iPhone 11 Rumors for 2019: A 3-Lens Camera, Reverse Wireless Charging, but No 5G

If you’re looking for the latest in iPhone upgrade gossip, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got all the latest rumors surrounding Apple's fall iPhone event, including the latest renders, details about the A13 chip, camera upgrades, and potential names of all three expected models (iPhone XI, iPhone XI Max, and iPhone XIR).

Related: Can’t Wait for iOS 13 & iPadOS? Here’s How to Sign Up for Apple’s Beta Program

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6.5-inch & 5.8-inch OLED Renders

Cashkaro was the first site to release renders of the upcoming high-end iPhones with 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch OLED displays. These renders are based on schematics obtained by Steve Hemmerstoffer, also known by his handles OnLeaks and /Leaks, who has a good track record as an industry insider. Hemmerstoffer’s leaks are so trusted that Forbes and Macrumors have both followed up with in-depth reviews of both the aesthetic and implications of the renders.

Image source: CashKaro

Forbes didn’t pull any punches, with consumer-tech contributor Gordon Kelly referring to the design as both ugly and shocking, in part due to the third camera lens as well as the increased bulk of the design. Apple is rumored to be adding a third lens to the 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch iPhones. Bloomberg reported that the third lens will result in more detailed photos and an increased ability to zoom without compromising resolution.

Apple Pulls the Camera Upgrades from the Lineup

Forbes has since commented that Apple has ditched an important part of the upgraded camera technology. The news comes via UK-based newspaper The Telegraph, with James Titcomb reporting that Apple canceled a multi-million-pound contract with the British tech company Nanoco. Nanoco’s stock dropped in value following the news. According to The Telegraph, Nanoco would have been supplying Apple with a 3D laser mapping sensor called the Quantum Dot.

According to AppleInsider, Quantum Dot cameras project and capture narrow spectrums of light, providing a finely tuned capture of environmental detail. If Apple hadn’t scrapped the Quantum Dot due to the cost, the anticipated 3D laser mapping sensor would have brought an improved AR experience as well as increased depth and range of color in photographs. 3D laser sensors see further than the current dot-projection technology used to map our facial features for Face ID. The Quantum Dot sensor would have provided higher detail at greater distances. Unfortunately, for now, those advances will arrive in 2020 at the earliest.

What to Expect from the 6.1-inch LCD Upgrade of the XR

Image source: Pricebaba

The upgraded XR is set to add a second camera, according to Forbes. Again via Steve Hemmerstoffer, we’ve got a sneak peek at the renders for the upgraded XR. The good news is that those renders, with images first released by Pricebaba, include a dual rear-facing camera. The addition of a second front-facing camera means the XR will be able to take pictures of subjects other than just humans in Portrait Mode. Edge detection could also see an improvement, leading to the sharper photos currently available only on the XS and XS Max.

Looks Aren't Everything

Apple is catching a lot of flak for the new design. The leaked renders look unintentionally retro, and not in a good way. The cameras and iPhone logos are prominent in all three versions of the new iPhone, dialing the clock from the sleek and slim models of recent years to the rounded futuristic aesthetic of 2007. According to Bloombergboth the 6.1-inch and 5.8-inch OLED models will be half a millimeter thicker, and the bevel appears to be back on all three new iPhones. While a third camera lens might have been worth the increased bulk and decreased screen size back when Apple still planned to include 3D laser mapping sensor, now that extra lens seems like an unpleasant reminder that Apple has been cutting costs by cutting features while increasing prices. 

The A13 Chip: A Significant Processing Upgrade

All three of the expected model iPhones are rumored to include an upgraded chip, the A13. Assuming Apple is sticking with manufacturer TSMC, we’ll probably be seeing the 7 nanometer (7nm) chip from last year with improved processing speeds. While TSMC did produce a 5nm chip in April of this year, it’s unlikely the chip will have completed testing in time for September. If Macworld’s predictions are correct, then we can expect more power efficiency, which means faster processing and less battery drain. 

5G No Longer on the Horizon

Last December, Bloomberg reported that the 5G we hoped to see in 2019 was being pushed back to 2020. According to 9to5Mac, however, the 2020 release date might not happen until 2021 at the earliest due to an ongoing dispute between Apple and former supplier Qualcomm. In 2016, Apple ended its lifelong relationship with Qualcomm in favor of Intel. Now, Qualcomm is well on the way to leading the charge with 5G modems, leaving Intel in the dust. 

In March of this year, Bloomberg relayed that Apple had dragged Qualcomm into litigation with the International Trade Commission. Apple has accused Qualcomm of creating a monopoly, even while trying to strike a deal with Qualcomm for a 5G modem. Predictably, this approach has not gone over well at Qualcomm. For now, we have to assume that, when Apple does include a 5G modem, that modem will be an Intel modem. That being the case, Intel isn’t projected to enter the 5G competition until at least 2021.

Reverse Wireless Charging & Out-of-the-Box High-Speed Charging

For all the drama surrounding the lost Quantum Dot camera sensor and the unattainable Qualcomm 5G modem, what new features will Apple bring to the table this year? Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that an inside source has confirmed the reverse-wireless charging feature. This feature would let users charge AirPods and other Qi-compatible devices by putting them on the back of the iPhone, turning the new iPhones into mini power banks for your wireless devices.

While Apple has been charging more and giving less recently, there’s a bundled accessory we’re anticipating that in the past would have been sold separately. According to Japanese site Mac Otakara, as translated by Mac Rumors, an 18W USB-C adapter and charging cable will be included with the new iPhones, meaning faster charging speeds without shelling out for additional accessories.

Expected Release Date

When should we expect our new iPhones to arrive? Last year, the iPhone XS and XS Max shipped on September 21 while the XR shipped on October 26. At the time, the delayed release of the XR was rumored to be related to issues with the LCD screen. Assuming any such issues have been hammered out on time this year, it’s safe to assume all three models will ship late September or early October. If the securities analysts at Wedbush are correct, then we can expect all three phones to be released on the same date: Friday, September 20th.

Names and Pricing

According to Business Insider, a report of upcoming product releases from cover designer ESR was leaked by the French language blog iPhone Soft that may include the names of the next generation of iPhones. However, these rumors need to be taken with a lot of salt, as Apple tends to be very tight lipped about product names. Most likely, the names listed on the report are placeholders. We won't know for sure until the day of the announcement. If the rumors are correct, then upgrades of the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max would be called the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max, respectively. 

The same rumor mill has churned out costs for the new iPhones. According the the website Evad3rs, analysits from the security firm Wedbush have released a report that includes a list of predicted costs for the new iPhones. According the Evad3rs, the mid-tier level iPhone would cost $1000 for 128 GB while the more expensive of the three would cost $1099 for 128 GB. There was no price listed for the upgrade from the XR, but based on previous increases, the cheapest new iPhone could start around $850.
 
 

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Tamlin Day's picture

Tamlin Day is a feature web writer at iPhone Life. He has a degree in Media and Communications from Maharishi University of Management and his work has been published in the Rio Review and Breathe Free Press.