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THE BLACKBERRY KEY2 PROVES THE WORLD NO LONGER NEEDS A PHYSICAL KEYBOARD

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It’s 2018. Do people still want a phone with a physical keyboard?

That’s the question TCL is trying to answer with its new BlackBerry Key2, a $650 smartphone with a 4.5-inch screen and an actual physical keyboard.

I spent about 10 days with the BlackBerry Key2 to test how it compares with other high-end smartphones on the market. I also wanted to see if, as a former BlackBerry user way back when, I still enjoyed using a physical keyboard.

Here’s what it was like.

First things first: The BlackBerry Key2 is a good-looking phone, and it certainly doesn’t look like anything else on the market.

First things first: The BlackBerry Key2 is a good-looking phone, and it certainly doesn't look like anything else on the market.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the look and feel of the BlackBerry Key2. It has a grippy, textured back that feels rugged and vaguely pleasant, and I enjoyed the squared-off edges, chrome details, and overall businesslike aesthetic. Plus, the phone gets great battery life — I typically got about a day and a half out of it before it needed charging.

TCL says the device is lighter and slimmer than its predecessor, the BlackBerry KeyOne, but it’s hard to tell. Compared with my aluminum iPhone 6S, the Key2 feels notably heavier.

The BlackBerry Key2 has a 4.5-inch LCD display, which is a hair smaller than the 4.7-inch display on the iPhone 6S. But it’s a physically larger phone, thanks to the keyboard at the bottom of the device. That said, I have relatively small hands, and I didn’t find the device to be too big for me — in fact, at about 6 inches long, it’s likely to be the perfect size for most people.

One other note on the display: While it’s sharp and incredibly vivid, it doesn’t get very bright. This wasn’t an issue most of the time, but I sometimes found myself squinting at the screen, even with the brightness turned all the way up.

A few other design choices stand out, for better or worse.

There were things that I liked about the design, and things that I really hated.

For instance, the BlackBerry Key2 does have a headphone jack, though it’s at the top of the device rather than the bottom like most people are used to.

And while the phone may have physical keys, it doesn’t have a physical home button. Instead, a digital home button is above the keyboard.

This is all well and good, but it’s going to be a major adjustment for most people. Since most smartphones have a physical or digital home button at the bottom, that’s where I automatically pressed when I was trying to hit the home button. But that’s where the keyboard’s space bar is, which does not double as a home button (though it does have a dual purpose — more on that in a minute).

Nine times out of 10, I would press the space bar first before remembering where the home button was. For me, it would probably take several weeks of using the phone to get out of that habit.

The keyboard’s space bar doubles as a fingerprint scanner, but it doesn’t do a great job.

The keyboard's space bar doubles as a fingerprint scanner, but it doesn't do a great job.Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

I was excited to try the fingerprint scanner on the BlackBerry Key2, because I loved how subtly it was built into the phone’s design. The scanner lives inside the space bar, meaning you should just be able to press it lightly to unlock your phone each time.

It’s a great idea in theory, but it isn’t very practical in real life.

The space bar is a long, narrow rectangle, and it’s not ideal for capturing fingerprints. About 80% of the time, it took me several tries to get my phone unlocked using the scanner. If you didn’t place your finger just right on the space bar, it refused to open your phone. This grew tiresome after a while, and I eventually resorted to using my passcode each time.

The BlackBerry Key2 has a solid rear camera, but it’s nothing fancy.

The BlackBerry Key2 has a solid rear camera, but it's nothing fancy.

I certainly wasn’t wowed by the rear camera on the BlackBerry Key2, but I was pleasantly surprised by the images it captured.

TCL added a dual 12-megapixel rear camera this year; the BlackBerry KeyOne relied on a single lens. In general, I found the photos to be quite sharp, and I was continually impressed by how the camera handled close-up shots. The rear camera wasn’t phenomenal, but to be perfectly honest, it was better than I expected from a BlackBerry.

The selfie camera, on the other hand, was one of the worst I’ve used on a smartphone in the past year. It has a fixed focus, and most of the time my selfies came out blurry. Even when the camera seemed to focus on my face, the images were rarely as sharp as they would be on an iPhone, a Google Pixel, or a Samsung Galaxy phone.

