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iPhone 11/XI: Release date, price, rumours and all you need to know about Apple's new 2019 phone

Natasha Dangoor
Apple will release a new iPhone in September, rumoured to be the iPhone XI - AFP

Fans of Apple's iPhone are eagerly awaiting the arrival of its latest models in September 10 with the release date for the rumoured iPhone XI getting ever closer.

Three new models are expected to be released: the iPhone 11, which may be styled as the iPhone XI, the iPhone 11 Max and the iPhone XI R.

The new iPhone is expected to have a completely a triple lens camera, improved battery life, a "haptic touch" feature and new colours.

It comes one year after Apple launched the iPhone XS, and two years since its last radical redesign with the iPhone X model. 

However, fans waiting for a 5G iPhone are likely to be disappointed. According to the latest reports, Apple is holding off until it launches three 5G phones in 2020.

Apple will be hoping its new models win over fans as smartphone sales have stalled amid a global slowdown. At its event in Cupertino, California, the company could also show off new software from iOS 13 and its planned paid-for TV streaming app.

There are also reports that over the next few months other products including a refreshed iPad Pro, an iPad with a larger screen, new Apple Watch models and a new MacBook Pro could all be unveiled.

Here is what we know so far about Apple's upcoming smartphone.

When will the iPhone 11 be released?

Apple has invited media to an event on Tuesday, September 10 at 10am Pacific Time (6pm BST) at the Steve Jobs Theatre, a dedicated venue at its Silicon Valley headquarters, where it has held the last two iPhone launches.

The invitation is titled "By innovation only" with an accompanying Apple logo that harks back to the company's old multicoloured logo.

Apple's graphic for its September 10 event Credit: Apple

iPhone invitations have often held a cryptic message. In this case, the colours are most likely to be the style options for the new line-up.

As for its release, iPhones typically go on sale the Friday after the launch event, which would suggest they will be available on Friday September 20.

 

What will the iPhone 11 look like?

The new iPhone is predicted to have a 5.8-inch display, like the iPhone XS but with smaller sides, meaning the screen should fill even more of the front of the phone. 

The phone will have an all OLED display 0 screen technology that can offer deeper blacks - in the premium iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max models. A cheaper model is still expected to use an LCD screen design.

It is possible that the new models will also be thinner and lighter.

A render of how the triple camera iPhone 11 will look Credit: Olixar

Three new iPhones?

Apple is believed to be planning for the release of the iPhone 11 alongside the iPhone 11 Max and the iPhone XR 2 (in some places called the 11 R), the latter being the cheapest model. It will be the third year running that Apple has launched a triple header of smartphones at its September event. 

iPhone 11 key features and specs rumours

Will the iPhone 11 have 5G?

Despite rivals launching 5G technology that can offer download speeds of between 10 and 100 times faster than 4G, Apple's latest iPhones appear to be sticking with 4th Generation (4G) modems.

New 5G network technology is expected to become increasingly important as users download and stream more films and games.

Apple was planning to use 5G chips from Intel, which were not immediately available and left the iPhone-maker lagging behind rivals.

Earlier this year, Apple settled a legal dispute with Qualcomm, which has been the main supplier of 5G modem chips to smartphone makers, freeing the companies up to work together again. Analysts expect Apple will now use Qualcomm modems in its 5G phones, but not until 2020. 

According to a report from TF International Securities, Apple will release three iPhones in 2020, all of which are expected to come with 5G chip technology.

A triple camera design

The camera design of the iPhone 11 is expected to distinguish it from previous models. The introduction of a square-shaped, triple rear camera will be used to enrich photo and video quality. 

Apple first launched dual camera technology on its iPhones back in 2016, but since then, rivals have stepped up, adding as many as five rear cameras to smartphones. Having additional lenses on a smartphone camera can help pick up additional features and colours in pictures, as well as offering extra zoom options and 3D imaging.

The iPhone XI Max model is expected to have three different cameras in the centre or top left of the rear of the phone. The iPhone XI could also have a triple camera, but the cheaper model is likely to come with a double camera set up.

The purported triple camera design Credit: Ben Geskin

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports that one of the lenses may be almost invisible and that the selfie camera’s quality will be increased from 7MP to 12MP.

Apple has also been considering launching a laser-powered 3D camera on future iPhones that would significantly add to their augmented reality capabilities, but this it is not expected to arrive until Apple’s 2020 iPhone, according to Bloomberg

Apple is believed to have abandoned a project to create an advanced image sensor in the iPhone camera using quantum dot technology, The Telegraph first reported. This would have improved quality of photos as well as the augmented reality capabilities of the device.

Battery improvements and two-way wireless charging

The iPhone 11 will have a battery 20-25pc larger than that of the iPhone XS without making the phone any thicker, according to reports. 

