iPhone 12 could be smaller than iPhone SE (but sport a bigger screen)

iPhone 12
(Image credit: Apple)

The arrival of the iPhone SE earlier this year was welcome news for fans of compact phones – and if new iPhone 12 rumours are to be believed, so could be the launch of Apple's next flagship iPhone. 

The iPhone 12 could beat the iPhone SE for both specs and diminutive dimensions and – and all while packing a larger screen, if popular YouTuber and Apple leaker EverythingApplePro is correct.

The leaker posted a video on Twitter showing a CAD model (designed to help case manufacturers produce new protective case models ahead of a phone launch) of what is allegedly the iPhone 12 next to iPhone SE for comparison. The forthcoming iPhone is unmistakably a little bit shorter in the render, and appears to be slightly thinner too.

Interestingly, the iPhone 12 supposedly has a 5.4-inch screen, while the iPhone SE (2020) just has just 4.7-inches of display. What gives?  Well, seemingly the home button. The SE has one, in a bezel under the display. The iPhone 12 will almost certainly use Face ID instead, however, so it won't need it – thus freeing up extra usable screen real estate.

The iPhone 12 is also likely to have a smaller notch, despite the large notch seen in the mock-ups above. These details are supposedly often refined at a later date as case manufacturers don't need such information to produce a protective case.

The iPhone SE (2020) measures 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm, and while we don’t know the iPhone 12's exact measurements, the length and width will be just shy of that if this latest leak proves genuine. That would mean the new iPhone 12 could be just a smidgeon bigger than the iPhone 5 (2012). 

Of course, nothing concrete about the iPhone 12 has been confirmed, and it’s unclear where the information used for this model came from. That said, EverythingApplePro claims that similar CAD models released last year for the iPhone 11 proved quite accurate.


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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.