07 October 2019
The well-known research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that 2020 iPhones will receive a new design treatment that will be similar to that of the iPhone 4. In his latest research note, he has mentioned that Apple will make use of the same metal-frame design language that we first saw with the release of iPhone 4 in 2010.
Apple's current iPhone 11 lineup has rounded corners with aluminum frames and glass on both the front and back. This is a design language which is being used since iPhone X three years ago. This is the reason it makes sense that Apple would be looking to bring drastic changes to the external appearance of new models.
In the research note, Kuo said:
"We predict that the new 2H20 iPhone design will change significantly [...] The metal frame and the front and rear 2/2.5D glass are still used, but the metal frame surface will be changed to a similar design to the iPhone 4, replacing the current surface design."
If Apple indeed goes ahead with the iPhone 4 design, the biggest change would be the return of squared-off edges. A vast majority of modern smartphones come with rounded corners regardless of the price segment. And since we have seen other smartphone makers usually following in Apple's footsteps, it will be interesting to see if they will release phones with square-like edges or not.
Kuo has already mentioned in a previous research note that all of 2020 iPhones will come with OLED display panels. This will be a big shift from Apple's recent strategy of releasing two OLED models and one LCD model. This kind of differentiation will be replaced by network band support. Kuo says Apple will release two 5G iPhones and one 4G LTE iPhone next year. These three models are expected to have 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch display sizes. It goes without saying that if these predictions come true, then it is the 5.4-inch model that will come with only 4G LTE connectivity.