2019 iPhones to Feature Upgraded Face ID Camera System

Apple's 2019 iPhones will come equipped with an upgraded Face ID camera system, according to a new note to investors from often reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

According to Kuo, next-generation iPhones will feature a new flood illuminator that will improve Face ID by lowering the impact of invisible light from the environment. Kuo believes the upgraded sensor will be included in all 2019 iPhone models, which he has previously said will again consist of two OLED iPhones and one LCD iPhone.

faceidangle

We believe that Apple will raise the output power of the flood illuminator VCSEL to lower the impacts from invisible lights of environment in order to improve the Face ID user experience. The higher power VCSEL with higher ASP needs increased requirements of design and production, increased materials for array design, and longer testing times. Therefore, the VCSEL supply chain can add higher value.

Kuo's note also suggests a Time of Flight (ToF) 3D camera will be introduced in iPad models in late 2019 or early 2020, and could expand to the iPhone in the second half of 2020. He continues to believe that Apple has no plans to adopt ToF in 2019.

According to Kuo, a ToF 3D camera would allow for 3D models to be captured via the iPad and then edited with the Apple Pencil for an "all-new productivity experience." On the iPhone, eventual ToF support will allow for new AR experiences and improved photo quality.

We give a greater than 50% probability that the new iPad in 4Q19/1Q20 may adopt ToF (our previous forecast that the 2H19 new iPhone will not adopt ToF remains unchanged). We believe that 3D modeling captured by ToF and then edited by an Apple Pencil on an iPad will create an all-new productivity experience for design applications in a totally different manner from computers.

We estimate that ToF will likely be adopted by the new iPhone in 2H20 at the latest. The iPhone's adoption of ToF will create the new AR experience and improve photo quality. We expect that Apple's ToF design may adopt the higher-than-1,000nm wavelength VCSEL (vs. current Face ID's 935-945nm) for better system design and user experience.

A time-of-flight camera system is designed to determine the distance between objects by measuring the time-of-flight of a light or laser signal between the camera and the subject at each point in the image.

Kuo previously said he does not believe Apple is ready to implement this kind of camera system in the iPhone because it would not create the "revolutionary AR experience" that Apple is aiming for. Kuo believes that for the AR experience Apple wants, the company would need 5G connectivity, augmented reality glasses, and a more powerful Apple Maps database.

Though new iPhones are a good year away, we've been hearing rumors for months. We're expecting upgraded A13 chips in the upcoming devices, and there have been rumors of either a reduced notch or no notch at all, which could be a component of the improved TrueDepth camera system.

Rumors have also suggested Apple is considering a triple-lens rear camera system for at least some 2019 iPhone models, but it's not clear how that meshes with rumors suggesting a ToF implementation is off of the table for the 2019 lineup. A triple-lens camera could still provide benefits to photo taking, such as 3x optical zoom and better performance in poor lighting conditions.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Related Forums: iPad, iPhone

Top Rated Comments

BrettArchibald Avatar
51 months ago
Newsflash: Future products to include future technology!
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrGimper Avatar
51 months ago
Newsflash: Future products to include future technology!
I officially bestow upon you the title of “Analyst” ;)
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BrettArchibald Avatar
51 months ago
Sounds like a pretty minor upgrade on the surface. Call me when it can find my face laying on a desk without me having to hover over it like a moron.
OK, but why is your face laying on a desk...? o_O

———

No, but seriously, I know what you mean. I too found this to be an annoying frustration when I changed from a 6 to a X. I keep my phone on the desk next to me all day at work, and I interact with it a lot, playing music, reading messages,etc. and I could do all this just fine on my 6 without moving my phone from its position on the desk (nor moving myself).
But I cannot do this on the X – I am constantly having to either pick up the phone or, as you say, lean over to get the phone to see me...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mnsportsgeek Avatar
51 months ago
Sounds like a pretty minor upgrade on the surface. Call me when it can find my face laying on a desk without me having to hover over it like a moron.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
51 months ago
A system embedded beneath the display would also be quite an upgrade. Eh, Apple?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tarkeybear Avatar
51 months ago
OK, but why is your face laying on a desk...? o_O

