Before the release of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, rumors had already started churning about the next smartphone lineup Apple has to offer. Now, almost a year since the 2018's flagships hit users, the 2019 iPhone rumors are full steam ahead, giving us a pretty clear idea of what to expect when fall comes around.
Many of the rumors from last year's iPhone XS and XS Max had come true, such as the new naming convention, the exact sizes, dual-SIM functionality, an upgraded processor, OLED display technology, an IP68 dust- and water-resistance rating, and a TrueDepth camera with Face ID for both models.
Rumors for that 2018 lineup that never came true included Apple Pencil support, split screen on the Max (it ended up being split pane for only a few stock apps), and a USB Type-C power adaptor with Lighting to USB-C cable in the box. There were definitely more true rumors than false, and it's likely the same thing will happen for the iPhone 2019 models. But which rumors will end up being the true ones?
- Jump to a rumor: Names | Dates | Storage | Price | Body | Size | IP68 Dust/Water Resistance | Display Size | OLED | Smaller Notch | Refresh Rate | No 3D Touch | A13 Chip | RAM | Bigger Batteries | 15-Watt Wireless Charging | Bilateral Wireless Charging | Lightning Port | 12 MP Front Camera | Triple-Lens Rear Camara | 14 MP Resolution | No Heaphone Jack | Sensors | Wi-Fi 6 | Ultra-Wideband Antenna | Dual-SIM | 5G | Apple Pencil | Face ID Security | iOS 13 | In the Box
Just like last year, it's a sure bet that there will be three different iPhone models to purchase in late-2019. All three devices will be successors to the current lineup, according to famed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other sources. We'll only be discussing the successors to the iPhone XS and XS Max in this article, however, not the newer iPhone XR upgrade.
While it first it seemed that the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch models would follow the naming convention of the iPhone X and its successors, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, it may not turn out like that. Yes, they could end up being called the iPhone 11 (or iPhone XI) and iPhone 11 Max (or iPhone XI Max), but a recent rumor throws a kink in that prediction.
CoinX, who accurately predicted the names of the three iPhone models from late-2018, believes "Pro" will be in the new naming scheme. A tipster on MacRumors also claimed "Pro" prior to CoinX's tweet. So what are we looking at? Possibly the iPhone 11 Pro or just iPhone Pro for the smallest model. For the "Max" sized one, maybe iPhone 11 Max or an absurd iPhone 11 Pro Max or iPhone Pro Max.
- iPhone XI Pro
- iPhone XI Pro Max or iPhone XI Max
To keep things consistent here, we'll be referring to these devices as the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max throughout the rest of this article.
Press invites still have not been sent out by Apple for its September 2019 event, which is where the company announces and shows off its new iPhone lineup. As we get closer to September, we'll know for sure when those press invites go out, but for now, we have to rely on history.
Basing the dates on Apple's history, it's likely the 2019 iPhone models will be announced on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, as CNET predicts. Out of the last 16 iPhone models, 15 were announced in September on either a Tuesday or Wednesday. And since the first Tuesday and Wednesday in September is right after Labor Day, it's likely to happen the following week. Wednesday, Sept. 11, is unlikely to be it because of the day's history, so that leaves Monday, Sept. 10.
Release dates always happen on a Friday, usually in the week after the announcement. On one occasion, it was the third Friday after the announcement (for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus), but every other one has been the second Friday after the event. Preorder dates are almost always the Friday immediately after the event.
Last year, the iPhone XS and XS models saw that time frame, with a Sept. 12 announcement, preorders on Sept. 15, and a release on Sept. 21. The previous Plus and regular models had very similar time frames ever since Plus size models were a thing.
- Announcement date: predicted Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019
- Preorder date: likely Friday, Sept. 13, 2019
- Release date: likely Friday, Sept. 20, 2019
It's likely that storage sizes will follow suit with last year's devices, with 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB for the two iPhone 11 Pro models. A recent leak from a Foxconn employee corroborates these sizes. A previous leak said the base storage would be bumped up to 128 GB, and another recent leak acts as corroborating evidence, but it's really a toss-up of whether it's 64 or 128 GB. As with all iPhones, there will be no expandable storage options.
- Storage available: 64 GB (or 128 GB), 256 GB, 512 GB
- Expandable storage: no
No prices are rumored, but we could look at the historical iPhone prices to find a prediction. When considering those, it could remain steady from last year, or we could see a small increase.
