Every year there are rumors circulating about what will be the new iPhone that will arrive this fall, but we can rarely find out in advance. What are Apple’s long-term plans?
As the smartphone, the differences from year to year are increasingly subtle. But in the long term, we can anticipate interesting, even radical changes.
Of course, we’re getting into the realm of guesswork and speculation because what the iPhone will be ten years from now is something Apple doesn’t even know yet. But these are the main developments that we hope will come to the iPhone in the next two decades.
2021 – Compacto Face ID
The iPhone of the future is expected to have a more compact Face ID setup than current models. This should allow the notch, where we find the front camera and Face ID, are getting smaller for the first time since the introduction of the iPhone X in 2017.
Various rumors suggest that this development will take place this fall, with the iPhone 13.
2023 – 5G modem made by Apple
Some of the news and changes that will come to the iPhone in the future are more predictable updates and iterations, like 5G.
Right now, 5G is limited to a relatively small portion of the Spanish population. It is more prevalent in the United States, but it is not yet available everywhere. But it should become more accessible in the coming years, and Apple will adapt to these changes by integrating 5G into its cheaper devices, like the new iPhone SE.
Additionally, Apple is expected to ditch the Qualcomm modems it uses today and instead use its own 5G chips in iPhones of the future. The latest reports indicate that all new models from 2023 will use Apple’s 5G modems.
2023 – Telescope camera for better zoom
Every new iPhone model has camera improvements (iPhone 13 is also expected), but in 2023 optical zoom could be a big improvement.
According to information from Ming-Chi Kuo, a “periscope” telescope zoom will be added to the iPhone, allowing Apple to introduce an optical zoom greater than x10. That’s a lot more than the current max x5, and it’s only offered by the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
2023 – Folding mobiles (probably)
It seems that in 2023 there will be a lot of news for the iPhone. Besides 5G modems and Apple’s periscope lenses, this could also be the year the foldable iPhone first arrives, and we have to stress the “power”.
Now, it is almost certain that Apple is studying the possibilities of a foldable iPhone, and has even created prototypes. But from here to launch a foldable iPhone, there is a world.
Apple can think about it and decide that foldable mobiles have no future and that they are investing those resources in something else, like augmented reality (AR).
But if there is a foldable iPhone, it could arrive in 2023, according to Ming-Chi Kuo. The model could have a screen between 7.5 “and 8”, according to the same source.
2022-2025 – Lightning or no ports?
The possibility of a portless iPhone has been rumored, but there is no clear indication yet that Apple will remove the Lightn ing port in the near future. There was a time when some sources thought it would be in 2021, but now it seems quite impossible.
What Apple could do with the Lightning port is replace it with a USB-C, as it did a few years ago with the iPad Pro. But there are several issues with that: USB-C is less waterproof, and Apple wouldn’t want you to forgo your Lightning accessories designed for iPhone.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, we won’t be seeing USB-C on the iPhone. If you decide to remove the Lightning (which remains a big question), Apple would release an iPhone without any ports.
2022-2040 – Removal from iPhone to “eye phone”
If famous analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is to be believed, Apple will launch its first hybrid AR / VR headset in 2022, and glasses with AR functionality in 2025. But instead of being marketed with the iPhone, it could be replaced by mixed reality devices.
After that, everything becomes more radical. Kuo believes that Apple will launch its own AR contact lenses between 2030 and 2040. These contact lenses will use the iPhone to connect and process, so the iPhone will not be completely abandoned, but it will be in the background.
However, Kuo admits that there is no concrete exit plan at the moment, and that a lot can happen by then. Having an iPhone in your eyes sounds like science fiction, but it’s no secret that Apple values the AR market.
Original article published in MacWorld Sweden.