Alleged dummies show off unusual triple camera setup

APPLE’S NEXT-GENERATION iPhones are still some way off, but that hasn’t stopped the relentless online rumour mill from serving up some details about the iPhone 11, or so-called iPhone XI lineup. 

Three iPhones are expected to debut in September, including successors to the iPhone XS and XS Max, and a sequel to the iPhone XR. While few are likely too excited about another LCD-equipped iPhone, Apple’s flagship duo is shaping up nicely; they’re expected to be the first iPhones to boast triple camera systems, the first to offer USB-C and the first to ship with iOS 13, which is expected to bring a system-wide dark mode to iDevices.

We’ve rounded up everything we know about Apple’s 2019 iPhones so far below.

Release date
There’s no word yet as to when we’ll be seeing the iPhone 11. However, if Apple sticks to its usual schedule, INQ‘s putting its money on a 10 September unveiling, with pre-orders likely to kick off on 14 September. 

We know that Apple’s next iPhones will be expensive, but we don’t yet know quite how much they will fetch. If anything like 2018’s iPhone lineup, pricing will likely start around £999 and £1,099 for the XS and XS Max successors, and from £799 for the lesser-specced LCD model. 

Latest news
An image of alleged iPhone 11 moulds have given us a better look at the handsets’ unusual triple-camera modules. The picture, posted by SlashLeaks by way of Weibo, allegedly shows dummies manufactured by accessory makers. If legit, these confirm that both the regular and plus-sized iPhone 11 models will sport bizarrely-arranged triple camera arrays, rather than the previously-rumoured vertically-aligned setup. 

8/4/19: A report from Japanese blog Macotakara claims Apple will launch two brand-new iPhone models this year, alongside sequels to the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR.

The leftfield report claims the new models will boast OLED screens, USB-C and the previously rumoured triple-lens camera system. This will apparently add some heft to the iPhone duo; a 6.1in model will be around 0.15mm thicker than the iPhone XS, while a rumoured 6.5in variant will be 0.25mm thicker than the XS Max. 

The report, which cites unspecified “trustworthy sources”, adds that the new iPhones will also offer reverse wireless charging, enabling the devices to juice Apple’s AirPods with Charging Case and other Qi-compatible gadgets. 

With these new models set to showcase next-gen tech, Macotakara notes that the sequels to Apple’s 2018 iPhones will likely feature little more than an updated chip. 

4/4/19: A photo of an alleged iPhone 11 part posted to Chinese social network Weibo has all-but-confirmed that the smartphone will pack a triple camera array. Matching up to schematics shared last week (below), the component shows triangular-shaped cutouts for the cameras three lenses, alongside square cutouts for housing additional sensors. 

The part, which likely comes via Foxconn, also shows a hole where the iPhone 11’s wireless charging coil will go. While it’s hardly surprising that Apple’s 2019 iPhones will support cable-free charging, rumours suggest it’ll offer reverse wireless charging like the Samsung Galaxy S10. 

2/4/19: Backing up earlier rumours, Apple oracle Ming-Chi Kuo has said the next-gen iPhone will support reverse wireless charging. This feature, similar to that found on the Galaxy S10, will allow users to charge other gadgets on the rear of the iPhone 11, such as Apple’s new AirPods with wireless charging case.

Kuo is also predicting that the 2019’s iPhones will sport bigger batteries, as reported by Apple Insider.  He expects the iPhone XS successor to pack a battery that’s 20 to 25 per cent larger, while the battery in the iPhone XS Max sequel could be around 10-15 per cent larger than last year’s model. The iPhone XR replacement isn’t expected to see such a big battery increased, with Kuo predicting it will grow between 0 and 5 per cent.

Elsewhere, Kuo reiterates earlier predictions that the iPhone 11 will retain the proprietary Lightning connector, rather than shifting to USB-C. 

29/3/19: Leaked schematics have backed up recent rumours that the iPhone 11 will sport a visually-offensive triple camera setup on its backside. The images (below), via Twitter tipster @OnLeaks, show that these three cameras will be housed inside a Huawei-esque square-shaped bulge, alongside a flash and an as-yet-unspecified additional sensor. 

Additionally, separate rumours claim Apple is also plotting changes to the front of its 2019 iPhones. The firm will reportedly utilise an upgraded panel, alongside a sized-down Face ID modules, to reduce the size of the top-mounted notch.

26/3/19: Yet another rumour is claiming that Apple will debut reverse wireless charging on the iPhone 11. Backing up an earlier report from Ming-Chi Kuo (below), Japanese blog Macotakara write that the 2019 iPhones will get the S10-a-like feature, enabling users to wirelessly juice gadgets such as AirPods and the Apple Watch on the rear of the smartphone.

