The next iPhone is coming soon. Like clockwork, at least one is released every year. So what can we expect from this one?
The Wall Street Journal asked Gene Münster, managing partner and Apple analyst at venture capital firm Loup Ventures, to answer the questions.
He said, "Last year was important for this device. The iPhone 12 model, which first supported the faster 5G cellular network, has been redesigned to win two new sizes in the Mini and ProMax. Apple usually follows major updates with less noticeable releases."
Münster said there will be gradual improvements such as faster processors, longer battery life, and camera upgrades.
"There are pretty healthy rumors about cameras, but that's true. I think this will be Apple's selling point this time around," he said.
According to Bloomberg, high-end Pro and Pro Max camera models can record video in portrait mode (the background is ingeniously blurred) and high-quality video formats. Since 2019, high-end Samsung Galaxy phones have been able to use the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G to shoot portrait mode (also known as video live focus) while recording video.
The 5.4-inch screen on Apple's iPhone 12 Mini was slow. According to Counterpoint Intelligence Research Partners, Mini accounted for barely 5% of total iPhone 12 sales in the quarter ending June 2021. Apple has reportedly discontinued making the iPhone 12 mini, according to market research firm Trendforce.
But Münster believes there will be another mini this year. "It's a niche, but people in that niche tend to like them," he said.
Apple is expected to phase away from the Mini over the next few years, focusing instead on basic and premium Pro and Pro Max models, and the iPhone SE with a 4.7-inch screen will be a lower-priced model, according to Adam Wears, an analyst at Juniper Research.
Wider 5G availability
Wears also anticipates that the next iPhone will increase the usage of high-frequency millimeter-wave technology in mobile phones in additional Asian and European countries.
The standard sub-6 GHz band is supported worldwide by the iPhone 12, but the high-speed millimeter-wave antenna, which cannot traverse great distances and is subject to obstructions such as trees, is only accessible on the US iPhone model.
Brian White, an analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt, agrees that the next iPhone is likely to "make more use of this early global 5G lamp."
Apple said it was affected by the disruption in the global supply of microprocessors. Tim Cook, CEO, told analysts, "We will respond at a quarter of the time, and as you can imagine, we will do everything we can to mitigate the situation."
Münster stated that the phone was announced in September and that it will go on sale in October, but that most users will not receive it until December.
Unfoldable — not yet
"The chapter after 5G is a foldable phone," said Münster, who hopes Apple will release the device in 2023.
The prediction that the iPhone will eventually flip is reinforced by the fact that Samsung is one of Apple's top display makers.