———

No, but seriously, I know what you mean. I too found this to be an annoying frustration when I changed from a 6 to a X. I keep my phone on the desk next to me all day at work, and I interact with it a lot, playing music, reading messages,etc. and I could do all this just fine on my 6 without moving my phone from its position on the desk (nor moving myself).
But I cannot do this on the X – I am constantly having to either pick up the phone or, as you say, lean over to get the phone to see me...
I agree that for phones laying on desks, Touch ID was a wonderful convenience to open the phone, but for me, I work in a lab and gloves would kill Touch ID. Face ID was a godsend for gloved hands. It would be awesome if Apple could develop some kind of fisheye projector/accumulator with FaceID in order to be able to recognize faces from a steeper angle. Here's to dreams of desktop unlocks with our faces!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.0.2 With Bug Fixes for iPhone 14 Pro Camera Vibration, Copy/Paste Issue and More

Thursday September 22, 2022 1:04 pm PDT by
Apple today released iOS 16.0.2, addressing a number of bugs that iPhone 14 owners have been experiencing since the new devices launched. iOS 16.0.2 comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 16, and it follows iOS 16.0.1, an update made available to iPhone 14 owners on launch day. The update is available for all iPhones that are capable of running iOS 16. The iOS 16.0.2 update can be...
maxresdefault

Video Review: Four Days With the iPhone 14 Pro Max

Wednesday September 21, 2022 7:49 am PDT by
Apple on Friday released the new iPhone 14 models, and MacRumors videographer Dan picked one up on launch day. He's been using the iPhone 14 Pro Max non-stop since it came out, and over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, has shared his initial thoughts on the day-to-day experience with the latest iPhone. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Dan's mini review highlights...
iPad Pro Big Ol Logo

Five Features Rumored for the New iPad Pro Expected Next Month

Wednesday September 21, 2022 1:36 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will announce new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models as soon as next month. The new iPads will be the first update to the iPad Pro series since April 2021 and will be an overall incremental upgrade that brings new capabilities and functionality to the highest-end iPad. According to reports, Apple is planning an event for October to announce the new iPad Pro models, a...
ios 16 lock screen feature

Some iOS 16 Users Complain About Slow Spotlight Search and Battery Drain

Wednesday September 21, 2022 4:25 am PDT by
It's been nine days since Apple released iOS 16 to the public, bringing major changes to the Lock Screen, Messages, Maps, and more. In the days following the release, some users have encountered several issues on their iPhones, ranging from slow system performance to battery drain. In the past few days, iPhone 14 Pro users have shared specific bugs related to Apple's latest high-end iPhones, ...
Dynamic Island For Android Users Feature

Android App Copying iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island Released on Play Store

Thursday September 22, 2022 7:57 am PDT by
A copycat version of the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island has arrived on Android's Google Play Store in the form of an app called "dynamicSpot." The app, still in beta, offers customers several different experiences at the top of their smartphones. In its current form, dynamicSpot offers playback control for songs, timers, battery status, and more features coming soon, according to the app's...
facebook meta

Meta Sued Over Tracking iPhone Users Despite Apple's Privacy Features

Thursday September 22, 2022 5:12 am PDT by
Meta is facing a new proposed class action lawsuit that accuses it of tracking and collecting the personal data of iPhone users, despite features and policies made by Apple which are meant to stop that same type of tracking. In August, it was revealed that with the Facebook and Instagram apps, Meta can track all of a user's key taps, keyboard inputs, and more, when using the in-app browser....
apple watch ultra reddit 1

Lucky Customer Gets New Apple Watch Ultra Two Days Early

Wednesday September 21, 2022 2:03 pm PDT by
With millions of devices shipping out to customers with every Apple launch, there's occasionally someone who gets lucky and gets a new product ahead of schedule. This time around, Redditor playalisticadillac received an Apple Watch Ultra from AT&T two days before the official debut, sharing some images on the social media site. The images include an unboxing and comparisons to the...
new airpods pro ear tips

Apple Explains Why Second-Generation AirPods Pro Ear Tips Are Incompatible With Original AirPods Pro

Thursday September 22, 2022 3:12 pm PDT by
Apple today explained why the new silicone ear tips for the second-generation AirPods Pro are not officially compatible with the original AirPods Pro. In an updated support document, Apple said the original AirPods Pro ear tips have "noticeably denser mesh" than the second-generation ear tips. Apple did not provide any additional details, but the mesh density could result in acoustical...