That said, I doubt the target audience for the BlackBerry Key2 consists of a lot of avid selfie-takers, so it isn’t likely to be an issue for most people.

One surprising thing about the entire camera system is that it’s unlike any other Android camera I’ve used lately. Most Android phones pack their cameras full of so many features, you feel as if you have a DSLR in the palm of your hand.

But the BlackBerry Key2 doesn’t have any of that — only a few filters, no advanced camera adjustments, and none of the weird face-smoothing features I’ve found on phones like the Samsung Galaxy S9. It’s the simplest smartphone camera I’ve used in years, and it was actually rather refreshing, since I rarely end up using those anyway.

Here’s a photo I shot using the BlackBerry Key2. It’s nice and sharp, and the colors are beautiful, but it did struggle a bit in bright sunlight — some of the leaves in the back are blown out.

Here's a photo I shot using the BlackBerry Key2. It's nice and sharp, and the colors are beautiful, but it <i>did</i> struggle a bit in bright sunlight — some of the leaves in the back are blown out.Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

The selfie camera consistently produced shots that looked like this: out of focus, bland, and unable to properly handle mixed lighting.

The selfie camera consistently produced shots that looked like this: out of focus, bland, and unable to properly handle mixed lighting.Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

Which brings us to the keyboard.

Which brings us to the keyboard.Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

Back in the mid-to-late aughts, I owned a BlackBerry Pearl and thought it was the best phone ever made. I adored the trackball, loved BBM-ing with my friends, and thought that getting rid of a physical keyboard would be the single dumbest move a smartphone company could make.

Oh, how times have changed.

My biggest takeaway after using the BlackBerry Key2 after about 10 days was that the physical keyboard is obsolete. My teenage self would be shocked to hear me say this, but an on-screen digital keyboard is simply a better invention. It’s significantly faster and more agile, not to mention the fact that it frees up about 2 inches on the front of the phone.

The physical keyboard isn’t totally stuck in the past. TCL built in the aforementioned fingerprint scanner on the space bar, and the entire keyboard is touch sensitive — when you swipe your finger over the keys to the left or right, it will work like a touchscreen.

My biggest frustrations with the keyboard were the slowness and the lack of flexibility.

My biggest frustrations with the keyboard were the slowness and the lack of flexibility.Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

I admit it’s been about nine years since I used a BlackBerry, so I expected to be rusty when I tried typing on a real keyboard again. But even after about 10 days of using the phone, things haven’t improved.

Typing on real keys took me about twice the amount of time it would have on digital keys. A one-paragraph email took me a little over five minutes to type on the BlackBerry Key2, something that would have taken less than a minute on a digital keyboard. Plus, the keys are tiny, and though I have relatively small fingers, I was constantly hitting the wrong button.

The other issue with a physical keyboard is that it’s fixed. These days, it’s easy to switch among letters, numbers, and symbols, or multiple keyboards on your phone. That’s not possible with real keys, so BlackBerry’s solution was to bring up an on-screen keyboard to help with symbols. This just created confusion, since it was hard to prioritize a physical keyboard when there was a perfectly good digital keyboard right there on the screen.

So while the physical keyboard is nice to have, I’m not sure I would end up using it most of the time. By the end of my time with the BlackBerry Key2, it started to feel more like a novelty item than a helpful feature.

Physical keyboard aside, the BlackBerry Key2 is made for speed and efficiency.

Physical keyboard aside, the BlackBerry Key2 is made for speed and efficiency.Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

The BlackBerry Key2 seems aimed at a crowd that doesn’t crave a lot of bells and whistles on smartphones. It’s efficient, easy to use, and comes with a version of Android 8.1 Oreo that, while not stock, was on the simpler side and easy to adjust to as an iPhone user.

The device has multiple shortcut keys intended to help you get to your most-used apps and services without spending a ton of time hunting through your app drawer. A new shortcut key on the keyboard can be programmed to open any app (along with the press of a corresponding letter on the keyboard), and I found myself using it more than I expected. There’s also a second shortcut key on the side of the device.

