Apple’s Next Phone Could be a Refresh of the iPhone 4

Apple’s next phone could be a refresh of the iPhone 4

Apple’s next phone could be a refresh of the iPhone 4. The iPhone 11 was launched at the tech giant's headquarters in Cupertino, California as Apple seeks to spur new upgrades in a slumping global smartphone market. The new iPhone hasn’t even been on sale a full week but already attention is turning to next year’s model, which is predicted to revive a famous design.

A research note from an Apple analyst with a reputation for predicting the computing company’s next move suggests the 2020 iPhone could be a similar design to the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 was released in 2010 and discontinued in 2013.

Next year’s iPhone is likely to feature a metal frame box design, according to a research note from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, MacRumors reports. This would bring the current iPhone design cycle that began with the iPhone X to a close, reflecting Apple’s past practices of changing its flagship product’s design every three years.

It’s thought the new model would have a similar design to the current iPad Pro, with a rectangular aluminium casing around the outside housing two pieces of glass either side.

The next iPhone device is also likely to include 5G capabilities.

Unfortunately, iPhone 4 fans longing for a return to the compact form factor will likely be left disappointed, with Mr Kuo predicting screen sizes of 5.4 inches and 6.1 inches, possibly larger. The headphone jack is almost definitely not making a comeback either.

Apple’s former chief designer Jony Ive has recently announced he would be leaving the company to start his own firm but will count Apple as a client and could still play a hand in any revived design.

Bringing back the iPhone 4 design or one similar in next year’s iPhone could also be a way of marking the device’s 10-year anniversary. Apple released the iPhone 11 and two Pro models last week that make use of a number of features that first appeared on the iPhone 4.

Apple released the iPhone 11 and two Pro models last week that make use of a number of features that first appeared on the iPhone 4.Source:Getty Images

The iPhone 4 was an important device for Apple, marking the first significant changes to the iPhone’s design and introducing new features like the high-resolution Retina display and FaceTime video calling app.

But it wasn’t without controversy — the aluminium casing interfered with the device antennas, causing calls to drop out. The scandal escalated after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said users having a problem should just hold the iPhone in their other hand.

Apple later gave out free cases to try to mitigate the antenna issues.

If Mr Kuo is correct in his prediction that Apple will return to the old design or one like it, it would signal yet another tech company returning to an older, iconic design.

Sony recently announced the release of a new device to mark the 40th anniversary of the Walkman that features a cassette tape-style interface and comes bundled with a soft case mimicking the original player’s design.

Meanwhile Nokia has continued reissuing its past classics, including the 8810 “banana phone” made famous by The Matrix and the “indestructible” 3310 with its legendary snake game built-in.

In recent years, Nintendo, Sony, Sega and Commodore have reissued “classic” version of their iconic gaming consoles, featuring pre-installed games and support for modern technologies like wireless controllers and HDMI.

Instant cameras have also recently surged in popularity with releases from Polaroid and Fujifilm succeeding, even in the age of Instagram. What old tech would you like to see return? Let us know in the comments.