Over the last year, there have been too many rumors to count when it comes to the iPhone XR‘s successor. But we’ve rounded all the viable ones up to get a good picture of what the iPhone 11R’s 2019 sibling will look like. Some of the rumored specs match up with the leaks surrounding the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, but there are some apparent differences just like last year’s lineup had.
With Apple’s September event right around the corner, we already have a pretty good idea about the design, material, and even the cameras. Many of the predictions surrounding the original iPhone XR came true when it was finally released, and there’s no reason to believe it will be any different this year.
Just like last year, it’s a sure bet that there will be three different iPhone models to purchase in late-2019. All three devices will be successors to the current lineup, according to famed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other sources.
The XS successors are rumored to be called iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, but where does that leave the iPhone XR followup? There have been no clear rumors from analysts or leakers about the name, so it’s anybody’s guess. No previous extra model (the iPhone 5C and iPhone SE) has gone two iterations, so no one has come up with any viable name. Apple seems to have dug itself into a hole with this one.
Apple could call it something entirely different, like iPhone XC. But the most likely option play off the “Pro” branding for its companion devices. Since those will have Pro in their names, it’s entirely possible the iPhone 11R 2019 will just be the iPhone 11 or iPhone XI. “Pro” would suggest superior specs, and since the XR followup is cheaper and with lower specs, it makes sense.
On that note, it could just retake the R branding, like iPhone 11R or iPhone XIR. For the sake of simplicity and to prevent confusion, we’ll be referring to it as the iPhone 11R throughout the rest of this article.
We’re close to Apple’s September 2019 event, but no press invites have gone out yet. Logically, that event, where the iPhone 11R will be announced, will fall on Tuesday, Sept. 10. That’s based on Apple holding those events on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only, its timespan from Labor Day, and the likelihood that Apple won’t want to host an event on Sept. 11 because of that day’s history.
While the iPhone XR was released a month after the iPhone XS models were, the consensus is that Apple will release all three 2019 iPhone models at the same time. Preorder dates always fall on the Friday after the event, and release dates the following Friday, in most cases. So that would put the iPhone 11R at a Sept. 13 preorder and Sept. 20 release.
- Announcement date: predicted Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019
- Preorder date: likely Friday, Sept. 13, 2019
- Release date: likely Friday, Sept. 20, 2019
There are no surefire rumors yet on storage sizes, but it’s likely that they will follow suit with last year’s devices, with 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB for the two iPhone 11 Pro models, and 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB for the iPhone 11R.
- Storage available: 64 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB
- Expandable storage: no
We don’t see any information regarding the iPhone 11R’s cost at this time. However, it’s likely Apple will continue to price the “R” series competitively. If Apple intends to charge $999 for the base-model 11 Pro, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the iPhone 11R priced again at $749. However, Apple could raise the price if it opts to use more expensive parts for this year’s iteration (see below for info).
AppleCare+ will also be available, and it’s likely plans will be the same as with the iPhone XR. So that means full-paid plans at $149 for the primary offering and $249 to add theft and loss protection. Monthly plans are also available, but you’ll end up paying more over time.
- Price: $749 (64 GB), $799 (128 GB), and $899 (256 GB)
- AppleCare+: $149 or $249 (or $7.99 or $12.99 each month)
It seems the 11R will retain the aluminum frame found on the current iPhone XR. That said, there may be some discrepancies with other design elements this year. While most outlets are in agreement that the 11R will retain the iconic notch, Apple may shrink or remove it entirely. Old reports say Apple is looking to combine face recognition elements with the camera, which would cut down on the need for such a large cutout. Whether the company pushes for a notch change with the 11R is still wildly up for debate, but it’s worth holding out hope for.
There isn’t too much out there about the 11R’s front glass, so it’s safe to assume Apple will continue to use the XR‘s “strongest front glass ever.” However, we’ve seen some significant rumors that deal with the back glass of the 11R. First, the new iPhone may see a frosted glass back, rather than the smooth back glass we’ve seen for the past two generations. It would make the 11R feel more like a Pixel 3 than an XR, which could add an element of “newness” to the device. However, some people believe the design will be reserved for the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max only.
We also hear that Apple is taking a bold approach to its labeling this year. The 11R could very well omit the iPhone branding that appears on the back of every iPhone, leaving only the Apple logo in place.
We’ll talk more about the 11R’s rumored camera setup down below, but know that we expect a camera bump as we have had since the iPhone 6. That said, rumors suggest that Apple might use a single piece of glass for the back of the phone, molding the back glass around the camera bump.
