Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones have been in the headlines frequently over the past few weeks, primarily because they aren’t selling the way the company had expected. However, it’s 2019, a new year, and AAPL is obviously hard at work trying to come up with a design that will convince customers to upgrade.
An early leak claims that Apple will be releasing at least one triple camera iPhone in 2019 in an attempt to get those numbers back up.
OnLeaks Publishes Render of Triple Camera iPhone
2019 is only a week old, but we’re just nine months from September, when AAPL will probably be launching this year’s iPhone. That means Apple designers and engineers are hard at work on the company’s new flagship — and with a new sense of urgency. The first major iPhone leak of 2019 is hitting headlines, competing with all the tech industry news from CES 2019.
According to industry insider OnLeaks (Steve Hemmerstoffer), Apple is working on a triple camera iPhone. Along with website digit, he published high-resolution renders of the design based on information he’s obtained from Apple sources. And according to OnLeaks, the triple camera iPhone isn’t just a sketch on a designer’s iPad Pro, it’s in Engineering Validation Test mode — which means it’s in the prototype stage.
Why Three Cameras?
At first blush, the idea of a triple camera iPhone sounds as though Apple is chasing the pack. A number of smartphone makers have been moving beyond dual camera configurations to cram the back of their smartphones with lenses. Samsung’s Galaxy A9 featured four rear cameras, Huawei’s P20 Pro features three cameras and leaked photos have shown a Nokia-branded smartphone with five cameras on its back.
Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google may be stubbornly sticking with a single-camera main shooter for its Pixel smartphones but the trend is clear: smartphone makers have been making dual camera systems the default configuration over the past several years, and are now pushing that number higher.
However, in Apple’s case, that additional camera may be much more than simply another shooting option for owners. Bloomberg published a report near the end of 2018 about Sony (NYSE:SNE) boosting output of 3D cameras for smartphones based on increasing demand from its customers — including Apple.
The triple camera iPhone prototype uncovered by OnLeaks may very well be intended to capture 3D images. And while 3D fell flat so far as TVs are concerned, capturing 3D images with an iPhone plays into AAPL’s augmented reality push. According to Bloomberg, Sony has been showing off AR applications while demoing the 3D cameras.
Can This Prop Up Apple’s Faltering iPhone Business?
Will a triple camera iPhone be enough to turn around Apple’s fortunes at a time when global smartphone sales are beginning to contract and the company is facing increasingly ferocious competition from Chinese companies like Huawei?
AAPL stock is apparently going down the path, at least as an option. It’s still early, and there are undoubtedly multiple iPhone prototypes in testing as the company tries to come up with the formula that will win over new customers and more importantly, convince existing iPhone owners to upgrade. The big cluster of cameras shown on that triple camera iPhone render isn’t pretty. Then again, the dual camera system first introduced with the iPhone 7 Plus took some getting used to as well.
If AAPL can put that additional camera to good use — whether through turning AR into a must-have feature, or improving low-light photography — that might be enough for the 2019 iPhone to sell better than the last crop has.
Stay tuned because the 2019 iPhone rumors will be ramping up as the year progresses.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.