iPhone XI: all the news, leaks, price and release date

iPhone XI: all the news, leaks, price and release date
Well, folks, 2019 is here and although we’ve got months of waiting before the next generation of iPhones hits us — there are already rumors about them floating about the Web. Never too early for those if your device is hot enough, we guess.

As every year, we expect the iPhone XI (or however Apple decides to call it this time around) to be announced all the way in September. But, already, we have some juicy tidbits of information about them. Let’s gather it all up!

Three models


In 2017, Apple launched the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus with a design very, very similar to what we have been getting for the past 4 years. Alongside those two, the company also announced the iPhone X — the first fresh look with radical new changes. Then, in 2018, we saw another trio of new iPhones. This time, all three have the “new” design language and they are the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.

According to rumors and analysts, Apple intends to stick to the triple phone plan this year as well. We have no idea what they are going to be named, but word on the street is that we will be getting an upgraded iPhone XR (2019) alongside two more expensive iPhone XS successors.

Design


The iPhone 6 - iPhone 8 era showed us that Apple isn’t super-interested in changing its device design all too often. Similarly to its computer and tablet lines, it’s confident that its designs can stand the test of time over periods of 4 years or more. And early reports do say that we won’t be seeing a major change in how the 2019 iPhones are going to look.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 8, four generations apart

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 8, four generations apart



But there may be some facelifting going on. When a major Apple supplier announced that it has found a way to implement an RGB sensor and an IR proximity sensor under the active pixels of a smartphone’s display, this led to speculation that Apple might shrink the size of “the notch” at the top of the iPhone XI’s screen.

Other reports say that Cupertino is not only interested in hiding the notch sensors behind the display — allegedly, Apple is also dabbling in under-the-glass fingerprint scanner technology. One uncovered patent even outlines how an iPhone might use both Face ID and under-the-display Touch ID for biometric security.

iPhone XI: all the news, leaks, price and release date


While we aren’t sure that Apple would be interested in fingerprint scanning on its phones in the future (it has been working at removing Touch ID not only from its phones, but its tablets as well), we could see that the notch shrinking might be a possible move. It won’t change a lot about the iPhone’s general appearance, but it might give it a slightly cleaner look.

As far as display sizes go — we've no reason to believe Apple will change anything in that department. In fact, analysts report that the company is planning to keep the same combo — 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.5-inch screens on the iPhone XI, XR successor, and iPhone XI Max, respectively. However, there's one interesting tidbit — the XR line might also switch to the OLED technology, which means it might get the higher resolution, super-deep blacks, and thinner bezels of its more expensive siblings. Now that would be something, but we feel it might be wishful thinking. We'll keep our ear to the ground for that one.

What about the camera lump?


A super-early leak claimed to show us the design for the camera bump of the iPhone XI Max. Allegedly, this model is going to get a third lens on its camera module (more on that later), and Apple has been juggling different prototypes to find the one it likes best. This is what the leak claimed was decided upon:

iPhone XI: all the news, leaks, price and release date


The Internet was not all too pleased about the appearance of that and there was a bit of a panic online. We don’t know whether that affected Apple’s decision in any way, or if the early rumor was a hoax to begin with, but current reports state that the three cameras on the iPhone XI Max will be placed in a horizontal line at the top center of the device’s back, not in the weird tri-force pattern. The new design has been dubbed “Cyclops camera” and people are still not super-fond of it.

Horizontal camera design and smaller notch, as rumored

Horizontal camera design and smaller notch, as rumored



The iPhone XR of 2019 will also get an upgrade in this department, supposedly. Rumors say that Apple will be adding a second camera to its module, shaping it like the camera bump on the current iPhone XS.

Connectivity - USB Type-C?


The fact that Apple finally caved in and gave the iPad Pro of 2018 a USB Type-C connector, instead of its proprietary Lightning port, was kind of surprising. Apple loves to keep everything close to the chest, with a tightly-enclosed ecosystem and its own hardware and software solutions for everything.

An iPad with USB? What a time to be alive!

An iPad with USB? What a time to be alive!



However, when it comes to putting the “Pro” in iPad Pro, Cupertino silently admitted that the new USB Type-C is the better port to go with.

Now, some speculate (hope) that we might see USB Type-C connectors on the upcoming iPhones as well. We are not convinced this will happen, though.

The Lightning port is still a great source of revenue for Apple due to the fact that any company that wants to make an accessory for the iPhone needs to pay a license to use the connector’s protocols. And there are a ton of accessories.

The iPad Pro might have gotten USB Type-C due to Apple wanting to make it appear more like a hybrid laptop and less like a portable media player. The iPhone doesn’t sit anywhere near that category.

Camera — what is that module about?


iPhone XI: all the news, leaks, price and release date

Cameras are often a hot topic around new smartphone models and the fact that leaksters are saying the iPhone XI Max would have a triple camera has our ears perked. What will the third sensor be used for? A wide-angle lens like LG does?