And since it’s a BlackBerry phone, there’s a lot of emphasis on privacy and security.

The Key2 comes with a few different ways to protect your device, like the DTEK app, which constantly monitors your phone’s security. There’s also a redactor app for hiding keywords or phrases in a document or email, an app that blacks out your entire screen except for the portion you’re viewing, a built-in password keeper, and the Locker app, which lets you hide sensitive photos or open an incognito browser.

So should you buy it?

So should you buy it?Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

Yes and no.

Yes, you should buy the BlackBerry Key2 if you’re someone who craves speed and efficiency and doesn’t spend a lot of time on their phone scrolling through social media or watching Netflix. If you’re someone who’s all business and cares about security and privacy, it’s the perfect phone for you. Plus, at $650, it’s a relative bargain.

But the BlackBerry Key2 doesn’t really feel like a mass-market device. It’s not a great phone for watching videos, thanks to the smaller screen. It’s hard to text on, and the camera isn’t exactly top of the line.

Still, I think there’s a niche group of people out there who would fall in love with the BlackBerry Key2. My barometer for the device was my dad, a longtime BlackBerry fan who reluctantly switched to iPhone a few years ago. When I showed him the Key2, he said, “I’d switch from my iPhone right now.”

 

 

 

 

Source: BUSINESS INSIDER

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Google Pixel 4 XL revealed in full in three new hands-on video leaks

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Last year’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL both suffered from high-profile leaks before their official launch, but Google’s 2019 flagships seem to have taken things to another level entirely. A new leak – or rumor – about the Pixel 4 seems to rear its head every single day, and with three new hands-on videos appearing online today, just about everything there is to know about the next generation of Google phones now seems to have been revealed.

The three new videos basically show off the larger Pixel 4 XL in full, even going as far as to showing off all three different colors the handset is expected to come in – white, black and coral. None of the videos are in English but, between them all, there’s unlikely to be any huge surprises when Google finally announces the Pixel 4 range next month.

The videos confirm the rumors of the 90Hz Smooth Display on the Pixel 4 phones, with the screen being able to dynamically switch between 60Hz and 90Hz refresh rates, depending on the content being displayed. However, the 90Hz mode’s smoother scrolling can affect battery life – like we saw on the OnePlus 7 Pro – and it seems you will be able to turn off the Smooth Display feature to conserve battery.

Another new feature that, so far, Google has omitted from its previous Pixel handsets is a pre-installed Recorder app. Whether the app will be able to record both external audio (like voice memos) as well as internal audio (screen recording) is as yet unclear, but we’re sure we’ll find out soon enough.

The phone’s camera app is also shown off, revealing an updated user interface, improvements to the Night Sight mode, as well as sample images taken on the Pixel 4 XL.

Another pre-installed app called Pixel Themes indicates there could be multiple themes to choose from to customize the phone, while something called Ambient EQ could be something that screen color hue based on environmental conditions.

A hardware detection app confirms that the Pixel 4 XL boasts a 6.23-inch display with 3,040 x 1,440 resolution. There are two camera lenses on the rear – one featuring a Sony IMX363 12.2MP sensor with f/1.7 aperture, while the other is a telephoto lens housing a Sony IMX481 16MP sensor.

In terms of other specs, the earlier rumors of 6GB RAM and 128GB on-board storage seem to be true.

One notable thing that isn’t demonstrated in the videos is the Soli aerial navigation gestures… so there’s a chance we may be able to see at least one new thing during Google’s launch event.

Source: https://www.techradar.com/news/google-pixel-4-xl-revealed-in-full-in-three-new-hands-on-video-leaks

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Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 vs Samsung Galaxy A30

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The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 and Samsung Galaxy A30 are two rival smartphones competing in the crowded South African mid-range segment.

They’re both feature-packed, boasting big batteries, large screens and a pretty large target market. But how do they stack up head-to-head?

We take a look at each of these smartphones and judge them by their key features.

Aesthetics and design

The Samsung Galaxy A30 is one of the Korean company’s newer mid-range smartphones. With it comes a large screen, minimal bezels and a choice of blue, black and white.

