iPhone 2019 rumors: Everything you need to know Credit: AppleSupplied Art
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iPhone 2019 rumors: Everything you need to know

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.

Three-camera system

Updated 1/7/2019 with reports about a three-camera system.

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 its 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.

Smaller notch

Updated 1/7/2019 with speculation regarding an announcement by AMS.

The notch on the iPhone screen not only serves a functional purpose, but it also gave the iPhone a look that was instantly recognizable (at least until other companies copied it). But if the rumors are accurate, don’t expect the notch to be a longtime characteristic of the iPhone.

AMS, a sensor manufacturer, announced that it has created a new optical sensor that can “accurately measure the intensity of ambient light from behind an OLED screen.” According to Reuters, Apple uses AMS optical sensors for 3D facial recognition in the iPhone, so it’s not that far of a reach to think that Apple would want to use AMS’s new TCS3701 Color and Proximity Sensor in the next iPhone. This could result in a much smaller notch, or perhaps no notch at all.

ams color and proximity sensor AMS

AMS rendering of how its new sensor can eliminate the notch on smartphones.

Plausible? Apple and AMS have an established relationship (Reuters says that Apple accounts for 45 percent of AMS’s business), and rumors that Apple has been looking to shrink or eliminate the notch have been out for a while.

But the ambient light and proximity sensors are two of the smallest parts of the TrueDepth module that constitutes the iPhone's notch. Far larger are the traditional front camera, the infrared front camera, the speaker, and the infrared dot emitter. In order to make the notch noticeably smaller, Apple would need to combine or eliminate some of those elements. Given their current placement, simply moving the proximity sensor and ambient light sensor underneath the OLED display, as per this rumor, wouldn't do much at all.

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