Claimed official Apple case stickers provide more evidence of iPhone 12 names

Two leakers with good track records have now both indicated the same iPhone 12 names. Today’s report shows what are said to be stickers for official Apple silicone cases for the new models.

A photo was posted by @DuanRui, who last month showed a pamphlet depicting what turned out to be the correct design for the new iPad Air announced almost three weeks later …

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The names shown on the stickers are:

  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max

The stickers show a single case for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, indicating that these models will be externally identical at least in dimensions and placements of camera module and buttons.

Reliable leaker @l0vetodream posted the same names earlier this week.

The iPhone 12 names suggested line up with the four models we’re expecting:

  • 5.4-inch
  • Lower-end 6.1-inch
  • Higher-end 6.1-inch
  • 6.7-inch

All four of this year’s models are expected to have OLED screens, and to include support for 5G mobile data. The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max are expected to offer three cameras and a LiDAR sensor for more accurate focusing, better Portrait Mode results and improved AR performance.

One question mark is on which 5G standards will be supported. All four models are expected to offer sub-6GHz 5G, while only some models are expected to also support mmWave 5G. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between the two.

Sub-6GHz 5G will be relatively widely available by the time the iPhone 12 launches. It offers somewhat faster speeds than LTE, but not dramatically so. It does offer reduced latency and greater capacity per cell tower, so more people should get closer to the advertised speeds of 100-150Mbps.

mmWave 5G is the far faster standard, theoretically capable of gigabit speeds, but more typically offering about half that – around 500Mbps. However, it is extremely short-range: much closer to wifi than to LTE. This means it will only be available in very limited areas, like airports, large transit stations, stadiums, and tourist spots.

What we don’t know is whether mmWave 5G will be limited to the Pro models, or whether it will be restricted to certain countries – or both. We did, however, get a recent clue that mmWave 5G support may be limited to those countries with greater rollout of the high-speed mobile data standard.

“We believe that due to the impact of COVID-19, the global 5G millimeter wave base stations are lower than expected.”

If the issue is reduced rollout of base stations, meaning that availability of the faster 5G standard is lower than expected, then the most logical inference would be that there is little point in offering mmWave 5G in some countries because you’ll hardly ever get access to it there. Given the substantial expense of supporting the faster standard, it would make sense to limit it to those countries with decent rollout of base stations, and expand into other countries next year.

Exact timing of the launch and availability of this year’s iPhones remains unknown, Apple saying only that it will be ‘a few weeks later‘ than usual.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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