There’s no doubt Apple’s new iPhone designs will divide public opinion and, while there’s likely to be universal agreement about which looks the worst, it has just leaked in the most dramatic way possible.
In a scoop designed to expose Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 10+, popular industry insider Ice Universe spotted that the unknown leaker also inadvertently exposed the phone that he was taking the picture with: Apple’s iPhone 11R.
The new iPhone can be seen in a reflection on the Note 10+ display inside a case and what helps with its identification is the iPhone 11R’s controversial appearance. Only two other smartphones have a square camera, Huawei’s Mate range (where it is centred, not to the side), and Google’s Pixel 4 which has a different lens arrangement. Ice also shows it’s a slam dunk.
All of which makes for the most sensational (if unintentional) double smartphone leak I can remember. It also asks questions of who the mysterious leaker is, given Apple and Samsung tipsters tend to specialise in one company or the other. My hunch is it’s someone in telecoms because they receive pre-production samples significantly ahead of launch so they can be tested on their networks.
And yet this also confirms something more negative: the iPhone 11R really will look awful. For marketing shots, giving all three new iPhones square camera bulges may look better. But in isolation, putting the iPhone 11R’s more limited dual camera into the same large housing looks ridiculous.
To Apple’s credit, its new generation of iPhones will pack some impressive features but, thanks to extensive leaks, we already know they will be blown away by the company’s big 2020 iPhone reinvention. This includes all-new designs (and screen sizes), 120Hz displays, major camera upgrades, a switch to USB-C and 5G for every model. Even Touch ID is tipped to make a surprise return.
So yes, this iPhone 11R leak is brilliant but it’s also a sharp reminder that you should save your money for next year.