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Kuo: 2019 iPhones to Feature 12MP Front Cameras, Special Black Coating to Hide Lenses, and More


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

All three 2019 iPhones will feature 12-megapixel single-lens front cameras, up from 7-megapixels on the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, according to the latest research note from well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

The note, obtained by MacRumors, adds that the next iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED displays respectively will also feature triple-lens rear cameras, including a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 12-megapixel super-wide-angle lens supplied by Sony:
We forecast the camera upgrade will be one of the new 2H19 iPhone's major selling points. Critical spec upgrades are as follows. (1) Rear cameras of 6.5-inch OLED, 5.8-inch OLED, and 6.1-inch LCD will likely upgrade to triple-camera and dual-camera, respectively. A super-wide camera will be newly adopted by the triple-camera system, which is equipped with the 12MP/1um CIS provided exclusively by Sony. (2) The front camera of all three new iPhone models will likely upgrade to 12MP CIS+5P lens (vs. current 7MP CIS+4P lens).
Kuo believes the next iPhone XR with a 6.1-inch LCD display will sport a dual-lens rear camera, as the WSJ previously reported, although he did not provide megapixels or any other camera specifications for that model. The rear camera on the current iPhone XR is a single 12-megapixel wide-angle lens.

Kuo says the rear super-wide-angle lens and front camera lens on the next iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will adopt "black lens-coating technologies," which will make the lenses look "inconspicuous," as hinted at previously.

The rumored triple-lens camera design for the next iPhones has proved quite controversial, but the special coating should help the far-right lens blend into the black bezels for a more aesthetically pleasing look.

The triple-lens camera design was first leaked by OnLeaks:

A chart from the research note:

Kuo says the new iPhones will be introduced in the second half of 2019. This is no surprise, as Apple has unveiled new iPhones in September every year since 2012. Last year, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max became available to order on September 14, followed by the iPhone XR on October 19.

Article Link: Kuo: 2019 iPhones to Feature 12MP Front Cameras, Special Black Coating to Hide Lenses, and More


macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2012
That black lens coating will probably have quite the effect on the aperture/shutter speed. Wonder if this is a sign that they've been really working on low light images or if things are just gonna get worse. I'd be very surprised if it was the latter.
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macrumors 65816
Jan 29, 2003
Is that really the standout feature this year? If so boring news for us ugly folks.

From the rumors so far, it seems underwhelming, but the true test will be when it is announced to see exactly what it buys. Looking at all the rumors so far though, I am not seeing a compelling reason to upgrade. We'll see in August/September I guess.


macrumors member
Sep 26, 2008
Ages back I once saw a patent where Apple was hiding the camera behind the display. THIS would be amazing - not because of the cosmetic improvements but simply because you would be able to look into each others eyes when doing FaceTime. That would be a game changer to remote human interaction.


macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2011
Please! Don't cut down the lenses ability to collect the light by putting a blacking coating on the cover glass. The light gathering aperture on these camera phones is already too low!

I dare Apple to get better than 1.8 on their phones lenses and give us a real aperture (Iris) control.

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
Pass, pass, pass! I'm not going for the small camera upgrades and the it's faster crap again, let me know when these phones can provide a new experience.

What kind of ‘new experience’ are you expecting? I mean, what was face ID? I think too many are quick to pass judgment on the triple lens camera and yet we don’t even know what its capabilities are as yet. I usually wait to fall to make any judgments, but I would say this year is slated to be a fairly big upgrade for the camera more than anything else. If Apple improves low light photography, I consider that to be fairly significant for me.
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macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2010
This sounds good. So we're looking at: usual CPU/GPU performance boost, much larger batteries + reverse wireless charging, a much improved front facing camera, and the addition of an ultra-wide-angle lens to the back camera so far.

I'm hoping iOS 13 brings some sort of night sight style mode to the camera app.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2016
I’ve rarely needed a lens that can capture a wider image. What I’d rather see, and I’m sure a lot of fellow iPhone users feel the same, are features that can handle low-light scenarios better than the current lenses. Quite often I have to fall back to the standard focal length because Portrait mode looks hideous when the lighting isn’t perfect.
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