- iPhone (4 GB): $499
- iPhone 3G (8 GB): $599
- iPhone 3GS (16 GB): $599
- iPhone 4 (16 GB): $599
- iPhone 4S (16 GB): $649
- iPhone 5 (16 GB): $649
- iPhone 5s (16 GB): $649
- iPhone 6 / 6 Plus (16 GB): $649 / $749
- iPhone 6s / 6S Plus (16 GB): $649 / $749
- iPhone 7 / 7 Plus (32 GB): $649 / $769
- iPhone 8 / 8 Plus (64 GB): $699 / $799
- iPhone X (64 GB): $999
- iPhone XS / XS Max (64 GB): $999 / $1,099
- iPhone XR (64 GB): $749
Prices for the regular models remained steady from the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 7, but have shot up each year since for comparable models. That could signal a small increase for the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max.
The trade war between the US and China can also complicate a predictable price, as it could signal a higher cost for consumers. However, an investor note by Ming-Chi Kuo states that Apple had prepared for it and it won't affect pricing. And iPhone sales have been slowing, so it's possible the pricing will be the same as last year to avoid any more dropoffs.
AppleCare+ will also be an option, with the same monthly and full-paid plans at $199 for the primary offering and $299 for the one that includes theft and loss protection. Monthly plans are also available, but they will end up costing you more in the long run.
- iPhone 11 Pro Price: $999 (64 GB), $1,149 (256 GB), $1,349 (512 GB)
- iPhone 11 Pro Max Price: $1,099 (64 GB), $1,249 (256 GB), $1,449 (512 GB)
- AppleCare+: $199 or $299 (or $9.99 or $14.99 each month)
A few rumors have been floating around regarding the overall frame and finish. The former will likely be very similar to the iPhone XS and XS Max models, with glass on both sides (to maintain wireless charging) and a rounded "surgical-grade" stainless steel metal frame. As for the glass, the back is rumored to be one whole piece, so no cutout for the camera. Instead, the camera housing will ditch the metal enclosure, and the glass panel will mold itself around the camera bump.
Finish colors could be the same, with space gray, silver, and gold options, but Apple usually switches or adds at least one color during releases, so you never know. This year, that extra one could be a new blue color, as seen in earlier rumors. However, a recent leak from a Foxconn employee points to a dark green instead. That leak also claims the glass back will have a matte finish, and we've heard of a possible frosted glass back before, so it's definitely looking like it won't be plain glass.
To go with the frosted glass back, a recent leak claims that some models will have a rainbow-like effect that highlights the Apple icon and the rest of the rear panel. In July, some shady rumors were saying that the old colorful rainbow Apple icon would make a comeback, which would look atrocious on recent iPhone models. But a rainbow shimmer effect makes more sense. EverythingApplePro said it would be "more like the shimmer on the Galaxy Note 10 series but a lot more subtle."
- Frame: likely stainless steel
- Back: glass, matte finish
- Finish: silver, gold, space gray, dark green
Another interesting rumor, detailed from that Foxconn employee, states that the "iPhone" branding on the back of the new iPhone models will be dropped. Considering every single iPhone made has had the "iPhone" branding on the rear, this is quite a leap in style. We're a little skeptical on the rumor.
The buttons on the sides are also positioned slightly different than previous models. One rumor also suggests that the pill-shaped mute button will become round, but we're not sold on that.
With Apple's constant eco-friendly message, we expect the new iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max to be free of mercury, arsenic, brominated flame retardant, PVC, and beryllium. It will also likely have a low-carbon process and include a stainless steel frame that can be recycled. That's a start for eco-friendliness, but Apple will have to also win the green crowd over by revealing where materials come from and how it recycles.
There are no definitive leaks yet for dimensions, weight, and supported carriers, but if history has any guidance for us, they'll likely be very similar for the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max as compared to the iPhone XS and XS Max. While initially thought to have the same dimensions, there may be a tiny difference.
The iPhone 11 Pro is said to be 143.9 mm by 71.4 mm by 7.8 mm. In inches, that's 5.67 by 2.81 by 0.31. By comparison, the iPhone XS is 143.6 mm by 70.9 mm by 7.7 mm, or, in inches, 5.65 by 2.79 by 0.30. As for the iPhone 11 Pro Max, we're looking at 157.6 mm by 77.5 mm by 8.1 mm. In inches, 6.20 by 3.05 by 0.32. The iPhone XS Max is 157.5 mm by 77.4 mm by 7.7 mm. That's 6.20 by 3.05 by 0.30 in inches.
As for dust- and water-resistance, Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to retain the IP68 rating. So these models will be dustproof and can be submerged in water up to 2 meters for 30 minutes. And as the majority of smartphones, all the major mobile networks operators will be supported.
