Apple may release an iPhone ‘mini’ later this year — here’s everything we know about it so far

The iPhone 11 Pro Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
  • Apple’s iPhone 12 could come in a new size: a 5.4-inch variant that would be noticeably smaller than the current 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro.
  • This 5.4-inch iPhone is expected to have two cameras, a faster processor, and 5G connectivity in addition to other upgrades.
  • It’s rumoured to be one of four iPhones that Apple could debut in the fall.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

For years, Apple has been launching more than one version of the iPhone in different sizes and price points. But the company may be taking that approach a step further this year by releasing four new versions of the so-called iPhone 12.

One of those models is expected to be a smaller version of the iPhone with a 5.4-inch screen, which would make its display slightly smaller than the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro but a bit larger than the 4.7-inch iPhone SE.

This 5.4-inch iPhone would be a version of the standard iPhone 12 that Apple is expected to release around the fall. Apple is rumoured to be working on two standard iPhone 12 models that would be the sequels to the iPhone 11, and two high-end versions that would succeed the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Here’s everything we know about the smallest iPhone 12 that could debut later this year.

It’s expected to have a 5.4-inch OLED display.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max (left) and iPhone 11 Pro (right) Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

All of Apple’s new iPhones are expected to have OLED displays this year, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has written in research notes obtained by 9to5Mac.

That means even the less expensive new iPhone models will have an OLED screen, which would be significant considering this feature is only currently available on more premium offerings like the iPhone 11 Pro lineup and iPhone XS family.

OLED screens typically offer deeper black tones and better contrast than LCD panels like those found on the iPhone 11, iPhone SE, and iPhone XR.

This smaller-sized iPhone will probably have two cameras.

The iPhone 11 Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

The iPhone 12 is expected to have two cameras much like the iPhone 11, according to reports from both Kuo (via 9to5Mac),Bloomberg, and YouTube personality Jon Prosser.

Apple’s more expensive new iPhones, expected to be called the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, will come with a triple-lens camera, much like the iPhone 11 Pro’s, and a Lidar sensor for augmented reality similar to the iPad Pro’s.

This is expected to be one of the biggest differentiators between the regular iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

It will support 5G connectivity, according to reports.

An advertising board shows a 5G logo at the International Airport in Zaventem Reuters

All of Apple’s new iPhones are also expected to support 5G connectivity, according to reports from Bloomberg,Kuo, and Prosser.

The iPhone 12 family is widely expected to be Apple’s first 5G-enabled smartphone, coming after Android device makers like Samsung and many others have already been offering 5G.

The new iPhones, including the 5.4-inch model, may also have a smaller notch.

The iPhone 11 Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Apple is working to minimise the notch-shaped cutout that houses the iPhone’s selfie camera and Face ID sensors, according to Bloomberg. Apple eventually hopes to eliminate the notch entirely, and reducing the size of the notch on this year’s model could be a step in doing so.

It will run on Apple’s newest processor.

Apple unveiling the A13 Bionic during its iPhone event in September 2019 Apple

Apple typically puts its latest processor in all of its new iPhone models, so it seems likely that it will continue to do so this year.

If Apple keeps with the current naming convention that it’s used for other iPhone chips in recent years, the company’s next processor will be called the A14 Bionic. The next-generation chip is expected to offer performance benefits when carrying out augmented reality and artificial intelligence-driven applications, according to Bloomberg.

There’s a possibility it may have a new design that echoes the iPad Pro.

The iPad Pro Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

If the rumours and reports turn out to be true, Apple’s next iPhone will look a lot like the latest iPad Pro.

Apple is reportedly implementing a new design for the iPhone that includes a flatter stainless steel design with sharper edges like its high-end tablet, moving away from the current iPhone’s curved edges, according to Bloomberg.

However, the report doesn’t say whether cheaper models like the 5.4-inch model will have this new design.

It may be cheaper than the iPhone 11.

The iPhone 11 Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

The 5.4-inch iPhone 12 may start at $US650, making it $US50 less expensive than the $US700 iPhone 11, according to Prosser.

That would likely represent the starting price, as Apple typically charges more for variants with additional storage space.

It would also mark the second year in a row in which Apple has lowered the entry-level iPhone’s price by $US50. The iPhone XR launched at $US750 in 2018, while the iPhone 11 debuted at $US700 in 2019.

It’s expected to debut in the fall alongside Apple’s other new iPhones.

Apple’s 2019 iPhone event Apple

Apple typically introduces its new iPhones in the fall, although there has been some doubt as to whether or not this year’s lineup will launch as planned because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bloomberg reports that although some models may launch a few weeks later than usual, they’re still expected to be released within the typical fall timeframe.

Analysts at JPMorgan, on the other hand, reported that Apple’s next iPhones could be delayed by up to two months, while Nikkei Asian Review reported that Apple was considering delaying the new phones’ release over supply chain constraints and worries over weak demand.