The iPhone battery will even be great enough to share its power with other devices and form a two-way wireless charging system, where it will be able to wirelessly charge a separate device, such as an Apple Watch or Airpods. 

Apple could add two-way wireless charging to its iPhones, meaning they can charge AirPod headphones

This feature has never been seen before in any of Apple’s products, but is similar to the Samsung Galaxy S10’s Wireless PowerShare feature. It has also been reported that the iPhone 11 will have a new charging cable, enabling faster charging speeds.

Haptic engine on all phones

The new iPhone is going to change its 3D Touch as it has previously been known, the feature that allows iPhone users to press down harder on their smartphone screen to unlock extra features and menus from apps.  

This has been largely replaced by a haptic touch feature, which instead uses a longer press on unlock extra features. A new version of this has been dubbed "Taptic Touch", according to a report by 9to5Mac, although there are scant details on how this new technology will work.

What new colours will the phones come in?

The iPhone 11 is expected to come in space grey, gold, silver and blue. It has been suggested that the iPhone XR 2 will come in new lavender and green shades, as well as black, white, yellow and potentially red, according to a report on Japanese Apple website Mac Otakara. 

These two new colours will replace the current Coral and Blue models of the iPhone XR and aim to tempt customers to upgrade their phones.

Bloomberg reports that several of the new phones will also feature a matte finish, making them easier to hold. The phones will also add new shatter resistant technology.

New A13 microchip

Apple has been working with chipmaker TSMC on a new chip design, which Bloomberg suggests could be called the A13, the latest in its run of home-made processors that add extra processing power to iPhones.

USB-C charging a possibility

Apple has largely bucked the trend of USB charging in recent years, sticking with its Lightning ports for its smartphone charging. However, on its recent iPad models Apple made the switch to USB-C, the latest charging technology that allows data and power transfer and now common on Android phones.

Not everyone is convinced, but some Apple fans on social media have pointed out that its latest iOS 13 beta software now shows a new design for its charging cable when you go to plug your iPhone into a MacBook - this might suggest its charging tech is about to change?

Keeping the Notch, for now

Apple is expected to keep the distinctive "notch" at the top of its smartphones, which holds the front facing cameras and its technology for its FaceID scanning feature.

However, analysts from Credit Suisse have said they expect the 2020 iPhone to have a more radical front-end redesign, doing away with the notch and several other key features.

Other iPhone rumours

Apple Pencil support?

According to reports from Taiwan's Economic Daily News, Apple may release an Apple Pencil stylus for the new model. Apple first launched its stylus for in 2015 for its iPad range, allowing users to draw on screen or take notes and it has quickly become a popular tool for its tablet range. 

But there have been rumours, or at least hopes from Apple enthusiasts, that it could one day come to the iPhone, while rival flagship phones, such as Samsung's Galaxy Note series, have already added stylus support. However, this is not considered likely on the new phones.

A twist on Touch ID?

Touch ID, a fingerprint recognition feature on the home button, was first introduced in 2013 and allowed users to unlock their Apple devices. According to patents, Apple has been looking at using under-screen fingerprint scanning technology that could recognise a fingerprint placed anywhere on the screen. Similar technology has been used by smartphone makers such as Huawei and OnePlus, who have both deployed under-screen scanners.

This could help speed up the opening of your phone due to very easy access. However, it seems unlikely that this system will be used since face recognition appears to be more advanced and efficient.

Apple TV+

As well as all the hardware upgrades, Apple's iPhone launch could come with plenty of news about its upcoming TV streaming service, Apple TV+.

The new service, which will live within its current TV app but include a premium subscription model, is expected to cost around $9.99 or £9.99 per month. Some of the shows coming to Apple TV+ include flagship TV series The Morning Show will star Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. The company has reportedly spent $300m ordering two seasons, according to Bloomberg.

The streaming service is expected to arrive shortly after its iPhone event, with reports putting its launch date around November.

Apple Watch, iPad, MacBook and other hardware

On top of the new iPhone XI, Apple is planning to launch several other pieces of hardware over the coming weeks and months, according to the latest report from Bloomberg.

Among these are a new iPad Pro and a refreshed cheaper iPad, that will include a larger 10.2-inch screen, a new version of the Apple Watch with new cases. It could also reveal a cheaper version of its HomePod smart speaker.

Perhaps most anticipated will be a new MacBook Pro laptop, the first in several years. It will have a larger 16-inch screen, making it the biggest MacBook since a 17-inch model was discontinued in 2012.

How much will the iPhone 2019 cost?

Apple’s sales seems to have been dropping recently, so increasing their prices is a risk if they wish to remain competitive. The price of the iPhone 11 is currently unknown but likely to cost around £999, a similar price to the iPhone XS.

Are you looking forward to the release of the new iPhone? What function or redesign are you most excited to try? Tell us in the comments section below.