Bloomberg: 5G iPhones to Feature Flat Edges and Slimmer Notch, Smaller HomePod and AirTags Also Coming This Year
Apple's refreshed iPhone lineup will add 5G to as many as four new models, at least two of which will have flat stainless steel edges and a flat screen, similar in design to its latest iPads, reports Bloomberg this morning.
This year’s successors to the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max will be joined by two lower-end models to replace the iPhone 11. At least the two high-end devices will have flat stainless steel edges instead of the current curved design as well as more sharply rounded corners like the iPad Pro introduced in 2018. Reminiscent of the iPhone 5 design, the new handsets will have flat screens rather than the sloping edges on current models, said the people asking not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.
The report adds further weight to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's expectation that some of Apple's 2020 iPhones will include a square-edged stainless steel frame. Notably, Apple adopted a similar design for the 2018 iPad Pro, which features a more industrial band around the sides compared to previous models.
Today's report also corroborates rumors that Apple will add a 3D camera to the iPhone and is aiming to reduce the size of the notch at the top of the screen that houses the TrueDepth camera. Recently leaked images said to depict the iPhone 12 picture a notch that is approximately 1/3 smaller than the current notch, in addition to a redesigned rear camera array.
Rumors suggest some of the new iPhone models coming in 2020 will feature the LiDAR Scanner feature that Apple added in the 2020 iPad Pro models, which will serve to enhance future augmented reality experiences.
At least some of the new iPhones could be released several weeks later than normal, though still within the typical fall window, according to Bloomberg's sources. Apple reportedly hasn't informed suppliers of any significant delays, and the company's engineers are expected to travel to China and finalize product designs in May.
Bloomberg's report also reiterates rumors that Apple is developing a smaller, less expensive version of its HomePod smart speaker for release as early as this year, as well as Tile-like so-called "Apple Tags" that will let users track real-life objects. Based on assets found in iOS 13.2 and trademarking details dug up by MacRumors, Apple seems to be planning to call its tracking accessory the "AirTag."