iPhone 2019 rumors: Apple to stick with an LCD screen, upgrade the camera in the new XR

iphonexr launch orchardrd singapore

What’s in store for the new iPhone in 2019? We won’t officially know until the fall (most likely in September), but until then, you can bet that the rumor mill will be fully operational. This page will keep track of what’s being rumored as new features of the 2019 iPhones, and we’ll provide some analysis and whether or not a rumor seems feasible.

Table of Contents

  • The latest: LCD iPhone XR to stay, gain dual camera
  • Three-camera system
  • Smaller notch

The latest: LCD iPhone XR to stay, gain dual camera

Updated 1/11

While Tim Cook himself has all but admitted the iPhone XR isn’t selling nearly as well as he hoped it would, it seems like Apple isn’t ready to give up on it just yet. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will be sticking with the three-model lineup in 2019, with the LCD iPhone XR once again anchoring the low end. The publication says an all-OLED family could be in store for 2020. However, there will be one notable improvement: the XR will reportedly be receiving a dual-camera setup to match the one in the iPhone XS, while the XS Max receives the new triple-camera array.

Plausible: Definitely. The iPhone XR is one of the best phones Apple has ever made, and it would be crazy to outright kill it after just one cycle. In addition to the extra camera, Apple likely has some other refinements, but the question we have is: How will Apple differentiate it between the XS? The camera setup was by far the biggest difference between the two models, so if Apple takes away that advantage, what benefit do buyers have to spend an extra $250 (or whatever it costs next year) on the XS?

Three-camera system

Updated 1/7

The current iPhone XS has a rear dual-camera setup. Could the 2019 iPhone use three cameras? That’s what was rumored last April. though there wasn’t much detail as to how the three-camera system would work.

Now there’s a report by Digit that features leaked renders acquired by Steve Hemmerstoffer. The renders show the three rear cameras on the 2019 iPhone.

Digit’s report says that the three 2019 iPhones (that they are calling the “iPhone XI”) will have three rear cameras, two that are in alignment with each other, and another that’s off to the side. Digit speculates that the offset camera could be a 3D camera, based on a Bloomberg report that said that Apple was interested in Sony’s production of next-generation 3D sensors.

iphone xi three camera

Digit and Steve Hemmerstoffer

Leaked render of an iPhone with a rear three-camera system.

Plausible? With the smartphone market becoming more competitive than it’s ever been (insert obligatory mention of Apple’s first quarter 2019 earning guidance readjustment and its iPhone sales slowdown here), the iPhone needs some fancy new features to spur sales. New camera implementations would certainly be attractive.

The problem is, based on the renders, the three-camera system on the back of the new iPhone isn’t very attractive at all. Not only does it looks very un-Apple like, it seems to take up a lot of physical space, and Apple has pointed out in the past how precious the space is on the iPhone. The Digit report and Hemmerstoffer (via Twitter) do stress that the design could change before the September release. A three-camera system seems like a certainty, but hopefully Apple will come up with a more elegant design.