The Apple rumour mill is whirring in the lead up to the launch of the latest iPhone.
Apple, which in May topped Forbes‘ list of the world’s most valuable brands for the ninth year in a row, is tipped to release multiple models of what is unofficially known as the iPhone 11.
The tech juggernaut is expected to launch three models of the iPhone 11 in September, following the template of last year’s release of the premium iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max, and lower-cost iPhone XR.
According to leading Apple news site 9to5mac, the two premium iPhone 11 models will feature a 3x OLED Retina display, while the lower-cost iPhone XR upgrade will feature a 2x Liquid Retina display.
All models will include Apple’s latest A13 chip, a new ‘Taptic Engine’ to replace the 3D touch feature, and will have the same screen resolution as current models.
When it comes to charging, speculation that Apple would ditch the iPhone’s Lightning port in favour of USB-C has been quashed by people who have seen the device, 9to5mac said.
Three camera design
The iPhone 11’s most radical departure from recent models is expected to come in the form of a square module with multiple camera lenses on the back of the device.
The premium iPhone 11 and 11 Max models are said to include three cameras, while the budget 11R model will be pared back to two.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that the third camera on the high-end models will feature an “ultra-wide-angle lens to produce larger and more detailed photos”, enable a broader range of zoom.
Widely circulated mock-ups of the triple-camera design elicited reactions ranging from curiosity to ridicule and dismay from online commenters.
iPhone 11 pic.twitter.com/ct5F0TIFGk
— Michael Kukielka (@DetroitBORG) July 22, 2019
“I do hope it’s not as ugly as that. Steve Jobs would never allow this to happen!” one Twitter user wrote.
Apple’s habit of removing beloved features from its phones – including the headphone jack and home button – to the chagrin of users also was also the butt of jokes as social media lit up with speculation over the forthcoming release.
iPhone 7: No headphones
iPhone 8: no home button
iPhone X: no charger
iPhone 11: pic.twitter.com/D31ptGesKW
— Bruhhh (@bruhver) July 16, 2019
iPhone faces increasing competition
Once the undisputed king of smartphones thanks to its then-groundbreaking design, Apple now faces intense competition for customers in an increasingly saturated market from the likes of Samsung, Google, and Huawei.
In Australia, Apple’s iPhone is still the most popular choice among smartphone users, boasting more than 60 per cent of market share, followed by Samsung with 21.3 per cent and Huawei with 5.3 per cent
However, some market watchers have questioned whether smartphone shoppers will remain eager to pay Apple’s eye-watering prices.
Recent sales figures from the United States show that buyers have overwhelmingly favoured Apple’s lower-cost option, the iPhone XR, over the pricier iPhone Xs.
In Australia, the iPhone XR retails for $1229 while the iPhone Xs begins at $1629.
In the recent June quarter the iPhone XR accounted for 48 per cent of Apple’s smartphone sales – more than the combined sales of the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X in the same quarter last year – Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reported.
“iPhone XR has become the dominant iPhone model,” said CIRP partner and co-founder Josh Lowitz.
“Its 48 per cent share of sales in the quarter is the highest we’ve seen for an individual model since the iPhone 6 in 2015.
“Apple set out to create a competitive model, with current features like a large screen on a mid-size handset, at a price that falls near the leading Android phones.”