It's about nine months from the time Apple usually reveals their new iPhone but that doesn't mean the leaks and speculation about the next iPhone aren't starting to circulate. If information from previously accurate leaker OnLeaks are to be believed, the next iPhone will deliver a three-camera array with a rear-facing microphone in a body that will be otherwise similar to the current generation.
Renders produced by @OnLeaks are based on information from iPhones that are in Engineering Validation Test (EVT) stage. So, the design may change before the anticipated launch in September 2019.
Back from September 2019, I bring you the very 1st and very early glimpse at which I guess #Apple will unveil as #iPhoneXI!!! Yes, time has already come to meet the new #iPhone through gorgeous 5K renders made on behalf of new coming Partner @digitindia -> https://t.co/b6SxFUS2tx pic.twitter.com/97jrlTHQ5G
— Steve H.McFly (@OnLeaks) January 6, 2019
The three cameras and flash are in a square array and is expected to include a Time of Flight depth sensing system which lets the iPhone determine how far away objects are by measuring the time taken for light to reach an object. While that's good news and a step forward from the current generation iPhone, it's expected that the notch will still be a feature of the front of the iPhone with a less intrusive device expected to appear in 2020.
What Does This Mean?
It's still early days and the presence of such detailed leaks this early in the year smacks of two possibilities.
Either @OnLeaks is trying to kickstart its 2019 web traffic or this is a valid leak.
If it's an accurate leak (and we won't know until later this year) then I suspect Apple has been "helpful" in letting some early information slip out. While Apple has never been an official part of CES, it's often been part of the CES chatter. For many years, the Macworld Expo ran immediately after CES and Apple's opening keynotes at that event were among the most anticipated events on the tech calendar. But with Apple withdrawing from that event several years ago, CES has had the airspace to itself as the year kicks off.
Apple has also taken out a single billboard in Las Vegas this year, highlighting its privacy focus at a time when Google, Facebook and Amazon have significant presence at CES and have faced their own privacy concerns over recent months. Perhaps this leak and the billboard are part of a guerrilla marketing campaign designed to ensure it can ride on the coat-tails of a major tech event without spending lots of resources actually attending or exhibiting.