Apple is expected to release its first 5G iPhone next year. Here's everything we've heard about it so far.
- Apple will likely add 5G support to its 2020 flagship iPhones, according to early reports and rumors.
- Other than 5G connectivity, the phones are said to feature a more advanced 3D camera and other benefits that will arrive on the 2019 models.
- The addition of 5G could boost demand for Apple's new iPhones as customers are upgrading their smartphones less often.
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Apple hasn't even launched its 2019 iPhones yet, but that hasn't stopped us from speculating about what the company may be planning for next year.
The biggest upgrade coming next year will likely be the introduction of 5G network support. Such an addition could be critical to driving upgrades at a time when smartphone owners are holding onto their devices for longer periods of time and Apple's iPhone revenue has been falling. In its second fiscal quarter for 2019, iPhone revenue came in at $31.1 billion (R448 billion), compared to $37.6 billion (R541 billion) the same period one year ago.
But adding 5G to the iPhone could give consumers more incentive to upgrade, according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note from April, which was obtained by 9to5Mac, Kuo predicted that Apple would ship between 70 and 75 million flagship iPhones in 2020, compared to his estimates for this fall of 65 to 70 million.
Here's a look at everything we know about the 5G-enabled iPhone Apple is expected to release in 2020.
It will likely include 5G chips from Qualcomm and Samsung.
Qualcomm and Samsung will supply the 5G chips for Apple's new iPhones in 2020, according to that April note from Kuo, which doesn't come as much of a surprise considering Apple and Qualcomm recently settled their long-running legal dispute. On the same day, Intel announced that it was giving up on the 5G smartphone business.
It may have Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into its screen.
Apple did away with Touch ID on its latest flagships in favor of Face ID, but there's a chance the company could bring its fingerprint scanning technology back next year. Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis believes Apple could integrate Touch ID directly into the iPhone's screen next year, as he wrote in a note obtained by MacRumors.
That could help the 2020 iPhone more directly compete with rivals like Samsung's Galaxy S10, which already boasts in-screen fingerprint recognition.
Next year's iPhone will reportedly have an upgraded 3D camera for augmented reality.
Other than 5G connectivity and an in-screen fingerprint sensor, another headlining feature in next year's iPhone is expected to be its camera. Apple is planning to outfit next year's iPhone with a more powerful, rear-facing, 3D camera to enable better augmented-reality performance, according to Bloomberg.
The new camera would be powered by a laser scanner, unlike the dot projection technology Apple currently uses for Face ID in the iPhone X family's front-facing camera. In addition to boosting the iPhone's augmented reality functionality, the new 3D camera could be used to take photos with greater depth, the report says.
Apple may cut the 5.8-inch size from the 2020 lineup.
Apple will reportedly shake up the iPhone's design yet again in 2020.
The company is expected to release two new 5G-enabled iPhones in 2020, likely to be successors to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. But the new smaller-sized iPhone will have a 5.4-inch screen instead of a 5.8-inch display, which would make it noticeably smaller than the current iPhone XS. That's according to Kuo's latest predictions, which MacRumors and 9to5Mac recently reported.
The larger-sized iPhone is expected to get even bigger next year with a new screen that's 6.7 inches, compared to the iPhone XS Max's 6.5-inch screen. Apple will also likely release a new 6.1-inch iPhone in 2020 that wil be a follow-up to the iPhone XR, but that phone will not support 5G, according to Kuo.
This new size for Apple's iPhone XS sequel would make it smaller than today's version but still larger than the iPhone 8. That could make it a compelling choice for those who want a phone that's more compact than the iPhone XS but need a screen that's bigger than the iPhone 8's 4.7-inch display. Plus, since the iPhone 8 will be three years old by then, there's a good chance Apple won't be selling it anymore, leaving virtually no option for those who want a smaller iPhone. As such, the smaller new iPhone XS could fill that hole in Apple's lineup.
We can probably expect it to have all the new features introduced in this year's iPhone too.
Apple's 2020 iPhones will likely inherit the new features we'll see this September. That means there's a good chance they'll have a triple-camera system and will support reverse wireless charging. That last feature would make it possible to charge an accessory like your Apple Watch or AirPods just by resting them on the back of your iPhone.
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