Cupertino, California: Tomorrow, Apple will hold what should be called its annual “Confirmation of iPhone Leaks and Rumors” jamboree.
Obviously, it’s not called that, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it should be given the number of rumors and leaks that precede the launch of the latest iPhone. This year’s flood of speculation say that Apple will launch three iPhones, a new Watch (Series 5) and two new iPads at the special event. (Gulf News will be covering the event live from the Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino starting at 9 pm, UAE time.) The new devices are expected to be called the iPhone 11R, the iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The iPhone 11 Pro will likely be the new mid-sized flagship smartphone for Apple.
The 11R appears to be the sequel to the iPhone XR and will likely continue that phone’s role as the lower-cost version of the flagship model, while the Pro Max will remain the super-sized iteration.
Just why Apple is going with the “Pro” moniker still isn’t clear, but most market speculation seems to point to the iPhone’s new compatibility with the Apple Pencil. The inclusion of a pencil would pit the iPhone 11 directly against the Samsung Note.
While Apple has always been very good about generating buzz ahead of its iPhone launches, the company seems to be fighting an unusual amount of negative headlines about the upcoming models. The criticism comes as the company continues to go through a number of changes, including departures over the last year of a number of high-profile executives, a global trade war that could affect its manufacturing operations, and, not to put too fine a point on it, falling sales and revenues over the last two quarters from its core product, the iPhone.
In the company’s third quarter, which ended July 30, revenue from the iPhone accounted for less that 50 per cent of the total, the first time that has happened since 2012. Revenue overall last quarter ($53.8 billion) jumped 1 per cent year-on-year, thanks to Apple’s expanding digital services universe.
Beyond the addition of the pencil, expect a number of iterations from the previous model, including the launch of iOS13, faster chips, and better cameras. The most noticeable design update will be a third camera on the Pro series, which is expected to be an ultra-wide angle camera.