iPhone 11 rumours, features, release date and everything we know
The iPhone launch is always the biggest smartphone event of the year, and now that Samsung has thrown down the gauntlet with the release of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, all eyes are on Apple, which is expected to unveil the iPhone 11.
The handset doesn’t officially exist yet, but a deluge of leaks and rumours about the iPhone 11 have still found their way onto the internet. Read on for everything we think we know about Apple’s next flagship smartphone.
The iPhone 11 at a glance
- The iPhone 11 is expected to launch on September 10, and hit stores soon after
- It will be the first iPhone to run iOS 13 out of the box
- It’ll likely be the first iPhone to boast a triple-camera setup on the rear
- Apple’s new A13 chipset will power it
- It could potentially host the largest battery of any iPhone to date
- It could launch alongside an iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
- 5G connectivity is unlikely to feature on any of this year’s iPhones
Read more: Best iPhone
iPhone 11 release date − When is the next iPhone out?
September is iPhone launch month – well, it has been for the last seven years – and iOS 13 may have given away the exact launch date of the iPhone 11.
An eagle-eyed user of iOS 13 developer beta 7 (who took the screengrab embedded above) spotted a subtle reference to ‘Tuesday 10’ on the Calendar app, suggesting that the new handset will be unveiled on that day in September. Then again, it could also be a cheeky red herring.
That date does fit with imagery of an alleged Verizon marketing calendar that was leaked by established tipster Evan Blass, though.
Apple usually places its handsets on sale on the Friday of the following week, which would mean that the iPhone 11 could be available to buy from September 20.
iPhone 11 price − How much will the new iPhone cost?
Apple is famously tight-lipped about its upcoming releases, to the extent that even network partners and agencies rarely have the full pricing picture before the general public.
The only thing we can be almost certain of at this stage is that the iPhone 11 won’t be any cheaper than its predecessors.
An apparent pricing leak broke via Evad3rs in early May, claiming that Apple will offer the iPhone 11 on undisclosed contracts for $399 (128GB), $499 (256GB), and $599 (512GB) from September 20, 2019.
SIM-free pricing was claimed to be $999 (128GB), $1099 (256GB) and $1199 (512GB). The report added that the 128GB iPhone 11 Max would set you back $1099, with the 256GB and 512GB models retailing for $1199 and $1299 respectively.
iPhone 11 – Design and display
Apple is renowned for producing sleek, iconic designs — but from what we’ve seen so far, the iPhone 11 will not fit that description. It could be the ugliest iPhone yet.
A multitude of leaks have suggested that the iPhone 11 will have a massive camera bump on its back, to house its new tri-camera (more camera details in the next section). That bump looks way chunkier than the bumps you’ll find on the back of Android flagships like the Huawei P30 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S10.
The infamous screen notch was popularised by the iPhone X two years ago, but many Android manufacturers have now ditched it for more subtle solutions like the teardrop notch, cutout camera, and pop-up camera.
But the speculation we’ve heard so far indicates that Apple will persevere with the notch for at least another year, despite the fact it looks somewhat dated now.
In terms of the screen technology itself, a mid-August report has claimed that the iPhone 11 will use the same OLED panel materials as Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and Note 10 ranges. As for screen size, there’s little reason to think Apple will deviate from the 5.8- and 6.5-inch screen sizes currently used by the XS and XS Max.
A couple of recent rumours have suggested that we might see the iPhone 11 land in a dark green colour scheme – which would make a refreshing change from the predictable blacks, silvers and golds of recent years – and that the iconic Apple logo might not make an appearance.
iPhone 11 – iPhone 11 Max or iPhone 11 Pro?
Apple now typically unveils at least two versions of its flagship device, and rumours suggest we might also get an iPhone 11 Pro this time around.
First we had ‘Plus’, then came ‘Max’. ‘Pro’ would be a new iPhone moniker, but we’ve seen Apple use it before for the MacBook Pro and the iPad Pro — and in these cases it referred to superior performance. that certainly fits with the recent rumour suggesting that the iPhone 11 Pro would come with its own stylus.
iPhone 11 – Camera
From the images we’ve seen so far, the design of the iPhone 11’s camera module will not win any plaudits. However, this could be the first iPhone to feature three rear camera sensors, and that’s worth getting excited about.
