We’re likely just two months away from the announcement of Apple’s 2019 iPhone lineup, including the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max. Apple this year is expected to introduce three new iPhone models, including successors to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and a refreshed iPhone XR.
Read on as we roundup all of the rumors about the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max.
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Update 7/23/19: 9to5Mac has published a new report offering more details on the forthcoming iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Max, and iPhone 11R.
As for the new iPhone 11 camera technology, there will be a new feature called “Smart Frame.” This feature will capture the area around the framed area in pictures and videos, giving the user the ability to adjust the framing or perform automatic perspective and crop corrections in post. The extra area will be retained for a short period of time, and deleted automatically for privacy reasons.
The front-facing iPhone 11 camera will also be updated this year to include support for slo-mo video recording at 120 frames per second.
The 2019 iPhone models will also include a new Taptic Engine, codenamed leap haptics. Details here are unclear, but it’s likely a more advanced version of Haptic Touch, as Apple is expected to drop 3D Touch support. Read our full report on the 2019 iPhone lineup here.
9to5Mac also published a full video walkthrough with iPhone 11 dummy units. Watch that video here.
iPhone 11 Design
In terms of design, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max are expected to be nearly identical to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Earlier this month, 9to5Mac went hands-on with iPhone 11 cases, which offered a unique look at some of the smaller changes coming to this year’s iPhones.
The iPhone 11 is expected to measure in at 143.9 x 71.4 x 7.8mm, which is slightly larger and thicker than the iPhone XS at 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm. The iPhone 11 Max will reportedly measure 157.6 x 77.5 x 8.1mm, which compares to the iPhone XS Max at 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm.
We’ll touch more on this later, but the iPhone 11 series is expected to feature a redesigned camera bump on the back. While the iPhone XS camera bump is vertically oriented and features two lenses, the iPhone 11 is expected to feature three lenses in a new square shape. While the bump is wider than prior generation iPhones, it is expected to be slightly thinner.
In order to make that camera bump as little of an eyesore as possible, the iPhone 11 will purportedly feature a “new and unique” back glass design, with the rear panel being made of a single piece of glass. The triple-lens camera bump will reportedly be housed underneath that piece of glass, which should help it appear slightly less notable. Other reports have suggested that the iPhone 11 will feature a “frosted glass” design on the back.
Another minor change is that the mute switch, side button, and volume buttons are expected to shift slightly. This is likely due to space constraints caused by the new camera technology. The mute switch is also rumored to have a slightly different shape and be oriented up and down rather than right to left.
- Report: 2019 iPhones to feature new back glass design, redesigned mute switch, more
- iPhone 11 dummies use 3D printing to give rough look at the rumored design [Video]
- iPhone 11 rumors predict ‘frosted glass casing’, something Google’s flagship already features
The displays on this year’s iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max are expected to be unchanged compared to the iPhone XS series. Both will feature OLED panels, with the iPhone 11 measuring 5.8-inches and the iPhone 11 Max measuring 6.5-inches. Some rumors have suggested a shift in the sizing of this year’s iPhones, but that seems more likely to happen next year.
One display feature that could change this year, however, is 3D Touch. Supply chain analysts have claimed that Apple will eliminate the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch feature this year, and the first beta of iOS 13 certainly lays the groundwork for that change. In iOS 13, features such as Peek and Pop and Home screen Quick Actions have expanded to non-3D Touch devices, with Apple standardizing the long-press gesture for all contextual actions.
Whether or not all iPhones will drop 3D Touch this year remains to be seen, but the basis for such a move on Apple’s part is certainly there.
iPhone 11 Camera
The camera technology is where things get interesting for this year’s iPhone lineup. Numerous reports have suggested that the iPhone 11 will feature a new triple-lens camera setup on the back, which could offer a range of improvements compared to the current dual-lens design.
Bloomberg has reported that the third camera on the back will feature an ultra-wide-angle lens, allowing users to take images that include a much larger field of view. With a third camera, Apple could also increase the optical zoom of the iPhone – currently, the iPhone XS offers 2x optical zoom, but it’s possible that could increase this year. Apple may also use computer vision technology to blend data from each of the three cameras together to take more-detailed photos at a standard zoom level
As for the front-facing camera, Apple will reportedly bump the quality from 7MP to 12MP, and go from a 4-element lens to a 5-element lens. This should offer improvements in photo quality, lighting, and more.
