Look at the leaked iPhone 12 design pictured at the top of this page. It’s stunning, isn’t it? The rounded edges we’ve seen on every flagship iPhone released since all the way back in 2014 have been replaced by the sharp, flat metal edges from Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 5. Those phones are both tiny and outdated though, while the iPhone 12 design above has a nice large display that covers almost all of the front-side of the phone. That leaked iPhone design is stunning indeed, and we have no doubt that an iPhone will someday be released with a design that looks almost exactly like the render in that image. But there is absolutely no chance whatsoever that it’ll be the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max that is released later this year.

Wondering what Apple’s upcoming new iPhone 12 lineup will actually look like? Here’s a render that is believed to be far more accurate:

The flat metal edges are still there, and so are the wonderfully narrow bezels and the “all-screen” design that extends almost all the way to the bottom of the phone. But there’s something else that’s there too: the notch. That’s right, it’s all but guaranteed that each new model in Apple’s new redesigned iPhone 12 series will have a notch at the top of the display.

It’s true that early rumors suggested Apple was testing iPhone 12 prototypes with no notch. The problem is those rumors originated from a source who is almost never correct when it comes to Apple leaks. TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, on the other hand, is almost always correct when reporting details about unreleased Apple devices. And where the iPhone 12 series is concerned, he says the phones will still have a notch.

Until CAD files detailing Apple’s unreleased iPhone designs are inevitably stolen from Foxconn’s factory each year, the best — and often only — source of information about upcoming iPhones is always Ming-Chi Kuo. Regarding the iPhone 12 series, Kuo says the phones will feature new designs with flat metal edges like the iPhone 4, iPhone 5, and iPhone SE. He also says they’ll support 5G, they’ll all have OLED screens, and they’ll all have a notch at the top of those OLED screens.

Here’s a closer look at Apple’s leaked iPhone 12 design.

Now, this might seem like disappointing news. In fact, we’ve seen a clear uptick of complaints on social media lately from people who are disappointed that Apple’s new iPhones in 2020 will still have a notch. The catalyst for the increased noise level of notch complaints seems to be the fact that Android phone makers have moved beyond the iPhone’s notch design that they all stole in 2018 and adopted newer all-screen phone designs. Well, we should say “design” as in a singular design, because nearly every Android vendor out there has stopped copying Apple’s iPhone design and started copying Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S20 design. Seriously… Android phones all look the same again, and it’s so annoying.

But back to the iPhone 12, should people really be complaining about the notch? Have these people ever actually used a phone with a notch? Personally, I’ve been using a notched iPhone ever since the iPhone X was first released in 2017. Before I had the phone in my hand, I was one of the many people who thought the design looked terrible. Once I started using the iPhone X, however, I quickly realized the notch doesn’t matter at all and I ate crow.

This isn’t just one person’s opinion, mind you. There have been actual studies into the matter, both formal and informal, and they’ve found that people who use a phone with a notch don’t even notice it after a while. On top of that, the missing area at the edge of the display doesn’t even show anything important. Items from the status bar have been moved to either side of the notch in iOS, and it’s not like any core elements of any apps are ever displayed that close to the end of the display.

It goes without saying that complaints are always amplified on the internet. Just think about all the times you’ve seen people whine about the simple fact that Apple used the same iPhone design three years in a row on the iPhone X, iPhone XR/XS, and iPhone 11. We see those complaints all the time, and yet strong iPhone sales last quarter drove Apple to record holiday-quarter performance, proving that the company’s new three-year iPhone design cycle isn’t really a problem at all. Keep that in mind when you see people on Twitter or Facebook complaining about the iPhone 12’s notch. It doesn’t hurt the user experience, it doesn’t hurt sales, and people who use a phone with a notch don’t even notice it.

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.