Analyst Reckons This Year's iPhone Will Have USB-C, a Smaller Notch, and In-Screen TouchID

By Tom Pritchard on at

Everyone is bored of the iPhone XS and XR now, it seems. Those phones have been out a few months, and aside from the fact Apple isn't selling as many as it would like there's not much else to talk about. This is the internet, though, and there's nothing the internet loves more than spreading rumours and speculation about unreleased tech. Also porn, but that's another matter. Now we have an analyst making some bold predictions, with some of his own reckonings about what 2019's iPhone range has in store.

The analyst in question is Jean Baptiste Su, Vice-President and Principal Analyst at consulting firm Atherton Research, who took to Forbes to detail what he reckons Apple will be including this year. Specifically he reckons Apple will switch from Lightning to USB-C, reduce the size of the notch, and resurrect TouchID underneath the screen.

Although we believe that Apple will release a re-designed iPhone X in 2019—with a smaller notch, a fingerprint reader (Touch ID) under the display, and a USB-C port—it will still lack the extensibility (memory card), the battery life, the lightning-fast charging capability, and the camera quality of Android flagship smartphones while being more expensive.

Interesting choices, to be sure, but how likely is it?

The first obvious note is that Apple better reduce the size of the notch, or people are going to be rather pissed off. The notch on the XS stayed the exact same size as its predecessor, all while every other notch-friendly company on the planet has been focussing on cutting them down to almost nothing. To the point where the big dogs have just started punching camera holes into their screens. All the FaceID scanning modules are going to make things a bit trickier for Apple, but some streamlining should be a given. Past experience tells us that Su is also spot on about the memory card, pricing, and battery details, because Apple's gonna Apple.

As for the rest? That's tricky. In-screen TouchID seems likely, especially after rumours finger-scanning tech may make a comeback and older claims that Apple originally wanted in-screen scanning tech in the iPhone X. But will it actually happen? For starters Apple has been making a lot of bold claims about how FaceID is better than TouchID for various reasons, including security, so bringing back TouchID could be interpreted that Apple made a mistake. Then again FaceID is rubbish and annoying, especially if you're using Apple Pay, so TouchID's return could herald an era of Apple letting people make their own choices.

USB-C feels unlikely. It's true that Apple scrapped Lightning for the new iPad Pro, but is it likely to bring that change to the iPhone so quickly? Existing users are going to lose it if they have to replace their expensive Lighting-compatible accessories (again), and it's probably too early to say how successful the switch has been for iPads. It'll have to happen eventually, but I'll be surprised if it's anytime soon.

It's a long wait until September, but there are bound to be some actual leaks hitting the net over the next several months. We'll have to see whether any of them corroborate all of Su's reckons. [Forbes via MacRumours]