2020 iPhone to sport smaller notch, bigger 5G antennas

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2020-iPhone-antenna
Our first look at the 2020 iPhone?
Photo: Ben Geskin

Apple reportedly is working on a number of big design changes for the 2020 iPhone lineup. It wants to shrink the notch (finally!) and add wider antenna bands that will support 5G connectivity.

The company is said to be testing a number of prototype designs — all of which feature smaller notches. Apple also is planning for a future without Lightning connectivity.

The iPhone 11 lineup went on sale just a month ago. So rumors surrounding its successor haven’t entered full swing just yet. But we have seen snippets of information about Apple’s plans.

We recently heard Cupertino is planning a big redesign, inspired by the iconic iPhone 4, for next year. And now reliable leaker Benjamin Geskin has more information to share.

2020 iPhone to offer 5G

Geskin claims Apple is testing “a few Face ID prototypes with new optics,” each of which has a smaller notch. “Some are smaller in width, some are narrower to fit the top bezel,” he writes.

Apple also plans to integrate wider antenna bands — still less than 1mm thick — that will support 5G connectivity, he adds. And those bands will use glass, ceramic or sapphire rather than plastic.

Finally, Geskin reveals that Apple’s “long-term plan” is to rid iPhone of its Lightning port. It is expected to go all-in on wireless instead, taking advantage of ultra-wideband technology for charging and data transfer.

So long, Lightning

UWB, aka wireless USB, is capable of transmitting data at up to 480 Mbps over distances of up to 3 meters. It can support up to 110 Mbps over distances of up to 10 meters.

It’s important to note that Apple isn’t planning to drop Lightning next year — that’s for the future. Geksin doesn’t mention whether it could switch to USB-C for iPhone in the meantime.

We will hear a lot more about next year’s iPhone lineup over the next 12 months. And it’s possible Apple’s plans will change, perhaps several times, by the time the devices get their official unveiling next fall.