According to a report – citing information cribbed from Chinese suppliers – at least one of this year’s new iPhones will have three rear-facing cameras on the back, organized into a square shape along with an LED flash.
While previous rumors have said Apple will use a three-camera setup to differentiate its premium “Max” handset from any other iPhones released this year, this latest report implies that both the regular and Max versions of iPhone 11 (or iPhone XI, or iPhone X2, or whatever name is settled on) will include the same camera setup.
We think this is more likely, with the follow-up to last year’s iPhone XR being the most likely candidate to stick with a simpler camera system to keep the price down.
This square camera rig would a bold new look for iPhone, but it’s one that has already been pulled off by a competing Android device, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. If Apple is really hopping on board the triple-camera bandwagon, we’d expect almost every smartphone to have similar setups within a year or two.
If you missed our previous reports, the third camera is expected to add advanced 3D tracking capabilities, similar to those used for Face ID but at a much longer range. This could be used for various things, including vast improvements to Portrait Mode and Augmented Reality apps.
We would rather Apple figure out a way to remove the camera bump before it starts adding more cameras, but we admit the uses of a 3D camera could be rather appealing. What do you think of the look of the mockups shown above?