Barclays: All 2019 iPhones May Lack 3D Touch, New AirPods and Lower-Priced HomePod to Launch Next Year

Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis and his associates traveled across Asia last week to meet with companies within Apple's supply chain. Today, they shared new predictions based on the information they gathered.

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Highlights from their research note to investors, obtained by MacRumors:

  • Barclays says it's "widely understood" that 3D Touch will be removed from iPhones with OLED displays in 2019—aka the third-generation iPhone X and second-generation "iPhone X Plus." However, they caution that the plans aren't finalized yet, so they could change.

Earlier this year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said 3D Touch won't be a feature on the rumored 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD, part of the upcoming 2018 lineup. So, by the sound of it, 3D Touch won't be a feature on any 2019 iPhones, assuming Apple sticks with the same three models expected in 2018.

While the lack of 3D Touch on the 6.1-inch iPhone would make sense, given expectations that it will essentially be a budget iPhone X, it's not entirely clear why it may be removed from the more expensive OLED models next year. As a somewhat hidden feature, perhaps Apple no longer finds it essential.

  • "AirPod 2" will launch in the fourth quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, an optional wireless charging case for the original AirPods, and Apple's new AirPower charging mat, will be available this September.

This prediction is rather confusing, as back in February, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said Apple will release new AirPods with a new wireless chip and "Hey Siri" support as early as this year. Gurman also said a subsequent pair of AirPods with water resistance would be released as early as next year.

One possibility is that Apple will add "Hey Siri" support to the existing AirPods this fall by way of a software update, without a new wireless chip, but it's unclear if the current W1 chip can support the feature. In that case, Apple might elect to continue referring to them as first-generation AirPods.

In that scenario, the "AirPods 2" that Barclays is referring to could be the water-resistant pair that Gurman also believes could launch in 2019. However, this is admittedly a bit of a stretch, so it remains to be seen.

  • Barclays expects the launch of a "cheaper HomePod in 2019," with "broader appeal." The analysts say HomePod sales continue to "underwhelm," with less than five million sold since it launched in January.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, along with some Chinese publications, have also claimed that Apple has considered a lower-priced HomePod. One rumor suggested that it could be a Siri-enabled Beats speaker priced around $149 to $199.

  • Barclays says it "does see the potential for the new iPhones to support pen input," without naming the Apple Pencil specifically.

Taiwanese research firm TrendForce predicted that the higher-end 2018 iPhones will be compatible with the Apple Pencil.

Related Roundups: AirPods 3, HomePod
Related Forums: AirPods, iPhone, iPad Accessories

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Top Rated Comments

dan9700 Avatar
77 months ago
why 3D Touch is amazing
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
77 months ago
The 3D Touch trackpad is reason enough to keep it.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Blizzardman Avatar
77 months ago
Really hope this isn't true and they keep 3D touch around. I use it all the time and find it extremely useful.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lsutigerfan1976 Avatar
77 months ago
Never used that feature myself. As a matter of fact, i always forget that feature is even there.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RedGala Avatar
77 months ago
If 3D Touch is removed, I will never buy any of those devices, and just settle for last year's iPhone X. My habit of pressing hard on screens for special actions is too ingrained in me.

I do see how removing it would be more consistent with the iPad relying on long presses to activate peeks and pops.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
casperes1996 Avatar
77 months ago
3D Touch is a selling point for me. I'd hate to see it go. I'm expecting the supply chain may be confused by Apple implementing 3D Touch in a new way using different facilities maybe? - At least I'd hope for the feature to stay.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)