The report claims the so-called iPhone 11 will also ship with a new charging cable and the same 18W port as the iPad Pro, alongside upgraded cameras and a fatter battery.

18/3/19: A new report from Japanese blog Macotakara backs up earlier rumours that the iPhone 11 will sport a Huawei Mate 20-style triple camera setup.

Citing supply chain sources, the report claims that the more expensive iPhone 11 models will feature a triple-lens camera and a flash in a rectangular arrangement, similar to that seen on Huawei’s flagships. 

Macotakara doesn’t tell us much about the next-gen iPhones but does not that they’ll likely pack Apple’s as-yet-unannounced 7nm A13 chip. 

5/3/19: Developer Max Weinbach, who earlier this week shed some light on Apple’s second-gen AirPods, has spilt some tidbits of information about Apple’s upcoming iPhone 11 to EverythingApplePro (below).

According to Weinbach, next-gen iPhones will feature a new “waterproof” display technology that will, allegedly at least, allow the screen to recognise gestures and taps when fully submerged under water. 

He also claims that Apple has been working on a new Taptic Engine with “directional precision” which, according to Weinbach, able users to feel vibrations from various parts of the screen. 

There’s some bad news, though. While previous chatter had claimed the Apple’s long-hyped ‘Dark Mode’ would debut in iOS 13, set to ship on the iPhone 11, Weinbach says that work on the feature is running “behind schedule”, adding that it’ll “probably” debut in iOS 13.1.

18/1/19: Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is already pushing his predictions about the next-gen iPhones. In his latest report, seen by 9to5Mac, Kuo says he expects the iPhone 11 to offer reverse wireless charging, ultra-wideband connectivity for indoor positioning and navigation and improved Face ID tech, complete with a higher power flood illuminator, larger batteries, and a triple camera design. 

He expects all three models to stick with the same screen sizes – 6.5in, 5.8in and 6.1in, and backs up recent rumours that all three will retain Lightning over USB-C. 

12/1/19: Apple’s 2019 iPhones will stubbornly stick with the Lightning port rather than switching to USB-C, according to a report at Macotakara.

While earlier reports claimed that Apple was testing “some versions” of this year’s phone with USB-C, Macotakara – which successfully predicted that the 2018 iPad Pro would drop the Lightning port – claims the iPhone 11 lineup will once again ship with Apple’s standard 5W USB-A charger in the box. 

While frustrating for users who have fully embraced USB-C, the move is hardly surprising; the decision has reportedly been made to “save costs”, and it’s unlikely the new iPhones will be compatible with the same range of accessories as the iPad Pro and Apple’s newest MacBooks. 

11/2/19: Apple’s 2019 iPhones will pack a TSMC-made 7nm A13 CPU, according to a report at Digitimes.

The report claims that TSMC will continue to be the sole manufacturer of Apple’s A-series chips in 2019, with volume production of the A13 set to begin in the second quarter. The chipmaker will reportedly adopt extreme ultraviolet lithography for manufacturing Apple’s custom-designed chips for the first time. 

Digitimes also reiterates earlier claims that new AirPods and iPads will debut in the first half of 2019. A successor to the Apple Watch 4 is also said to be coming in 2019, but the report gives no information on features or timing. 

7/2/19: Renders of Apple’s iPhone 11 have shown what iOS 13’s rumoured ‘Dark Mode’ could look like on the flagship device. Created by Phone Arena based on preliminary details surrounding Apple’s 2019 iPhones, the official-looking images show how iOS will look with the goth-friendly mode enabled; from the Control Panel (below), multitasking and wallpapers. 

While Apple has yet to confirm that the setting exists, we’ll likely hear more at the firm’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in May. 

4/2/19: A mega-report from Bloomberg has shed some more light on Apple’s incoming 2019 iPhones.

Aligning with earlier speculation, the report claims that Apple is planning sequels to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max – codenamed D42 and D43 – along with an update to the LCD-equipped iPhone XR, which seemingly isn’t worthy of such a codename. 

The successor to the iPhone XS Max will have a triple-camera setup on its backside that will help the device “capture a larger field of view and enable a wider range of zoom”, Bloomberg‘s sources claim, noting that “other handsets could eventually come with the upgraded system”; likely Apple’s 2020 iPhones

To make the most of this new and improved camera system, Apple is reportedly plotting a new version of its Live Photos feature which will double the length of video from three to six seconds.

The report also backs up chatter that Apple’s 2019 iPhones will be the first to ditch the proprietary Lightning port in favour of USB-C. 

