Sure, it's borderline silly to be thinking about iPhone 10 — or iPhone XI or X3 or whatever Apple ends up calling the 2019 iPhone — when we haven't even gotten the 2018 iPhone yet. But, we're already getting rumors about it and that means we need to round them up. This article is continuously updated to include the latest news and rumors so you can be among the first to find out. Bookmark it, save it, share it, and check back often!
July 05, 2018: Apple rumored to be ditching Intel 5G modems from iPhone (2020)
Apple currently uses Intel and Qualcomm LTE modems for iPhone but, as the industry shifts to 5G, Apple may be shifting to a new radio supplier.
Intel will not provide 5G modems for Apple's 2020 mobile devices, according to internal company communications reviewed by Calcalist, and people familiar with the matter. Apple has notified Intel it would not use a mobile modem developed by the chipmaker in its next-generation mobile device, Intel executives said in the communications. Further development of the modem component internally called "Sunny Peak" has been halted and the Intel team that's working on the product will be redirected to other efforts, the executives said.
Apple is facing "a massive effort" to launch 5G in their mobile products, Intel executives posited in communications. They further speculated Apple's decision not to use Intel's modem component was a result of "many factors."
The introduction of a new speedy Wi-Fi standard called WiGig (802.11ad) "into any mobile product brings new and unanticipated challenges," they stated.
There's been speculation that MediaTek might be a new supplier, and Apple has also been rumored to be working on its own, custom modems.
This is all very inside baseball, but while 2020 might seem a long way away right now, Apple works several years ahead on new iPhone models.
If true, it's just one more bit of bad news for Intel, which has been struggling not only in new businesses like modems, but its traditional stronghold of processor architectures as well.
Up until now, the rumors have centered around Apple ditching Intel x86 for custom, in-house ARM chips on ultramobile Macs. Now, it's possible we'll see a world with less and less Intel Inside.
May 28, 2018: Apple reportedly all-in on OLED for iPhone (2019)
While iPhone (2018) is widely expected to use OLED for the two flagship models but stick with LCD for the less-expensive model, iPhone (2019) is again rumored to be going all-in on OLED for all three models.
Electronic Times via Reuters:
Apple Inc has decided to use OLED screens in all three new iPhone models planned for next year, according to South Korea's Electronic Times - a report that sent shares in Japan Display tumbling 10 percent.
For 2018, the three new iPhone models are rumored to be the new big and bigger iPhone X successors, and a replacement for the spot traditionally held by the current model with a $100 discount. In other words, just like iPhone 5 was replaced at the lower price point by iPhone 5c when iPhone 5s launched, iPhone X will be replaced at the lower price point when iPhone XI (or whatever Apple calls it) launches.
If Apple is planning three phones again next year, and all three with OLED, does that mean the two iPhone XI models won't be sticking around for more than a year either? Or that three sizes is the new normal and the entire line will drop down to make room at the top?
May 28, 2018: iPhone (2019) yet again rumored to adopt three lenses
It's the iPhone (2019) rumor that just won't quit. (Maybe because there haven't been any other rumors yet...)
Google Translated from Economic Daily:
In the market, Apple's iPhone, which will be launched next year, may use post-imposed 3D sensing modules to present Augmented Reality (AR) images. Among them, time-of-flight (ToF) is the main sensing technology. According to the latest report of foreign-funded Deutsche Securities, Apple will replace ToF technology with three lenses, and Dali and other Taiwanese manufacturers will have the opportunity to benefit.
Lu Jialin, Deutsche Securities's technology industry analyst, said that AR imagery is a high probability of being the main specification of the iPhone in 2019. The market predicts that the iPhone will use the rear 3D sensing module of ToF, but according to the team's visit, it does not believe that Apple will use ToF. Instead, it will use three-lens imaging, including two camera lenses using stereo vision technology, and a long-focus lens for zooming.
Effective solving analog zoom, along with wider angle, and better low-light are still the holy grails of camera phone systems. If this is true-thy, Apple may still be working on zoom and low-light before tackling wide.