- Height: 5.67 inches (11 Pro) and 6.20 inches (11 Pro Max)
- Width: 2.81 inches (11 Pro) and 3.05 inches (11 Pro Max)
- Depth: 0.31 inches (11 Pro) and 0.32 inches (11 Pro Max)
- Weight: currently unknown
- Dust/water resistance: IP68 under IEC standard 60529
- Mobile network operators: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon
For the environmental operating requirements, there's no reason to believe Apple will change up anything. Since at least the iPhone 7 models, it's been the same on every iPhone.
- Operating temp: 32° to 95° F
- Nonoperating temp: -4° to 113° F
- Relative humidity: 5–95% noncondensing
- Operating altitude: up to 10,000 feet (though could be more)
Apple is expected to retain the same display sizes from the iPhone XS and XS Max for the newer iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max models, so that means we're getting a 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch display, respectively. Resolution and pixel density are rumored to be the same as last year's models too, as well as a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, but it's too soon to say for sure.
These displays will also be the same OLED technology from previous models, though rumors suspect that we may have even thinner bezels this time around. However, there are no details yet on how much thinner they will be, so there's no telling what the screen-to-body ratio will be.
Thinner bezels also bring up the possibility of a smaller notch. With rumored improvements for the TrueDepth camera and the speaker grille being moved up, the odds of a slightly smaller notch are higher.
Pretty much every iPhone model I can think of had 2 nits minimum brightness and 625 nits maximum brightness for the display, and there's no reason to believe that will change on the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. However, rumors speculate that Apple will finally move up from a 60 Hz screen refresh rate to 90 Hz, making it even better competition for the best gaming phone. The iPad Pro has a 120 Hz display, but that's not expected to happen for iPhones until 2020.
Color temperature does vary from iPhone to iPhone, so this is anybody's guess until a substantial leak happens. This spec doesn't usually tend to be a part of leaks, historically speaking, so we probably won't know this until people get their hands on the devices in September.
One of the most significant changes to the display that's rumored to happen is the loss of 3D Touch. Apple already ditched 3D Touch in favor of Haptic Touch on the iPhone XR, but that was for an LCD panel.
While Haptic Touch was nowhere near the functionality and usefulness as 3D Touch when it first came out, it's almost on par now with iOS 13. And Haptic Touch is set to improve even more with the new Tactic Engine that's rumored. Almost every single leak for the 2019 lineup, including one from a Foxconn employee, is betting no on 3D Touch and yes on improved Haptic Touch. Ditching 3D Touch would make the displays thinner and cheaper to produce, an obvious plus.
- Screen size: 5.8 inches and 6.5 inches
- Screen resolution: 2,436 x 1,125 pixels (11 Pro) and 2,688 x 1,242 pixels (11 Pro Max)
- Pixel density: 458 ppi
- Screen type: OLED, Super Retina HD
- Notch: yes
- Screen-to-body ratio: currently unknown
- Aspect ratio: 19.5:9
- Minimum brightness: likely 2 nits
- Maximum brightness: likely 625 nits
- Refresh rate: 60–90 Hz (120 Hz for touch-sensing)
- Color temperature: currently unknown
- 3D Touch: no
- Haptic Touch: yes
Not much is known right now regarding the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max performance stats except that Apple will have improved A13 chips over 2018's Bionic A12 models. Apple will likely not go below last year's 4 GB of RAM either.
- Memory: at least 4 GB RAM
- Processor: Apple A13
- Chip size: currently unknown
- Coprocessor: currently unknown
- CPU frequency: currently unknown
- CPU cores: currently unknown
- GPU: Apple-designed (unknown model)
- GPU cores: currently unknown
Batteries in iPhones never stay the same size as in previous models, and the regular and Plus/Max versions also never have the same capacity. There's no telling yet what the capacity will be for the iPhone 11 Pro, but it's said to increase by 20–25 percent over the iPhone XS battery.
If you believe earlier rumors, the iPhone 11 Pro Max will come with a 4,000 mAh battery — 826 mAh more than the iPhone XS Max. However, the Foxconn employee who leaked other substantial iPhone details puts the battery at 3,969 mAh, to be exact, so we'll go with that. That's still 795 mAh more than before.
The increase in size substantiates other rumors that Apple is including reverse wireless charging, also known as two-way wireless recharging and bilateral wireless charging, to the new iPhone 11 Pro models. Ming-Chi Kuo stated it back in February and again in April. In May, it was further substantiated by Bloomberg to be true.
With Samsung's Wireless PowerShare feature already built into Galaxy S10 and Note 10 models, Apple needs to have reverse charging. Especially since the AirPower charging mat, which was supposed to complement the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case, was nixed. With power-sharing built into the iPhone, you could at least recharge AirPods on the go.