According to MacRumors, one of these three lenses will be a wide-angle lens, a first for any Apple smartphone. Intriguingly, the report claims that this sensor will allow users to ‘repair’ shots after the fact, by adding subjects that were just out of frame in the first snap — a very helpful, and slightly mind-boggling, new trick.
It would make sense for the new iPhone to adopt a triple camera setup. Multi-sensor cameras have been a staple on Android flagships for the last couple of years, and the systems on the Galaxy S10 and Huawei P30 Pro we reviewed earlier this year are among the best we’ve seen – a significant step up on the iPhone XS and XS Max’s cameras.
Other rumours suggest the iPhone 11’s front camera might be in line for some new features too. Apparently, the next iPhone could pack a 12-megapixel TrueDepth selfie camera capable of recording in slow motion.
iPhone 11 − Performance and software
The iPhone 11 will almost certainly pack an A13 CPU, and though nobody outside Apple knows the exact specifications yet, we can expect a healthy boost over the Apple A12 Bionic, which powers the iPhone XS.
The A13 entered production in May, according to Bloomberg, and it’s expected to have a 7nm node like its predecessor, with the 5nm upgrade set to arrive in 2020. Given that the A12 remains one of the most capable mobile chips on the market, we’re expecting the iPhone 11 to absolutely fly in comparison to its competitors.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reckons that the iPhone will pack 4GB of RAM − just like the iPhone XS − but iOS optimisation makes the most of what seems to be a miserly amount of memory.
As for the software, it’s probably the most concrete aspect of the iPhone 11 experience that we know of right now. Following WWDC 2019, Apple showcased all manner of new functionality coming to iOS 13 – the next major release.
- Its smart dark mode includes light and dark versions of the same wallpaper, with the ability to fade between the two, either on command or when tied to sunrise and sunset times. The whole UI also gets a darker lick of paint when the mode is activated too.
- Even before you throw the A13 chipset into the equation, Apple has promised significant performance improvements, thanks to this new software.
- Craig Federighi claimed that Face Unlock will be up to 30% faster, while fundamentals like app updates will up to 60% smaller in size.
- The introduction of ‘Sign in with Apple‘ will also help streamline signup for various first- and third-party services, with Face ID integration and anonymous credential functionality.
- Alongside the addition of some new Aniomji characters, Memoji will benefit from a heap of new customisation options, like piercings, additional makeup options, hats and alternate teeth designs.
- Good news for gamers: forthcoming native support for both PlayStation DualShock 4 and Bluetooth-enabled Xbox controllers.
iPhone 11 – Battery life, USB-C and 5G
Rumours (again) from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested in April that the iPhone 11 will pack a huge battery. We’re talking about a 25% capacity boost. However, more recent leaks have suggested that the capacity boost will be closer to 5%. We’ve also seen the figure 3110mAh doing the rounds, but this is all a bit all over the place − we’d take it with a pinch of salt.
That enlarged power pack will apparently drive two-way Qi wireless charging, so you’ll be able to power up your new AirPods 2 off the back of the phone, not unlike Samsung’s S10 series and the Galaxy Buds which launched alongside it.
Apple shifted from Lightning to a complete USB-C solution for the iPad Pro last year and has also chosen the standard for all of its modern MacBooks, but Kuo doesn’t think that this is the year for Apple to switch to the USB-C charging on its phones (so keep hold of those spare Lightning cables for the time being). But we do hope a Lightning to USB-C adaptor will be bundled in the box.
That said, we’ve seen loads of conflicting information about this. In June, the image above got tongues wagging once again as it seems to show the icon for a USB-C cable.
Rumour has it that the iPhone 11 won’t be ready to join the 5G connectivity train either. Apple tends to wait until mobile network connection standards are settled and headed for ubiquity before it adopts them, as was the case with both 3G and 4G.
Sure enough, a December 2018 Bloomberg report co-authored by noted Apple crystal ball gazer Mark Gurman claims that the Cupertino-based company will “hold off until at least 2020” to introduce a phone with next-generation 5G mobile data speeds.
This could be no bad thing, since 5G devices are very expensive and often quite bulky too.
However, the iPhone 11 could have super-fast Wi-Fi. Barclays analyst Blaine Curtis reckons that the new iPhone will benefit from the latest Wi-Fi 802.11 ax standard, more commonly known as Wi-Fi 6, bringing with it a 4x performance boost in crowded areas and 40% higher data speeds.