The premium smartphone segment is rapidly moving towards triple camera system following the launch of Huawei’s P20 Pro. The P20 Pro is the world’s best smartphone camera you can buy right now. Samsung’s next-gen Galaxy S10 is also rumored to feature three cameras on the back. There are also speculations that Apple was working on its own triple camera system to take on the Huawei P20 Pro with the upcoming iPhone X Plus.
Deutsche Securities analyst Jialin Lu told investors in May that Apple was planning to introduce triple cameras with its 2019 flagship iPhones. Lu believes the third lens will support advanced 3D sensing via stereoscopic vision. However, KB Securities analyst Kim Dong-won predicted recently that at least one variant of Apple’s 2018 iPhones would feature triple cameras on the back. The analyst indicated that the upcoming iPhone X Plus would be the first iPhone to sport three rear cameras.
Upcoming iPhone X Plus to sport dual cameras
Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen. At least not this year. Triple cameras could come to iPhones, but probably in 2019 or later. Yes, Huawei P20 Pro has a great camera setup that would give the upcoming iPhone X Plus a tough competition. But Apple doesn’t like to rush things to keep up with the competition. It spends a lot of time and resources perfecting a technology before introducing it.
Now we have some proof that the upcoming iPhone X Plus would sport a vertically-aligned dual camera setup rather than triple cameras. Prolific mobile leaker Ben Geskin has shared pictures of iPhone X Plus and 6.1-inch LCD iPhone dummy units ahead of the official unveiling. Dummy units are based on design schematics sourced from the Asian supply chain, and they have proved reliable in the past.
2018 iPhone X Plus (6.5-inch) and iPhone (6.1-inch) Dummy Models. pic.twitter.com/QrgkT6u0vS
— Ben Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) July 29, 2018
The dummy units confirm the 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus will have the same design as last year’s iPhone X. The 6.1-inch LCD iPhone also has an iPhone X-like bezel-less design with a display notch to house the Face ID sensors. However, the LCD version has thicker bezels than the iPhone X, and it has only a single camera lens on the back.
Apple has removed the OLED display, dual camera, and 3D Touch functionality from the 6.1-inch model to keep its production costs down. Also, the LCD iPhone is said to have an aluminum frame and only 3GB RAM. The upcoming iPhone X Plus would feature 4GB RAM and a stainless steel frame. Apple’s 2018 iPhone line also includes a third device – the second-gen iPhone X with a 5.8-inch OLED display. All the three models will likely run the same A12 processor.
Geskin’s images show the iPhone X Plus in silver color and the LCD iPhone in space gray. The rumor mill claims the iPhone X2 and iPhone X Plus would be available in gold, silver, and gray colors. The 6.1-inch LCD iPhone is said to come in iPhone 5C-like vibrant colors such as yellow, electric blue, taupe, and orange colors. Apple will unveil all three models in September.
2018 iPhones price and availability
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is well-connected within Apple’s supply chain, predicts the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone would cost buyers between $700 and $800. According to Kuo, the LCD iPhone would be available in both single-SIM and dual-SIM variants, though the dual-SIM model is unlikely to be sold in the US due to resistance from carriers. The iPhone X2 is expected to start at $899, down from $999 for the iPhone X. The larger 6.5-inch is said to have a starting price of $999.
The iPhone X2 and iPhone X Plus would go on sale in September, soon after the unveiling. But the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone could be delayed by a month, predicts Morgan Stanely analyst Katy Huberty. Huberty has learned from supply chain sources that mass production of the LCD model was delayed by a month due to issues with the “LED backlight leakage.”
The analyst had said previously that the LCD model would be delayed by six weeks, but now she has reduced the estimated delay to just four weeks. Huberty says the other two models will “see no delay.” Even if Apple manages to launch the LCD iPhone in September, it will suffer supply constraints.