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(Pocket-lint) - Apple will reportedly go back to the iPhone 4 for one of the design inspirations for its next iPhone line-up in 2020.

Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has published a report in which he claims the iPhone 12 will have a new metal frame structure, much like the iPhone 4 introduced almost a decade ago.

"We predict that the new 2020 iPhone design will change significantly," he wrote - as reported by MacRumors.

"The metal frame and the front and rear 2/2.5D glass are still used, but the metal frame surface will be changed to a similar design to the iPhone 4, replacing the current surface design."

Kuo's prediction matches previous concept designs made by Ben Geskin, which he subsequently retweeted soon after the report was published.

If they turn out to be accurate, you can see a design similar to the iPhone 11 Pro - specifically the triple-camera unit on the rear - but with flat metallic edges, rather than the curved design on the latest handsets.

It's an interesting idea, reverting back to one of the classic features in Apple's design locker, and will certainly upset a few who are hoping that the brand-new cases they buy this year will work on the next generation devices too.

Still, we fondly remember our iPhone 4 (plus the 4S and up to 5S) so wouldn't be too disappointed ourselves by the retro feel.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 26 September 2019.