Nevermind competing rumors on whether the next flagship iPhones are even on schedule to launch this fall, it would appear Apple’s got a major design refresh planned for the forthcoming 5G phones. According to Bloomberg, that includes riffing on the iPad Pro and the iPhone 5.
In particular, Bloomberg cites anonymous sources saying the next-gen iPhones will have two high-end devices and two lower-end models. The two high-end phones will purportedly feature flat stainless steel edges and rounded corners like the ones on the iPad Pro from 2018. They’ll also borrow from the iPhone 5's flat screens as opposed to the current “sloping edges” found on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.
There wasn’t any specific reason cited for the shift away from curved edges, but I’m sure Apple CEO Tim Cook will wax poetic about the why once the device is officially unveiled. That’s if Apple doesn’t veer in a completely new direction before it reportedly finalizes designs in May. Spec-wise, Bloomberg echoes other rumors that the high-end models will include three cameras on the back, while the cheaper phones will stick with two. It also repeats the rumors that we’ll likely see Apple’s fancy LiDar system on the higher-end devices, paving the way for more augmented reality features. Other tidbits include a larger panel for the new Pro Max, and a possibly smaller notch. As for other production news, Bloomberg notes that while the new phones will likely deliver within the usual fall window, there is a chance that covid-19-related supply chain disruptions may end up in multiple-week delays.
Also on deck is a smaller HomePod, in case, you know, the size of the device was the thing that was stopping you, and not the fact that it’s too expensive and Siri still blows. Bloomberg notes the new HomePod should be roughly half the size and will be cheaper as well to better compete with the various Google Home and Amazon Echo devices. More interestingly, Bloomberg says it’s possible Apple could add additional music streaming services outside of Apple Music. As for timing, the new HomePod could hit shelves as early as later this year.
While the Apple rumor mill is generally always buzzing, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has a pretty decent track record. Still, none of this is official yet and even if some of these things are in the works, there’s always plenty of time for Apple to change course—especially as covid-19 continues to throw up surprises in the global supply chain and causes tech giants to cancel their big launch events.