There is a rounded notch, which does eat away at some screen real estate and there’s a dual rear camera beside a physical fingerprint sensor at the back. At the bottom Samsung’s included a headphone jack, USB-C port for charging and data, and a single speaker grille.

The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 arrived in South Africa just a few weeks ago, and features no notch. In fact, the selfie camera is tucked away inside the body and pops out when need be. This means that it’s all screen up front, and a large screen at that.

Around the back, Huawei’s employing two primary cameras and a depth sensor beneath it, and a physical fingerprint sensor. At the bottom there’s a headphone jack, USB-C port for data and charging, and a single speaker grille.

The Y9 Prime 2019 comes in a few more exciting colours, including Midnight Black, Emerald Green, and Sapphire Blue.

Screen

The screen has become an important distinguishing feature for phones in 2019, and these two employ different philosophies.

For Samsung, the Galaxy A30 features an sAMOLED display at 6.4-inches from corner to corner with a 2340×1080 resolution. However, a piece of it is chunked away due to that notch in the top-middle of the screen.

The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 takes a different approach. It uses a larger 6.59-inch IPS LCD display with 2340×1080 resolution. The larger size does mean it has a lower screen density than the A30, but it makes up for this by ditching the notch. The Y9 Prime 2019 is essentially all screen, which is something we don’t see to often in South Africa.

Internals

Again, Samsung and Huawei tackle the power requirements of the modern user with their own technologies.

The Samsung Galaxy A30 uses the company’s Exynos 7904 chipset with eight processing cores with a clock speed of up to 1.8GHz, up to 64GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM. The chipset is based on an older 14nm manufacturing process, but the phone does support microSD card storage expansion.

The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 uses its HiSilicon Kirin 710F based on the newer 12nm manufacturing process. It also has eight cores, but features a higher clock speed at 2.2GHz. This effectively means it’ll be better suited for gaming than the Galaxy A30.

The phone also features up to 128GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM with microSD card expansion support too.

Cameras

Samsung’s notched selfie camera sports a 16MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture.

Huawei’s selfie camera, as mentioned before, slides up from within the body when required. But it also sports a 16MP sensor with the same aperture.

At the rear, Samsung employs a dual camera setup. The primary camera has a 16MP sensor with autofocus and an f/1.7 aperture. The secondary camera features a 5MP sensor with a f/2.2 aperture. It’s used for wide-angle shots.

Huawei also uses this philosophy but adds a depth sensor, giving it a triple rear camera setup instead of Samsung’s dual camera solution. This allows the phone to snap better, more layered portraits.

The primary camera features a 16MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture. Beneath that there’s an 8MP wide-angle camera too.

Battery life

Battery life is becoming more critical for buyers, especially in this price range. And both manufacturers seem to understand this.

The Samsung Galaxy A30 features a 4000mAh battery and charges via a USB-C port. The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 also features a 4000mAh battery, and USB-C charging.

Source: https://memeburn.com/gearburn/2019/08/huawei-y9-prime-2019-vs-samsung-galaxy-a30-which-is-the-better-mid-ranger/

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iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11R and 11 Max: The specs, features and prices we expect from Apple in September

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We expect Apple to unveil a brand-new iPhone in less than three weeks. And yet, oddly, many of the rumors — and nearly all of the most exciting rumors — about forthcoming Apple phones do not concern that particular model, expected to be called the iPhone 11. Rather, most of the really cool stuff is slated to debut on the following iPhone, which probably won’t be introduced until September 2020. 

To review:

  • The 5G iPhone? No, not until 2020. 
  • The iPhone with the amazing 120Hz OLED Retina display? 2020.
  • A folding iPhone? Ha-ha, how about 2021?
  • That laser-guided 3D time-of-flight camera that’s supposed to drive many of Apple’s fascinating AR and VR applications? Yeah, no. That’s for the 2020 iPhone too.

So, then, what exactly are we getting this year? 

According to a series of reports published over the past few months — which range from authoritative sources like Bloomberg and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo to Twitter leakers and rumormongers on the fringe — the iPhone 2019 will probably be a whole lot like the 2018 iPhone. Not exactly the same. But pretty similar.

