Technology

Expect Four New iPhones Next Year, Including Low-End iPhone XE

iPhone XE apple
JESHOOTS-com / Pixabay

The 2019 iPhone line-up is almost finalized with Apple expected to release three new iPhones to succeed last year’s models. However, if rumors are to be believed, then the 2020 line-up will be much more exciting than this year’s line-up and include four new iPhones, including a new iPhone SE or iPhone XE if we go by the current naming convention.

Speculations about an iPhone XE come from a recent JPMorgan report (via CNBC). The report states that Apple may release four new iPhones in 2020, including models with 5G technology and OLED displays.

Further, the report claims that three of the iPhones will feature screen sizes of 5.4 inches, 6.1 inches and 6.7 inches. All three models will reportedly come with 5G baseband modems and feature OLED displays. At least two of these models is expected to be equipped with 3D Sensing (time of flight) AR/VR capabilities.

We have already heard reports about Apple ditching the LCD display completely and opting for OLED screens on all iPhone models. Even JPMorgan’s prediction of 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch iPhones is not unheard of. The 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch iPhones will reportedly be the premium flagship models. The report also claims that these two models will feature 5G and also have “world facing 3D sensing” technology to run AR and VR applications.

Current iPhones feature TrueDepth 3D-sensing cameras on the front. It is expected that the 2020 iPhones will have similar cameras on the back. Earlier this year, Bloomberg said Apple may add a laser-powered time-of-flight 3D rear camera sensor, resulting in better AR experiences. Such a camera will reportedly scan areas up to 15 feet from the device. Apple’s front-facing TrueDepth camera currently uses 3D technology which is infrared rather than laser-powered and works to just 25 to 50 centimeters.

The 6.1-inch iPhone will reportedly be the iPhone XR’s successor but with an OLED display. However, JPMorgan expects that this low-cost iPhone will also have a 5G modem. The report did not reveal much about the fourth model but states that Apple will opt for a “much more ‘value’ category.” This could mean an iPhone that will cost even less than the 6.1-inch iPhone XR successor. Thus, the fourth model could be a successor of the iPhone SE. If this is true, then the iPhone XR successor would shift to the mid-tier category.

Apple has long been reported to be working on a successor to the iPhone SE. The iPhone XE, as most are calling it, is predicted to feature a 4.8-inch display with a Face ID-style bezel-less design. Such a form factor would result in the same physical size as the iPhone SE, which was equipped with a four-inch display but had standard bezels to house the Home button.

The iPhone XE may not have Face ID but may feature an in-display Touch ID to keep the cost of the phone low. A recent report suggested that Apple is working on an in-display Touch ID sensor for China-specific iPhones.

Previous reports about the iPhone XE claimed the phone will have narrow bezels and a notch on the top. Further, the low-end handset will reportedly have a metal unibody design with rectangular edges like the iPhone SE. This would mean that the handset won’t support wireless charging. The phone will reportedly have a 12-megapixel rear camera.

Previously, Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis suggested that Apple could release a successor to the iPhone SE in 2020. JPMorgan expects Apple to sell 195 million iPhones in 2020, compared to an estimate of 180 million in 2019. The research firm has also raised its year-end price target on Apple from $233 to $239.

“Our positive volume outlook for 2020 is driven by our current expectation for the launch of four iPhone models … and more significant spec upgrades,” JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee said in the report.

JPMorgan’s report reiterates some of the claims made by trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo before. Kuo previously said Apple would release three iPhones next year, including high-end 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch models with OLED displays and a lower-end 6.1-inch model with an OLED display. Further, Kuo said the high-end models will support 5G, while the 6.1-inch variant will continue to have LTE.