The 2019 iPhone will have a trio of camera lenses in an unusual configuration, if an unconfirmed report is correct.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors that Apple’s next model will have three rear-facing camera lenses but the way they’ll supposedly be arranged on the device is new.
Update: With the iPhone 11 series now official, turns out this image from January is almost completely accurate.
Rather than being lined up, they’ll allegedly be in a triangle, according to OnLeaks. These lenses will appear in a relatively large camera bump on the back of the device. The LED flash and a microphone will also be in this raised area.
Accompanying this report is a pair of renders supposedly showing the 2019 iPhone that OnLeaks sent to Digit.in. The device is still undergoing Engineering Validation Testing (EVT) so the design might change.
While this arrangement seems so odd that this rumor might be easy to dismiss, OnLeaks has a history of reliability. This source posted completely accurate schematics of the 2018 iPad Pro several months before the announcement of that redesigned tablet, for example.
2019 iPhone… why the third lens?
The current iPhone XS series includes two 12MP lenses, one wide-angle and the other telephoto with a 2x optical zoom. Together they create the Bokeh effect. There is no word yet on what what new features a third camera lens might bring.
The Samsung Galaxy A7 has three lenses, one of which is extremely high resolution: 24MP. Something similar is a possibility for Apple’s next handset.
Another option is a Time of Flight (ToF) scanner for Augmented Reality, not a camera. This would run a laser over the environment and uses the time it takes the light to bounce back to calculate the distance to nearby objects. An earlier report indicated Apple is considering adding ToF to its iPad and iPhone models.