MacRumors released a hands-on video and photos of three dummy models of the iPhone 12 series as we got them. There are many reports of people buying dummies on online marketplaces. It can be seen that the bar has been lowered considerably.
It is already theorized that the iPhone 12 series is available in four versions: 5.4-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. That means the three dummies released by MacRumors covered all models in terms of size.
The dummy models are all straight and angular in design, which is in line with the prediction that they will be similar to the flat design of the iPhone 4 from the rounded bodies of the iPhone 6 to the iPhone 11. Not just ancestral, renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that advanced injection shaping techniques would be used.
Now, the focus of this report is the apparent size and the hands-on feel of the device in the hand. The 5.4-inch seems to be the "smallest iPhone" since the original SE. The screen will be larger, but the body size seems to be smaller than the iPhone SE (2nd generation). The in-between 6.1-inch dummy model has the same size screen and body as the iPhone 11. And the 6.7-inch is more than enough for the 6.5-inch screen iPhone 11 Pro Max, the It's going to be the "largest in the series".
Normally, dummy models are made as a benchmark for case makers to design their own cases, so everything else is pretty much out of the ordinary except for the general outline, holes to fit the rear camera bump (protruding), and the position of the SIM slot. Therefore, we don't trust the rear camera configuration, especially the presence or absence of a LiDAR scanner (3D sensor) and the notch on the front side, but for now, those who are looking for something as compact as the original SE or as big as a tablet can expect it to be.
Apple Silicon, Apple's proprietary Arm-based chip for the Mac, is still shrouded in mystery. After the announcement at the WWDC20 keynote, the details of the GPU were explained in a developer session, which raised the possibility that support for third-party GPUs may be discontinued or incompatible.
The official description says that the Apple Silicon has an integrated Apple GPU. While an integrated GPU is not uncommon, they go out of their way to distinguish between "Apple Silicon versions of Macs have Apple GPUs, whereas Intel-based Macs have Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA GPUs." So it gives the impression as if support for discrete GPUs is removed for the former.
Furthermore, there is a sentence in the developer support document that says, "Do not assume that discrete GPUs will provide any performance improvement. This suggests that support for third party eGPUs may remain, while support for discrete GPUs may be thin on the ground.
Some say that Apple's stance of asking developers to "build software within this playing field" with the basic premise of the processor, GPU, and other environments provided by the platform company is a stance that makes the Mac more like a dedicated gaming hardware. While that's good enough for users, it could raise complaints from professionals who demand marginal performance for video processing and other business purposes, so we'll be keeping a close eye on future news related to Apple Silicon.
It's now a truism, based on leaks from various sources, that this year's iPhone 12 will not come with EarPods or a charger. The Nikkei report, which boasts a powerful information network, seems to have conclusively confirmed this theory.
If the aim of eliminating such bundled items includes reducing costs, one might expect the price to come down. However, analysts predict that those expectations are unlikely to be fulfilled.
According to a research note from Jeff Pu, who often sends out iPhone-related predictions, the 5.4 iPhone 12 (i.e., the entry-level model) will cost from $749 and it is expected to cost about $50 more than the previous iPhone 11's $699. The cost increase is said to outweigh the cost decrease, in part because of the 5G support and the switch from LCD to the more expensive OLED display.
In particular, the shift from LCDs to OLEDs is hitting the LCD supply chain even harder than consumers' wallets. Although JDI, whose revenue is derived from Apple, will be severely impacted by this shift, it will not die immediately because it will continue to use LCDs in its lower-priced products (e.g., 2nd generation iPhone SE and entry-level iPad models) - Taiwan's Trendforce says this is the case, but the damage may still be serious.
There was also a leaker report that the iPhone 12 Pro model will have an increase in memory to 6GB. While it looks like it's finally going to reach the low end of the current high-end devices, there is speculation that the company was not able to take the plunge on a large increase in memory due to the burdens of 5G and OLED.
New mini-LED technology is expected to be widely adopted in future Apple product lines Display. The first of these will be the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the subsequent 14-inch/16-inch MacBook Pro and other mini-LED products continue to follow, Taiwanese research firm Trendforce predicts.
Mini-LEDs are a technology used for backlighting, which improves the functionality of LCDs. It can be combined with local dimming (partial drive) technology to turn off only one part of the screen to create black. This allows for improved contrast and dynamic range, as well as power saving. Unlike OLED panels, there is no risk of burnout because they do not contain organic materials. Renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also predicted that six mini-LED-based products will be released between 2020 and 2021.
Above all, Apple's rush to shift to mini-LEDs seems to be inextricably linked to the fact that the entire iPhone 12 series is expected to use OLED displays. Trendforce has previously speculated on Apple's desire to free itself from the constraints of the OLED market, which is under the control of Samsung of South Korea.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which is expected to launch in early 2021, will have 5G support and A14X (an enhanced version of the A14 Bionic SoC, which is expected to be used in the iPhone 12) will also be installed. The iPad Pro (2020) update was modest, but it's likely to be a full redesign.
Apple's proprietary Arm-based chip Apple Silicon, the first Mac to use it is expected to be released by the end of 2020. The details of its release schedule are predicted by renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
As he has stated before, the first Apple Silicon will be a 13-inch MacBook Pro. This means that the 14-inch MacBook Pro (completely new design based on the 13-inch, including narrower bezels), which has been predicted for some time, is off the table again.
What's even more striking is the prediction that the entry-level price of the MacBook Air will be even lower as the cost of switching from Intel to Apple CPUs is reduced. It's also just in time for Trendforce to report that "Apple Silicon is significantly cheaper than Intel chips".
The DTK development kit for the Apple Silicon transition had a better-than-expected benchmark, but it remains to be seen if Apple's proprietary GPU will be able to withstand heavy professional use, such as video processing. It's likely that Apple will be focusing on "cost reduction = price reduction" for a while, so consumers might be wise to get a glimpse of Apple Silicon's performance in the entry-level model first.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.