In terms of color options, the 11R is just as varied as the XR. This year, however, the rumors ax two colors — blue and coral — for green and lavender. While not an expected replacement, Apple certainly wants to separate its new colorful iPhone line from last year’s.
The 11R’s buttons are also in slightly different positions compared to older models. And we’ve seen a rumor that claims the current mute button design will switch to a round button, but we’re not sold on that one yet.
- Frame: likely aluminum (7000 series)
- Back: possibly one piece of glass with a matte finish
- Finish: black, white, red, yellow, green, lavender, (PRODUCT)RED
Apple loves to tout its commitment to the environment. As such, expect the 11R to exclude mercury, arsenic, brominated flame retardant, PVC, and beryllium. We’ll probably hear about how the 11R has a low-carbon process, but we want to know where the materials come from and how Apple recycles before we’re all-in on their eco-friendly claims.
From the limited data we have, it seems likely that the 11R will retain similar or identical dimensions to its predecessor. We’d wager the only expected change here is the weight, due to the new rear camera. Kuo asserts that the “2019 iPhones” will be IP68-rated for water and dust resistance. Whether that includes the 11R isn’t clear, but it’d be a smart move on Apple’s part to expand these protections for the “budget” iPhone.
- Height: likely 5.94 inches
- Width: likely 2.98 inches
- Depth: likely 0.33 inches
- Weight: currently unknown
- Dust/water resistance: possibly IP68 under IEC standard 60529
- Mobile network operators: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon
As we note in our 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max roundup, the environmental operating requirements are most likely identical this year as well, considering Apple hasn’t changed these specs since the iPhone 7.
- Operating temp: 32° to 95° F
- Nonoperating temp: -4° to 113° F
- Relative humidity: 5–95% noncondensing
- Operating altitude: up to 10,000 feet (though could be more)
The 11R display looks to keep the same dimensions as the XR — that means the familiar 6.1-inch display and 79% screen-to-body ratio. That will probably sit well with XR fans, as the “mid-sized” screen works as a good compromise between the smaller XS and larger XS Max, and soon to be 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max.
Last year, you had to choose between Apple’s OLED displays and the more affordable LCD on the XR. Now, it’s rumored that Apple will drop the LCD in favor of an OLED display for the 11R. That said, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims the LCD will remain this year. While OLED fans might be sad to see LCD in a 2019 iPhone, next year’s model is definitely expected to get OLED.
Even if we do see an LCD for the 11R, it would be nice to see Apple bump up the resolution and pixel density. That’s unfortunately unlikely, as rumors point to unchanged display specifications between the 11R and its predecessor. If that’s the case, we expect brightness to most likely stay the same. Color temperature varies from phone to phone, so we’ll probably have to wait until we get our hands on the XR to test. While we’d love to see 90 or 120 Hz ProMotion displays, it looks like those aren’t coming until at least 2020, leaving the 11R with the typical 60 Hz display.
We also don’t expect Apple to include 3D Touch on the 11R. In fact, 3D Touch’s status on the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max is up in the air. At the very least, we hope that means Apple is working to expand Haptic Touch features. Speaking of which, the entire iPhone 11 family is expected to receive a Taptic Engine update, referred to as “leap haptics.” How this improves upon the already excellent Taptic Engine, and whether it will work to strengthen Haptic Touch, remains to be seen.
- Screen size: 6.1 inches
- Screen resolution: 1792 x 828 pixels
- Pixel density: 326 ppi
- Screen type: likely Liquid Retina LCD
- Notch: yes
- Screen-to-body ratio: 79%
- Aspect ratio: 19.5:9
- Minimum brightness: Around 2–6 nits
- Maximum brightness: likely 700 nits
- Refresh rate: 60 Hz (120 Hz for touch-sensing)
- Color temperature: currently unknown
- 3D Touch: no
- Haptic Touch: yes
While we don’t have many details about it yet, the 11R — in addition to the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max — will include the A13 chip. While there aren’t many rumors surrounding the iPhone 11R’s chipset, Macworld’s Jason Cross speculates that Apple will continue to use two high-performance cores and four energy-efficient cores for the A13, while expecting modest gains in GPU performance.
Last year’s XR came with 3 GB of RAM onboard. It’s entirely possible Apple continues the tradition, as iOS is a very RAM-friendly OS. But considering the 11R is rumored to add an extra camera lens to the mix, it’s likely the unit will ship with 4 GB of RAM instead.
