Apple Reportedly Looking to Reboot the iPhone 4's Boxy Design for 2020

Photo: Gizmodo

With the iPhone 11 likely marking the end of Apple’s current three-year design cycle, we’re due for new-look-iPhones in 2020. And if well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is correct, the next iPhone could feature a boxier design with flat stainless steel sides reminiscent of the iPhone 4.

While it might seem somewhat silly for Apple to revisit an old design, it makes sense on a number of levels. The iPhone 4 was announced back in June 2010, so if Apple reboots the iPhone 4's design for 2020, it would be a good way of celebrating that handset’s 10-year anniversary while also paying homage to one of the most popular iPhone designs.

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Furthermore, opting for a boxier iPhone design could help unify the iPhone and iPad lines, especially after last year when Apple gave the iPad Pro a beefier, more rectangular body compared to the curvier bodies on previous iPads.

Additionally, Kuo says that for 2020, the next batch of iPhones will get a new range of screen sizes ranging from 5.4 inches to 6.1 inches or larger, with all three new models boasting OLED screens. This would be a major improvement for the iPhone 11's successor because unlike the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, the standard iPhone 11 only features an LCD display.

However, the 2020 iPhones won’t simply be up-sized clones of the iPhone 4, as Kuo claims Apple will also use 2.5D glass panels to give its next batch of iPhones a smoother, more rounded feel.

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And outside of their designs, 2020 is shaping up to be a huge year for the iPhone. We’ve been hearing since 2018 that Apple will bring 5G support to the iPhone in 2020, a conclusion that seems even more likely now that Intel has abandoned its plans to make 5G modems and Apple has signed a new patent licensing deal with Qualcomm.

So if you haven’t been impressed enough by the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro to upgrade this year, now there are even more reasons to hold out until 2020.

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About the author

Sam Rutherford

Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.