In a major exclusive, Bloomberg’s ever-excellent Mark Gurman and Debby Wu have revealed no less than 11 new iPhone features Apple would have hoped to keep under wraps. And it continues the comeback for a range previously written off for its ugly design and strange branding.
Breaking these down, the Bloomberg reporters reveal:
- Apple is abandoning its short-lived Roman numerals and changing the name of its two premium models to Pro. The iPhone XR naming is also going away with its sequel.
- The controversial new ‘stove top’ triple cameras on the iPhone Pros will work in unison, capturing three photos of everything you take. These photos will be combined into a single image allowing you to re-crop photos with missing information. Eg, if the primary camera cut out a person who was captured by the wide-angle lens you can add them back in. Brilliant. Low light photography has also been improved.
- Video recording has also been “significantly upgraded” with the iPhone 11 range now “closer to professional video cameras”. Impressively, users will be able to apply filters, retouch, reframe, and even re-crop video as it is being shot.
- Reverse wireless charging is coming to all three iPhones. Previously, it was a doubt for the iPhone XR’s successor.
- The hotly-tipped new matte finish is confirmed by Gurman and Wu, but they add that Apple will retain some traditional glossy finishes as well when they were thought to be dropped completely.
- Improved “shatter-resistance technology” will make all three iPhone 11s more resistant to drops.
- A new generation of Face ID supports multiple angles. Crucially, users will be able to unlock the iPhone 11 range with Face ID even when a phone is lying flat on the table.
- Water resistance has been “dramatically enhanced”. Bloomberg says the new iPhones can be submerged for “far longer than the 30-minute rating on the current iPhones”, something (in combination with the added durability) which could make them compete with action cams.
- One cut: as expected, 3D Touch has been scrapped in favour of standard haptic feedback. This is a shame as 3D Touch was class-leading technology.
- The iPhone XR2 (widely tipped to be simply called the ‘iPhone 11’), will indeed gain a second back camera as leaks have claimed. It will also get a new green finish, which will roast your eyeballs.
- The A13 chipset inside the new iPhone 11 range has a new component codenamed “AMX” or “matrix”, which offloads math-heavy tasks. It is expected to be central to the evolution of augmented reality content, which Bloomberg says Apple will push heavily this year.
Gurman and Wu also confirm the biggest omission from the entire iPhone 11 range: 5G. While rivals are already embraced the next-gen standard, Bloomberg states it will not come until the (already heavily leaked) 2020 iPhones. The duo also confirm 3D cameras (dropped from the iPhone 11) will launch with next year’s models.
Despite this, there’s no doubt that the iPhone 11 range is looking a lot more impressive than it did just a few weeks ago. That said, given what we know about Apple’s ambitious 2020 plans (consisting of a new design, size changes, ProMotion displays and the long-awaited move to USB-C), I still think you’re better off waiting to upgrade.
But the good news is upgrading to an iPhone 11 (Max branding aside) is no longer a laughing matter.
All Rights Reserved for Forbes Editors’ Picks