In terms of design, the iPhone 11 will reportedly use a new coating to make the new ultra-wide lens on the back and the front-facing camera “inconspicuous.” Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was first to report on this change, and the new coating could make the aforementioned square camera bump look more aesthetically pleasing.
- Kuo: Apple upgrading front camera in 2019 iPhones to 12 megapixels, ultra-wide lens ‘inconspicuous’ thanks to new coating
- Latest report indicates iPhone 11 will include three cameras on some 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch models, square camera bump
Apple will continue to improve its in-house mobile chip technology this year. The iPhone 11 is expected to feature the A13 processor, which Apple started producing earlier this year with its partner TSMC.
The A13 is being built on a 7nm+ process, and estimates suggest that it should offer notable performance improvements over the A12X processor:
Apple’s single-core CPU performance gains have been remarkably steady in recent years. If the trend holds, we’ll be looking at a Geekbench 4 single-core CPU score of around 5,200. That blows the doors off any Android phone and even most thin-and-light laptops.
In general, experts expect that the A13 processor will focus on improving on-board AI performance, as opposed to pure graphics power. With Apple increasing the amount of on-board AI processing it completes, this makes sense given that the alternative would be cloud-based processing.
- Bloomberg: Apple A13 production kicks off, destined for iPhone 11 and the new iPhone XR in the fall
- iPhone 11 performance predictions: Faster than most thin laptops, and strong AI focus
- TSMC reportedly introducing new 7nm ‘N7 Pro’ process for iPhone A13 chip production later this year
While the iPhone currently supports dual audio output via AirPlay 2, a report from Macotakara last month claimed that the iPhone 11 will allow users to send music to two Bluetooth devices at the same time. This could be accomplished with something called Dual Bluetooth Audio, which is part of the Bluetooth 5 specification.
Many Android flagships already support Dual Bluetooth Audio, but the iPhone does not, despite Bluetooth 5 chips having been in every iPhone since 2017. Of note, Dual Bluetooth Audio is not good for playing to multi-room setups at the same time due to synchronization issues.
Currently, the iPhone supports connecting to multiple devices at the same time – but they must be different device types. For instance, you can be connected to your Apple Watch and a pair of headphones via Bluetooth at the same time, but not two pairs of headphones, or a pair of headphones and a Bluetooth speaker.
Of note, iOS 13 adds support for pairing two sets of AirPods to one iPhone for shared listening. It’s possible, however, that the iPhone 11 will expand this to all Bluetooth devices.
When it comes to network technology, don’t expect the iPhone 11 to feature 5G support. While some Android manufacturers are rushing to add 5G modems to their flagships, all signs point to Apple skipping that upgrade this year. Reports have suggested that Apple will not launch a 5G iPhone until 2020 at the earliest, with Qualcomm expected to manufacture 5G iPhone modems.
- Report: iPhone 11 could let users send music to two Bluetooth devices at the same time
- Bloomberg: Apple not launching a 5G iPhone until 2020 at the earliest
- Report: Apple to use Qualcomm’s 5G modems starting with the 2020 iPhones
Battery and Charging
The iPhone 11 is expected to support something called bilateral wireless charging. This would allow you to use the back of your iPhone as a charging mat. For instance, you could place your AirPods 2 on the back of your iPhone 11 to quickly give your AirPods additional battery. It could also work for charging up a friend’s iPhone, or other Qi devices.
To accommodate this bilateral wireless charging feature, the iPhone 11 is expected to pack a larger battery. Ming-Chi Kuo predicted earlier this year that the 5.8-inch iPhone battery will increase by between 20 and 25 percent and the 6.5-inch by between 10 and 15 percent. This means that users will be able to take advantage of bilateral wireless charging without having too big of a hit to battery life.
Last but not least, we’ve heard conflicting reports on whether or not this year’s iPhone will finally move on from the 5W USB-A charging block that has been included in the iPhone box for many years. Most recently, a report in April suggested that Apple will include an 18W charging block with a USB-C to Lightning cable with the iPhone 11. Whether or not this turns out to be true remains to be seen, but it would be a much-appreciated change.
- iPhone 11 may be able to wirelessly charge Apple Watch and AirPods, include faster USB-C charger
- Kuo: 2019 iPhones to feature larger batteries to accommodate bilateral wireless charging
Naming and Release
Keeping with precedent, Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max in early-to-mid September, with a release to follow shortly thereafter. While we’ve been referring to the devices as the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max, it’s possible that Apple will stick with the Roman numerals styling, branding the devices as the iPhone XI and iPhone XI Max.
Keep up with everything you need to know about the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max in our full guide right here.