In 2019, Apple is expected to continue offering iPhones in multiple sizes and at multiple price points to provide customers with choice. 2018 brought the iPhone XS (5.8 inches), the iPhone XS Max (6.5 inches), and the iPhone XR (6.1 inches). The two XS devices have higher price tags starting at $999, while the XR is priced starting at $749.
We’re expecting a similar lineup in 2019, perhaps with a continuation of both the iPhone XS and XR devices, with rumors suggesting we’ll see 5.8 and 6.5-inch OLED iPhones along with a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone. We don’t yet know what Apple will call the new iPhones, but iPhone XI or iPhone 11 are possibilities for the iPhone XS successors. Given that naming is up in the air, we’re going to be referring to the upcoming iPhones as the “2019 iPhones” for now.
Rumors about the 2019 iPhones started before the iPhone XS and XR were even announced, and we’ve heard quite a few details on what we can expect. Design wise, the 2019 iPhone lineup will look similar to the 2018 iPhone lineup, but Apple may be planning to use a new frosted glass design for the back of the 5.8 and 6.5-inch devices. The 6.1-inch iPhone, meanwhile, could come in new lavender and green shades.
Apple is expected to continue using OLED displays for the 2019 devices, and while some rumors suggest Apple may go with an all OLED lineup, doing away with the LCD displays of the iPhone XR, other rumors believe Apple will stick with LCDs because of the high price of OLED displays. The new iPhones may be about a half a millimeter thicker.
All 2019 iPhones are likely to adopt upgraded A13 chips from TSMC, Apple’s chip supplier. Chip upgrades typically bring
Rumors suggest the next-generation 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch OLED iPhones will feature triple-lens rear cameras, while the successor to the iPhone XR will feature a dual-lens camera with a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens.
We don’t know for sure what the triple-lens camera setup will look like, but renderings have surfaced suggesting a square-shaped camera bump with lenses arranged in a triangle. A triple-lens camera has the potential to include benefits like better 3D sensing for augmented reality purposes, 3x optical zoom capabilities, up from 2x optical zoom in the 2018 iPhones, and better performance in low light.
We may also see a revamped front-facing TrueDepth camera system, with rumors suggesting either a smaller notch, though information is mixed and at least one reliable source has said there will be no design changes to the notch at all. All three of the front-facing cameras in the 2019 iPhones are expected to be 12 megapixels, up from 7 megapixels in the 2018 models.
Apple eliminated 3D Touch in the iPhone XR, replacing it with a new Haptic Touch feature, and rumors have suggested the same thing could happen in the 2019 iPhone lineup, with 3D Touch set to be removed. Bigger batteries are expected, perhaps to accommodate the new camera technology.
Rumors suggest we’re going to see faster WiFi (thanks to the adoption of WiFi 6) and LTE speeds, and we’re also expecting the new iPhone models to feature a bilateral wireless charging feature that will let them wirelessly charge other smartphones and devices that support wireless charging like the AirPods.
There have been some rumors of Apple Pencil support in the 2019 iPhones, which would allow the devices to work with Apple’s stylus, but we’ve heard nothing concrete just yet.
Alleged Renderings and Part Leaks
5.8 and 6.5-Inch OLED iPhones
Renders of the 5.8 and 6.5-inch OLED iPhones coming in 2019 surfaced in April, and are said based on information shared by leaker OnLeaks, aka Steve Hemmerstoffer, who has, in the past, shared accurate details on unreleased Apple devices.
The two iPhones look similar to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, but in given dimensions, are described as being slightly thicker. The current iPhone XS, for example, measures in at 143.6mm by 70.9mm by 7.7mm, while the next iPhone XS is said to measure in at 143.9mm by 71.4mm by 7.8mm.
The larger 6.5-inch iPhone coming in 2019 is said to measure in at 157.6mm x 77.5mm x 8.1mm, compared to the current size of 157.5mm x 77.4mm x 7.7mm. In the case of the next-generation 6.5-inch iPhone, if it is as described, it could be noticeably thicker than the current model.
Design wise, the iPhones look nearly identical to the current-generation iPhones, with the exception of wide square-shaped camera bump at the rear housing three lenses in a triangular configuration. The rear panel of the two devices is said to be made from a single pane of glass, a design meant to minimize the camera bump.
There may also be a redesigned mute switch that’s circular in shape rather than pill-shaped, but otherwise, there are no other design changes.
Rumors have suggested Apple is has considered two possible prototype designs for the triple-lens camera, including the square-shaped camera bump seen above, and a more mainstream-looking rear camera in a horizontal layout with a flash located around the middle of the three lenses.
Recent information seems to suggest Apple has decided on using the square-shaped camera bump that arranges the three lenses in a triangular shape, though beyond these renderings, no sites that provide reliable information have commented on the iPhone’s design.