May 7, 2018: More rumors of a triple-camera system for iPhone 2019
Once again, rumors are suggesting that the 2019 iPhone will go from a two- to a three-camera system.
From the Taipei Times:
Pu said Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is expected to drive triple-camera lens adoption by introducing a lower-spec device for the Mate 20 model, while Apple is likely to launch a new iPhone model with a triple-lens rear camera in the second half of next year.
The Huawei P20 Pro already has a triple camera system with a monochrome lens helping with detail and low light. Since camera phones can't go deep with their lenses, they're increasingly going wide.
If Apple follows suit, 2019 seems like a long time from now to do it, especially in technology terms. Unless, of course, Apple can do it better.
What will the 2019 iPhone be called?
Up until 2017, Apple's naming pattern had been consistent: iPhone [Number] followed by iPhone [Number + s]. Then, things got complicated.
- 2007: iPhone
- 2008: iPhone 3G
- 2009: iPhone 3GS
- 2010: iPhone 4
- 2011: iPhone 4s
- 2012: iPhone 5
- 2013: iPhone 5s
- 2014: iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus
- 2015: iPhone 6s + iPhone 6s Plus
- 2016: iPhone 7 + iPhone 7 Plus
- 2017: iPhone 8 + iPhone 8 Plus + iPhone X
- 2018: ?
- 2019: ?
We don't know what the 2018 iPhones will be called yet, much less the 2019, but Apple can name any future iPhone anything it wants. iPhone 10. iPhone XII. iPhone X3. iPhone Edition. iPhone Pro. iPhone Infinity War. It's purely a marketing decision.
For the sake of simplicity, iPhone 2019 will be used in our rumor roundup until we hear otherwise.
When will the 2019 iPhone be released?
Since the iPhone 5, Apple has announced every flagship iPhone during a special event held the first or second Tuesday or Wednesday of September.
- iPhone 5: September 12, 2012
- iPhone 5s: September 10, 2013
- iPhone 6: September 9, 2014
- iPhone 6s: September 9, 2015
- iPhone 7: September 7, 2016
- iPhone 8: September 12, 2017
- iPhone X: September 12, 2017
Likewise, since the iPhone 5, Apple has shipped every flagship iPhone the second Friday following the event, with the exception of the iPhone 6s in 2015, which shipped the third Friday following the event, and iPhone X, which shipped on November 3:
- iPhone 5: September 21, 2012
- iPhone 5S: September 20, 2013
- iPhone 6: September 19, 2014
- iPhone 6s: September 25, 2015
- iPhone 7: September 16, 2016
- iPhone 8: September 22, 2017
- iPhone X: November 3, 2017
Past patterns are the best indicator of future events, but they aren't perfect. Apple can and will throw curveballs whenever the company's logistics or strategy demands. So, be aware of the dates but don't be bound to them.
What can we expect in the iPhone 2019 design?
iPhone 2018 is expected to carry the iPhone X design across the line: Regular size, Plus size, and even less-expensive. 2019 could be the S version of those, or could allow Apple reduce or even eliminate the notch. We'll have to wait and see.
- iPhone 3G: 2008 — Plastic shell.
- iPhone 4: 2010 — Antenna band and glass back.
- iPhone 5: 2012 — 16:9 aspect ratio, chamfered edges.
- iPhone 6: 2014 — Bigger screens, rounded edges.
- iPhone X: 2017 — Edge-to-edge display.
Will touch ID make a comeback?
Unlikely. With iPhone X, Apple deleted the Home button and Touch ID along with it. Instead, we got Face ID. While it's always possible Apple will bring Touch ID back, implementing it below the display, Apple claims to have burned those boats behind them, so the odds aren't great.
What colors will the iPhone 2019 be offered in?
So far Apple has saved the new iPhone finishes for years yet that didn't have big redesigns.
- iPhone 5s: 2013 — Gold.
- iPhone 6s: 2015 — Rose gold.