As of right now, all wireless charging iPhone models max out at 7.5 watts, but there are claims that both of the 11 Pro models will support 15 watts instead, which is totally possible since Qi technology supports it. It's also possible this might not happen to keep the temperature down inside the body, but we're hoping Apple finds a solution to that issue. Either way, it will work with all Qi-certified charging pads.
For wired charging, there were various rumors that say the 2019 iPhone models will finally get USB-Type C ports instead of Lightning, like the 3rd Gen iPad Pro models. However, recent leaks, including the one from the Foxconn employee, say that the Lightning port will return. Even worse, rumors say we'll get the same 5-watt power adapter.
- Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
- Capacity: 3,189–3,323 mAh (11 Pro) and 3,969 mAh (11 Pro Max)
- Wireless charging: 15 watts
- Two-way wireless charging: yes
- Charging port: Lightning
- Wired charging: Lightning to USB
There will be improvements to Face ID (see "Security" section below), but when it comes to photos and videos, an earlier rumor points to the possibility of a 10-megapixel shooter instead of the 7 MP that the iPhone XS models had. However, an even newer rumor from Ming-Chi Kuo states that it will jump to a 12 MP CIS+5P lens instead of the current 7 MP CIS+4P lens.
Image stabilization will likely be software-based, but it could also get optical as well. No zoom or RAW support, as well as a screen flash, are also likely to return on these models, though, there could also be improvements here too.
- Resolution: possibly 12 MP
- Aperture: currently unknown
- Zoom: currently unknown
- Flash: currently unknown
- Image stabilization: currently unknown
- RAW support: no
- Object detection: bodies, faces, winks, tongues
This year, the game-changer for the iPhone 11 Pro Max will hopefully be a triple-lens camera. Early rumors have speculated that the regular iPhone 11 Pro would retain the two-lens setup, but more recent design leaks tell a different story, one where both the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max will have triple rear cameras.
Japanese blog Macotakara claimed it will be on both models but that it will only be on the iPhone 11 Pro with large storage amounts, while smaller storage models will stick with a dual-lens setup. However, we're betting on three lenses being on all models, not just some.
As for the look, past rumors showed a horizontal array but a square design in the top left with the cameras in a triangle is almost a surefire bet now. It's further evidenced by a purported chassis for the new iPhone models leaked on Weibo and tweeted by Ben Geskin in April, as well as possible schematics leaked in March.
Slightly different looks for the square three-camera setup have been appearing left and right, but they all have one lens in the top left of the housing, one in the bottom left, and one in the middle on the right side. The flash is in the top right, while the mic is on the bottom right. Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Apple will add a black lens coating to the cameras to make them blend into the housing.
Rumors suggest the added third camera will knock the optical zoom up to three times (hopefully, 5x optical zoom like on the recent Huawei's P30 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, something Oppo/OnePlus is also working on), compared to two times on dual-rear iPhones. The setup will likely be a telephoto lens (top left), wide-angle lens (bottom left), and super wide-angle lens (middle right). Having three lenses will also likely improve shooting in low-light conditions.
With three lenses, there was also the possibility that Apple will make the system a time-of-flight (ToF) camera for some serious depth-sensing that's perfect for augmented reality, 3D maps, and object tracking. Rumors suggested chips could be made by Sony. However, Ming-Chi Kuo believes there will be no three-lens system with ToF capabilities because it does little to improve photography and meet Apple's goal for AR superiority. And even newer rumors suggest that ToF is actually coming to the 2020 iPhones, not these 2019 models. Bummer.
There will likely be a jump up in resolution from the 12 MP lenses on the previous devices to 14 MP, though rumors suggest one lens will only be 10 MP while the other is 14 MP. For the iPhone 11 Pro Max and possibly some 11 Pro models, it's not yet speculated as to the resolution of the possible third lens. However, this pales in comparison to Huawei's P20 Pro that has a setup with 40 MP, 20 MP, and 8 MP lenses. On top of that, the P30 Pro has the same setup plus a fourth ToF lens.
Apple has some catching up to do.