An alleged schematic for one of the 2019 iPhone models appears to depict cutouts for a triple-lens camera arranged in an offset manner that would require a square-shaped camera bump. It’s not clear if this is an accurate schematic, but it is in line with other leaked triple-lens camera renderings.
An image of an alleged rear chassis for one of the 2019 iPhone models surfaced on Chinese social networking site Weibo in April, appearing to depict cutouts for a triple-lens camera setup.
It’s not clear which iPhone the component belongs to, but rumors have suggested that it’s the 5.8 and 6.5-inch iPhone XS and XS Max successors that will have triple-lens cameras while the LCD iPhone will use a dual-lens camera.
Case maker molds allegedly designed to create cases for two of the 2019 iPhone models surfaced in April. The molds both feature triple-lens camera arrangements in a square shape, suggesting these could be molds for the 5.8 and 6.5-inch iPhone models. The front looks similar in design to the current 2018 iPhone models.
Apple is said to be aiming for an all OLED lineup at some point in the future, perhaps in 2019, but it’s not clear if that will be possible given the high price of OLED displays.
Rumors have disagreed on Apple’s 2019 display plans, with some rumors pointing towards an all OLED display and other rumors suggesting Apple will continue to use some LCDs.
It’s likely the 2019 iPhone lineup will look like the 2018 lineup, with premium OLED devices offered alongside more affordable LCD options, and that’s what we’ve heard from most rumors so far.
Apple’s 2019 iPhones could potentially be thinner and lighter due to the adoption of Samsung-designed OLED display technology called Y-OCTA, which integrates the touchscreen layer into the display panel. Given that the display panel is already a thin component, it’s not clear how much thickness reduction we’ll see, but apple is likely to use the technology due to its lower cost.
Japanese site Mac Otakara believes that there could be two new iPhones in 2019 with triple-lens camera setups instead of one, one that measures in at 6.1 inches and one that measures in at 6.5 inches, both with OLED displays and slightly thicker bodies. Mac Otakara‘s info doesn’t mesh with other rumors, though, which have suggested the OLED models will come in 5.8 and 6.5 inch sizes like the current iPhone lineup.
Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis, who has a somewhat mixed track record, has suggested that all 2019 iPhones will do away with 3D Touch. Apple did eliminate 3D Touch in the lower-priced 6.1-inch iPhone XR, and the company could be planning to remove the feature entirely in the 2019 iPhones.
The Wall Street Journal has also said that all three iPhone models could ship without support for 3D Touch.
In iOS 13, Apple implemented a feature that lets a long press on devices without 3D Touch mimic the function of a 3D Touch (such as peeking at links or using a 3D Touch to see app details on the Home screen), which perhaps suggests that Apple is now designing iOS with a non-3D Touch future in mind. These new long press gestures work on the iPhone XR and on iPads, devices that don’t have 3D Touch.
TSMC will be the sole supplier of the next-generation “A13” ships that will be used in the 2019 iPhone lineup, and iPhones coming in the future. The A13 is expected to be built on TSMC’s 7nm+ package with extreme ultraviolet lithography.
The A13, like all chip upgrades, should bring performance and efficiency improvements.
The Wall Street Journal has confirmed that Apple is planning on introducing a triple-lens camera system in at least one of the iPhones coming in 2019. According to the site, the second-generation iPhone XS Max will feature a three-lens camera, while the successors to the iPhone XS and iPhone XR will continue to use dual-lens cameras.
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, both the 5.8 and 6.5-inch OLED iPhones, aka the successors to the iPhone XS and XS Max, will both feature triple-lens rear camera setups with a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 12-megapixel super wide-angle lens. The 6.1-inch iPhone XR successor is said to feature a dual-lens rear camera setup rather than a triple-lens setup.
There were some rumors suggesting Apple would introduce 3D depth sensing technology for the rear-facing camera, but that’s been delayed until 2020.
A triple-lens rear camera will allow for a larger field of view, a wider zoom range, improved low light performance, and it will capture more pixels. According to Bloomberg Apple is working on a feature that would use that extra pixel data to provide tools for automatically repairing a photo or a video to fit in a subject that “may have accidentally been cut off from the initial shot.”
Rumors suggest that Apple is planning to arrange the three cameras in a triangle shape, leading to a square-shaped camera bump on the back of the iPhone, which would require a large camera cutout for iPhone cases. It’s not entirely clear yet if this is the layout Apple will use, as there have also been rumors of a horizontal triple-lens camera layout, but the square bump is what’s been featured heavily in renderings and leaks.
The dual-lens camera on the next-generation iPhone XR may also feature a square camera bump, which would better match the camera bump on the next-generation iPhone XS and XS Max.
Front-Facing TrueDepth Camera System
Rumors suggest Apple is planning to make changes to the front-facing TrueDepth Camera System that enables Face ID in the 2019 iPhones. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes 2019 iPhones will feature a new flood illuminator that will improve Face ID by lowering the impact of the invisible light from the environment.
