Prototype cases for the 2019 Apple iPhone lineup might "confirm" your worst fears
We've already seen a number of renders showing what we might expect the 2019 Apple iPhone models to look like. The biggest change is on the back where the rear cameras (two in the case of the iPhone 11R and three on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max) are mounted in a square housing in the upper left-hand corner. 9to5 Mac reports that it was able to obtain a trio of prototype cases for the 2019 iPhones and all three feature a square cutout that aligns with the reported placement of the module. The lenses are rumored to have a special black coating that will make the whole package more pleasing to look at. Even with this coating, there are many iPhone users out there who are unhappy with how this camera module looks.
The extra camera on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max is expected to be a 12MP sensor with an ultra wide-angle lens that offers a 120-degree field of view. While there originally was talk of offering optical image stabilization (OIS) on all three iPhone 11 cameras, the latest gossip has Apple holding this feature back and will include it with the 5G iPhones expected in 2020.
It is unknown whether these prototype cases are based on real schematics for the 2019 iPhone lineup, or if they are based on rumored schematics. But the cases do show that the mute, side and volume buttons on the iPhone 11R and iPhone 11 will be in the same exact place as found on the iPhone XR and iPhone XS, respectively. The buttons on the iPhone 11 Max will be slightly lower than their current location on the iPhone XS Max.
Despite earlier rumors that Apple was going to change the size of the screens on the 2019 iPhone models, we expect that the company will keep the status quo; expect the Apple iPhone 11 to sport a 5.8-inch OLED panel, a 6.4-inch OLED screen on the iPhone 11 Max, and a 6.1-inch LCD panel on the iPhone 11R. Apple is expected to put off a rumored switch that would replace the proprietary Lightning port with a Type-C port until 2020. But a USB-C to Lighting dongle will reportedly be included in the box. And instead of forcing iPhone users to pay $29 extra for a fast charging adapter, an 18W USB-C unit will also be included with the purchase of a 2019 iPhone.
We could see a new "Underwater Mode" added to the 2019 iPhone models
The new iPhones are also expected to offer reverse wireless charging, a feature first found on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and offered on the Samsung Galaxy S10 series. It will allow a 2019 iPhone to be used as a wireless charging pad and could be used to charge up a pair of AirPods, the Apple Watch, or another compatible handset. Because the power will come from the battery inside the host iPhone, we should see a hike in the capacity of the battery found on all three models. Reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, now working for TF International, expects a battery in the range of 3491mAh to 3650mAh for the iPhone 11 Max compared to the 3174mAh battery found inside the iPhone XS Max. The iPhone 11 will sport a 3189mAh to 3322mAh battery compared to the 2658mAh capacity used on the battery that powers the iPhone 11. The iPhone XR has the best battery life of any iPhone in history, and Kuo was unsure whether the iPhone 11R will carry an upgraded component; if it does, he says the capacity will be 3089mAh.
Apple also could be adding a new "Underwater Mode" to the iPhone this year. This feature will allow users to take pictures when the phone is submerged underwater. It will allow the screen to work with touch inputs even when wet. What seems a bit odd about this is that even with an IP68 rating that allows the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max to be submerged in nearly five feet of water for up to 30 minutes, water damage is still not covered by Apple's warranty (this is the policy stated by all smartphone manufacturers selling phones with an IP67 or IP68 rating). So unless something changes in terms of water protection or the warranty, how many consumers shelling out big bucks for the 2019 iPhones will risk using "Underwater Mode?"
As usual, we should see Apple introduce the 2019 iPhone lineup this coming September. That's only three months away folks, so there is plenty of time for more rumors and renders to leak. In the meantime, WWDC 2019 kicks off on Monday. Perhaps some of the new features of iOS 13 that will be announced can help us get an even clearer picture of what to expect from the next generation iPhones.