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Don’t Hold Your Breath for a Redesigned iPhone in 2019, Says Analyst

If you were hoping for a radical new iPhone for 2019, you'll probably have to keep waiting.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

According to Barron's, Nomura analyst Anne Lee says there will be no hot new iPhones in 2019, just a revised update. Here’s part of her report:

“We think the three new iPhones in 2H19F will likely have the same form factors (body size and displays) as the 2H18 iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max, with some added Augmented Reality-related features.”

That’s it.

It’s hard to understand why Apple would not radically redesign its iPhone line for 2019 after years of the same old candy bar design introduced with the iPhone 6 in 2014 — and two years of the unsightly notch. Especially when Apple is reportedly experiencing poor sales of the new iPhone models.

MORE: Apple's Sitting Out the 5G Party — It's the Right Move

The fact is that people are not jumping over the new iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max. The latest report on a long line of production reduction announcements comes from Japan Display, which has drastically cut down the production of LCD displays for the iPhone XR amidst poor sales of that model — which according to Apple outsells the XS and the XS Max.

Another report from ZDNet says that neither the XR nor the XS have been selling well at Best Buy, though that’s based on just one salesperson’s perspective.

It seems that every Android phone maker — from Samsung to Huawei to Xiaomi and a plethora of Chinese companies — is introducing new features like notch-less screens, foldable displays, and 5G support in 2019. And yet Lee doesn’t see any bold moves for Apple in the immediate future.

"We think 2019 could be the last year the iPhone uses the iPhone X design architecture, in preparation for initial hardware specs for 5G (sub-6GHz) and AR (augmented reality), before greater architecture upgrades in 2020F for 5G and a more comprehensive AR system," said Lee.

She believes that, as a result of this lack of significant changes, “iPhone unit sales will drop to 204 million in fiscal 2019 from 213 million in fiscal 2018, and then falling again to 200 million in fiscal 2020.”

On the other hand, this conservatism from Apple may be a response to longer upgrade cycles on the part of consumers. But then again, maybe people are upgrading less often because of higher and higher prices.

Whatever the reasons, if the analyst is right and you want a radically new iPhone, you will have to wait until the fall of 2020 — and hope Apple’s pulls through a stunner to make up for what could be a boring year.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.