Apple typically introduces new iPhones each September, and it looks as though 2019 is shaping up to be no different.
Keeping with the pattern in 2017 and 2018, Apple is widely expected to debut three new iPhones in 2019. And it sounds as if one of the biggest changes could be a triple-lens camera system.
Apple’s iPhone launches draw massive attention from news outlets, consumers, and Wall Street, and that’s bound to be the case more than ever in 2019 as the company grapples with falling iPhone sales.
In its earnings report in January, Apple said iPhone sales for the holiday quarter fell by 15% compared with the same quarter a year ago. Though other product areas are growing — such as its services business, which reached an all-time revenue high of $10.9 billion — the iPhone is still Apple’s biggest moneymaker.
Companies like Samsung and Huawei recently generated excitement with their new foldable phones, and many eyes will be on Apple come September to see whether it can make a similar impression with its 2019 iPhone lineup.
Here’s a look at what we’re expecting to see in this year’s iPhones, based on the reports and rumors that have surfaced so far.
Apple is once again expected to announce three new iPhones this fall, as indicated by reports from The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
That would follow the pattern Apple started in 2017, when it debuted the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X; last year it launched the iPhone XR, the iPhone XS, and the iPhone XS Max.
Apple’s next iPhone could have three camera lenses on its back, echoing Samsung’s and Huawei’s recent moves.
The new high-end iPhone, most likely the successor to the iPhone XS Max, would be the only one in Apple’s 2019 lineup to feature this triple-lens camera system, according to The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
But Bloomberg said Apple’s less expensive iPhones might eventually get this triple camera. Last year, the Taiwanese news outlet United Daily News also reported that Apple was working on a new iPhone with three lenses.
A third lens could enable the iPhone to capture a larger field of view and better zoom shots, Bloomberg said.
Apple’s 2019 iPhones will be the same size as its latest iPhones, the TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note, according to 9to5Mac. Kuo is generally considered a reliable source for Apple product news, as several of his past predictions have been correct.
It’s also possible that Apple will use OLED screens for all three of its 2019 iPhones, including the least expensive model. That would be a departure from the company’s latest lineup, where the iPhone XR is the only device to use an LCD screen. OLED screens typically offer deeper blacks and bolder colors, resulting in better contrast than LCD ones.
Last May, Reuters described a report from the South Korean news outlet Electronic Times as saying that Apple might use OLED screens for all three 2019 iPhones. But Kuo predicted that one model would still have an LCD screen.
Apple’s facial-recognition system may be getting an update this year. According to MacRumors, Kuo said in a note that the company planned to upgrade its Face ID system on its new iPhones to “lower the impacts from invisible lights” in the user’s environment to improve their experience.
Bloomberg also said Apple planned to improve Face ID.
Apple is expected to bring a more sophisticated 3D camera to its 2020 iPhones that would allow for better augmented-reality performance, but this technology might show up on a new iPad first, according to Kuo and Bloomberg.
Apple’s new iPhones will reportedly come with the same 5-watt charging brick Apple has been bundling with its phones for years, according to MacOtakara, even as fast-charging bricks increasingly become a standard for Android phones. So iPhone owners looking to charge their phones more quickly would still have to purchase an 18-watt charger separately.
According to 9to5 Mac, Kuo predicted that all three new iPhones would include support for bilateral charging, meaning they could charge other devices.
Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 supports this feature, making it possible to charge devices compatible with the Qi standard, like its Galaxy Watch Active and Galaxy Buds by resting them on the back of the device.
Apple typically requires its iPhones to be charged with its proprietary Lightning charger, but there’s a chance that could change this year.
The company has tested some versions of its 2019 iPhone that would charge via USB-C, according to Bloomberg, though Kuo predictedthat Apple’s new iPhones would once again be compatible only with its Lightning charger.
Don’t expect this year’s iPhones to look much different from the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max.
Apple’s new iPhones will “look similar to the current models,” Bloomberg said, adding that Apple is planning larger changes in 2020 to allow for 5G support.
Kuo, however, said the new models could feature a frosted-glass casing and would retain the “notch” near the top of the display.
This year’s iPhones will run on a new processor, as is typically the case with Apple’s new iPhones, Bloomberg reported.
According to MacRumors, Kuo’s note mentioned a few other internal updates, including upgraded batteries and an ultrawide-band component that would allow for better indoor positioning and navigation.
Apple’s follow-up to the iPhone XR, which has 3 GB of RAM, is expected to include 4 GB of RAM.