Apple is planning to launch three new iPhone models in 2019, according to sources familiar with the matter. These new models will be direct follow-ups to the 2018 iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.
Apple had historically had an alternating upgrade cycle – focusing one year on new design and the next on internal upgrades – throughout the iPhone lineups history. This strategy changed in 2014 with the launch of the iPhone 6, which featured the most drastic design upgrade to the iPhone to date. As a result, Apple opted to do two years of internal upgrades with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 – keeping the core design largely the same.
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Apple has chosen to continue this strategy with its latest lineup, with many in the company realizing that the previous cycle is not realistic as the product grows older. As such, this years iPhones will once again focus on technical and internal improvements, with major design changes being saved for 2020.
Technologies: Wi-Fi 6, 4×4 MIMO support and 4GB of RAM on all models
Similar to last year, both XS models will feature OLED displays at the same resolutions as the outgoing models, while the XR will retain the current LCD display. Notably, the 2019 iPhone XR is planned to be the last iPhone to feature an LCD display.
As always, Apple is planning on including a brand new A13 chip in the 2019 iPhones with improved speeds and capabilities. Apple is working on the first 5-nanometer cellphone chips, after being the first manufacturer to bring 7-nanometer chips to the phone last year, but this is likely to wait until 2020. Additionally, all 2019 iPhones are expected to ship with 4GB of RAM.
The 2019 iPhones are expected to gain improved wireless capabilities in a number of areas. All three will include 4×4 MIMO support, which is currently only available on the iPhone XS and Max, as well as Wi-Fi 6, which allows for improved speed and security. They will also gain ‘Ultra-Wide Band’ technologies that will enable for indoor navigation tracking.
Apple is actively working on 5G capabilities for the iPhone, with prototypes of the 2019 models with the capability being tested. Despite this, Apple is not planning to ship 5G until the 2020 iPhone lineup.
Larger Batteries, Bilateral Charging, and no USB-C
All three new iPhone models will receive new and improved battery technologies that will allow for longer battery life and durability. Additionally, Apple is testing bilateral charging, which allows you to use a device as a charger for a secondary device. This will likely be marketed towards Apple devices such as AirPods.
Previous reports have speculated that Apple is testing models of the 2019 iPhone with USB-C instead of the companies traditional lightning port. While this appears to be true, Apple is not planning on transitioning to USB-C in 2019. Instead, the 2019 iPhones will continue to feature lightning, but will ship with a Lightning-to-USB C cable as opposed to the current USB-A cable, according to sources.
Face ID 2.0 and Triple Lens iPhone XS Max
Apple actually quietly improved the Face-ID recognition system first introduced with the iPhone X in the 2018 iPhones, and further improved it with the 2018 iPad Pro, however, did not market the changes. With the 2019 iPhones, Apple plans to dramatically improve the feature even more and market it as a core feature.
The new recognition system is said to recognize people at more angles, with greater degrees of security, and up to 25% faster than the current system. The system will also include a flood illuminator that will improve visibility.
The iPhone XS Max will gain a third rear-facing camera, allowing for new capabilities and improved photo correction features. The iPhone XS and XR are said to include similar sensors to the current models, instead focusing on software-based improvements. All new models will receive new software-based photo enhancement features.
All three new iPhone are expected to launch in September with iOS 13, which will feature a major redesign and improved multitasking capabilities.
Binyamin has been writing about Apple and the tech sector as a whole for over five years.
His work has been featured on Forbes, MacWorld, Giga, MacLife, and more.
Additionally, Goldman is the Founder of BZG, a software development company focusing on Apple devices.