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Yesterday’s iPhone 12 specs leak was huge – let’s talk about the secrets it revealed

Updated Mar 6th, 2020 11:31AM EST

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  • Apple’s iPhone 12 update will feature the company’s first big iPhone design overhaul in years, leaks have revealed.
  • The upcoming new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro series phones are expected to be the company’s biggest release ever, with annual sales that experts believe could set an all-time record.
  • A new leak from a source with a proven track record suggests that Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro phones will be even bigger upgrades than we expected, featuring a new 64-megapixel camera and more exciting updates.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

We still have about 6 months left to wait before Apple finally takes the wraps off its new iPhone 12 lineup, but eager Apple fans are never willing to wait that long. Details about Apple’s next-generation iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro flagship phones first began leaking last year, even before the current-generation iPhone 11 series was released. Early information came from TF International Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as it always does, and he revealed a series of exciting firsts for Apple over the course of a few months.

The iPhone 12 will reportedly feature Apple’s first big design overhaul in three years, ever since the company first debuted the iPhone X. It will still have a notch on the front and a large square camera array on the back, but the glass front and back will feature a new midframe with flat metal edges instead of the round ones we’ve seen on every flagship iPhone model since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were released in 2014. They’ll also be Apple’s first 5G phones, which is seen as a crucial addition now that 5G networks are beginning to expand in numerous key smartphone markets. All of that is somewhat old news at this point, but a big new iPhone 12 leak emerged yesterday from a reputable source, and it was packed full of exciting new details that deserve a deeper dive.

We’re used to seeing new information about Apple’s upcoming iPhones originate from Ming-Chi Kuo, the world’s top Apple insider with sources throughout Apple’s supply chain. Other sources do report details from time to time though, and Thursday’s big iPhone leak came from Max Weinbach of xda-developers. He has leaked information about unreleased devices many times in the past that has turned out to be accurate, and this week he set his sights on the iPhone 12. Weinbach’s new intel was revealed in a YouTube video posted by EverythingApplePro, and you can watch it again here.

We went through the key details of the leak in our coverage on Thursday morning. According to Weinbach, Apple is working on some huge camera upgrades that are highlighted by a 64-megapixel main rear camera sensor and an enhanced Night mode feature that will work on all rear camera sensors instead of just the main sensor, as is the case on the current iPhone 11 models. The leaker also claims that Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro phones will feature improved zoom as well as a new Time of Flight (ToF) sensor in addition to three main camera sensors, which is something we’ve heard before from Kuo. Finally, a new macros mode for better close-range photos and an HDR mode tentatively called “Smart XDR” are reportedly in the works as well.

There were some other details covered in Weinbach’s big leak, such as a 4,400 mAh battery in the iPhone 12 Pro Max and reiteration that the new iPhone models will feature improved displays with a 120Hz refresh rate. But we want to focus on the camera upgrades right now because they’re a much bigger deal than some people might think.

For years, Apple’s iPhone models were the undisputed leaders when it came to mobile cameras. No Android phones came anywhere close to matching Apple’s camera quality. In fact, some readers might recall how upset some Instagram users got when the company first released an Android app and their timelines were flooded with blurry, fuzzy photos from Android phones. In recent years, however, the tide has definitely turned.

Companies including Huawei, Google, and Samsung have made major investments in mobile camera technology, and until last year they all surpassed Apple when it comes to camera quality. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max leveled the playing field to an extent, but there are already several new phones on the market that outmatch Apple’s iPhone 11 series.

Last time that happened, Apple’s subsequent iPhone releases featured camera with relatively minor improvements. Since Apple just gave its cameras a major overhaul last year on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, some people expected Apple to once again use the same camera hardware but make a few improvements using only software. If Weinbach’s leak is accurate, it appears as though that won’t be the case at all — and that’s a huge deal.

Glance at the results of any big smartphone survey and you’ll find two things at the top of the list of people’s considerations when shopping for a new phone. One is battery life, which is always paramount. Just behind that, however, is camera quality. The booming popularity of social media means people capture and share photos more now than ever before. If Apple were to fall behind again with its iPhone 12 camera quality and features, it could lead people to look elsewhere when buying a new phone. Thankfully, it appears as though that won’t be the case at all, and we can look forward to a massive camera upgrade on the upcoming iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro phones that Apple is expected to release in September.

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.