The iOS notifications screen is seen on an iPhone on December 4, 2017. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.

The "next flagship iPhone 12(tentative) series will be announced in mid-October" theory is no longer a prediction as supply chain information continues to arrive to support it. The focus may have shifted to what new products will be announced at the same time.

From the iPhone 12 in production 24 hours a day even during the holidays, to the mini-LED-equipped iPad Pro arriving in early 2021, we've got a roundup of the latest Apple rumors.

iPhone 12 mini will only support 4G without 5G, analysts predict

A sign in a store advertises 5G wireless at the Americana at Brand shopping, dining and entertainment mall complex in Glendale, California on June 23, 2020. - California is currently in Phase 3 of reopening following the mid-March lockdown to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP via Getty Images

The mainstream expectation is that all models in this year's iPhone 12 series will have 5G support. However, analysts are predicting that some models will only support 4G without 5G because of the inevitable increase in the cost of a 5G modem chip and the various parts needed to drive it.

The previous year's iPhone 11 entry-level model was a bestseller because of its "high performance for the price". Its successor, the iPhone 12's lowest-priced model, maybe 4G-only, says Tom Forte, an analyst at U.S. bank D.A. Davidson.

The iPhone 12 series is expected to consist of three screen sizes of 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch, with two entry-level models, 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch, and two more expensive Pro models, 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch, for a total of four models. And since screen sizes and price points always correspond, the "lowest-priced iPhone 12" will be the smallest 5.4-inch model, commonly known as the iPhone 12 mini.

However, 5G support for all iPhone 12 models has been rumored since late last year, and there were early predictions that all of them would have the SnapDragon X55 modem chip from Qualcomm on them. Moreover, the iPhone's 5G support comes later than most of its competitors, and it's doubtful that the company will forgo what should be a super-cycle (massive replacement boom) element in the lowest-priced model that's expected to sell the most.

Anyway, if the rumor that it will be announced on October 13 is true, we should know the truth soon. We'll be waiting for Apple's official announcement.

AirPower mini wireless charging mat to appear at the rumored iPhone launch event next month

An AirPower wireless charger is displayed along with other products during an Apple launch event in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Reuters/Stephen Lam

It's been three years since the iPhone X/8/8 Plus (2017) first became wireless charging-enabled, and there are still no original Apple wireless chargers on the market. The AirPower, which was supposed to be the first of its kind, has officially been canceled, but a smaller AirPower mini is rumored to be coming out this fall.

Twitter user Komiya tweeted, "AirPower Mini (name is uncertain) is coming this fall." He has not had a good batting average other than to say the new iMac announcement, but the possibility of a smaller AirPower has been mentioned by famous analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Just recently, a video called "Apple's wireless charger prototype with built-in magnets" was shared.

The original AirPower was designed to charge an iPhone, an AirPods charging case, and an Apple Watch at the same time, of which the Apple Watch's special charging method caused it to heat up, which is believed to be the reason for its cancellation. If that's the case, there shouldn't be any technical issues with a small mat that can only be placed on one unit.

Moreover, it is believed that the iPhone 12 series will not include a power adapter in order to reduce 5G support and transportation costs. A small wireless charging mat may also be available at the iPhone launch event, in a "how about this one too?" way.

Rumor has it that the iPhone 12 is in full production 24 hours a day, including holidays, and will ship from the factory in early October


The Chinese factory of Apple's main assembly supplier Foxconn is now producing the iPhone 12 at full capacity 24 hours a day, according to Hong Kong media. The city of Zhengzhou, Henan province, where the company's largest iPhone plant is located in China, was one of the first to be hit by the threat of the new coronavirus and was on the verge of shutting down, so it's surprising that the plant has recovered so well.

They are being paid enough for such a forced march, with a monthly salary of 5,000-6,000 yuan (about 77,000-93,000 yen) plus a promised extra bonus of about 85,000-100,000 yuan (about 132,000-155,000 yen). In order to ship the iPhone 12 on schedule, production will continue during Chinese holidays, and according to the law, the pay will triple during that time, which is a booming story.

And the "iPhone 12 to start shipping in early October" rumor fits in nicely with the observation that the iPhone launch event is the week of October 13. The rest of the focus is likely to be on "when and which models will be available for pre-order" (in two stages, two models at a time, is the prevailing theory).

The full production of the iPhone 12 should raise the income of people in China and could lead to increased sales of the iPhone 12 in the country. Other companies that are in danger of losing sales due to the U.S. government's restrictions on doing business with Huawei in China may be bitterly disappointed.

12.9-inch iPad Pro with mini-LED screen rumored to launch in early 2021, again

Engadget Japan

It has been rumored many times that the upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be the first Apple product to feature a mini-LED backlighting device (excluding the Pro Display XDR) , but now a new report has been added to the mix.

Mini-LEDs are the same as the traditional LCD + backlight LED structure, but with finer LEDs to divide the backlight into smaller sections. In other words, it enables the brightness to be changed and turned off in different areas, which has the advantage of saving power and producing high-purity blacks and high contrast. On the other hand, it also offers the advantage of being resistant to burns because it contains no organic substances.

In addition to the rumored Taiwanese company Epistar, German company OSRAM Opto Semiconductors and China's San'an Optoelectronics could be Apple's mini-LED supplier, according to an article in Taiwan's DigiTimes, an electronic components industry newsletter. There have been rumors for some time that Apple wants to get rid of its current dependence on Samsung for the bulk of its OLED supply and is therefore investing in mini-LEDs upfront.

Even if the mini-LED backlighting system is cheaper than OLED, it will still cost more than a conventional LCD. However, we feel that the 4th generation iPad Air's reputation for having all the best parts of the iPad Pro is threatening the iPad Pro's very existence, and in that sense, the use of mini-LEDs may have a big impact on its appeal to make it more Pro-ness.

Apple TV app rumored to be available for Xbox and Playstation series

xbox Series

The Apple TV app that allows you to watch Apple TV+, Apple's subscription video delivery service, is expanding its offerings beyond Apple products, and if you include AirPlay 2-compatible devices that can stream from iPhones and iPads, it's quite extensive.

Given the current state of affairs, it's not much of a surprise to hear rumors that an Apple TV app is in the pipeline for Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PS series. Both platforms already have apps dedicated to other companies' services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and it could be said that it's just one more thing to add to the list.

However, Apple has just announced that it will allow cloud gaming from other companies such as MS's xCloud and Google Stadia, with conditions that are extremely inconvenient for both distributors and users, such as "each individual game and update must go through the App Store's review process for each individual game," and "allow users to download apps (for streaming clients) from the App Store for each individual game." In other words, just after it became clear that they would effectively block it.

Microsoft responded by saying it would hurt the user experience, but also said it was "confident" that it would eventually be able to offer xCloud for iOS. When Amazon recently announced its Luna cloud gaming service, it explained that it would be offered as a PWA for web apps without going through the App Store, so it seems that MS may be looking to take a similar approach, or perhaps even have some plans to do so in exchange for cooperation on the Apple TV app.

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.