Category: Apple Tools

Apple Suddenly Abandons Massive iPhone Upgrade

I’ve long argued that upgrading to the iPhone 11 will be an expensive mistake, and now major voices are echoing that position. Furthermore, it is not only the evidence against the iPhone 11 which makes this compelling, the bigger news is something far more radical will follow it.

iPhone 2020 concept render based on leaks

iPhone 2020 concept render based on leaks

In a new exclusive, major Taiwanese website DigiTimes reveals Apple has decided not to include potentially game-changing new ToF 3D camera technology in the iPhone 11 and save it for the (radically redesigned) 2020 iPhone instead. And the repercussions of this are significant.

Apple partner Sony has already detailed the technology, saying it has the potential to 3D map anything up to 5 metres (16 feet) away. By comparison, Apple’s current 3D mapping technology in Face ID works only up to 50 centimetres (19-inches) away. The added range opens the door to near-instant camera focus (even in low light), advanced AR and VR environments and even advanced gesture tracking where a user’s hands can manipulate a gaming environment, fight and cast spells.

“Cameras revolutionized phones and, based on what I’ve seen, I have the same expectation for 3D [cameras],” said Satoshi Yoshihara, head of Sony’s sensor division, previously speaking with Bloomberg.

Sony's 3D Camera technology maps objects up to 5 metres away, but Apple has pulled it from the iPhone 11

Sony’s 3D Camera technology maps objects up to 5 metres away, but Apple has pulled it from the iPhone 11

But perhaps the biggest shock is why the iPhone 11 misses out on this technology. It isn’t due to production delays, Sony already confirmed its summer arrival. Instead, Apple reportedly passed because the iPhone 11 misses out on too many features to make its inclusion worthwhile. Something which may explain why Apple pulled other camera feature from the iPhone 11 recently.

Moreover, this new mapping technology is what will unlock the next iPhone redesign. While the iPhone 11 will again look almost identical to the iPhone X, the 2020 iPhone will have a much smaller notch as the new sensor will dramatically shrink the Face ID sensor array. In fact, one report believes the notch may disappear completely next year as a result.

So yes, the 2020 iPhone is going to be a massive generational upgrade and it will follow one of the most underwhelming. So while Apple’s inevitably slick iPhone 11 promotions may tug at your heartstrings later this year, remember it is your head you need to listen to. Your patience will be rewarded.

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I am an experienced freelance technology journalist. I have written for Wired, The Next Web, TrustedReviews, The Guardian and the BBC in addition to Forbes.

Source: Apple Suddenly Abandons Massive iPhone Upgrade

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