Bloomberg has some deets on Apple’s next version of iOS, too. It claims iOS 13, set to debut on the iPhone 11, will offer a system-wide dark mode a la macOS, CarPlay improvements and new iPad-specific features including the ability to tab through multiple versions of a single app like pages in a web browser.

Apple will also integrate two new services, Bloomberg reports, including its long-rumoured magazine subscription and Netflix-a-like original video services

The lengthy report also offers up some details about Apple’s 2020 iPhone lineup, which Bloomberg’s sources claim will feature a souped-up 3D camera system powered by a laser scanner that will allow users to create three-dimensional reconstructions of the real world. This, it claims, could be a prelude to an AR headset that Apple has been preparing for as early as 2020

29/1/19: A freshly-leaked prototype of the iPhone 11, or iPhone XI, is doing the rounds online that points to a completely redesigned ‘Cyclops’ camera.

The official-looking images, which come courtesy of CompareRaja, show that the camera on the next-gen iPhone could be placed in a horizontal desigh, with three cameras plonked into the top middle of the rear of the handset.  

CompareRaja also adds weight to earlier rumours that the iPhone 11 will adopt a triple-camera sensor for the first time, as Apple eyes up the likes of the Galaxy S10 and Huawei P30.

iPhone 11 prototype

Elsewhere, the leak suggests the iPhone 11 will arrive in four colour variants, with the standard space grey, gold and silver joined by a new blue hue. It’s also claimed that the iPhone 11 will share the same screen as the iPhone XS with thinner bezels, a USB-C port and no 5G connectivity support. 

Finally, the 2019 iPhones look set for an upgrade in the battery department; the iPhone 11 will allegedly pack a 4,000mAh battery, the largest Apple will have included in an iPhone to date.

16/1/19: Apple’s 2019 iPhones have been shown in legit-looking renders, ‘confirming’ the handsets’ horizontally-stacked triple-camera setup. 

The leak, once again, comes via @OnLeaks, who this week released new renders created in partnership with CompareRaja. The images, based on “100 per cent legit prototypes”, shows off an iPhone with a trio of rear-mounted lenses aligned in a horizontal strip; debunking earlier talk of a protruding, square-shaped array. 

CompareRaja notes that, with an additional camera on its rear, the so-called iPhone XI likely will be more expensive than the iPhone XS. However, a recent report at the Wall Street Journal (below) claimed that only the top-of-the-line iPhone XI Max will boast a trio of cameras, with the other two models set to stick with a dual-camera setup. 

OnLeaks’ latest renders don’t tell us much else about the incoming iPhones, but the tipster notes that they will likely feature a smaller notch than Apple’s 2018 models and slightly skinnier bezels. 

15/1/19: 2019 might be the year that Apple’s iPhones ditch the proprietary Lightning connection in favour of USB-C.

So says a report at Macotakara, which claims Apple’s 2019 iPhone’s “might” make the switch to USB-C, following in the footsteps of the 2018 iPad Pros. 

However, the report notes that “those who are working on” the iPhone’s USB-C transition suggest it has not yet reached the reference design stage, a sign that the switch could miss the 2019 iPhone refresh. 

Bizarrely, the same report claims that Apple might be developing a 7th-generation iPod touch. Citing supply chain sources at CES, Macotakara says that the long-in-the-tooth 6th-generation iPod Touch, which was first launched in 2015 and still retails for £199, might finally be getting a successor as Apple looks to fuel its Apple Music and iCloud services.

14/1/19: Apple’s next-generation iPhones could be the first to ship with a 5G modem, according to a report at Reuters.

While earlier rumours claimed the iPhone wouldn’t be getting a 5G modem until 2020, Reuters reports that Apple has considered Samsung, MediaTek, and its current wireless chip provider Intel to supply 5G modem chips for the 2019 iPhones.

The claim comes from testimony during Apple’s ongoing trial between Qualcomm and the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today.

According to Apple supply chain exec Tony Blevins, who testified at the trial, the firm had long sought multiple suppliers for modem chips but signed an agreement with Qualcomm to exclusively supply the chips because it offered “deep rebates on patent license costs in exchange for exclusivity.”

11/1/19: Apple reportedly plans to release a new LCD iPhone in 2019, despite the lacklustre response to the current iPhone XR. 

That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports that Apple will release three new smartphones later this year, including two OLED models and one LCD-equipped handset, the latter of which will arrive as the successor to the iPhone XR.

The underwhelming reception of the iPhone XR has seen Apple consider the possibility of dropping the LCD-based model entirely, claims the report’s sources, which would result in a complete shift to using OLED displays for the iPhone range, as previously rumoured. 

