06/06 Update below. This post was originally published on June 4

Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup has already leaked in stunning detail. But now new information not only disputes a lot of this, it also gives a first look at the company’s radical all-new 2021 iPhone. 

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Respected Japanese site Macotakara delivers the shocks, having tapped into its supply chain sources to attain 3D printed models of Apple’s four iPhone 12 models and completely overhauled 2021 redesign. If correct, the news is going to leave millions of iPhone users disappointed this year but blown away by Apple’s ambitious plans for the so-called iPhone 13. 

06/06 Update: Prosser issued a new update reiterating his position that the iPhone 13 will be different to the chassis mold Macotakara attained. Prosser believes that Apple will not move the iPhone 13 to USB-C but instead make a completely port-less model which relies on wireless charging and a Smart Connector for connecting third party accessories. He also believes that Apple will reduce the notch on the iPhone 12 and equip the Pro models with a LiDAR sensor. This creates a clear head-to-head between two prominent industry sources.

Starting with the four iPhone 12 models, Macotakara shows that contrary to popular opinion (and despite all-new internals), externally the range will not deviate as far from the iPhone 11 lineup as widely expected.

The models show Apple will stick with the large display notch introduced with the iPhone X, retain the Lightning port and exclude the LiDAR sensor first seen on the new iPad Pro and tipped to be introduced on the iPhone 12 Pros. This means the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max stick with triple cameras in a triangular array, though the new entry-level 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max will get dual cameras whereas the iPhone 11 has just a single module. 

Overall, there are significant disappointments here but, conversely, Macotakara’s mold of the 2021 entry-level iPhone 13 blows away all expectations.

For 2021, Macotakara states Apple will replace the notch with a tiny punch hole for the front camera and hide all other FaceID sensors under the display thanks to ‘Under Panel Sensor’ technology from Samsung. Thanks to thinner bezels, the display of the 5.4-inch model will also increase to 5.5-inches in the same chassis, and the Lightning port will finally be replaced by USB-C. Lastly, the back of the phone shows space reserved in the camera bump for up to five modules. 

While a lot can still change in terms of the 2021 design, if Macotakara’s sources are correct, I suspect many potential iPhone 12 owners postpone their upgrades to 2021. Internally, the iPhone 12 models will be all-new thanks to the biggest A series upgrade in years, 5G across the range, 120Hz ProMotion displays (with some doubts) and prices which will undercut the competition. That said, a fourth generation of the same design introduced by the iPhone X in 2017 may prove to be a dealbreaker. 

All of which sets us up for a clash of the heavyweights. Macotakara famously scooped Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack in 2016 and has delivered a solid array of exclusives ever since. That said, Jon Prosser, 2020’s most accurate Apple insider to date, has very different ideas about the iPhone 12 and 13 so watch this space. 

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