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As we draw closer to the unveiling of a new iPhone lineup, there is a fresh batch of rumors allegedly sourced from former Foxconn workers — but be careful about what you believe.
The post to /r/iPhone on Reddit, published on Tuesday, is claimed to be a leak from a user from a Chinese forum, who "used to be a member of Foxconn but quit recently." There is no detail as to where they worked, nor a link to the original forum post the information was allegedly taken from.
The data is split up into 22 different points, with all but three supposedly relating to the upcoming 2019 iPhones. The other three items claim the "new 10.2-inch iPad" will be released soon to replace the current 2018 9.7-inch iPad, while the iPad Pro "should be later," and there being "no updates" to the SE line.
Due to a lack of evidence or anything to directly confirm any of the listings in the Reddit post, it is impossible to say whether any of the information is true, and to not take the post as completely factual. As poster u/SunnyH3re advises "Always, take a grain of salt."
The list includes a number of elements that have been previously reported or predicted by analysts, or rely on details from earlier iPhone releases. For example, the heavily-reported triple camera setup on the back of the iPhone is declared as "real" in the list, with the camera bump using the same material as the rear shell.
The claim of using a "double-layer motherboard" isn't outlandish, as the iPhone X and current-generation models use the sandwich technique to maximize the use of the internal storage area.
Belief the 2019 models are otherwise a refresh on the 2018 iPhones also makes claims such as the lack of an in-screen fingerprint scanner for Touch ID, the reuse of TrueDepth camera parts from the iPhone XS generation, and there being "no change in the front panel" seem to be relatively safe guesses.
The offering of 64, 256, and 512GB storage options, the ".5v1a charger remains the same," and the use of Lightning instead of USB Type-C are also similarly educated guesses.
The loss of 3D Touch from earlier reports also resurfaces in the list, with it apparently resulting in "less screen thickness" in the new models. There is also a mention of the Taptic Engine remaining the same size, echoing earlier claims of changes to the haptic feedback system, but it "remains uncertain" whether changes have been made to the inside.
On the more specific side, the battery in the "Max" version is claimed to offer a capacity of 3,969mAh, a considerable jump up from the 3,174mAh used in the iPhone XS Max.
The colors for this year are claimed to be black, white, gold, and "new dark green," with the latter apparently being prepared for by factories in Guanlan and Longhua Ankang, and seeming similar to the dark green used by the Sony Z5. The back glass is also said to have a matte texture rather than a shiny version, though it is unclear if this will mean the back will offer more grip than in previous models.
Sticking with the back, the "iPhone" logo under the Apple logo is claimed to have been removed from the design. While iPhones are generally quite recognizable, the removal of the word "iPhone" seems like an odd decision, as that may be considered an erosion of the brand.
For the camera, it is said the back will still offer a 12-megapixel image, but will use a new sensor, as well as a "special coating in the circular rectangle area" that promises "better visual integrity." The triple-camera setup will also "work in coordination in an RGB mode," though the nature of that mode isn't offered by the poster.
Silly season is upon us
We are solidly in iPhone rumor "silly season" right now. Like a childhood game of Operator, original reports get muddled after multiple rounds of translation and reporting. What pops out the other end can be confusing, and is often wrong.
This is complicated by "new" reports of a feature, which can't be discerned from an older supply chain report from assorted sources. Is any given report "confirmation," or just a reiteration of the previous claims? Most of the time it is the latter, and some of it is blindingly obvious as coming that there is little danger of the prediction being wrong at some point in the future.
As a case in point, remember the "Foxconn Insider" saga from about three years ago. This group, which was vetted by Reddit moderators, claimed to have a lock on Apple's product plans for years.
Some of what they predicted did develop, like predictions of wireless charging in the iPhone. But, we'd charitably call what did come to pass vague handwaving like we did above in the "Guessable" section for this round.
And, in regards to this latest data, less tech-oriented publications are already accepting the information presented on Reddit on Wednesday as gospel, or revelatory. In reality, it is neither.
When Apple rolls out the phones in about a month, some of what has been said will be true, some of it won't. Regardless of what is and what isn't accurate, Apple will sell enough of them to buy a small country from the proceeds, and it still won't satisfy some on Wall Street.
And yes, we are keeping track of who gets the most right.