Apple has released a new phone this year – if we can call it that.
The new and improved iPhone SE is actually a slightly improved iPhone 8.
The two phones have the same size, the same design, the same weight down to the gram, with the only significant differences being the processor, the GPU, and the maximum quantity of RAM and internal storage in the new model.
But when it comes to the iPhone, the big announcement of the year is still to come.
Apple traditionally presents its “main event” in September but rumors about the specs of the upcoming handsets start circulating much earlier (insiders already think they know things about next year’s iPhone SE).
Then, after the iPhone 5, Apple decided to follow the trend, rounding its phones’ corners more and more.
But this year, the rumors say, it will take a step back toward the glory days and release handsets with designs similar to the iPhone 4 (and the iPad Pro).
At least two of the upcoming iPhone models are expected to have a flat design with a stainless steel frame, a long-overdue redesign according to many Apple fans.
The mockups and renders of the upcoming iPhone models show a huge main camera on its back, similar to the one on the iPhone 11.
For this year’s models, the Cupertino giant is expected to place larger lenses on the iPhone’s back but that’s not what makes them exciting – it’s the LiDAR scanner built into it that makes it stand out.
According to several sources, at least some of the upcoming iPhone models will have a “3D Camera” on their backs, similar to the one on the 2020 iPad Pro models.
The LiDAR scanner built into the iPad’s camera is able to map its surroundings up to a distance of five meters (16.4 feet), and use frameworks in the iPadOS to combine this data with that from motion sensors and (of course) cameras to better understand the scenes, thus improving AR performance.
Finally, there’s the new iPhones’ connectivity: they are expected to have 5G modems provided by Qualcomm inside them.
The rumors speak of Qualcomm’s X55 5G chip included in at least a few of the upcoming phones, capable of 7Gbps download and 3Gbps upload at its peak performance.
These capabilities will only be active in countries where a 5G network is already deployed or under development – in countries with little to no 5G coverage, these functions will likely be disabled for the time being.
Traditionally, Apple presents its new iPhone models in the fall – often in September – and they become available before the start of the winter holiday shopping season.
This year, due to the pandemic, analysts expect delays of several weeks – some sources claim that the delays will only be felt in the case of the higher-end models.
Then again, other sources say that all upcoming 2020 iPhone models are on track – we’ll have to wait and see which side will be right on this one.