Without any doubt, Apple is in pressure to deliver new iPhones with features that will re-ignite fans' interest, and the rumor mill "unveils" some surprising design changes.
In a video posted by YouTube giant EverythingApplePro and XDA Developers, the next iPhone seems to continue to support 3D Touch, but the technology behind it is said to be improved. It is said that Apple’s ‘taptic’ engine to will be expanded to cover a 3x3 grid across the new iPhone’s entire display, offering more precise vibrations and more tactile input response on every part of the screen.
This will enable the new iPhone to deliver richer physical feedback to taps and gestures and it seems ripe for integration with third-party apps, particularly games.
The video also claims that Apple’s 2019 iPhone display will work underwater. While many phones are water resistant these days, a fully water resistand iPhone could be used for underwater photography without a case.
Data from Gartner showed that sales of iPhone devices declined 11.8% on year to 64.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018 when total global smartphone sales edged up 0.1% to 408.4 million units in the quarter.
Meanwhile, Apple has been awarded multiple patents that could be related to folding iPhones.
The latest one, Apple describes a folding display which automatically warms at the fold point. The company explains that folding displays can be damaged when used in cold temperatures, so options such as a heating element or even lighting the pixels on the fold would mitigate the problem.
Neither Huawei nor Samsung have touched on this weakness despite stating their respective folding smartphones (the Galaxy Fold and Mate X) will launch commercially this year.
Although sales of foldable smartphones are expected to be low, Apple apparently cannot afford to ignore this emerging trend, as it could undermine its status as being a leader of innovation in the field. Handset brands including Xiaomi, LG Electronics, Vivo, Lenovo (Motorola) are also expected to roll out their foldable smartphones in the near future.
Samsung Display reportedly has delivered samples of its flexible displays to Apple and Google for verification. The sample provided to Apple is said to have a size of 7.2 inches -- 0.1-inch smaller than the flexible display used by the Galaxy Fold.
2020 seems to be the earliest for Apple to join the market.