iPhone 12 concept image
In a new exclusive, popular YouTuber Filip Koroy (aka EverythingApplePro) has learnt from famously accurate Apple insider Steve Hemmerstoffer (aka OnLeaks) that Apple has developed technology to integrate a ring flash around an iPhone camera module. Something which has potentially stunning repercussions for the next-gen 2020 iPhone 12 design.
04/03 Update: in a report attained by AppleInsider, acclaimed analyst and Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo has revealed that Apple is looking to rapidly diversify the lens production for the iPhone 12. Kuo says the move is a consequence of the spread of the Coronavirus. Diversification of components famously impacted iPhones when Apple split its modem supply between Intel and Qualcomm (the latter’s modems performed significantly better). That should not be the case here, but it is worth paying attention to. In addition to this, Kuo reveals that Apple’s first-quarter revenue will be “significantly lower than the market consensus” due to the spread of the Coronavirus, which may send tremors through the stock market. Kuo says Apple’s Q2 results will also be impacted. Apple previously issued a warning on its quarterly guidance in February and investors will be watching intently to see if a further guidance warning is made.
05/03 Update: breaking today is further news on Apple’s supply chain problems for its 2020 iPhones with DigiTimes reporting although the first of Apple’s two new iPhone ranges – the iPhone 9 / iPhone SE2 – has reached the final stage of production verification, Apple has had to push back orders of its PCB (printed circuit board) due to disruption in the supply chain caused by the Coronavirus. With Apple widely expected to announce its all-new budget iPhone this month and prominent tech events being cancelled due to concerns over the virus, the timescale for the launch of this new model is clearly in doubt. Apple may choose to opt for a low profile online-only event as other companies have done, but if the models can’t be made to satisfy the (inevitable) early demand, then there is little point in doing that either. Right now the tech world, in particular, given its heavy reliance of Chinese manufacturing, is in a state of flux so expect this picture to keep changing. Everything we know about the usual pattern of product launches is unlikely to apply in 2020.
Breaking it down, Koroy explains that the tech breakthrough actually stems from January 2019 when Hemmerstoffer revealed a prototype design for the iPhone 11 Pro, which Apple ultimately discarded. Hemmerstoffer confirmed to Koroy that the prototype was “99% legit” based on his sources and, given the leaker then revealed the final iPhone 11 Pro design just days later (and nine months ahead of the Apple launch), it is fair to say his sources are second to none.
Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro concept with ring flash that was ultimately discarded
Moreover, as Koroy points out, this stunning design and Apple’s decision not to follow through with it would explain how Apple is widely expected to integrate an additional Time of Flight camera module into the iPhone 12. This despite multiple leaks saying the overall look of the camera modules and camera hump will not change dramatically from the iPhone 11 Pro. The ToF sensor (which is typically much smaller than a standard camera module) would fit perfectly inside the flash module, with Apple able to use its ring flash technology discarded from the iPhone 11 prototype.
And the potential of an iPhone 12 with ToF is hugely exciting. After all, most of Apple’s rivals integrated ToF sensors into their 2019 flagships yet the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max can stand toe-to-toe and, in many cases, beat them without this clever distance-measuring tech. With Bloomberg also convinced Apple will amplify ToF to create a “long-range 3D camera” in the iPhone 12, a ring flash may just be the key to the whole thing.
iPhone 12 Pro concept with ring flash to accommodate a ToF sensor (note a mic for video recording … [+]
That said, it is also looking like just the cherry on top of Apple’s next-gen iPhone. Leaks have already revealed Apple will launch a number of firsts with the iPhone 12, including high refresh rate ProMotion displays using Samsung’s post-Galaxy S20 OLED panels, new screen sizes, an A14 chipset capable of challenging a MacBook Pro, bespoke Apple 5G antennas and in-display Touch ID.
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