According to Korea’s ETNews, Apple will be shaking up the sizes of the iPhone 12 next year. The follow-ups to the Pro models will be going in different directions, with the current 6.5″ Max model growing to 6.7″ and the smaller 5.8″ version shrinking to 5.4″. Considering that the only direction for the iPhone lately has been up, this would be a notable shift.
ETNews isn’t alone in reporting this, as Ming-Chi Kuo has also said that Apple will be changing the sizes of the 2020 iPhone 12. The fact that ETNews is based in Korea and both of these new iPhones would use new OLED displays from Samsung lends a bit of credibility to this supply chain rumor.
As for the rest of the iPhone lineup, the size of the iPhone 11’s replacement reportedly isn’t changing at 6.1″. However, it may be making the shift to OLED in 2020, which would be notable since it’s the only edge-to-edge iPhone with an LCD screen. While this phone would move to OLED, it will be a standard panel, while the Pro models will be getting a higher-end, thinner Y-OCTA OLED panel from Samsung.
These small maneuvers in iPhone sizing make sense to me. Right now there isn’t that much difference between the 5.8″ and 6.1″ of the Pro and 11 and the larger Pro Max is only 0.4″ bigger than the 11. At the new sizes, there will be a more noticeable variation between the 5.4″ standard Pro and the 6.1″ iPhone 11 replacement. There will be an even more noticeable difference between the Pro Max and anything smaller. This feels like a more complete lineup that will satisfy more users, especially those who prefer smaller devices. It also gives the smaller iPhone Pro more of a separate identity.
For those who prefer something smaller than 5.4″, Apple hasn’t forgotten about you, either. The rumors of a new iPhone SE have been making the rounds over the last month, but unfortunately some may be a little disappointed by the likely reality. The original SE was a revamp of the 4″ iPhone 5 in the time of the iPhone 4.7″ iPhone 6S. The rumors of a new device coming early next year is much more likely to be a 4.7″ refresh of the current iPhone 8.
This is still a good thing, as the 8 is now 2 1/2 years old and could use a fresh coat of paint. As with the SE, Apple will be upgrading the internals of the new device to current specs, with it getting an A13 processor and 3 GB of RAM. However, it will likely retain the older design, meaning that it will keep TouchID instead of moving to Face ID. It will also likely still have an LCD screen.
While Apple likely won’t ever be going back to the old 4″ SE design, it is good that they are at least keeping another smaller iPhone option up-to-date and relevant. At 4.7″, most who find the 5.4″ Pro to still be too large will have an option that more easily fits and works in one hand.