However, it looks set to keep an LCD model in its iPhone lineup for now, with the WSJ noting that Apple’s project planning has progressed to a point where major features, like the display, cannot be easily changed.

7/1/19: We’re still nine months away from the launch of Apple’s next-gen iPhones, but the first alleged renders have already shown up online.

The renders (below), shared by usually-reliable tipster @OnLeaks, show a protruding Mate 20 Pro-esque square camera array comprising with three lenses, the third offset from the other two, and an accompanying flash and microphone. Previous rumours suggest that the third camera will be a 3D ToF sensor, but this remains speculation for now.

While this ugly sensor looks a far cry from Apple’s usual, minimal design approach, the leak has been backed up by equally-reliable tipster Ice Universe, which suggests it’s at least close to the real deal.

OnLeaks also backs up earlier rumours that Apple will launch three iPhones this year; successors to the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. It’s likely that the model in the renders is the highest-spec XS Max follow-up, but this has not been confirmed.

10/12/18: Don’t go getting too excited about next year’s iPhones, as they’ll allegedly look a whole lot like Apple’s current lineup.

So says analyst Anne Lee of Japanese investment bank Nomura, who predicts that the design of the 2019 iPhones isn’t going to change much compared to the current iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, 9to5Mac reports. 

“We think the three new iPhones in 2H19F will likely have the same form factors (body size and displays) as the 2H18 iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max, with some added AR [augmented reality]-related features,” Lee wrote in a research note.

2020’s iPhones will be worth getting excited about though, according to Lee, who expects to see an all-new notchless design, 5G support and souped-up augmented reality (AR) functionality. 

“We think 2019 could be the last year the iPhone uses the iPhone X design architecture, in preparation for initial hardware specs for 5G (sub-6GHz) and AR (augmented reality), before greater architecture upgrades in 2020F for 5G and a more comprehensive AR system,” she added 

4/2/18: Despite earlier rumours to the contrary, a new report claims that Apple’s 2019 iPhones won’t offer support for 5G networks.

Bloomberg report co-authored by noted Apple oracle Mark Gurman claims that Apple won’t introduce a 5G-capable iPhone next year, and will instead “hold off until at least 2020”.

People “familiar with Apple’s plans” suggested that the delay could be related to the company’s feud with Qualcomm, noting that its new BFF Intel won’t have chips available in time to support 2019 phones.

Regardless, it’s a risky move from Apple, as some of its biggest competitors are gearing up to launch 5G devices next year, including Huawei, OnePlus and Samsung, the latter of which is expected to launch a 5G version of the Galaxy S10 in February

“Apple has always been a laggard in cellular technology,” said Mark Hung, an analyst at Gartner, told Bloomberg. “They weren’t impacted in the past, but 5G is going to be much easier to market. But if they wait beyond 2020, then I think they’ll be impacted.” 

12/11/18: Apple’s next-gen iPhones will adopt new antenna technology to prepare for the arrival of a 5G-capable handset in 2020

We’re still 10 months away from the launch of Apple’s next iPhones, and we’ve already heard murmurs of a notch-less full-screen design, upgraded Face ID tech and a fully OLED lineup.

Apple oracle Ming Chi-Kuo is the latest to offer up some premature predictions about what we can expect from the devices. In a research note seen by 9to5Mac, Kuo says he expects Apple to shift away from Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) antenna technology in favour of a combination of Modified PI tech, primarily to improve yield rates and simplify the production process.

LCP is more “brittle” than alternatives, Kuo notes, and causes issues with yield rate, while the Modified PI antenna “can be as good as LCP thanks to the improved fluoride formula.”

Kuo expects Apple to rope in five suppliers to equip it with MPI tech, and predicts that the 2019 iPhone models will adopt four MPI antennae and two LCP antennae; currently, the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max are each equipped with six LCP antenna. 

This all sounds well and good, and, er, fairly boring, and it’s unlikely consumers will see noticeable performance benefits from the antenna switch-up. However, both LCP and MPI will be involved in the push towards 5G technology, and these latest rumours come just weeks after a report claimed that Apple will release its first 5G smartphone in 2020. 

According to these online murmurs, Apple has already signed up Intel as its 5G modem supplier; the firm is reportedly using Intel’s 8160 chip for testing but hopes that the 10nm 8161 will provide faster speeds and greater efficiency for the finished product.

As a backup, Apple will turn to MediaTek. Of course, Qualcomm also has its own X50 modem for 5G, but given the escalating legal battles between the chip giant and Apple, you would imagine that a deal will only be struck there once hell freezes over. µ

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