- Resolution: 14 MP and 10 MP (third currently unknown)
- Aperture: currently unknown
- Zoom: 3x or 5x optical (digital currently unknown)
- Flash: Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync
- Image stabilization: optical, all lenses
- RAW support: yes
- Lens cover: sapphire crystal
- Object detection: bodies, faces
- Formats: HEIF, JPEG, RAW
Most of the specs for video recording with the rear camera will remain the same, though we may see a few changes here and there. As of right now, expect it to be similar to the specs for the iPhone XS and XS Max:
- Resolution: 720p, 1080p, and 4K
- Max frame rate: 30 fps for 720p; 60 fps for 1080p and 4K
- Slow motion: yes, 1080p at 120 or 240 fps
- Time-lapse: yes, with stabilization
- Photos: 8 MP stills while recording 4K
- Zoom: 3x optical, 6x digital
- Flash: Quad-LED True Tone flash
- Image stabilization: optical
- Lens cover: sapphire crystal
- Object detection: bodies, faces
- Audio: stereo sound
- Formats: H.264, H.65 (HEVC)
No new changes regarding audio functionality are expected to change from the iPhone XS and XS Max models, so there won't be a 3.5 mm headphone jack, there will be stereo speakers, and there will be three mics total.
- 3.5 mm headphone jack: no
- Stereo speakers: yes
- Mics: three total (on rear, front, and bottom)
- Max speaker volume: unknown
The usual sensors will be on board the 2019 iPhone models, though, it's possible there could be another sensor or two. It's also possible that one of the ones listed below will be nixed if a newer sensor can perform its duty.
- Sensors: aGPS, barometer, accelerometer, three-axis gyroscope, proximity sensor, magnetometer, barometer, digital compass, pedometer
Unlike earlier rumors suggested, there will be no USB Type-C port on the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. Instead, it'll be Apple's proprietary Lightning port again. Aside from that, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC will be included, and there will be dual-SIM capabilities for one Nano SIM card and eSIM.
One big change is the rumored jump from Wi-Fi 5 to Wi-Fi 6, which will give you higher speeds and better performance in crowded areas, and will likely also result in less battery consumption. However, not all hardware is Wi-Fi 6 compatible yet, so even if the new 2019 models come with Wi-Fi 6, you may not be able to use it everywhere you go.
It's not yet known what antennas will be used for Wi-Fi and cellular connections. But it's likely to get a modified polyimide (MPI) with an ultra-wideband upgrade, a significant improvement over liquid crystal polymer (LCP). However, it's rumored that there will be four MPIs and two LCPs on board in total.
Ultra-wideband antennas have more accuracy indoors, so indoor maps and navigation will likely be more on point. It also has been used for other short-distance uses, like data transfers to peripherals, similar devices, and wireless printing. So there may be speedier transfers from iPhone to Apple Watch, AirPods, other iPhones, wireless photo printers, and more.
Also, there were rumors that the next iPhones will be 5G capable, but those rumors are all now pointing toward the 2020 lineup. So not this time. However, it is rumored that the new iPhone models will be able to stream audio to two different Bluetooth devices at the same time, like if you and your partner wanted to listen to the same music on different headphones.
Last year, it was speculated that the iPhone XS Max would at least get Apple Pencil support, but that never happened. The rumors are back for Apple Pencil support on the iPhone 11 Pro models, though, possibly only the Max-sized one.
- Wi-Fi: 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
- Bluetooth: 5.0
- NFC: yes
- Cellular: dual Nano-SIM card tray, Gigabit-class LTE
- Port: Lightning
- Other: iBeacon microlocation, AirPlay, AirDrop
- Apple Pencil: possible
Both the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max will feature Face ID for facial recognition, thanks to the TrueDepth camera. The accuracy of Face ID could also be improved with the rumored flood illuminator improvement, according to Ming-Chi Kuo. The new flood illuminator, upgraded from the dot-matrix light projection, would filter invisible light out of the ambient environment so a better face scan can happen.
Face ID will still have a one-in-a-million chance that someone could break into your iPhone (minus twins). And it's used for Apple Pay purchases online and in stores using either a connected card or your Apple Pay Cash balance.
There will also still be USB restricted mode, which stops unwanted devices from connecting and stealing data via a wired connection. When the iPhone is connected to a computer, the passcode (not Face ID) will be required to give access.
- Security: Face ID and USB restricted mode
This is a no-brainer, but the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max will ship with iOS 13 installed.
- Software: iOS 13 and higher
Supported features will include FaceTime video calling using either Wi-Fi or cellular, FaceTime audio, voice over LTE (VoLTE), Wi-Fi calling, and full Siri support. Many language options will be available for the system, QuickType keyboard, Siri, dictation, dictionaries, and spell-check.
We can assume audio support will be the same as previous models, with playback of AAC-LC, HE-AAC, HE-AAC v2, Protected AAC, MP3, Linear PCM, Apple Lossless, FLAC, Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), and Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+) files. We can also assume video playback will be the same with support for HEVC, H.264, MPEG-4 Part 2, and Motion JPEG, as well as High Dynamic Range with Dolby Vision and HDR10 content.
The included components when purchased will be the same as the 2018 models, so don't expect much here.