules, but that doesn’t mean the user experience will be any different. 

Other than 5G support, there are other key differences between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models you should know. Based on previous reports, the iPhone 12 will likely feature two cameras (wide and ultra-wide), while the iPhone 12 Pro will get three cameras (wide, ultra-wide and telephoto) plus a LiDAR sensor. And only the iPhone 12 Pro is expected to offer a 120Hz ProMotion display for a smoother refresh rate.

The iPhone 12 is expected to start at $649 and the iPhone 12 Max $749, while the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be priced at $999 and $1,099, respectively. So, despite the trade-offs, we expect many shoppers to gravitate towards the more affordable entry-level iPhone 12s.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.