The first two models of the iPhone 12 is already seeing impressive sales. The remaining two – iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max – are pegged to ship out on Friday, Nov. 13. Interested buyers who held off from the initial release now have the option to choose between the smallest or the largest version of the flagship device. Even at this stage, it appears Apple's engineers are already mapping out plans for the 2021 iPhones, which are reportedly getting improved optics.

Details regarding the purported upgrades come from renowned Apple supply chain insider Ming-Chi Kuo. The former KGI Securities analyst who is now connected with TF International has been consistent with his past predictions. As such, his information about the new imaging configuration on the upcoming iPhones next year might be accurate once more.

According to Kuo, the iOS smartphones slated for next year will retain the latest design and form factor. This could be a hint that the lineup might be the "S" versions of the current models. Only the Pro and Pro Max versions will benefit from the bump in camera specs. MacRumors claims the f/2.4, 5P (five-element) fixed-focus lens of its ultra-wide-angle will be dropped in favour of an f/1.8, 6P (six-element) autofocus lens.

Reports likewise indicated that the company will soon source the bulk of its voice coil motors (VCM) for the new ultra-wide-angle cameras. As 5G network infrastructures around the world improve in the coming months, the sales outlook for Apple's handset catalogue is generally positive. Moreover, as production goes back to normal, the release date will likely move back to September.

Aside from the enhanced components for photography, the iconic display notch might also be reduced. Over the years, the Cupertino-based tech outfit has followed a practice wherein it adds incremental upgrades to the handsets that follow a major numbered release.

Its most recent one was the iPhone XS, but they broke tradition when the iPhone 11 was immediately succeeded by the iPhone 12 series. For now, the name of the 2021 units remains a mystery, which suggests it could be called the iPhone 12S or iPhone 13. Apple is hosting an online-only event dubbed "One More Thing" this week with new hardware announcements in tow.

Apple's results suggest momentum
One analyst said Apple's latest results suggest momentum heading into the season when it will likely release its iPhone 12. Photo: AFP / Josh Edelson