The iPhone SE just went up for pre-order — and at $399 it's a hell of a value for a smartphone during these cash-strapped pandemic times. But it's still just an iPhone 8 with a new A13 Bionic chip and improved cameras. On the other hand, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, slated for launch this fall, just leaked showing off some pretty major design changes.
From YouTuber EverythingApplePro and leaker Max Weinbach comes a video detailing Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 Pro Max. Based on alleged CAD files, the video corroborates previous rumors that said the iPhone 12 would have flat sides reminiscent of the iPhone 4/5 and the iPad Pro.
Smaller notch and slimmer bezels — The iPhone X ushered in the era of an "all-screen" smartphone (albeit with a notch) and every new iPhone since has had more or less the same design. However, the once groundbreaking design has been surpassed by Android phones with innovations like waterfall displays that dramatically curve over the sides, ultra-thin bezels, and very small teardrop notches, hole punches, and pop-up cameras.
The two leakers are claiming the iPhone 12 Pro will have 40 percent thinner bezels and a reduced notch. The latter is a bummer if you were hoping for Apple to get rid of it by using an under-screen camera, but you do get more screen surface area.
Back to thinness — Apple used to be obsessed with making its devices thinner... and then it stopped. With the iPhone 11 Pro, Apple traded thinness for a few extra millimeters to fit a larger battery. Everyone loves the long-lasting battery life, but the heavier weight is real.
For the iPhone 12 Pro, the leakers claim Apple's putting the iPhone on a diet again. It'll reportedly measure 7.4mm thick compared to the 8.1mm iPhone 11 Pro.
Less noticeable may be the height and width growth: the iPhone 12 Pro Max is just slightly taller and wider.
Here's a look at the backside of the alleged iPhone 12 Pro:
Apple Pencil support? — Maybe the most interesting detail from the CAD files is the presence of a smaller oblong-shaped smart connector. EverythingApplePro says it's positioned where the SIM card tray would normally be.
Does this confirm the new iPhone will support Apple Pencil? The rumor has been floating around for years, but it never materialized. It's possible Apple could position the iPhone 12 Pro as a productivity-focused device with smaller Apple Pencil (sold separately of course).
Cure for slumping sales — An Apple Pencil for the iPhone could also do really well in places where Samsung's Galaxy Note sells well, like Asia. With iPhone sales projected to slump by more than a third in Q2 because of the coronavirus, Apple is going to need to pull out all the stops to make selling at $1,000 not seem out of touch.