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This leaked iPhone 12 is so fake, but it brings back Touch ID and I can’t stop staring at it

Published Feb 18th, 2020 8:22AM EST

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We still have about seven months left to wait until Apple announces and then releases the new iPhone 12, but we already know so much about it thanks to a series of leaks from reliable sources. Actually, it’s one source in particular that has been all over Apple’s next-generation iPhone lineup beginning late last year, and it won’t come as much of a surprise when you see who: TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He’s the most well-connected Apple insider out there and he seemingly has sources throughout Apple’s supply chain in and around China. And according to everything Kuo has shared so far about Apple’s upcoming new iPhone 12 series, we’re in store for a massive upgrade in 2020.

After three years of iPhones that all had roughly the same design, Apple reportedly has a huge design refresh in store for us later this year. The new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models coming in September will apparently sport a design that harkens back to the iPhone 5 everyone loved so much, with flat metal edges around the outside of the handsets instead of the rounded edges we’ve seen on iPhones ever since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus debuted back in 2014. The iPhone 12 lineup will also reportedly be Apple’s first iPhones with support for newer 5G cellular networks, and we’ve heard about a few other changes we can expect to see in the iPhone 12 series when it debuts later this year. Two things that aren’t expected to change are the notch at the top of the screen and the lack of a home button at the bottom of the screen, but a new iPhone 12 design leak seems to suggest that both of those changes are coming to the iPhone 12.

The supposed leaked iPhone 12 design you’re about to see has leaked a few different times over the past few weeks, and each of those leaks originated in China or the surrounding region. First, the bad news: these “leaks” are definitely fake.

We’re not sure exactly where this purported iPhone 12 design originated, but we know it doesn’t resemble the iPhone 12 models Apple plans to release later this year. It goes against literally everything Ming-Chi Kuo has reported about the iPhone 12’s design, and Kuo’s sources are far too strong to be this far off track. That said, every time I see it I wish it was real, and I think many BGR readers will feel the same way. For that reason, I’ve finally decided to share it so we can see what you guys think.

The “iPhone 12” render above and the two that you’ll soon see below were posted recently on leak repository Slashleaks. The sources are both mentioned in the watermarks atop each image, though no actual source links were provided. They’re definitely not Twitter accounts or Instagram accounts. I think they might be Telegram users, but it really doesn’t matter because like I said, this iPhone 12 design is definitely fake. But it’s also quite brilliant, and it has me wishing Apple would actually build an iPhone like this.

First of all, this inaccurate iPhone 12 render ditches the notch at the top of the screen. The notch doesn’t bother me personally, but I know plenty of people would be happy to see it go. There’s still a small cutout in the display, but it has been relocated to the bottom where a new semicircular home button would usher in the return of Touch ID. That’s the real story with this design since so many people miss Touch ID on their iPhones.

Finally, the iPhone 12 pictured here still has the same rounded edges that we’ve seen on every new iPhone since 2014 aside from the iPhone SE.

Again, the fact that these design elements directly contradict details reported by Ming-Chi Kuo all but confirm these renders are just wishful thinking. Beyond that, we already know that Apple is working on new solutions like camera sensors hidden under the display and in-screen fingerprint sensors where you can place your finger anywhere on the lower half of the screen to unlock your phone. Is Apple really going to reinvent the wheel with an entirely new display design when these other, better solutions are likely on the horizon?

If you’re a fan of Touch ID and Face ID hasn’t been working very well for you, there’s a good chance you love this fan-made iPhone 12 design that keeps popping up. The bad news is you shouldn’t expect to see anything that even comes close to resembling this design when Apple announces the iPhone in September. But the good news is you can likely still look forward to seeing Touch ID return to iPhone models in the near future. Apple’s new iPhone 9/SE 2 that is expected to be announced at the end of March and released in April will have a traditional home button with Touch ID, and then next year’s new iPhone 12s series could end up being the first iPhone lineup to include a next-generation Touch ID fingerprint sensor that’s embedded under the display.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.