The standout feature on Apple’s next-generation iPhone is expected to be its rumored triple-lens camera. Now, we’re getting an idea of what that camera might look like and how it might affect the iPhone’s design.
Prolific gadget leaker Steven Hemmerstoffer, who has a reputation for digging up often credible details about upcoming smartphones, collaborated with blog CashKaro to create renders of what could be the next iPhone’s design.
The most notable change is a large rounded square on the phone’s back panel where three cameras are placed in a triangular pattern. The image aligns with other reportedly leaked photos that claim to show the iPhone’s back panel, such as this one that recently surfaced on the Slash Leaks and other photos previously tweeted by Hemmerstoffer.
If accurate, the images signal a major departure from Apple’s current approach when it comes to camera design. The iPhone XS Max and iPhone XS both feature a dual camera setup with one lens located above the other, resulting in a shape that resembles a thin, elongated oval. Based on the new leak, it appears that Apple will dedicate much more space on the device’s back panel to this camera setup.
The third camera on the next iPhone is expected to enable wider field-of-view when taking photos similar to the ultra-wide-angle lens on Samsung’s Galaxy S10, as reports from Bloomberg and TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have indicated.
The addition of a third camera is necessary for Apple’s iPhone to remain competitive with flagship Android phones. At a time when smartphone upgrades bring incremental changes, like bigger screens and faster processors, the camera has emerged as being a key differentiator for major smartphone makers. The Galaxy S10’s triple-lens camera is one of the phone’s buzziest features, for example, and Google earned accolades at the end of last year for its Night Sight feature on the Pixel 3.
Other than a new triple-lens camera, the next iPhone is expected to feature reverse wireless charging — another feature already available on the Galaxy S10— improved facial recognition and a frosted glass design. Apple’s iPhone launches are always closely watched, but this year’s launch will be particularly important as the company grapples with slowing smartphone sales. In its January earnings report, the company said iPhone sales for the holiday quarter fell by 15%, compared to same period one year ago.
Hemmerstoffer has a solid track record when it comes to correctly predicting details about new Apple products. In 2016, for example, he tweeted photos of the iPhone 7’s back panel that ended up looking just like the real thing. When speaking with Business Insider in 2016, he said he has a network of sources throughout the production line that consists of subcontractors, telecommunications companies, and accessory makers.
That being said, leaks don’t always reflect the final product, even if they do come from a reliable place. “As I often say, the leaking game isn’t an exact science,” Hemmerstoffer said in 2016. “There is no flawless leaker and even the best fails sometimes. That’s part of the game, we all have to deal with it.”