Apple’s newest iPad Pro could be paving the way for what the next high-end iPhones look like

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  • Apple’s rumoured iPhone 12 will have a lot in common with the company’s iPad Pro, if the reports and rumours about it so far are to be believed.
  • The “Pro” versions of the rumoured iPhone 12 are said to come with a new design that resembles the iPad Pro among other features found on the tablet.
  • The move would signal a reversal for Apple, which typically introduces new features on the iPhone before bringing them to the iPad.
  • Launching an “iPhone 12 Pro” that follows in the footsteps of the iPad Pro would also serve as another sign that Apple is targeting its high-end phones at power users and camera enthusiasts.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Want to get an understanding of what to expect from Apple’s rumoured iPhone 12? Look no further than the newest iPad Pro Apple released back in March.

Apple never comments on future products before they’re ready to announce them. But if the reports about Apple’s next iPhone turn out to be accurate, the expected iPhone 12 will have a lot in common with Apple’s most powerful – and most expensive – iPad: the 2020 iPad Pro.

For example, at least two of the four versions of Apple’s next-generation iPhone will reportedly come with a refreshed design with flat, stainless steel edges just like the iPad Pro, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. Apple is also reportedly planning to bring the iPad Pro’s 3D Lidar sensor, which the company touts as being a leap forward for enabling augmented reality apps, to its 2020 high-end iPhones, says the report.

Another hallmark feature of the iPad Pro – Apple’s ProMotion technology, which boosts the screen’s refresh rate up to 120Hz – is also said to be coming to the iPhone 12, according to the YouTube channel Everything Apple Pro.

Should these features make their way to the iPhone 12, it would signal a shift in strategy for the iPhone maker. Apple typically uses the iPhone as a vessel for introducing new technologies – like Face ID in 2017 with the iPhone X and Touch ID several years earlier in 2013 with the iPhone 5S.

Such features typically trickle to the iPad in later releases. However, it’s starting to look like the iPad Pro may end up paving the way for Apple’s future iPhones, rather than it being the other way around.

These iPad Pro-like features, such as the Lidar cameras, a 120Hz screen, and a refreshed design, also suggest that Apple is increasingly targeting its higher-end iPhones at power users, technology enthusiasts, and photographers, a shift that was also apparent in last year’s iPhone 11 and 11 Pro launch.

When Apple unveiled its current iPhones last September, it marketed the less expensive $US700 iPhone 11 as its new main offering. The pricier $US1,000 iPhone 11 Pro and $US1,100 iPhone 11 Pro Max, comparatively, have been targeted at those who are willing to pay extra for a more powerful camera and a more vivid screen.

That marked a departure from 2018, when Apple positioned its two high-end smartphones, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, as its new flagship iPhones, while the less expensive iPhone XR was seen as a cheaper alternative.

The notion that Apple could model the rumoured iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max after its iPad Pro would suggest that it’s leaning even heavier into that strategy in 2020.

It’s also another sign that smartphone makers like Apple are increasingly embracing the idea that the average person may not be willing to spend $US1,000 or more on a new smartphone.

The iPhone XR, which launched at $US750 and is now priced at $US600, was the best-selling smartphone of 2019, according to data from Counterpoint Research. Just behind it was Samsung’s midrange Galaxy A10. That may explain why Apple decided to make its iPhone 11 the main attraction in 2019.

An iPhone 12 Pro that looks a lot like the iPad Pro would signal yet another way in which Apple is committing to its strategy of offering an iPhone model for everyone – whether you’re a legacy iPhone owner looking for a cheap simple, upgrade, or a photography buff.

It’s evident that “the iPhone” is no longer just one or two iPhones, but a spectrum of devices, as Apple again reiterated with the $US400 iPhone SE launch in April. That point will likely become even clearer in the fall if Apple does more to make sure the rumoured iPhone 12 Pro lives up to its “pro” name.