2018 iPhones won’t get rear-facing TrueDepth camera

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Face ID
These are the sensors that power Face ID.
Photo: Apple

The 2018 iPhone won’t come with a rear-facing TrueDepth camera, according to one of the most accurate Apple analysts in the business.

KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo sent investors a note today that the array of sensors that power Face ID and animoji will stay at the front of iPhones, for now.

Manufacturing the components for the TrueDepth system is incredibly difficult and has been attributed as the major bottleneck in production. Apple supposedly plans to bring Face ID to more iPhones next year, which will make it even more difficult to manufacture enough supply.

Bringing TrueDepth to the rear of the iPhone could lend for some new augmented reality capabilities. But in his note obtained by MacRumors, Ming Chi-Kuo says Apple is so far ahead of the Android competition, it will focus on supply.

“Based on aforementioned assumptions, we do not expect 2H18F iPhones to come with rear TrueDepth Camera/3D sensing, contrary to market expectations. While we agree that a rear TrueDepth Camera/3D sensing can potentially provide more augmented reality (AR) applications, we note that Apple needs to quickly resolve two issues if it wants 2H18F iPhones to have a rear TrueDepth Camera/3D sensing, namely: (1) the development of AI and ARKit software and an ecosystem, which takes time; and (2) achieving stable shipments and on-time shipping, which are challenging due to the higher spec requirements of rear TrueDepth camera.”

Rumors of new features on the 2018 iPhones have already started percolating even thought iPhone X isn’t out yet. Apple is allegedly planning to bring FaceID and bezel-free OLED displays to all iPhones next year.