- iPhone 7: 2016 — Black and jet black.
- iPhone 7: 2017 — (Product) RED.
- iPhone 8: 2018 — Gold (new, copper-colored gold).
But, again, Apple can do anything the company wants, any time the company wants, including introducing new colors at any time.
Apple Watch Series 2 being released in white ceramics sent the internet atwitter with thoughts of iPhone 9 being made out of the same material. Tougher than stainless steel, it still remains to be seen if it would hold up in a device as big as an iPhone or iPhone Plus.
Notably, Greg Koenig of Luma Labs thinks it unlikely, writing on Atomic Delights:
More bluntly, not only is Apple not using any new ceramics manufacturing technology in the new Watch Edition, they are not even utilizing the primary patent the original Quora article pins most of its extrapolations on - that patent described a vacuum liquid slurry casting process for ceramics. The Edition watch uses a very common pressed powder forming method.
In short, not only does the ceramic Watch quash any hopes of a ceramic iPhone, I think it actually indicates that Apple isn't chasing down ceramics for iPhone production any time on the horizon.
What specs will the iPhone 2019 have?
Since Apple introduced the company's first branded system-on-a-chip (SoC) in 2010, every new iPhone has come with a new A-series chipset. If Apple sticks to that pattern, the iPhone 2019 will ship with Apple A13 processors, maybe down to 5 nanometers. New SoC typically take advantage of better processes that let them be faster and more powerful but also more energy efficient.
Apple has also been adding coprocessors to handle motion voice activation, fusion cores, and neural engines. A13 will continue to push Apple silicon forward. That includes a third generation custom GPU as well.
What about an iPad Pro-style Smart Connector?
Apple typically introduces a technology in one device and then rolls it out across the lineup. Retina was like that with iPhone 4 and Touch ID with iPhone 5s. The Smart Connector, which debuted with the iPad Pro in the fall of 2015, attaches via a magnet and runs power, data, and ground directly from the device. It currently powers Apple's Smart Keyboard and a similar keyboard from Logitech, with more expected to follow.
Apple could certainly engineer a Smart Connector for iPhone 9, but what it would be used for is a more interesting question. Apple made a smaller Smart Keyboard for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but would the company make an even smaller one for iPhone 8 Plus? For iPhone 8 standard?
What about the display? Will we get ProMotion?
With iPhone 8 and iPhone X, Apple brought TrueTone to iPhone. It makes sure the color temperature of the display matches the ambient color temperature. That way, whites don't look yellow or blue — they look white. Like paper.
What iPhone 8 and iPhone X didn't get was ProMotion.
Introduced with the 2017 iPads Pro, ProMotion allows dynamic refresh so the display can ramp up to support Apple Pencil and impossibly smooth scrolling, and ramp down to conserve power.
Like TrueTone, once you see it, you want it everywhere. Including the next-generation iPhone.
Will the iPhone 2019 be waterproof?
iPhone 7, iPhone 8, and iPad X are water resistant but not waterproof. Rated IP67, they can survive accidental splashes, dunks, and floods, but isn't rated as highly as some competing phones from Samsung and others.
Although swimming with an iPhone may not be on everyone's wish-list, those whose jobs or pastimes expose them to the elements, and even those who want to do underwater photography at shallow depths would be thrilled by IP68.
Will the iPhone 2019 have distance charging?
iPhone 8 and iPhone X introduced inductive charging to iPhone. It uses the Qi-standard, though, and currently requires the iPhone to be placed in direct physical contact with the charging pad.
There have been rumors for a while that suggest Apple is also working on resonant inductive coupling, which would let devices charge even at a distance. (The greater the distance, the lower the efficiency.) So, instead of having to put the iPhone in direct contact with the charging pad, you can simply put it down anywhere nearby the power station.
It would make charging even more convenient and less error-prone. If Apple can nail it.
Okay, what do we know for sure?
Only that nothing is confirmed until an Apple executive holds an iPhone 9 up on stage!