Though Apple hasn't sent out invitations out yet, we expect the next iPhone launch to be held on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Nothing official is known about the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11R and 11 Max (or whatever they'll be called) but rumors are circulating about the devices. Read on to see the most compelling speculations being floated so far.
Since last year, we've been hearing that Apple would give at least one of the 2019 models three rear-facing lenses (source: Bloomberg). The new array will give the iPhone 11 a greater capacity for wide-angle shots and at this point, we've seen enough renders to increase our confidence that this squarish, triple-camera array -- similar to the configuration on Google's forthcoming Pixel 4 -- is likely.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo continues to toll the bell for 3D Touch, and the Wall Street Journal reported on the demise of Apple's pressure-sensitive interface back in January. After visiting with Apple suppliers in Asia, Barclay analysts (as cited by MacRumors) appear confident that Apple will say goodbye to the feature with the 2019 iPhone lineup.
Apple officially killed its AirPower wireless charging mat, but the next-generation iPhone may support bilateral charging according to Ming-Chi Kuo (as reported by 9to5Mac). That means you'll be able to use your iPhone's battery to share some juice with other iPhones or the new AirPods with the wireless charging case.
If true, Apple will again be playing catchup to Samsung, whose Galaxy S10 phones, released back in March, can charge other devices.
Among the three phones Apple released in 2018, only the iPhone XR has an LCD display. The two higher-end models, the iPhone XS and XS Max, both have the high-resolution OLED panels. Based on what we know so far, Apple is likely to follow this formula again with the next batch of iPhones.
Like so many promising next-generation features, Apple is said to be waiting for 2020 to bring the more expensive OLED panels to its entire lineup, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The A12 Bionic chip that powers the 2018 iPhones is incredibly powerful. Apple doesn't appear to be resting on its laurels, however. A Bloomberg article from May reported that Apple was then on the cusp of mass producing the next-generation processors expected to power the next series of phones. This could be a variant of the A12X processor that's currently used in the newest iPad Pros -- or a new chip, ostensibly called the A13.
Ming-chi Kuo predicts that Apple will unveil three 5G phones in 2020. Why it won't release one this year is a bit complicated -- Apple stopped working with the leading 5G modem provider, Qualcomm, because of a dispute over Qualcomm's licensing fees. The two companies settled their litigation in April, and then agreed to a multiyear 5G chip deal. This led to Apple's previous partner of 5G modems, Intel, to ultimately exit the 5G phone modem business and Apple later acquired Intel's smartphone modem business for $1 billion. Apple is still working with Qualcomm, but it got started too late to launch a 5G phone this year.
We expect Apple, Samsung and others to continue raising prices for their premium phones and there are many reasons for this. The ongoing trade war between the US and China, and the recent implementation of additional tariffs, could drive prices higher. Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple had planned for the tariffs, according to MacRumors, and will be able to defer any price increases due to them.
Citi Research, an affiliate of the bank, has floated the possibility that the 2019 iPhone will support the Apple Pencil, according to Business Insider.
Apple has now replaced its proprietary Lightning connector with USB-C on the newest iPad Pros, MacBook Air and MacBook Pros, and Bloomberg reports that Apple is "testing" USB-C on some prototype iPhones.
Depending on what rumor you read, some are predicting that Apple will make an iPhone with an in-screen fingerprint scanner either this year, 2020 or 2021. This means that instead of using facial recognition and Face ID, you can scan your fingerprint directly on the screen to unlock your phone and, in some cases, authorize payments.
In February, Apple once again updated its patent application for a clamshell phone with a foldable display and body. The filings have been ongoing since Apple's first one eight years ago, in 2011. Since then, rumors of a flexible iPhone reignite with every new updated document, which have been filed in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
According to the filings, the phone "may have a flexible portion that allows the device to be folded." But keeping with its usual style, Apple has remained mum on details. So far, nothing has come to fruition with any of these patents in the public eye, and there hasn't been any info on what this device might be (and if it will even be a phone at all) or a timeline to expect such products.