Apple 2020 preview: 5G iPhones, Apple Watch Series 6, and much more

Apple Store Fifth Avenue

Here’s an idea of what the coming year will look like for Apple.

Jason Snell for Tom’s Guide:

The story of the iPhone of 2019 was a redefinition and repricing of the base-model product. Yes, the iPhone 11 is just the successor to 2018’s iPhone XR, but by giving the 11 the flagship name and cutting the price, Apple sent a strong signal that the iPhone product line was going to be more accessible and affordable than in previous years.

Expect more of that in 2020… We can also expect the iPhone 12, which should bring 5G connectivity to Apple’s lineup. Besides a 5G modem, the iPhone 12 lineup could add features like a new time-of-flight sensor that delivers more augmented-reality features…

I do wonder if Apple’s surprise move of the year might come on the Mac side. For years now, there’s been speculation that Apple would move away from using Intel processors on the Mac in favor of Apple-designed, ARM-based chips… This hasn’t happened yet, but the consumer side of Apple’s laptop line consists of just the Retina MacBook Air. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple finally took the wraps off a new processor family for the Mac in 2020, starting with a power-sipping consumer laptop with a long-lasting battery.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s hoping that Apple finally kills off the antiquated, staccato-inducing Home button everywhere. Every time we have to use an older iPad or iPhone, or a newer one that still has a Home button, it’s an exercise in frustration. It’s just so much quicker and more fluid to use iOS/iPadOS with a swipe-based, Home button-free user interface.

When Apple brings out the new “Super” TrueDepth system on the flagship iPhones and, maybe, iPad Pros, it’d be the perfect time to bring the regular iPad, iPad Air, and iPad mini into modern times with the “regular,” now cost-effective TrueDepth camera system. iPhone 8 will fall off the bottom of the list to be replaced with iPhone XR. If the “iPhone SE 2” could somehow lose the Home button, too, we’d be free of it once and for all, but, due to cost considerations, we’d settle for Apple’s entry-level iPhone (and the iPod touch, of course), retaining the Home button in 2020. Most likely, also due to cost, Apple will keep the Home button on iPad and iPad mini, too.

As for Apple TV, how about an inexpensive, competitive “Apple TV stick?”


  1. It still takes 5-6 swipes sometimes to get back to the home screen on my X because of software and orientation hangups while the home button never took more than a press or two. Software-based interactions will always be more inconsistent and frustrating than hardware because increased complexity and dumber programmers aren’t going away.

  2. If Apple offers an ARM powered MacBook Air, as an alternative to other laptops, I’m not sure that it would be worth the effort (and cost) just to compete with Chromebooks.

    If they are making a complete platform shift, I can see a lot of people dropping Apple because of the headaches of a transition if and when applications Are rewritten. Intel have fallen behind AMD of late in several respects, particularly for desktop equipment. Apple could easily use their CPUs without the creation of software pain.

    I’m not lookin forward to such a change.

  3. Home button is more intuitive and simple. FYI, I can use BOTH Home button OR swipe up gesture on my iPads. Even though I’ve tried using the swipe exclusively, I always return to just pressing button. It has a tactile sensation that’s important. It’s why haptics are designed (at added expense) into Apple Watch and MacBook trackpads. The “click” sensation is more satisfying than swiping. Also, Touch ID is simple and cost-effective.

    iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPod touch are less than one year old. They’ll be in the lineup for at least two years (maybe three). With the new rumored iPhone (or iPhone 8 now), there are more current Apple devices with Home button than without. Home button is not going away for a while.

    1. I appreciate that some prefer the home button and Touch ID; however, I’ve used home button-free iPad Pro and iPhone every day since their respective debut, and have never missed nor thought about the home button — since adopting these new devices. For me, gestures and Face ID just work, and are intuitive and superior to the home button and Touch ID.

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