Apple is going to launch three new iPhones in a couple of months. But they are all expected to be minor upgrades over last year’s models. The biggest highlight of the upcoming iPhone 11 series will be the addition of a third camera on the back and a faster processor. But the 2020 iPhones will see a much more exciting upgrade, including 5G connectivity.
Last month, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors that only two highest-end models of the three 2020 iPhones would get 5G connectivity. But the analyst has now sent out another research note (via MacRumors) revealing that all three 2020 iPhones would be 5G compatible. Kuo is by far the most reliable Apple analyst with a proven track record of spilling the beans on unannounced Apple products.
While Apple’s 5G iPhones are still more than a year away, most Android vendors such as Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, LG and others have already launched their 5G handsets featuring Qualcomm’s X50 modem. Wireless carriers in the US, UK, South Korea and many other countries have also started rolling out 5G support, but 5G isn’t expected to become widespread until next year. So, Apple won’t be too late to the party.
Apple is obsessed with keeping new and high-end features exclusive to its most expensive models. So, offering 5G on all three 2020 iPhones would be a surprising move. Kuo argues that the cost of 5G hardware will continue to fall and we will see Android phones with 5G capability selling for as low as $250. So, from the consumers’ perspective, 5G is a given on 2020 iPhones considering their price tag.
Now that Apple has acquired Intel’s smartphone modem business for $1 billion, it will have access to more resources for developing 5G iPhones. The 2020 iPhones will feature Qualcomm’s 5G modem rather than that of Intel’s or Apple’s in-house. Intel has given up on smartphone 5G modems while Apple’s in-house modem won’t make it to smartphones until 2021 at the earliest.
Ming-Chi Kuo believes that 5G technology will also benefit Apple’s AR ecosystem. The Cupertino company has been investing heavily in augmented reality. Most of the 5G Android phones will support Sub-6GHz technology. But the 2020 iPhones will support both the mm-Wave and Sub-6GHz technologies.
The mm-Wave delivers faster download speeds than Sub-6GHz. The mm-Wave is more widely used in the US while many other countries are using the Sub-6GHz technology.
It’s not yet known whether Apple would launch a variant of iPhones that only supports the Sub-6GHz. Such a variant could have a lower price tag, boosting iPhone sales in countries like China and India. Kuo says a 5G iPhone that supports only Sub-6GHz is highly unlikely.
According to Kuo, the 2020 iPhones will be available in new screen sizes. There will be a 5.4-inch OLED model, a 6.7-inch Max variant with OLED display, and a 6.1-inch model. The TrueDepth camera would also become smaller, reducing the width of the display notch. There are rumors that the Touch ID fingerprint sensor could also make a comeback.
As for the iPhone 11 series, we have already seen the leaked mock-ups. The Cupertino company is using a square camera bump on the back panel to accommodate triple cameras on the high-end models. The iPhone XR successor is expected to feature dual cameras. The third camera on the high-end models would be an ultra-wide-angle one, allowing you to take ultra-wide angle shots. The selfie camera would also be upgraded with slow-motion video recording at 120fps.
The 2019 iPhones would run Apple’s custom A13 processor. All three models are said to have the same display resolution as last year’s models. And all of them would retain the Lightning port despite speculations that Apple could switch to USB-C port with iPhone 11 series.
This year’s models will also have a new Taptic Engine, according to 9to5Mac. It could be aimed at improving Haptic Touch as Apple is removing the 3D Touch functionality.