Last week, Apple afternoon reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $3.03 per share, handily beating the Street’s consensus on the back of record revenue totaling $64 billion. Anytime Apple has recorded a big beat like that in the past, we all knew that it could be attributed almost entirely to strong iPhone sales — but that’s not the case anymore. Top smartphone markets around the world are saturated and flagship devices are more expensive than ever, so people are keeping them longer than they have in the past. As a result, Apple recently adjusted its strategy to focus more on services and wearables. Considering Apple’s top smartphone rival Samsung just reported September-quarter profit that plummeted a whopping 56% on year, it’s fairly safe to say that Apple made the right decision by branching out.
There’s really no question that adjusting its strategy to rely less on iPhone sales was the proper move, but there’s also no question that the iPhone is still Apple’s most popular and most talked-about product. We all know that there’s simply nothing else in the consumer electronics industry that generates buzz like the iPhone. And considering next year’s new iPhone 12 lineup is shaping up to be Apple’s biggest update since the company released the overhauled iPhone X in 2017, it’s no mystery why the iPhone 12 is already generating so much buzz despite being nearly a year away from launching.
Apple’s iPhones are still the hottest electronics products on the planet, so insiders start digging for dirt very early when new models are in development. Early chatter always generates buzz, of course, and that’s especially true when it originates with TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He’s the most accurate Apple insider in the world, and he has already spilled the beans on several details surrounding next year’s iPhone 12 lineup. For example, he says all three new iPhone models will feature 5G along with a big redesign. Kuo also says the iPhone 12 Pro will be a bit more compact than its predecessors, with a 5.4-inch screen instead of the current 5.8-inch OLED. Finally, and perhaps most notably, the analyst says Apple will use a totally new design on its iPhone 12 lineup, with flat metal edges replacing the rounded ones we’ve seen on every flagship iPhone model since the iPhone 6 in 2014.
Of course, Kuo isn’t the only person out there who leaks details about unannounced iPhone models, and we’ve been seeing plenty of chatter that has originated elsewhere. The rumor that seems to be generating the most buzz is one that concerns the brand new display design Apple may be planning to use, but it’s actually not the most exciting rumor out there for a couple of different reasons.
The rumor in question suggests that Apple is testing a next-generation TrueDepth camera system that’s far more compact than the one on current iPhone models like the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. As a result, Apple may be able to place all of the components needed for Face ID in the narrow top bezel instead of in the notch.
First and foremost, the source of this rumor is an amateur graphic designer with a terrible track record when it comes to iPhone leaks. The few times he has been correct was when he merely rehashed rumors that were already circulating — practically everything rumor that originates with him ends up being wrong. Secondly, we all know that Apple is working toward ditching the notch just like every other smartphone vendor out there, but who cares? People who use smartphones with a notch don’t even notice it since it’s located in an area of the display that isn’t much use anyway.
There is another rumor out there regarding the iPhone 12 series’ new displays though, and it’s far more exciting than the potential elimination of the notch in favor of slightly thicker bezels. It’s a rumor that popped up just a few days ago, and it suggests that Apple is working to bring some fantastic tech from its iPad Pro displays over to the iPhone 12 lineup. That’s right, the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max may end up being the first iPhones to finally get Apple’s 120Hz “ProMotion” displays.
If you’ve ever tried a recent iPad Pro model, you know that it has the smoothest display that has ever been used on a mobile device. 120Hz refers to the refresh rate of the screen, and it’s far faster than the 60Hz refresh rate used on conventional displays, like the ones on Apple’s iPhone 11 models. Flagship Android phones have started to use screens with a 90Hz refresh rate, and it’s definitely a big improvement since Android isn’t all that smooth to begin with. On iOS devices, however, the improved refresh rate combined with iOS’s smooth user experience creates a fantastic user experience.
If the iPhone 12 series does end up getting displays with the rumored 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate, they’re going to offer a UX like nothing we’ve ever seen before on a smartphone. THIS is the rumor that Apple fans should be excited about the most.