As renders and rumours of a triple camera setup on the upcoming iPhone 11 (and a large bump that houses the sensors) continue to pop-up, headlines – and comments – have become increasingly sceptical.
The main criticism appears to be that the mock ups look, well, a bit ugly. As we all know, Apple doesn’t really sacrifice aesthetics for hardware upgrades -so this seems like a departure from its principles.
The detractors may have a point (if the rumours turn out to be accurate), but Apple might be continuing a trend it started with the iPhone X that – on balance – is better for consumers.
Whilst case renders published yesterday suggest that the top two models will have three camera sensors, sources speaking to the The Wall Street Journal earlier this year explained it was only the top, most expensive handset that will include the extra lens. If the latter is accurate, then customers will have a clear choice between three largely different handsets.
Maxed out specs and experimental design on the most expensive handset, an iterative improvement on the middle handset (in comparison to the previous year’s device) and a cheaper model with reduced specs would be this year’s lineup. These are three smartphones that aren’t just separated by price, size and small specification differences. Instead each handset would have a unique, device defining feature – and identity – at (almost) every price point. Genuine choice.
But there’s more to it than that: the concept of using the larger device – or any of the three models – to experiment is something Apple deployed well with the iPhone X. This would take it to another level.
Not only does it gives consumers important choice, but also gives the manufacturer a chance to make a dramatic change without losing some of its core audience. Ultimately filtering popular new features down into the main and cheaper handsets in later years.
Samsung has utilised a similar strategy in the past. The Korean company used its Note line, which has an entirely separate release date – to test out its curved edge technology before moving it over to the Galaxy S range, which eventually became its standard design concept.
If this rumour does turn out to be accurate, we could see a realignment of how smartphones are sold on the horizon. Both Samsung and Google have now introduced significantly cheaper – but powerful – models to go alongside their flagship ranges in order to entice new customers (and those put off from upgrading because of skyrocketing prices). A single top-end device that arguably justifies its price with experimental technology is, for the time being, clearly Apple’s new strategy and other manufacturers will surely follow suit if the iPhone maker continues to lead the way.