For 2019, Apple is expected to continue with the same iPhone lineup as 2018. This means we are going to see three different iPhones catering to three different price points. The iPhone XR successor, iPhone XI (iPhone 11), and the iPhone XI Max (iPhone 11 Max) — the successors to iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.
There’s no confirmation yet as to what Apple will call its 2019 iPhones but our bet is that we are looking at the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max. As for the iPhone XR successor, that’s going to be a surprise.
Like every other iPhone release, there have been plenty of rumors and leaks about the 2019 iPhones. These leaks have revealed quite a bit about the handsets and give us a fair picture of what to expect from them when they launch later this year. Unlike the iPhone X, the 2019 iPhones are not going to be a radical design departure. Instead, Apple is only going to make some slight tweaks and changes and build on the design further.
Since some of the changes on the 2019 iPhones are going to be like clockwork, we already know that it would be using an A13 chip fabricated by TSMC, feature an improved rear camera, a better OLED display, and more. Apart from these usual improvements, the 2019 iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max will also come with a triple camera setup which is going to be their highlight. The triple camera setup will include a new ultra-wide angle shooter as seen on the Galaxy S10 series and Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
The 2019 iPhones will be unveiled by Apple in September, just like it has been launching them every year during the same time frame. The phones should then go on sale towards the end of September in most major markets of the world.
2019 iPhones Naming
With the iPhone X in 2017, Apple threw its existing naming scheme out of the door and went with something completely new. In 2018, it followed the iPhone X with iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max suggesting that it is still sticking to its ‘S’ naming convention.
Going by that, the 2019 iPhones should be called iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max. Or at least that’s what we are betting on.
As for the iPhone XR’s successor, its name remains a complete mystery for now.
The name is among the last thing that Apple generally finalizes before an iPhone launch so there’s still some months to go before we know for sure as to what the 2019 iPhones will be called.
iPhone 11 Rumors, Leaks and News
Renderings & Design
While the 2019 iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max are still a few months away from launch, their renderings have already leaked courtesy of @OnLeaks. His CAD renderings have always been on point so the renders give us a good idea of what the 2019 iPhones will look like.
The renders confirm that Apple will indeed switch to a triple-camera setup on the 2019 iPhone 11. It is unclear if the triple camera setup will be a part of both the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max or Apple will keep it exclusive to the bigger iPhone 11 Max. Rumors point to Apple bringing the triple camera setup to both iPhones but keeping it exclusive to only the higher storage variants of the smaller iPhone. The renders show the iPhone 11 featuring a square camera bump at the rear which includes the triple-camera setup and an LED flash. This setup looks identical to Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s rear camera setup.
Reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed that Apple will switch to a new frosted glass back on 2019 iPhone 11 and 11 Max. This should give the rear of the phones a new look.
Apple is seemingly testing another design for the rear camera layout for its 2019 iPhones. The prototype handset has a notably different design from the iPhone X and iPhone XS at the rear and even has a smaller notch as the front. While in prototype stage inside Apple, I doubt that we will see Apple go ahead with this design for the iPhone 11 this year.
There have been no leaks surrounding the 2019 iPhone XR but given that Apple considers it a budget offering, I doubt it is going to see any major design changes.
iPhone 11 Specs
Apple has been setting new performance standards with its A-series chips every year. Last year with the iPhone XS and A12 Bionic, Apple was the first company to release a 7nm chip to the market. This year, Apple is once again expected to use TSMC’s 7nm foundry to fabricate its A13 chip. Given the lack of a node jump, A13 should bring relatively modest performance improvements, with Apple primarily focusing on improving its neural engine further.
Like its 2018 iPhone lineup, Apple should use the A13 chip inside all the three iPhones it will release this year.
The iPhone X marked the debut of Apple switching to OLED panels on iPhones and it set a new standard for smartphones displays. With the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, Apple managed to raise the bar once again. This year, Apple is again expected to take the mobile display standard a level higher with the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max. The phones are expected to retain the same display sizes and resolution — 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch. The only improvement we are going to see is in terms of brightness, contrast, and accuracy.
Apple might use newer OLED panels from Samsung with an integrated touch panel that should make them thinner and lighter than the panels it currently uses. They are also expected to continue having 3D Touch support.
Sadly, the 2019 iPhone XR will continue to feature a Liquid Retina LCD display of the same size (6.1-inch) and resolution (720p+). The panel will be improved over what’s found on the iPhone XR but the improvements are going to be modest in nature. And to keep its price in touch, the iPhone XR will skip 3D Touch in 2019 as well.
