The iPhone 12 is shaping up to be a big one for Apple, both in terms of features and demand. In this week's Apple Core roundup, we look at what analysts are saying about Apple's 2020 iPhone, its biggest features and the obstacles it may face.
The iPhone 12 will be BIG
The last two years have been a bit lackluster for the iPhone. We've seen incremental improvements to the camera, processor and battery, but there haven't been any major design changes or novel features since the iPhone X in 2017, which debuted the notched screen and FaceID. In turn, iPhone sales have also slowed down in the last couple of years as people are holding onto their devices longer.
That may change with the iPhone 12, however. Apple is rumored to overhaul this year's iPhone with flat edges like the new iPads and different sizing options. According to rumors, the screen on the iPhone 12 Pro Max model may increase from 5.8 inches to 5.4, while the smaller 5.8-inch option will shrink to 5.4. The middle-ground 6.1-inch model will remain the same, but with an upgraded display. All 2020 iPhone models are speculated to have OLED displays, as well as 5G.
Given these rumored upgrades, users who have been holding out on a new phone may be convinced to pull the trigger. This would create what Wedbush analyst Dan Ives calls "the perfect storm of demand." His report, which was published in Barron's, said Apple is heading for a "supercycle" that will drive up sales.
If the iPhone 12 ends up being a bestseller, there is another snag Apple has to deal with: coronavirus. This year's sales could be hard hit due to the outbreak and Apple CEO Tim Cook warned investors that they might not meet their Q2 guidance this year. He also said last month that the company was "working on mitigation plans to make up any expected production loss," but it's still too early to know if it will impact inventory in September. Apple's suppliers in China have already shut down or operate on limited capacity because of health concerns.
Apple may eliminate the Lightning port
Ever since the iPads switched over to USB-C in 2018, there's been rumors that the iPhone will follow suit. Though it hasn't happened yet, there is the additional speculation that the next iPhone could eliminate ports altogether.
The latest iOS 13.4 beta mentions an "over the air" recovery mode on the iPhone, according to 9to5Mac. This would be a notable change since currently, the only way to recover data on an iPhone is through an iTunes backup stored on a computer. Users have to plug it their phone into a Mac or PC with a Lightning to USB cable, but an OTA method would eliminate this process
This doesn't necessarily mean this year's iPhone 12's will be missing a Lightning port, but it gives us a glimpse of where things are heading for the iPhone. For now, we'll have to wait and see when Apple will pull the plug and remove yet another port.