The iPhone XL lineup, assuming that’s what it will be called in the first place, is shaping up to be a leaky one. Starting at the end of 2018, Apple leakers began dropping hints about the new handsets, which have from the get-go emphasized the new camera set-ups and alluded to a more accessible price point. Subsequent leaks bore out this prediction, with render upon render surfacing which revealed a prominent camera bump.
It looks increasingly likely that the new iPhones will try to make their camera set-up competitive with rivals. The latest leak appears to show three CAD files of what looks like the entirety of the iPhone XI’s chassis line-up, and all three make room for a great deal of camera tech.
The latest leaks came from Slashleaks, and featured three distinctive models, an XS successor, an XS Max successor, and a lower-market replacement for the iPhone XR. The leaks were uploaded early Monday morning, and were unanimously rated as “legit” in Slashleak’s adjacent poll.
As you can see in the below image of the XS Max successor, one element of the design immediately leaps out besides the massive 6.5 inch display: The clearly visible notch along the top, and which will almost certainly continue to house Apple’s Face ID sensors and selfie camera.
Slashleaks also included CAD files for the mid-range smartphone, the 5.8-inch handset which will replace the iPhone XI. In addition to the notch, these images clearly depict the new camera bump that Apple has installed to house additional camera tech. It looks like there will actually be five pieces of hardware packed into the little array.
Slashleaks also revealed the chassis for the iPhone XR successor, which actually will be slightly larger than the XS, but pack one fewer camera lens to cut down on costs. It also looks like the XR will be Apple’s last year of producing one smartphone using the slightly cheaper LED screens, as opposed to the more luxurious OLEDs.
It’s not clear what the other two circles in the camera bump are. One is perhaps a depth sensor that’s been rumored to support the iPhone’s AR capabilities and take advanced 3D pictures.
This new lineup seems destined to ruffle some feathers. While not everyone lives and dies by the notch, design snobs do. Notchless smartphones are set to become more common this year, and some leakers like Forbes’ contributor Gordon Kelly think that Samsung will introduce an entirely notchless Galaxy A90 as early as the end of the month.
The camera bump in the back is also inelegant. Apple is increasingly playing catch-up to rivals who have used cameras as a way to differentiate from iPhones and lure away Apple customers. LG’s V40 ThinQ, and Google’s Pixel series leverages the company’s A.I. to touch up photos after you take them, often with stunning results.
Apple’s design choices are also under scrutiny at the moment, after the high profile (but largely expected) announcement that longtime design chief Jony Ive would be sunsetting his work with the company. One conspiracy theory even holds that Ive specifically took issue with the iPhone XI, though a recent Wall Street Journal report refutes that pretty directly, leaving the impression that his departure has been in the works for some time.