Bloomberg Says New iPhone to Share Design Elements from iPad, Smaller HomePod On The Way
Apple's redesigned top-tier iPhones are borrowing cues from the latest iPads, and the fall refresh will see 5G added to as many as four new handset models, according to Bloomberg.
This year’s successors to the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max will be joined by two lower-end models to replace the iPhone 11. Bloomberg's sources claim that at least the two high-end devices will have flat stainless steel edges instead of the current curved design as well as more sharply rounded corners like the iPad Pro introduced in 2018. Reminiscent of the iPhone 5 design, the new handsets are said to have flat screens rather than the sloping edges on current models.
The upcoming iPhone Pro models will include three cameras on the back while the lower-end phones will continue to have two cameras, as with the current lineup. Apple will add the 3-D LIDAR system that debuted with the iPad Pro in March to its top-tier devices, setting the stage for advances in augmented-reality applications.
The highest-end new iPhone is set to have a screen slightly larger than the 6.5-inch panel on the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Apple is also investigating removing the cutout at the top of the display for the selfie camera and Face ID sensors in future designs, and it’s likely to reduce that notch in size with this year’s models.
All the phones are planned to include an upgrade to the processor with an emphasis on speeding up artificial intelligence and AR tasks.
Apple has also been developing a smaller and cheaper version of its HomePod speaker, to be released as early as this year, and so-called Apple Tags that will let users track real-world objects like keys and wallets, according to people who’ve seen prototypes.
Offering it at a lower price will help Apple better compete with cheap smart speakers from Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which currently dominate the U.S. market.
The Apple Tags wireless accessory will offer functionality much like gadgets already on the market like Tile trackers, people familiar with the product said. It will be bundled with an Apple-designed leather sleeve and a keychain to attach it to objects, they said. The puck-shaped tags are planned for release as early as this year.
Apple is also working on a new version of the MacBook Pro, Apple TV, refreshed budget iPads and a new iMac.
Apple declined to comment.