Some 2020 iPhone models could miss out on new 3D scanner

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2020 iPhone concept
A 2020 iPhone concept imagines what the extra 3D scanner might look like.
Photo: PhoneArena

The 2020 iPhone is widely expected to include a 3D sensor on the back, but it’s reportedly not coming to every model of this upcoming handset. Code found in a leaked version of iOS 14 points to this feature only being in the Pro models.

No 3D sensor for you!

Buried in a leaked copy iOS 14 obtained by 9to5Mac are references to models identified as d5x. This is likely the next-generation iPhones, as the iPhone 11 series has the identifier d4x. And only two of the d5x models supposedly include references to a rear-facing 3D depth sensor.

If the fall 2020 iPhone lineup is like the fall 2019 one, there’ll be two Pro models and a mid-range one. More advanced cameras are among the features that set the Pro models apart, so it seems likely only the two iPhone 12 Pro models will be the ones that have these 3D sensors.

2020 iPhone might include Time of Flight scanner

There have been reports going back to at least 2018 that Apple’s handsets and tablets will have “Time of Flight” laser scanning technology.

ToF sensors shoot a laser over the environment and uses the time it takes the light to bounce back to calculate the distance to nearby objects. It’s well-suited for helping augmented reality software put virtual objects in the real world because the apps have an accurate 3D map of the area.

The 2020 iPad Pro is also allegedly going to get a ToF scanner.