Which means that Apple is going to try to get us excited about a lot of incremental upgrades: more advanced cameras, faster chips, the next version of the operating system (that’s iOS 13) and perhaps new colors (including dark green). And yet the flagship iPhone 11 is likely to cost just as much as the iPhone XS, with a starting price around $1,000. (Note that this is all conjecture; the company did not respond to our request for comment.)

Meanwhile, with Apple playing it safe this year, Samsung, Google and Huawei continue to deliver eye-catching phones stocked with innovative features — phones that are often considerably less expensive than the iPhone — blazing the trail for the next generation of mobile technology. Sure, some of those efforts have been more successful than others. But Apple executives were undoubtedly paying attention when Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 10 on Aug. 7. (Perhaps they were heartened by the media’s response, which mostly focused on the phone’s lack of a headphone jack — a shift Apple made years ago.)

Still, you can never count out Apple. Despite decreasing profits, the headwinds of a US-China trade war and executive attrition, the iPhone remains a premium product sold by a premium brand. The company may yet surprise us this fall with revolutionary features or distinctive aesthetics. 

As we count down the weeks until the iPhone 11 debut, we’ll continue to collect the most credible and interesting rumors about the next models’ specs, features and prices right here. So, check back often.

Rumor: Three new iPhones coming on Sept. 10

iphone-chargers-1
Angela Lang/CNET

Sticking with tradition, Apple intends to introduce three new iPhone models this fall, according to the Wall Street Journal. They are expected to include a “budget” successor to the iPhone XR, a midrange flagship like the iPhone XS and a supersize model in the vein of the iPhone XS Max. 

Apple usually announces new phones in mid-September, and this year we expect the new phone to be introduced on Tuesday, Sept. 10. A new report from iHelpBR (via MacRumors) reveals that the most recent iOS 13 beta code includes a screenshot of the iPhone calendar showing that particular date, echoing a similar image found ahead of last year’s launch date. 

In 2018, Apple unveiled three phones on Thursday, Sept. 13 and released the first two, the iPhone XS and XS Max, on Friday, Sept. 21, with the iPhone XR shipping more than a month later, on Oct. 26. 

Rumor: The iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11R and iPhone 11 Max

The consensus is that Apple will call its next flagship the iPhone 11, and that part feels like a no-brainer. But as to the names of the particular models — all bets are off. The company has traditionally reserved the “Pro” designation for its highest-end products: the MacBook Pro laptop, the iPad Pro tablet, the forthcoming $6,000 Mac Pro desktop and, perhaps starting in 2019, its most premium iPhone. 

all-the-iphones-9983
James Martin/CNET

The anonymous Twitter account that correctly leaked the names of last year’s iPhone XS, XS Max and XR reports that the next top-of-the-line iPhone will be called the iPhone 11 Pro, according to MacRumors. But I’ve also seen name variants like the iPhone 11R and 11 Max, in passing. As CNET’s Jessica Dolcourt has pointed out, the company may have dug itself into a hole, as there’s no obvious coherent sequel to the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. 

Rumor: Three rear-facing cameras for the 2019 iPhone

iphone-xi-2019-onleaks-render
A render of a purported iPhone 11 prototype.OnLeaks/Digit

The biggest change coming to this year’s iPhone will likely be the camera setup. Since last year, we’ve been hearing that Apple would give at least one of the 2019 models — and perhaps the one called the iPhone 11 Pro — three rear-facing lenses (source: Bloomberg). And, in addition to keeping Apple in the ongoing lens-and-megapixel arms race with Huawei, Samsung and Google, the new array will give the iPhone 11 a greater capacity for wide-angle shots. 

Bloomberg’s reporting bolsters leaks from two Twitter users in the know. Back in January, OnLeaks and Ice Universe posted renders showing a purported prototype with three cameras in a triangular configuration, plus a flash, housed in a large, square module. And, at this point, we’ve seen enough renders to increase our confidence that this squarish, triple-camera array — similar to the configuration on Google’s forthcoming Pixel 4 — is the real deal.

