Apple is largely expected to debut three new iPhones next month at a keynote event. And while we don’t know what the “iPhone 11” could look like or what features it’ll pack, but we may have a good idea thanks to new and past rumors.
To be clear, none of these features are confirmed. But based on supply chain reports, insider leaks and analyst predictions, here are some of the more major features and changes that we could see on the 2019 iPhone lineup.
A note about the name
iPhone 11 or iPhone XI? At this point, we have no idea what the new iPhones will be called. There’s a chance that Apple could just call them the iPhone 11 lineup — and based on that, it doesn’t seem like that the company will stick with its Roman numeral monikers.
On the other hand, Apple could bring the iPhone in-line with the Mac and iPad as far as naming schemes. Apple could call the lower-end device an iPhone and give its other devices an “iPhone Plus” or “iPhone Pro” moniker.
7. Upgraded cameras
Most rumors agree that Apple will significantly boost the cameras on the 2019 iPhone lineup. That includes a triple-lens camera on the two OLED models (iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max) and a dual-lens camera on the iPhone XR successor.
For the more expensive handsets, a triple-lens setup will offer better optical zoom capabilities and enhanced photo quality overall. It could also enable some smart features, such as an ability to add people who have been accidentally cropped out of a photo back in.
The iPhone XR successor’s dual-lens camera will offer increased zoom capabilities, as well as general photo quality on par with current iPhone XS models.
6. Two-way wireless charging
Apple’s iPhones have supported Qi-based inductive wireless charging since the iPhone X lineup back in 2017. But this year, Apple may significantly upgrade the Qi wireless charging feature in the form of bilateral charging, or two-way wireless charging.
Essentially, this will let a user charge other Qi-based devices with their iPhones. For example, you may be able to place your Apple Watch or AirPods wireless charging case on the back of your iPhone to transfer power between the two devices.
Apple may also add a new type of antenna to its 2019 iPhone for navigation purposes. The system, called Ultra-Wide Band (UWB), may allow for much more precise positioning and navigation when a user is indoors.
The short-range radio technology could allow users to navigate indoor locations such as malls. It may also allow for better and more precise navigation when within large outdoor spaces such as amusement parks.
4. A13 chipset
It’s not too much of a stretch to say that Apple’s next stable of iPhones will pack an A13 chipset. It’s just not clear how powerful the A13 will be. That’s especially true since the A13 will still be based on 7nm chip process, meaning that they may not be a major leap forward in terms of raw performance.
Still, Apple’s smartphones are typically the fastest in the business. Just consider the fact that the A12 Bionic rivals many desktop CPUs in terms of speed.
Apple’s iPhones actually have about a one-year performance advantage on their Android counterparts — and just recently, a report indicated that the Galaxy Note 10 actually benchmarks slower than last year’s iPhone XS Max.
3. Apple Pencil support
Apple has long resisted adding stylus support to its iPhones. In fact, when the iPhone first debuted in the late aughts, Apple was specifically anti-stylus. The Cupertino tech giant has softened on that position in recent years with the debut of the Apple Pencil, Apple Pencil 2 and stylus support across its range of iPads.
While we haven’t heard too much about Apple Pencil support coming to the iPhone, there have been a handful of rumors over the past couple of years suggesting that it could happen in 2019. That includes analyst rumors who indicate that Apple’s larger-bodied smartphones would be particularly well-suited for an Apple Pencil.
2. Bigger batteries
Battery life is often the one smartphone feature that matters most to consumers. And thanks to the two-way wireless charging expected to be added in the 2019 iPhone lineup, Apple may also add bigger batteries to its upcoming handsets to accommodate the wireless power sharing feature.
It isn’t clear how much more battery life users will be able to get, but the iPhone XR successor is expected to have a battery around 6 percent larger. Combined with better efficiency via software and hardware optimization, we may just see a major spike in battery life in the 2019 iPhones.
1. Redesign and minor features
The 2019 iPhone lineup isn’t expected to receive a significant overhaul as far as design goes, but the devices will still look a bit different.
According to past rumors, the devices will feature a larger, square-shaped camera bump to accommodate for the triple-lens camera. (On the other hand, the square bump may also show up on the dual-lens iPhone XR successor.)
They could also feature a redesigned mute switch and a new frosted glass back chassis. Other rumors indicate that they’ll retain a Lightning port. But they may come with Apple’s new 18W power adapter and a USB-C to Lightning cable.
Mike is a freelance journalist from San Diego, California.
While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.
He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, and news designer.