Everything we know about the 2020 iPhone

In 2020, Apple plans to transition back to Qualcomm modem chips instead of Intel chips, using Qualcomm’s 5G technology in its iPhones. Qualcomm and Apple were previously embroiled in a bitter legal battle, but managed to settle their disagreements in April of 2019.

All of the iPhones expected in 2020 will use 5G technology, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. All four iPhones will feature Qualcomm’s X55 5G modem chip.

The X55 chip offers 7Gb/s peak download speeds and 3Gb/s upload speeds, though these numbers are theoretical maximums and actual speeds will depend on carrier network. The chip is Qualcomm’s first 5G chip that supports all major frequency bands, operation modes, and network deployments.

There are two kinds of 5G networks — mmWave (faster and limited in range) and sub-6GHz (slower but wider spread) and there could be some differences in which countries support which specifications. mmWave 5G technology will likely be limited to major cities and dense urban areas because of its short range, while 5G networks in rural and suburban areas will use the slower sub-6GHz technology

Kuo believes iPhone models with mmWave and sub-6GHz support will be available in main markets like the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, and Japan, while in some other countries, Apple may offer iPhones with just sub-6GHz connectivity. sub-6GHz could also be disabled in countries that do not offer 5G or have shallow 5G penetration.

5G technology is still in the early stages of rolling out, but by the time Apple releases its new iPhones, the major carriers in the United States will have laid the groundwork for connectivity in most areas. For more on 5G technology and what we can expect when Apple rolls out its 2020 devices, make sure to check out our 5G iPhone guide.

Apple and Qualcomm are working together to get Qualcomm’s 5G technology into an iPhone as quickly as possible, with the two companies behind as their dispute was only settled in April 2019. Apple usually secures finalized modem hardware 18 months before the launch of a new iPhone.

Apple may be planning to use Qualcomm’s modems but not Qualcomm’s RF front-end components due to time constraints, which could potentially impact maximum wireless speeds, though we’ll need to see how Apple’s implementation plays out to know for sure.


Apple is using Qualcomm’s X55 5G modem chip in its 5G iPhones, but Apple is planning to design the antenna module that will accompany the chip itself. Apple reportedly “balked” at the design of Qualcomm’s antenna because it “doesn’t fit into the sleek industrial design Apple wants for the new phone.”

Apple is now working on its own antenna module, but there’s a chance that Qualcomm’s could also be used should Apple’s in-house work on the antenna not pan out.


Apple’s 2020 iPhones could instead support a new Wi-Fi standard known as IEEE 802.11ay, a followup to 802.11ad, which quadruples the bandwidth and adds up to four streams of multiple transmission/reception. The WiFi spec uses the 60GHz spectrum and is expected to be finalized by the end of 2020.

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iPhone SE 2020: Everything We Know

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is working on a new low-cost iPhone that is set to be released during the first half of 2020, perhaps in March 2020, with Apple aiming to bring up-to-date technology to customers at a lower price point.

Rumors referred to this device as the “iPhone SE 2” due to its expected price point of $399 or the “iPhone 9,” which Apple skipped over with the launch of the iPhone X, but apparently Apple is simply going to call the device the “iPhone SE,” cementing its position as a followup to the original 2016 iPhone SE.

Calling the iPhone an iPhone SE brings to mind the iPhone 5-style design of the iPhone SE with its small 4-inch display, but the new iPhone is expected to look more like an iPhone 8 than anything else. In fact, based on the rumors we’ve heard, this new device is going to be an updated iPhone 8 that uses the same components as the iPhone 8, and case makers have already started creating cases for it.

The low-cost iPhone will feature a 4.7-inch LCD display (likely supplied by LG), but will come upgraded with the same A13 chip that’s in the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, meaning it will be super speedy. It will include 3GB RAM, and it will continue to offer Touch ID instead of Face ID, with the Touch ID Home button at the bottom of the device.

There will be a single-lens rear camera to keep costs low (likely the same camera used in the iPhone 8), and it is expected to come in space gray, silver, and red color options. Like Apple’s flagship iPhone lineup, it will not feature 3D Touch, instead likely adopting Haptic Touch. Storage options are likely to include 64, 128, and 256GB.

There are many people who loved the form factor of the iPhone SE as it was Apple’s smallest available iPhone until it was discontinued, but it sounds like 4.7 inches is as small as Apple plans to go in the future.

The upcoming low-cost iPhone is expected to be a popular upgrade option for iPhone users who currently have an iPhone 6 or 6s and are looking for an affordable upgrade that offers the same feature set. It’s also likely to be popular in countries where lower-cost devices sell well, and Kuo believes Apple will sell somewhere between 20 to 30 million units in 2020. Multiple rumors have indicated the upcoming iPhone will feature a $399 price tag, which would make it the most affordable iPhone Apple has released since 2016.

Kuo has provided us with the most information about the new device, but other sources including Nikkei, Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, and Bloomberg have also confirmed that Apple is working on a new low-cost 4.7-inch iPhone set to launch in the spring of 2020.

Current rumors suggest the launch of the iPhone SE is imminent, with Apple planning to debut it very soon.

New cases designed for the low-cost iPhone have started showing up at Best Buy, with a stock date of April 5, which is in line with rumors that the new device is launching soon.


OnLeaks, a well-known leaker who has shared accurate renderings of iPhones in the past, recently shared a render of the “iPhone SE 2.” The device looks similar to an iPhone 8, though OnLeaks believes it will be 0.5mm thicker, measuring in at 7.8mm thick. Height and width (138.55mm x 67.4mm) are expected to be identical to the iPhone 8.

The glass back and polished metal frame are not confirmed features and are based on assumption rather than accurate rumors. It is not known if the iPhone SE 2 will have a glass back for wireless charging.

Two Models?

A rumor from DigiTimes, citing sources in the Taiwanese supply chain, has said that Apple may release two versions of the iPhone SE 2 in 2020, though it’s not clear if this information is correct as DigiTimes is often hit or miss with the rumors that it shares.

A leaked version of iOS 14 obtained by 9to5Mac reportedly also suggests Apple is perhaps working on two low-cost iPhone models, one that will be 4.7 inches and a second that will be 5.5 inches, ultimately replacing the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus.

According to 9to5Mac, both will have the same feature set and iPhone 8-style design with Touch ID Home button, single-lens rear camera, and A13 chip.

iPhone SE 2 Plus?

Though the “iPhone SE 2” hasn’t been released, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has already shared predictions about its successor, coming in 2021. Kuo expects Apple to introduce an “iPhone SE 2 Plus” with a full-screen design, no Face ID, and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the power button. This device is expected to feature a 5.5 or 6.1-inch LCD display and it will be positioned as a lower-cost iPhone.

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