What does Apple have in store for us for 2019 and beyond? With the current iPhone sales slowdown, is the company doing enough to counteract the trend?
Smartphone technology has plateaued in recent years and incremental upgrades like faster processors and larger storage capacities just don't cut it anymore. Hopefully, Apple will implement more compelling upgrades (and better prices) on the upcoming iPhones.
But what do we know so far? Well, credible reports about Apple's plans for the next iPhones are already out in the open. Judging by what has been revealed so far, Apple still has a long way to go to re-excite its flagship device.
Three rear cameras
In a new Bloomberg report, trusted Apple analyst Mark Gurman revealed that the largest of the 2019 iPhones (the Max model?) will have three rear cameras. This third camera will help the iPhone capture a larger field of view and a wider range of zoom.
The third camera can also capture more pixels so software can automatically repair a shot and even restore a subject who may have been accidentally cut off from the original shot.
iOS Live Photos will also get enhancements such as the ability to pin before-and-after videos for each a shot. Additionally, the upcoming version will double the length of the video from the current three seconds to six seconds.
Rear 3D camera
The biggest reveal from the Bloomberg report, however, is Apple's plan to launch a rear-facing, longer range 3D camera on the 2020 iPhones. This camera system is designed to scan the surroundings and via augmented reality, create three-dimensional reconstructions of the real world.
Unlike the current iPhones' front-facing 3D Face ID cameras, the newer system will reportedly use a laser scanner instead of dot-projection technology. This will allow it to work and sense 3D objects over longer distances enhancing the augmented reality features and the depth perception of future iPhones.
And the 2020 iPhones are not the only Apple gadgets getting this upgraded camera. Gurman said that the laser-powered 3D rear camera may actually debut on the 2020 iPad Pro.
Gurman also confirmed Apple's plan to move on from the Lightning Connector to USB-C.
As we reported earlier, the company may already be preparing to switch future iPhones to USB-C, similar to what it did with the 2018 iPad Pros.
However, Gurman did not specify a timeframe for this switch but earlier reports suggested that it's highly unlikely that we'll see USB-C in the 2019 iPhones. Expect it to debut in the 2020 iPhones instead.
New features are also pegged for iOS 13 later this year including the much-awaited Dark Mode, which could improve battery life and nighttime viewing.
iOS 13 will also bring new iPad-exclusive features like a new home screen, file management improvements and the ability to scroll through multiple versions of a single app.
Apple is also introducing two new services to iOS 12, including a magazine subscription service and its rumored video streaming platform.
Aside from this year's new iPhone models, Apple is also rumored to release another low-cost 10-inch iPad with a faster processor plus an updated iPad Mini with a cheaper price point.
The iPad Mini hasn't been updated since 2015 so a newer and more affordable version will certainly help Apple compete in the lower-end market dominated by Amazon's Fire tablet line.
And better yet, we might not need to wait for long for these new iPads to drop. They may be unveiled as early as spring of this year during Apple's next event typically scheduled in March. Stay tuned!
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