We’ve hit that time of the year where the Apple rumor mill starts to ramp up based on insider leaks from the production line. With three new iPhones expected in September, and many millions of units expected to sell on launch weekend, Apple has to start producing parts early – and not everyone involved in the manufacturing process is able to keep quiet on the details.
That’s where this latest image has reportedly come from, anyway. What you see below are supposedly production molds for iPhone cases rather than the iPhones themselves, so take what you see with a pinch of salt. But this isn’t the first we’ve heard of the upcoming “square camera bump,” and we think it’s pretty likely these leaks are on the money.
As you can see, if these molds are accurate it means that we’ll see all three models expand last year’s pill-shaped camera bump to a larger rounded square. On the more expensive models (left and right) that makes space for a third camera alongside the two we’re used to on the iPhone XS and XS Max. Meanwhile, the mid-range model (middle) adds a second camera to the iPhone XR range.
These extra cameras are reported to serve two functions. Firstly, to extend the optical zoom range. The current dual-camera iPhones can switch between a regular 1x zoom and a telephoto 2x zoom, and rumor has it this additional camera will rock a super wide angle lens to fit even more in frame when shooting. It’s possible this will be known as 0.5x zoom in the Camera app.
Secondly, it’s expected that Apple will use these new cameras to power advanced Augmented Reality experiences on the next generation of iPhones. Exactly what that will entail we’re not exactly sure, but it could involve a long-range version of the technology used on the front camera for Face ID scans.