iPhone Lineup Won’t Feature Rear-Facing TrueDepth Next Year

iPhone-X3 Credit: Business Insider
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Apple isn’t likely to add its TrueDepth Camera technology to the iPhone’s rear-facing camera next year, according to an analyst report on Tuesday.

The TrueDepth system, which is based on infrared sensing and 3D depth mapping technology, enables features such as Face ID and Apple’s new Animoji for the iPhone X’s front-facing, selfie camera. But despite its added benefits, Apple is unlikely to apply the new system to rear-facing cameras on 2018 iPhones, renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted.

“Based on aforementioned assumptions, we do not expect 2H18F iPhones to come with rear TrueDepth Camera/3D sensing, contrary to market expectations,” Kuo wrote in a KGI Securities research note distributed to clients Tuesday.

Despite his forecast, Kuo added that KGI can “agree that a rear TrueDepth Camera/3D sensing can potentially provide more augmented reality (AR applications.” The analyst went on to state that Apple needs to “quickly” resolve two issues if it wants rear-facing TrueDepth, namely:

  1. Fostering the development of both AI and ARKit software and apps, and an AR ecosystem. All of which takes time.
  2. Stabilizing shipments and on-time shipping, both of which are challenging due to the “higher spec requirements of a rear TrueDepth camera.”

Presumably, the complexity of manufacturing and assembling the TrueDepth system could also halt its inclusion within the rear-facing camera system. Its components are complicated and incredibly fragile, and those issues are part of why the iPhone X is both a bit late and in short supply this year, reports indicate.

Kuo did add that, since TrueDepth is years ahead of the company’s Android competition, Apple’s main focus for next year’s iPhones will probably be an on-time launch and an adequate supply of devices. Even without rear-facing TrueDepth, Kuo said that Apple will, unsurprisingly, add other upgrade tech and specifications to next year’s stable of iPhones.

Previous reports suggest that front-facing TrueDepth will be included on all of next year’s iPhone models, as well as the 2018 iPad Pro lineup.

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