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The cheapest iPhone 12 will be more compact than the iPhone SE

Published Jun 19th, 2020 7:31AM EDT
iPhone 12 Release Date
Image: George Dolgikh/Shutterstock

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  • As the iPhone 12 release date gets closer, more leaks have surfaced, showing purported mockups of the four upcoming 2020 iPhones.
  • A video indicates that the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 will be even more compact than the 4.7-inch iPhone SE second-generation.
  • That’s hardly surprising considering that the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro is about the same size as the new iPhone SE.

Apple is widely expected to launch four distinct iPhone 12 versions this year, which would be a first for the company. All iPhone 12 models will support 5G connectivity, and they’ll all feature OLED screens — these are also firsts for Apple. And if recent leaks are correct, some of the four iPhone 12 versions could see significant launch delays. The novel coronavirus is responsible for that, as traveling delays supposedly made it harder for Apple to finish work on the prototypes on time.

Separately, a series of recent leaks showed purported iPhone 12 dummy units made with the leaked CAD designs. One of them indicates that the cheapest iPhone 12 model will be even smaller than the 2020 iPhone SE, which must be great news for iPhone buyers looking for a compact phone. However, the news itself that the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 will be smaller than the 4.7-inch iPhone SE should not surprise anyone familiar with Apple’s iPhone lineup.

When the iPhone X launched in 2017, it was almost the same size as the iPhone 8. But it featured a 5.8-inch display, which is 1.1-inch bigger than the iPhone 8’s 4.7-inch screen. That’s because the iPhone 8 features large, symmetrical top and bottom bezels. Apple reduced the top bezel to a notch for the iPhone X and removed the bottom bezel and the built-in Touch ID home button. That’s why two devices that have relatively the same overall footprint feature different screen sizes.

iPhone 8 vs. iPhone 11 Pro vs. iPhone SE
Size comparison between iPhone 8, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone SE (2nd-generation). Image source: Apple Inc.

The 2020 iPhone SE is practically identical to the iPhone 8, as seen in the comparison above. The iPhone 11 Pro, which has the same 5.8-inch display size as the iPhone X, being the direct descendant of that handset, is almost as big as the iPhone 8 and new iPhone SE.

This brings us to EverythingApplePro’s video below, which tells us the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 will be smaller than the SE. The clip features an iPhone 12 mockup that is placed next to the iPhone SE.

Whether the mockup is genuine or not, it should be absolutely clear that the 5.4-inch new iPhone that will feature the same all-screen design that Apple used since 2017 will be smaller than the new iPhone SE. That’s because the 5.4-inch model will have the same design as the original iPhone X, complete with thin bezels and a notch at the top. The overall footprint of an all-screen iPhone featuring a display that measures 5.4 inches diagonally will be slightly smaller than the 5.8-inch iPhone 11, which is about the same size as the iPhone SE.

Those of you who already consider buying a new iPhone 12 this fall should know there won’t be a 5.8-inch iPhone 12 in stores this year. That particular size is going away if recent leaks are accurate. Aside from the 5.4-inch model, Apple will sell two 6.1-inch iPhone 12 versions, one of which is a Pro. The biggest iPhone 12 will have a 6.7-inch display. So if you’re upgrading from the iPhone X, XS, or 11 Pro and want a similarly sized device, you’ll have to choose between the 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch versions.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.