Apple has just refreshed its iPad Pro line. And the new iPhones have been around for quite a while. The rumor mill appears to be already looking forward to the 2019 iPhone 11 and the next-gen iPad Pros. Highly respected TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has spilled the beans on the future iPhones and iPads. Kuo predicts the 2019 iPhone 11 (or whatever it’s called) will bring major improvements to the Face ID technology.
Apple to improve the Face ID system next year
In a research note to clients (via MacRumors), Kuo told clients that the Cupertino company was going to increase the output power of the flood illuminator vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL), which is one of the most important parts of the Face ID system. It will reduce the impact of invisible infrared light in the environment, enhancing the accuracy of the Face ID system. It means there will be fewer failed unlocks.
The new flood illuminator will be included in all three 2019 iPhone models. Kuo believes that Apple’s 2019 lineup will look similar to this year’s, with two OLED iPhones and one LCD model. Korean site ETNews has claimed earlier that all three 2019 iPhones would sport OLED screens. But Kuo believes Apple will keep a lower-priced model with an LCD panel. The analyst added Apple suppliers such as Lumentum, IQE, and Win Semi will benefit from the Face ID improvements.
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Next-gen iPad Pro to get ‘Time of Flight’ 3D camera
Talking about the next-gen iPad Pro, the analyst predicts Apple will release it in the fourth quarter of 2019 or the first quarter of 2020. The future iPad Pro will be Apple’s first device to get the ‘Time of Flight (ToF)’ 3D camera feature. It will be adopted by the iPhones in the second half of 2020. It means the 2019 iPhone 11 will launch without the ‘Time of Flight’ camera feature.
The ‘Time of Flight’ technology will not only improve range-finding by a device but also improve the photo quality and allow for more precise augmented reality graphics placement. It will enable an “all-new productivity experience” by allowing the next-gen iPads to capture 3D models and then edit them using the Apple Pencil.
The ‘Time of Flight’ 3D camera will determine the distance between the objects and the background by measuring the amount of time it takes a laser or light signal emitted from the iPhone/iPad to return to the device. The system then calculates how far away each element in the scene is. Folks at Bloomberg reported last year that Apple was developing a new 3D camera system for iPhones that could debut in 2019.
But Kuo says the iPhones won’t get it before 2020. The primary reason the 2019 iPhone 11 won’t get this feature is that it won’t create the “revolutionary AR experience” that Apple wants to create. For the kind of AR experience Apple wants to provide, it will need a more powerful Apple Maps database, augmented reality glasses, and 5G connectivity.
What to expect from 2019 iPhone 11
It’s too early to predict what the 2019 iPhone 11 would look like. But what if Apple borrows the new iPad Pro’s design for its next-gen iPhone? The iPad Pro has squared-off edges that remind you of the iPhone 4. If Apple brings back the same design with iPhone 11, it would be all about nostalgia. Halide co-founder Sebastiaan de With has tried to imagine what the new iPhone would look like if it borrows the design from iPad Pro.
Honestly, if they update nothing about the iPhone in 2019 and just restyle it to match these new iPads I'd be pretty stoked. (extremely crummy quick Photoshop:) pic.twitter.com/Bkb45obfs0
— Sebastiaan de With (@sdw) October 30, 2018
Sebastiaan’s render has an edge-to-edge display with a notch. The squared edges look cleaner, sharper, and more premium than the rounded edges on the recent iPhones. Sebastiaan hopes that the Lightning port on the 2019 iPhone 11 would be replaced by the USB-C port. Apple has ditched the Lightning port on the iPad Pros.
The 2019 iPhone 11 is expected to run the A13 processor. There have been rumors that Apple would make the notch smaller on the 2019 iPhones or remove them altogether. The rumor mill also claims that at least one of the next year’s flagship iPhones would feature a triple camera system on the back. The third lens could improve photography by enabling 3x optical zoom and better low-light performance.
Ming-Chi Kuo told investors in an earlier research note that the next year’s iPhones won’t make any improvements in terms of water-resistance. It means they will have the same IP68 rating as the iPhone XS and XS Max, though the iPhone XR successor could get a bump from IP67 to IP68.