All three new iPhones coming in 2019 are expected to feature 12-megapixel single-lens front-facing cameras, which will be an improvement over the 7-megapixel camera used in the 2018 iPhone lineup.
Specialized coating techniques for both the front-facing cameras and the super wide-angle camera lens could make the lenses look more inconspicuous.
Apple may be able to introduce a smaller notch by combining the front-facing camera and the Face ID sensors into a single face recognition module. Despite some rumors suggesting a smaller notch or no notch at all, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often accurately predicts Apple’s plans, believes there will be no change to the size of the notch in the 2019 iPhone lineup.
Apple supplier AMS has announced new sensor technology that allows the RBG light and the IR proximity sensor used for the front-facing TrueDepth camera system to be embedded under an OLED display. Apple could potentially be planning to introduce the new sensor tech in its 2019 iPhones, and this would allow Apple to create an iPhone with a smaller Face ID notch.
Apple Pencil Support
Korean site The Investor, which does not have an established track record for accuracy, has suggested Apple is considering offering an Apple Pencil-style stylus alongside the 2019 iPhone models.
It’s not clear if this is accurate, but Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is reliable, has said that Apple Pencil support is a possibility for a future iPhone.
Bilateral Wireless Charging
Two-way wireless charging, or bilateral charging, is a feature rumored for the 2019 iPhones. Two-way wireless charging will let the Qi-based iPhones coming in 2019 charge another iPhone or the new AirPods with Wireless Charging Case. You’ll essentially be able to charge any Qi-based device with your iPhone, as it will work as a wireless charger itself.
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, 2019 iPhones will feature larger batteries that will offer longer battery life and support new capabilities such as the bilateral wireless charging.
Kuo says that battery capacities for the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max successor could increase by 10 to 15 percent, while the battery capacity of the 5.8-inch OLED iPhone XS successor could grow by 20 to 25 percent. The iPhone XR successor isn’t expected to see much of a gain, though, with Kuo predicting growth of 0 to 5 percent.
The Elec, the next-generation iPhone XR will use a 3,110 mAh battery, which is around 5.7 percent large than the 2,942 mAh battery in the current iPhone XR.
Ultra-Wide Band Support
The 2019 iPhone lineup could include support for Ultra-Wide Band, which would offer improvements to indoor positioning and navigation.
There have been mixed rumors about Apple potentially transitioning to USB-C in the 2019 iPhone lineup, with some rumors indicating a swap to the new connector while others suggest Apple will stick with Lightning.
Japanese site Mac Otakara originally said the 2019 iPhones could potentially feature a USB-C port, based on supply chain sources, but later shared another rumor suggesting the 2019 iPhone lineup will continue to use a Lightning connector.
According to Steve Hemmerstoffer, who allegedly has details on 2019 iPhone prototypes, the devices do not feature a USB-C port and instead use Lightning ports.
According to Bloomberg, Apple is testing some versions of the 2019 iPhone lineup that include a USB-C connector instead of a Lightning port. It’s not known if the company’s final plans will include a transition to USB-C, but Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple is going to stick with Lightning for the 2019 iPhone lineup.
18W USB-C Power Adapter
Japanese site Mac Otakara has said that Apple could include an 18W USB-C power adapter with the 2019 iPhones along with a USB-C to Lightning cable, which would allow for fast charging out of the box. It’s not clear if this is accurate, however, as a different report from Mac Otakara said Apple would continue to include a 5W charger with a USB-A to Lightning cable with the 2019 iPhone lineup.
Barclays analyst Blame Curtis believes Apple may be planning to implement support for Wi-Fi 6, aka 802.11ax, in the 2019 iPhone lineup.
Wi-Fi 6 brings higher data rates, increased capacity, better performance in dense environments like concerts and sporting events, and improved power efficiency to better conserve battery on smartphones, tablets, and other battery-powered devices.
The next-generation version of the iPhone XR may feature a 4×4 MIMO antenna design, allowing for faster LTE speeds. The current iPhone XR only supports 2×2 MIMO, compared to 4×4 MIMO in the XS and XS Max. With the change, all three iPhones in 2019 could feature the same LTE equipment.
4GB RAM for iPhone XR Successor
The successor to the iPhone XR could feature 4GB RAM, an upgrade from the 3GB RAM in the 2018 iPhone XR.
Dual Bluetooth Audio Connection Support
The 2019 iPhone models could allow users to connect two pairs of Bluetooth headphones to the same device at the same time, which would allow users to play music, podcasts, and other content from a single iPhone to multiple sets of headphones such as the Powerbeats Pro and the AirPods.
If Apple sticks with its standard yearly iPhone upgrade cycle, we will see the new 2019 iPhones in September 2019.
Though the new 2019 iPhones won’t be launching until the fall, Apple has already registered 11 new iPhone models with the Eurasian Economic Commission.
These filings are required for encrypted devices sold in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia and are standard ahead of Apple product launches.