In a year where Google
appear to be upping their game in almost every department, Apple is reportedly planning just a handful of upgrades for its next-gen iPhones. Because of this, certain analysts believe the next-gen iPhones will be rather boring.
Most of the iPhone 11's upgrades will be minor
In an investor note
shared recently, analysts at Mizuho stated that the 2019 iPhones are expected “to lack novelty” due to the minimal upgrades that are planned. As a direct result of this, the analysts expect Apple’s smartphone business to struggle “for two years straight, which would be a rare occurrence for the company."
Corroborating previous reports, Mizuho stated that there will be two OLED iPhones and an LCD variant later this year. The panels will boast the same specifications seen on the 2018 displays but this time around Apple is said to be ditching the Force Touch system
entirely. When it comes to suppliers, the investor note points towards Japan Display being the main source of the iPhone 11R’s LCD panel followed by LG Display and possibly Sharp. Samsung is expected to be the only source of OLED displays for the standard iPhone 11 and should share orders with LG for the larger iPhone 11 Max.
The 2019 models will look virtually the same from the front
Despite initial rumors, the look of the smartphones from the front and the overall size of the notch is expected to remain the same. However, the possibility of "potentially slightly more narrow bezels” does still exist, although the change could be almost unnoticeable. Internally, the flagship devices are expected to carry Apple’s next-gen A13 chip. Nevertheless, Mizuho expects “only minor changes” over the A12 Bionic that is present inside the iPhone XS
. Unsurprisingly, 5G support isn't expected either.
Analysts are still excited about the new cameras
The “only major change” Mizuho expects to see on this year's iPhones is “an improved rear camera” in the form of a new triple-sensor setup on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max
. Mizuho has “high hopes” for the layout, especially the new super-wide-angle lens, but says that it’s still “difficult to predict” whether the upgrades cameras are the right path for Apple to recapture the interest of consumers. After all, “Huawei, Samsung, and other peers have already launched multiple phones equipped with triple cameras.”
If reports are to be believed, the main and telephoto cameras on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max will sport 12-megapixel resolutions and include optical image stabilization. The added wide-angle lens on these models should feature the same resolution but ditch the optical image stabilization. Apple is also said to be preparing an improvement to the iPhone’s Portrait Mode through the upgraded hardware. Regarding the cheaper iPhone 11R, Mizuho mentions the presence of the same main and telephoto cameras found on the premium models.
Will the new cameras be enough to spark interest?
Accompanying the rear camera upgrades should be an all-new 12-megapixel selfie snapper up front that'll replace the 7-megapixel sensor found on existing devices. This will reportedly be covered in a special black coating that'll conceal the sensor and make the notch look more uniform. The same coating may make its way over to the rear cameras too.
Apple was rumored to be working on rear-facing 3D sensors for its next-generation iPhones. However, “after taking into consideration component features, production capacity, costs, and energy-saving ability” it ultimately scrapped the idea for now. Nevertheless, Mizuho points out that they could create “new business opportunities” in the future.