Rumor: Apple may finally drop 3D Touch in 2019

3d-touch
Apple

Ming-Chi Kuo continues to toll the bell for 3D Touch, and the Wall Street Journal reported on the demise of Apple’s pressure-sensitive interface back in January. After visiting with Apple suppliers in Asia, Barclay analysts (as cited by MacRumors) appear confident that Apple will say goodbye to the feature with the 2019 iPhone lineup. But the touch-based interface isn’t going to disappear completely: Apple is said to have developed a new Taptic Engine, code-named leap haptics, that will continue the evolution of the company’s Haptic Touch technology piloted in last year’s iPhone XR. 

Rumor: Bilateral charging coming to the iPhone 11

wireless-charging-iphone-5s-in-case
Photo by Rick Broida/CNET

Earlier this year, Apple officially killed its AirPower wireless charging mat, leaving us hanging with third-party solutions to power up our iPhones and AirPods. But the next-generation iPhone will support bilateral charging according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (as reported by 9to5Mac). That means you’ll be able to use your iPhone’s battery to share some juice with other iPhones or the new AirPods with the wireless charging case. 

If true, Apple will again be playing catchup to Samsung, whose Galaxy S10 phones, released back in March, can charge other devices including the company’s Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Watch Active via the wireless Qi standard. (The new Galaxy Note 10 also supports this feature, which Samsung calls Wireless PowerShare.)

Kuo and DigiTimes (via MacRumors) have also predicted that each of the 2019 iPhones will have larger batteries than their predecessors — estimates range from 2 to 20 percent larger, depending on the model — presumably leading to better battery life. And that’s saying something: On our video playback battery drain test, the iPhone XR lasted for more than 19 hours, and the iPhone XS Max held out for over 17 hours, 23 minutes. But the iPhone XS ran for only 13 hours, 30 minutes, leaving much room for improvement on the flagship models. 

Rumor: Apple will offer another LCD iPhone in 2019

i-phone-xs-i-phone-xs-max-1
Angela Lang/CNET

Among the three phones Apple released in 2018, only the iPhone XR has an LCD display. The two higher-end models, the iPhone XS and XS Max, both have the high-resolution OLED panels that produce more vivid colors and images. Based on what we know so far, Apple is likely to follow this formula again with the next batch of iPhones.

Like so many promising next-generation features, Apple is said to be waiting for 2020 to bring the more expensive OLED panels to its entire lineup, according to the Wall Street Journal. DigiTimes has reported that the three 2020 OLED phones will be about the same size as the current generation iPhones, with 5.4-, 6.1- and 6.7-inch models.

(Note that, apart from a few patent filings, we’ve heard zero credible rumors about plans for a foldable iPhone for 2019 or 2020.)

Rumor: The A13 processor will power the iPhone 11

apple-event-091218-a12-bionic-chip-0292
James Martin/CNET

The A12 Bionic chip that powers the 2018 iPhones is incredibly powerful. According to analyst Ben Thompson, the processor is “so far ahead of the industry that it will still be competitive with the best Android phones in two years, and massively more powerful than lower-end phones.” 

Apple doesn’t appear to be resting on its laurels, however — at least in the processor department. A Bloomberg article from May reported that Apple was then on the cusp of mass producing the next-generation processors expected to power the next series of phones. This could be a variant of the A12X processor that’s currently used in the newest iPad Pros — or a new chip, ostensibly called the A13.

Almost definite: The 2019 iPhone won’t support 5G

Apple’s most recent phones all use modems built by Intel, which had planned to have a 5G modem ready for commercial devices in the second half of 2019. But Intel ran into problems producing the 5G chip for the iPhone — problems so grave that it exited that business after Apple and Qualcomm reached a multiyear chip supply agreement in April. Since then, Apple has agreed to buy Intel’s smartphone modem business for $1 billion. 

5g-1-2

With that situation now tidied up, it seems as though Apple is back on track for 2020. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had previously predicted that two of the three 2020 iPhones would be 5G-ready but has since amended that to include all three phones.

Rumor: The iPhone stays expensive in 2019

iphone-xr-1
The iPhone XR is the least expensive model in Apple’s 2018 lineup, starting at $749.Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

The iPhone XS and XS Max start at $999 and $1,099 respectively. CNET’s analysis shows a pattern of hefty price increases in the premium smartphone market over the past two years, and we expect Apple, Samsung and others to continue pushing the boundaries of customer budgets for the foreseeable future.