Apple is expected to improve Face ID on its 2019 iPhone 11. The company is rumored to use a more powerful flood illuminator for improved performance. There were rumors of Apple making the notch smaller on 2019 iPhones but that seems unlikely to happen this year.
Storage and RAM
There have been no leaks and rumors on this front so far. Most flagship Android smartphones are now shipping with 128GB storage at the base level but it is unlikely that we will see Apple up the base storage on its 2019 iPhone lineup. That’s because it will reportedly keep the triple camera setup exclusive to higher storage variants of the iPhone 11 so a jump in base storage will go against this move.
As for RAM, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max are expected to continue featuring 4GB RAM. The iPhone XR successor might get bumped to 4GB RAM from the current 3GB, though the chances are pretty slim.
The 2019 iPhones are going to be all about their new triple camera setup. Apple will be taking a cue out of Samsung’s and Huawei’s book for this. In addition to the usual 12MP wide angle and telephoto sensor, Apple will also add a new ultra-wide angle shooter on the iPhone 11.
The ultra-wide angle shooter will help users capture photos with a new perspective. Additionally, Apple is also expected to make improvements to its Smart HDR algorithms which should ensure better dynamic range and details in photos.
There’s no word on whether the selfie camera will be upgraded to a higher resolution sensor or not.
The 2019 iPhone XR successor will miss out on the ultra-wide angle sensor due to its lower price tag.
The 2019 iPhone 11 is unlikely to feature support for faster LTE speeds. This means just like the iPhone XS, it will feature support for Gigabit LTE. Apple should use a newer Intel modem though that should lead to some speed improvements.
The 2019 iPhone XR is expected to gain support for 4×4 MIMO for faster LTE speeds, though that’s still up for debate at this point.
Another notable connectivity improvement on the 2019 iPhone 11 will be the support for Ultra-Wide Band which should help improve indoor positioning on it.
Other connectivity aspects of the 2019 iPhone 11 and iPhone XR are expected to remain the same. This means we are still looking at Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi ac, and NFC. There are rumors of Apple adding Wi-Fi 6 support to 2019 iPhones but since the technology is still in draft stages, I doubt we will see Apple implement it.
There has been a lot of rumors which suggested that Apple will switch to USB-C on 2019 iPhones. Apple is seemingly even testing some iPhone prototypes with a USB-C port.
However, recent rumors from credible sources confirm that Apple will stick to the Lightning port for its 2019 iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max. This is definitely going to disappoint a lot of people who were expecting Apple to make the switch to USB-C this year for its iPhone lineup.
Battery and Charging
The 2019 iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max will come with bigger batteries than the 2018 iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The bigger batteries should allow the handset to last notably longer. Plus, it will also help the new iPhones support wireless reverse charging.
The 2019 iPhone XR should also see a bump in its battery capacity, though there’s no word on whether it will also feature reverse wireless charging or not.
Sadly, Apple is expected to continue bundling a 5W USB-A charger with its 2019 iPhone lineup. On the plus side, it is expected to make improvements to the wireless charging speeds and bump it to 10W, up from 7.5W on 2018 iPhones.
Wireless Reverse Charging
One of the highlights of the 2019 iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max will be support for wireless reverse charging. As seen on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro/P30 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10, wireless reverse charging will allow the 2019 iPhones to wirelessly charge other devices. While the process will be slow, it is ideally recommended for accessories like the Apple Watch and AirPods. This would be a useful feature to have as it will ensure that one has to travel only with their iPhone charger and not worry about carrying the chargers for the AirPods or Apple Watch.
Do not expect the 2019 iPhone 11 to feature 5G connectivity. 5G network and the technology itself is in nascent stages of development and rollout and despite all the hype, it still has a long way to go before it becomes mainstream. Apple is only expected to jump on the 5G bandwagon in 2020 or later.
iPhone 11 Price
Despite the slowdown in iPhone sales, Apple is unlikely to reduce the prices for 2019 iPhone 11. They should have the same prices as the 2018 iPhones. This means the 2019 iPhone XR will start from $749, with the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 starting from $999 and the bigger iPhone 11 Max being priced at around $1,99.
iPhone 11 Release Date
Like every other iPhone release over the last decade, we will see Apple unveil the iPhone 11 in September. After that, the handsets will go on sale in late September in most markets followed by a wider launch in October.