As we get closer to Apple’s annual iPhone release, the rumour mill has been abuzz with all sorts of information about what we can expect from this year’s iPhone lineup. While some of the rumours have left us scratching our collective heads — one recent report suggested Apple could release five iPhone models this fall — many have been consistent enough to give us a pretty good picture of some of the things we can expect to see this year.
We’ve head quite a bit about Apple’s plans for the rear camera system, which is widely expected to adopt a triple-lens camera, but information on what Apple might be doing with the front TrueDepth camera has been a bit scant. We saw one report in January that suggested Apple would bump the camera to 10 megapixels on at least one model, but that’s been about it.
Now, however, it seems that well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has added his thoughts on the front camera, confirming the earlier rumour that it will be getting an even bigger increase in resolution — jumping all the way to 12 megapixels from the current 7MP camera — and that it will in face be coming to the entire iPhone lineup, not just the higher-end iPhone XS successors.
In his latest research note, Kuo also adds that Apple will be using a five-element lens component for the front camera, and confirms the more common belief that the triple-lens camera system will only be coming to the 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch higher-end models, while the 6.1-inch next-gen “iPhone XR” will gain a dual-camera system, likely similar to what’s currently found in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.
Kuo says that the triple-lens camera system will feature three 12-megapixel lenses, with the third lens being a super-wide-angle lens that will be supplied exclusively by Sony. It appears that the other two lenses will be the same as those found in the current iPhone XS.
Apple is also expected to add a special “black lens-coating technology” to make the lenses look less conspicuous on the new iPhone models, although Kuo oddly only pegs the front lens and new super-wide-angle lens as receiving this new coating. This would help the lenses “disappear” and make the iPhone look more aesthetically pleasing, especially in light of the increased camera array that would be required to support it. Further, if the third lens is the odd one out, as seen in some recent mockups, hiding that particular lens would definitely make it stand out less.
Kuo notes that he expects that the camera upgrade will be “one of the new iPhone’s major selling points,” which is understandable as there seems to be a continuing demand for improvements in camera technology each year. Further, while we’ve heard some other interesting rumours about the 2019 iPhone lineup, such as the ability to act as wireless chargers and indoor navigation, it’s safe to say that these features aren’t going to be as nearly compelling in differentiating this year’s iPhones from Apple’s current lineup.