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The new iPhone Xi just leaked and, er, it has a bunch of cameras

Apple’s new products are normally announced in September, but only a week into 2019 we may have gotten our first glimpse at this year’s upcoming iPhone. 

Information released by Steve H.McFly on Twitter suggests the next iPhone will have a three-camera setup on the rear of the device which will otherwise resemble the current generation.

The alleged leak contains renders showing the three cameras housed in a rounded square on the phone’s back. The cameras are aligned in a triangle formation within the square, which also includes an LED flash and microphone.

The iPhone Xi is expected to adopt Time of Flight technology, which uses light to create 3D maps and models. It is particularly useful for creating AR and VR worlds, an area Apple has shown interest in previously.

The report also claims the rear panel of the device – allegedly called the iPhone Xi – will be made of glass, and that the Apple logo will remain in the centre of the device.

An alleged new image of the iPhone Xi

A rendered image of the new iPhone Xi (Image: Digit)

McFly, who goes by the username OnLeaks, claims the iPhone Xi is still in Engineering Validation Testing (EVT) stage, which means that there could be design changes before the iPhone launch in late 2019. It also covers him if he’s wrong, given he can just say there were changes during EVT.

While the new camera would be a dramatic redesign for Apple, a previous report has stated Apple will stick with the notch in 2019. It is also suggested that Apple will turn to the ‘hole-punch’ design in 2020.

Fancy cameras have become all the rage for new smartphones, but its likely the presence of three cameras will make the already pricey iPhones even more expensive.

After Apple announced iPhone sales for 2018 were lower than expected, increasing the price probably wouldn’t be the brightest idea. On the other hand, revolutionising the iPhone with a three-camera array might be the perfect way to bounce back.

OnLeaks has proven his reliability in the past, having accurately leaked 38 products in 2018 alone. While I have no reason to doubt the leak, I can’t help but hope Apple’s design philosophy hasn’t slipped so far that they’d consider releasing such an ugly product.

Knowing Apple’s influence though, they could make the ugliest phone in existence and companies would still flock to copy their design. If the leak is true, be prepared for a market saturated with triple-camera arrays.

It stands to reason that if the greatest addition a company can make to its phones is two extra cameras, perhaps they shouldn’t release a new phone annually.

Perhaps it’s time for longer lead times between products to allow for greater technological innovation. Otherwise, the immediate future of smartphones will be a race to see who can stuff the most cameras on a device.

My biggest question about this whole thing is that if a camera really does add ten pounds, does that mean three cameras add thirty? If so, I better get started on my New Year’s resolution and get to the gym.

[Feature and body images courtesy of Digit]

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