That noted, there are some new factors at play this year, that could change things this year. The ongoing trade war between the US and China, and the recent implementation of additional tariffs, could drive prices higher. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple had planned for the tariffs, according to MacRumors, and will be able to defer any price increases due to them.

And then there’s the fact that iPhone sales are slowing, which could also move Apple to change things up. In fact, the company slashed prices on the iPhone and a number of other products in China earlier this year. The follows an earlier move in 2018, when Apple began offering hundreds of dollars in incentives to customers around the world who traded in an old iPhone when upgrading to an iPhone XS or iPhone XR. 

Other assorted rumors about the 2019 iPhone

iphone-x-face-id
Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • A different iPhone for China: Apple may sell an even cheaper version of the iPhone 11 in China — and perhaps India, too — substituting a cheaper in-screen fingerprint scanner for Face ID, according to a report in Chinese newspaper Global Times. Ming-Chi Kuo has also suggested that the forthcoming Chinese version of the followup to the iPhone XS could have dual nano-SIM support, as reported by MacRumors.
  • New design details: Zhihu, Slashleaks and MacRumors all published the transcript of an interview with a purported employee of Foxconn, the facility in China that builds iPhones, who says that the iPhone 11 will come in black, white, gold and dark green — and that the word “iPhone” will no longer be printed on the back of the phone.
  • New mute button: Apart from the redesigned rear camera, the iPhone 11 is expected to closely resemble the iPhone XS, with a virtually identical steel-and-glass design and similar notches, bezels, connectors and buttons. One of the few departures we’ve heard about is a tweaked mute button on the side of the phone. According to renders published by OnLeaks on CashKaro, a smaller circular button will replace the elongated pill-shaped sliding button on the current model.  
  • Jumping to USB-C: Apple has now replaced its proprietary Lightning connector with USB-C on the newest iPad ProsMacBook Air and MacBook Pros, and Bloomberg reports that Apple is “testing” USB-C on some prototype iPhones. 
  • Pencil support: Citi Research, an affiliate of the bank, has floated the possibility that the 2019 iPhone will support the Apple Pencilaccording to Business Insider

All of the rumors about the iPhone in 2020… and beyond

all-the-iphones-0013

Here’s every iPhone ever made from 2007 to today

  • Apple may introduce three OLED phones in 2020: a smaller 5.4-inch model that would replace the current 5.8-inch model, the same 6.1-inch option as the XR and a larger 6.7-inch Max version, according to MacRumors and Ming-Chi Kuo. 
  • Bloomberg reports that Apple’s forthcoming 3D camera, due for the 2020 models, will drive an updated version of Face ID that will extend the technology’s range, improve security and enable new AR capabilities. 
  • Apple is said to be working on a new way for users to interface with future editions of the iPhone, according to Bloomberg. The “touchless gesture control” will let users interact with the phone without touching the screen. Though it’s not scheduled for 2020 or later, it sounds like it could be cool.
  • Apple’s 2020 iPhones may have full-screen Touch ID or an under-display fingerprint sensor.
  • Starting in 2020, the company will stop using Intel chips in its Macs in favor of custom ARM-based processors. This will let developers create a single version of their apps, starting sometime in 2021, which will work across Apple’s various operating systems on the iPhone, iPad and Mac, according to Bloomberg and Axios. 
  • TMSC, the company that designs Apple’s mobile A-series chips for the iPhone, has announced the completion of its 5-nanometer chip design. According to MacRumors, this is likely to become the foundation for the A14 chip that will ostensibly power the 2020 iPhones.
  • Though Apple has filed some patents that could harken a folding phone, that product is at least a year out — if not more. According to UBS analysts (via CNBC), we could see a folding iPhone — or iPad — in 2020 but “2021 is more likely.” 
  • Also coming in 2021: Apple will add an in-display fingerprint sensor to the iPhone, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (and reported by MacRumors).

Source: https://www.cnet.com/news/iphone-11-pro-11r-max-specs-features-price-expect-apple-rumor-september-10-event-launch-rumors/

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