While just announced the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone Xr, rumors for the 2019 iPhone are already surfacing. While the information has yet to be confirmed, it seems Apple’s 2019 flagships could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features. Here’s everything we know about the device so far.
No more 3D Touch
Each year when Apple announces its newest batch of iPhones we expect to see new hardware and features. But every once in a while, the tech giant takes an underperforming feature away. And it looks like 3D Touch could go away in 2019.
Earlier in 2018, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said he expected Apple to drop 3D Touch as soon as 2019. In August, a Barclays analyst said he expects Apple to remove the feature in the near future. When Apple announced the 2018 iPhone lineup in September, the iPhone Xr was the first phone in a number of years that shipped without 3D Touch. While Apple may continue to omit the feature from its entry-level phones, we expect the may just do away with the feature altogether in 2019.
In May, it was reported that the flagship 2019 iPhone was set to include three camera lenses. Taiwanese publication Economic News Daily claimed each of the three cameras could boast 12 megapixels — which could mean additional camera features such as increased detail or greater zoom mode.
Economic Daily News also reports the upcoming phones will feature more advanced technology on the rear cameras that what’s currently being used on the TrueDepth front-facing cameras.
The new lenses will use stereoscopic imaging to capture objects and scenes from multiple angles, and triangulate multiple perspectives into 3D images.
This seems to be very similar to an earlier rumor from Deutsche Securities analyst Lu Jialin, who believes Apple will incorporate two stereo-vision lenses and a telephoto lens into its three-lens camera. That way, the cameras will be able to understand 3D space in a manner similar to the iPhone X’s TrueDepth front camera — which in turn means there could also be new augmented reality features as well.
It’s clear Apple is continuing to work on its ARKit, having introduced ARKit 2.0 as part of iOS 12 at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference. The new version delivers improved face tracking, support for 3D object detection and realistic rendering. Users can also play AR games against other users in the same virtual environment with multi-user augmented reality. With a three-lens camera, it will be interesting to see what features Apple will release for future versions of ARKit.
While Apple was a little late to incorporate OLED display into its hardware, it looks like the company is embracing the technology on its most expensive phones. Currently, the iPhone Xs and Xs Max sport OLED screens while the iPhone Xr sports Apple’s proprietary Liquid Retina LCD. So should we expect more of the same for 2019?
In a report by South Korean news source ETNews, anonymous Apple officials stated the company has started planning its 2019 iPhone models and have chosen OLED screens for “all three models.” Of course, after Apple announced its Liquid Retina LCD technology in 2018, we believe its unlikely that Apple will abandon the technology so quickly.
Of course, not all rumors suggest the same. More recently, Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst for KGI Securities, suggested that there will still be LCD models in 2019 and that they will probably outsell OLED models. These will likely be the more inexpensive iPhone models that adopt the shape and design of the iPhone X, but with an LCD screen.
While the notch has been a trend for the smartphones of 2018, that trend may be dying down. Earlier in June, Apple filed for a patent that specifically connected to displays that have openings in between pixels for camera and other sensors — which suggests the 2019 iPhone will ditch the notch. According to the patent application notes, it seems to hint the notch was placed there to begin with in order to accommodate the sensors needed in the front of the phone. Other reports indicate these openings would be embedded into the display itself, and too small to see.
Another patent from Apple relates to manufacturing ceramic iPhone bodies in a variety of colors — which could alter the way future iPhones look. The patent shows a device with colored bars on its back — specifically on the top and bottom. It’s also possible the Apple logo could be a different color than the rest of the iPhone.
Updated on September 13: Updated all copy after Apple’s 2018 keynote.