Well, no, not according to reports. Apple has been very keen on developing Augmented Reality tech — the thing that lets you place virtual objects in the real world, observed through the phone’s viewfinder. Think Pokemon Go or — for more useful applications — Apple’s Measure app, which comes to the rescue when you need a measuring tool but don’t have one on you.

iPhone XI: all the news, leaks, price and release date


Admittedly, it’s not super-accurate or easy to use in many cases and Cupertino is still working to improve that. The third sensor on the iPhone XI Max would be a ToF (Time of Flight) camera. (check out our test of ToF technology with another phone here)

Basically, this is an extremely advanced range-detection tool that measures the time of travel of light particles between the camera itself and every object that’s placed into the frame. This would allow the phone to make super-accurate measurements of the environment in all three dimensions. You won’t have to awkwardly bend, twist, and pray for the phone to detect the surface properly anymore.

The only lead on camera resolutions we have is a report, claiming that the two sensors on the iPhone XI's back would be 14 MP and 10 MP. However, not much beyond that is revealed.

The iPhone XR of 2019 will also be getting an extra lens on the back, upping their count to two. Will that be a telephoto camera that gives us 2x optical zoom and the proper Portrait Mode, as the one the iPhone XS has? We can’t say for sure.

iPhone XI: all the news, leaks, price and release date


With its 2018 models, Apple showed us that it’s perfectly capable of making Portrait Mode work with a single lens via software alone — much like Google does with the Pixels — so it might move lenses around. Maybe we have it all wrong, maybe all of the 2019 iPhones will have a ToF camera and only the iPhone XI Max will have a telephoto lens for “true” Portrait shots. We’re still waiting on more information.

So long, 3D Touch, we knew thee well


iPhone XI: all the news, leaks, price and release date

We have been hearing rumors that Apple intends to kill 3D Touch ever since before the iPhone XS launched. We already have the iPhone XR, which doesn't have the pressure-sensing technology. Instead, Apple is replacing the 3D Touch gestures across the interface with a simple long press (*ahem*, sorry, it's called "Haptic Touch"). The latter isn't spread throughout iOS yet, but Cupertino has confirmed that it will be adding more and more Haptic Touch functions with coming iOS updates.

In other words, it's entirely possible that Apple might be prepping for a future where its phones won't have 3D Touch. The sheer amount of reports from analysts and leaksters make us believe that the company is definitely, definitely considering it.

Why? Well, building displays with pressure-sensitive sensors underneath the glass is a pretty expensive and not a very easy process. On the flipside, 3D Touch never really picked up as an essential feature — most users even forget they have it. Yeah, we think it sucks that 3D Touch might be gone, but the majority has spoken. Or so we are led to believe.

We still hope that Apple might — at the very very least — keep 3D Touch on the super-expensive iPhone Max line. It's definitely a nifty and satisfying feature to use, it is still unique and exclusive to the iPhones, makes the keyboard cursor super-precise (as opposed to the mockup of that feature that the iPhone XR has) and it has proven itself useful for shooter games. Alas, we are at the mercy of Cupertino here.

iPhone XI price and release date


Every year, Apple announces its new iPhones at a special September keynote event. While we have no official confirmation for this year yet, there’s no reason to believe 2019 would be different. So, expect the new iPhones to be announced around mid-September (12th-19th) and launch a week after that.

And the price? One would hope that the recent slowdown in iPhone sales might give Apple a good indication that maybe it went a bit overboard with the pricing of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. On the other hand, Cupertino is not one to backpedal on decisions easily. Really, we expect no major change in pricing — $750 for the iPhone XR (2019), $1000 for the iPhone XI, and $1100 for the iPhone XI Max. But hey, fingers crossed that if Apple does remove 3D Touch on the expensive models, it would at least pass the savings on to the consumers.

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7 Comments

1. cncrim

Posts: 1553; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

New innovation and Price is the key.

4. androiduser

Posts: 504; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

Can't stand iOS and I 100% wont consider buying this iPhone and even if I did I still probably wont buy it due to its price but can you imagine the power on this thing? Holy s**t even a12 is as powerful as the sd855 and maybe even more powerful.

5. almostdone

Posts: 421; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

All the power wasted touching a boring grid of icons.

6. androiduser

Posts: 504; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

Indeed

2. ReticentHamster

Posts: 150; Member since: Jan 19, 2015

Looks like there might be significant changes, but I'm not a huge fan of the purported design changes... It just doesn't look like an iPhone to me. I think the biggest thing that bothers me, and this may seem silly, is that the "cyclops" design looks... evil. You know those animated villains that have the black eyes to make them look extra intimidating? (Think of the Hun leader [edit: his name is Shan Yu] from Mulan) That's what this camera module looks like. I don't think the "evil" motif is what Apple wants to project as their image. That said, all of this could just be false, but I don't care for any of the design rumors so far.

3. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 907; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

Looking forward to that $2000 iPhone!

7. warrenellis93

Posts: 525; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

If people accidentally call it "iphone ex L" ill jump on that band wagon because apple should have never switched to roman numerals after 10 years

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