Triple the fun? Apple is planning three iPhones this year - Stuff

Triple the fun? Apple is planning three iPhones this year

Triple the fun? Apple is planning three iPhones this year

Apple thinks it’s found the recipe for Tim Cook’s happiness, and will release three new iPhones to the world in 2019.

This year we’ll likely see another ‘budget’ device like the iPhone XR — something many users were looking forward to in 2018 (especially in the harsh South African economy). Apple will also continue the newly acquired tradition of offering multiple sizes at multiple price points this year.

2018 Brought the iPhone XS (at 5.8in), the iPhone XS Max (at 6.5in), and the iPhone XR (at 6.1in). And we’re expecting a similar lineup in 2019, albeit with a more dramatic redesign across the board, as this is a full-on refresh year (rather than an S one).

Double-take on displays

Apple announcements in recent years have hinted at innovation more frequently than actually presenting us with something truly new. And that could be the case again this year.

The upcoming devices will don similar displays to the previous models, according to rumours. We’ll likely see a 5.8in and a 6.5in OLED device, along with a 6.1in LCD phone. We don’t yet know what Apple will call the new iPhones, but iPhone XI or iPhone 11 are possibilities for these successors.

This trend won’t likely continue beyond this year. Apple is likely planning an all-OLED lineup at some point in the future. We’re not sure if this will occur with the 2019 devices, because of the high price of OLED displays — especially if they plan to keep the XR follow-up at a lower price-point than its flagship siblings.

Three-i’d monster

A recent Tweet by leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer showed a rendering of what looks like an iPhone back with an unusual setup. Three camera sensors arranged haphazardly in a square.

The design looks very un-Apple, because it takes away from their signature symmetrical look. If the rendering turns out to be true — it’ll likely only be on the larger of the range — the XS Max relative. While the smaller XS successor will likely feature a dual-lens setup.

If the render looks too odd to be true, we agree, but The Wall Street Journal did confirm that Apple will release a device with a triple-lens camera system.

A triple-lens camera does offer potentially better 3D sensing for augmented reality, 3x optical zoom capabilities, and better performance in low light. All things that Apple’s Android competitors have already implemented in recent devices.

We may also see a revamped front-facing TrueDepth camera system, set in either a smaller notch or not in a notch at all. We’re not quite clear how Apple would pull that off, but trust them to mount a camera sensor under a display if anyone’s going to do it.

Chip off the new block

One thing we can definitely look forward to, is the updated A13 chip from TSMC (Apple’s chip supplier). A chip upgrade typically improves performance and device speed — so this could make the new devices slightly more worth the fortune they’ll doubtless cost.

The A13 is expected to be built on TSMC’s 7nm+ package with extreme ultraviolet lithography. Improved performance will make the 2019 iPhones hard to beat — their previous chip range are still some of the best we’ve come across in a mobile phone.

Along with faster performance, we might see Apple Pencil support added in the 2019 iPhones. This will allow users to actually have a stylus for their iPhones — a very overpowered stylus in fact…

The Korean site The Investor, has suggested Apple might offer an Apple Pencil-style stylus instead of just support for the current Pencil. We won’t take this info to heart just yet though — this site has been inaccurate before.

What else to look forward to

Could the Lightning port be a thing of the past soon? We might see Apple opt for USB-C, but probably not for the upcoming devices. It’s done so with the new iPad Pro, but we’re inclined to think Apple’s going to cling to the massive amount of money they make selling cables, adaptors and the like for a little bit longer rather than joining the larger tech-ecosystem’s move to Type C.

Another thing we’d love to see Apple adopt sooner rather than later, is in-display Touch ID. Many competitors have started to make the shift to eliminate those pesky bezels. But Apple has had a different strategy since the release of the iPhone X — their brilliant Face ID system.

We’d also love a 5G iPhone, but we’ve already reported that the iPhone isn’t likely to have 5G capabilities this year. Apple and Intel are rumoured to be working on 5G hardware for the widespread rollout of 5G technology, but it’s only expected in 2020.

If Apple sticks with its standard yearly iPhone upgrade cycle, we will see the new devices in September 2019. And they’ll likely cost as much as a secondhand Citi Golf.

Marce is the Deputy Digital Editor at Stuff Magazine.

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