There have been numerous reports that Apple could launch its first iPhone with triple cameras later this year. At least one of the three iPhones coming this September is said to feature three lenses on the back. Now a notoriously reliable tipster has shared the first iPhone 11 renders showing off the weird triple camera setup. Other companies such as Samsung and Huawei have already launched phones with three or four rear cameras.
Are these iPhone 11 renders accurate?
Reliable leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer aka @OnLeaks joined hands with Digit.in to release the iPhone 11 renders. The biggest highlight of the device appears to be the camera, which has a weird appearance. The renders have a chunky and square camera housing. It accommodates three lenses in a triangular configuration, a microphone, and a flash.
The camera arrangement is very unlike Apple. So, some people might be quick to dismiss it as fake or inaccurate. But Hemmerstoffer happens to be well connected within Apple’s Asian supply chain and has proved accurate numerous times in the past. Another Chinese tipster Ice Universe also confirmed that Hemmerstoffer’s leak “is correct.” The triple camera setup could further increase the price of the iPhone 11.
This one pic.twitter.com/5FZjKqGVdc
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) January 6, 2019
Steve Hemmerstoffer said in a tweet that it was a “freakingly early leak” and “things may change until official launch.” Given the next-gen iPhones are still several months away, a lot could change between these iPhone 11 renders and the final product. Digit.in reports that the iPhone 11 is still in the Engineering Validation Test (EVT) stage, meaning the final design hasn’t been locked down yet. But general features such as camera, display, etc. are finalized at this stage. Apple’s devices progress from EVT to Design Validation Test (DVT) to Production Validation Test (PVT) stages.
What will the third camera do?
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts Apple will launch three iPhones this year. One of them will be a budget-friendly model to succeed the iPhone XR. The other two will be successors to the iPhone XS and XS Max. According to the rumor mill, only the most expensive variant of iPhone 11 will get the triple camera system.
It is unclear what purpose the third camera would serve. According to Bloomberg, Apple has been working on a long-distance 3D Time of Flight (ToF) camera technology that could find its way into the 2019 iPhones. The Time of Flight technology measures the time it takes for the light to bounce off an object to create a 3D image of the scene. If used in the iPhone 11, it could enhance augmented reality. Currently, Sony is the leading manufacturer of 3D ToF sensors.
Digit.in reports that Apple has no plans to radically overhaul the iPhone 11 design. Don’t be surprised if the upcoming devices end up looking similar to the iPhone X and XS. Previous reports have indicated that the notch is here to stay for at least another year. Apple could opt for a notch-less display in 2020. The iPhone 11 renders suggest the rear panel is made out of the glass to facilitate wireless charging.
2019 iPhones to have a new display technology
Last month, Korean site ETNews reported that the iPhone 11 would be thinner, lighter, and cheaper than its predecessor. That’s because the upcoming models will use Samsung’s new Y-OCTA (Youm On-Cell Touch AMOLED) display. The current iPhones have a separate touch-sensitive layer on top of the OLED screen. The Y-OCTA technology integrates the touch-sensitive layer directly into the display, helping reduce the thickness and weight of the phone.
The Korean publication claimed the Y-OCTA display is also easier to manufacture, making it relatively cheaper. It also improves readability in bright light compared to the film-type OLED panels currently in use. Apple has reportedly decided to use the new technology in the 2019 iPhones. Samsung has also asked its suppliers to step up the production of components required for Y-OCTA screens.
Apple has been struggling with poor iPhone sales. Customers aren’t upgrading as frequently as they used to, probably because the newer iPhones are ridiculously expensive and aren’t all that innovative. The older iPhones are still good enough. I’m happy with my iPhone SE and I have no plans to upgrade this year. Apple CEO Tim Cook blamed the cheap battery upgrade program and poor sales in Greater China region for the weak performance during the holiday quarter.
The trade war between the US and China has also affected the iPhones sales. Apple is offering lucrative trade-in programs and price cuts to boost the sales of its latest models. Last week, the tech giant revised down its December quarter revenue guidance to $84 billion from the earlier $84-$93 billion. It will be interesting to see whether the triple camera system and a new display technology will be able to revive the flagging iPhone sales in the second half of 2019.