We were pretty certain a time-of-flight camera was coming to at least some iPhone 12 models this fall. And now code found within Apple's next mobile operating system has confirmed the feature for the iPhone 12 Pro models.
9to5Mac (opens in new tab) reports that its source for the in-development iOS 14 says that there is code relating to future Apple phones codenamed "d5x", two of which have ToF cameras fitted. Since the iPhone 11 series goes by codename "d4x", it only follows that the two phones that use the ToF sensors are the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
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The other cameras will likely be the same as the ones used on the iPhone 11 Pro — a main/ultra-wide/telephoto combination. The ToF sensor will likely be similar to the TrueDepth camera on the front of the iPhone, which are used as part of the Face ID system to make an accurate reading of a user's face.
The addition of a rear ToF camera will help with photo processing effects like bokeh, and with augmented reality apps. Since Apple already has some AR apps like the Measure app, and is reportedly working on more AR-related projects such as new apps for the Apple Store and Starbucks (via 9to5Mac (opens in new tab)) and a rumored Glasses AR headset, adding a 3D sensor to its phone makes a lot of sense.
We were expecting the iPhone 12 to launch in September this year, the same month Apple has revealed its new iPhones for many years. However with the coronavirus outbreak causing many events to get cancelled for public safety and products to see manufacturing delays, it's uncertain when we'll see the next iPhone appear, and if there will be enough units to meet public demand.