If you enjoy the current iPhone XS’s compact rear camera set-up, then you might want to look away. It's looking increasingly likely that the next iPhone will have an enormous amount of rear space dedicated to multiple lenses.
Based on case designs leaked by Sonny Dickson and user Dimitri12 on SlashLeaks, (via TechRadar), the large square cutout on the rear side indicates that there’s going to be a lot of space dedicated to the new cameras on the iPhone 11. This matches with previous rumors about the iPhone 11’s ‘eyepatch’ camera array, featuring telephoto (zoom) and wide-angle lenses alongside a standard one.
The Sonny Dickson images show that the story is the same on both the smaller and larger version of the iPhone 11. Neither leaker has anything to show for the XR’s replacement, which is thought to be getting a similarly shaped rear patch, although with two cameras instead of three.
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This triple-camera feature traces back to May 2018, and a prediction made by Deutsche Securities’ Jialin Lu. This was recently backed up by reporting from Bloomberg, which specified the lenses’ specific functions, and also Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in February 2019, after some initial skepticism from him about the idea.
This unsightly camera patch doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Since Apple’s starting to fall behind in the competition for smartphone photography, thanks to phones like the Google Pixel 3 and the Huawei P30 Pro, adding an extra lens will go at least some way to remedying this. It’ll take some clever software to truly be competitive, but this is all well within Apple’s ability.
As we wait for more info to trickle out, check out our iPhone 11 rumors roundup to stay up to speed on all of the latest leaks.