The Mac Otakara Report
The Japanese news site, citing Apple suppliers at CES this year, reports that the Cupertino tech giant “might be developing Face ID models beside Touch ID models as an updated version of iPhone 8.”
What the site appears to be referring to is an alternate refresh of Apple’s “iPhone 8” with Face ID and an edge-to-edge display that would be refreshed alongside the much-rumored “iPhone SE 2.”
The report goes on to claim that the 5.4-inch OLED iPhone would return to an iPhone 7 body size, and would come equipped with a much larger camera setup than the iPhone 8. Presumably, that means it would have a dual-lens camera with an square camera bump
Additionally, Mac Otakara claims that the 5.4-inch iPhone would sport Face ID, allowing it to do away with a chain and forehead bezel and attain its display size.
But that is specifically where the Mac Otakara piece loses us a bit. If you look at current and recent iPhone models, the numbers just don’t add up.
Making Sense of the Rumors
As mentioned earlier, Apple is largely expected to debut up to five new iPhones this year, including two 6.1-inch devices (one low-end and one higher-end) and one 6.7-inch Max device.
But it’s the so-called “iPhone 9/iPhone SE 2” and the rumored 5.4-inch iPhone that’s seemingly adding confusion to the lineup.
The iPhone SE 2, despite the name, is largely expected to be a standard iPhone 8 refresh, complete with Touch ID and large bezels. That’s appropriate for its price point.
But we have much less information about the 5.4-inch iPhone, which Mac Otakara contends could be also an iPhone 8 successor.
The main problem comes down to the screen size. Mac Otakara claims that the device will have a 5.4-inch display size despite its iPhone 7-like form factor due to reduced bezels. But that doesn’t make sense.
Take into account that the iPhone X and iPhone XS are only slightly larger than the iPhone 8 already, but sport a 5.8-inch display.
A drop down to a 5.4 inch edge-to-edge display would result in a form factor likely smaller than the iPhone 8.
It’s possible that Mac Otakara is simply confusing the rumors:
- The iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9 could be an iPhone 8 refresh
- The 5.4-inch OLED iPhone will be an edge-to-edge device with a new form factor occupying the lower end of the “premium” spectrum.
Based on the fact that all four fall devices will be OLED-based, it’s possible that the 5.4-inch iPhone could even be cheaper than the lower-end 6.1-inch device.
We don’t know how much it’ll cost, although it’ll likely be on the lower-end of Apple’s fall 2020 lineup.
Adding even more confusion to the mix are credible rumors that Apple could release two iPhone 9 models in the first half of the year, including an “iPhone 9 Plus“
But, of course, that’s just speculation at this point. And Apple has had even more confusing product lineups in the past. We’ll just have to wait until later this year for Apple’s 2020 lineup to become clearer.