11 Jan, 2019FORTUNE.COM
Despite reports that there’s some trouble in Apple’s iPhone division, the tech giant is planning three new handsets this year, according to a new report.
Apple will unveil direct successors to last year’s iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, The Wall Street Journal is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of its plans. The iPhone XR, which is believed to have been the least popular of the three, will be updated with a model that comes with the same LCD display and similar design, according to the report. Apple aapl is also considering adding a triple-lens camera system to one of the 2019 models in a bid to compete with Samsung and others that are readying similar camera systems, the Journal‘s sources said.
Apple unveiled its 2018 iPhones in September. The iPhone XS is a direct successor to the iPhone X from 2017 and comes with an OLED screen and slimmed-down bezels around its display. The iPhone XS Max is the largest handset Apple has ever launched with a 6.5-inch screen. The iPhone XR is Apple’s budget model and comes with an LCD screen and thicker bezels around its screen.
Debate rages over their popularity. Industry watchers have said that their higher price tag--the iPhone XS starts at $999 and the iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099--hobbled sales and forced Apple to revise its production downward to address lower-than-expected demand. And after Apple announced last week that it was forced to revise its guidance downward for the first fiscal quarter due to lower-than-expected iPhone sales in China, many sounded the alarms.
Offering what sound like iterative updates in 2019 could prove to be a controversial decision on Apple’s part. According to the Journal‘s sources, planning has progressed to a point where Apple could still make changes to the handsets, but not so easily. Instead, Apple might plan bigger updates for 2020.
Next year, according to the report, Apple could nix the LCD iPhone model entirely and switch all three phones to its OLED screen technology, which offers better and brighter colors.