- Memory: 3–4 GB RAM
- Processor: Apple A13
- Chip size: currently unknown
- Coprocessor: currently unknown
- CPU frequency: currently unknown
- CPU cores: 6 cores
- GPU: Apple-designed (unknown model)
- GPU cores: currently unknown
Kuo puts a bit of a damper on battery rumors for the 11R, claiming that we should only expect to see a 5% maximum increase in battery size this year. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Remember, last year’s XR shipped with a 2,942 mAh battery and came with the best battery life in the 2018 iPhone family. That could be this year’s size as well, or Apple could change things up. The A13 chip could require more power, or it could be an efficient S0C. We won’t really know until we see more rumors here.
While the 11R might not see much of a battery bump, Kuo claims it, alongside the other 2019 iPhones, will receive bilateral wireless charging. The feature will give the 11R the ability to charge other products from the back of the device, such as AirPods with Wireless Charging Case or even your Apple Watch. Samsung already introduced this feature as Wireless PowerShare on the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 models, so it’s high time for Apple to get on board.
We don’t know much about the 11R’s charging speeds at this time. Presumably, the 11R will retain quick charge compatibility with a Lightning to USB-C cable and USB-C wall adapter, which is why we see rumors from Macotakara that Apple will include an 18W charger in the box. Of course, the situation is complicated, as Macotakara directly contradicts these claims with a report that the 5W charger will continue to ship with all 2019 iPhones. We’d also love to see wireless charging support at 15 watts, up from 7.5 watts, but there aren’t any solid rumors at this time to report. No matter what, the 11R will support all Qi-certified charging pads.
Going back to the renders, we can see that the XR will probably come with the standard Lightning port we all know and love, although it would be great to see Apple commit to USB-C on all its devices.
- Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
- Capacity: possibly 2,942 mAh
- Wireless charging: 7.5 watts
- Two-way wireless charging: likely
- Charging port: Lightning
- Wired charging: Lightning to USB
According to Kuo, all 2019 iPhones — the 11R included — will see an upgrade Face ID system. The new sensors will be better at weeding out external light sources, so it can better focus on identifying your face.
Speaking of sensors, the new front-facing camera gets a 12 MP CIS+5P lens, a big bump over the 7 MP sensors in previous iPhones. We’re also expecting 120 fps slow motion, thanks to a report from 9to5Mac. The iPhone’s rear cameras have longed held “slo-mo” as an exclusive feature, so this will be the first time the front cameras get a chance to shoot some video in slow motion.
In terms of other front camera specs, however, the rumors have been pretty silent.
- Resolution: 12 MP
- Aperture: currently unknown
- Zoom: currently unknown
- Flash: screen-based
- Image stabilization: likely software-based
- RAW support: no
- Object detection: bodies, faces, winks, tongues
While the iPhone XR currently supports a single — yet impressive — camera lens, the 11R could upgrade the camera to include two lenses. While this would bring the lens count in line with last year’s premium iPhones, the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro Max are rumored to sport three lenses.
There aren’t too many rumors that talk about the 11R’s specific cameras, but we believe Apple includes the same lenses in the 11R that you’ll find in the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, excluding the third super wide-angle lens. If that’s true, these two cameras — one telephoto and one wide-angle — will be 12 MP each. That said, early leaks suggest that one of these sensors will be 10 MP and the other 14 MP, so there’s always the chance that Apple will offer both a higher and lower megapixel count.
While the 11R might be one lens short here, it might carry over the rumored “box” design. The 11R’s dual lenses could be placed inside a more massive black square on the back of the iPhone. They could also be covered in a black coating to blend right into the housing. That mirrors the rumored design of the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, minus the extra lens. Other renders show this camera box matching the color of the 11R itself. You can see the two lenses on the left, with the mic in the top-right corner and the flash in the bottom-right corner.
Also, those rear lenses could be employed to do some serious scanning. One rumor suggests that Apple might be including Sony’s 3D sensors in the rear camera for the 11R, which would use “time-of-flight” technology to map a given location in 3D. But more recent, reliable rumors say ToF is pushed back to 2020, so don’t expect it on the 11R.
Even though the 11R is one lens short of the 11 Pros, we don’t think you should be concerned about Portrait Mode quality. Portrait Mode works excellent on the XR‘s single lens, which makes us confident that Apple will only improve upon that success with double the cameras this year. XR users who upgrade would also see the benefit of optical zoom when switching between the “1x” wide-angle camera and the “2x” telephoto camera.
Some early rumors suggested air gestures could be coming to iPhone 11R, but no recent leaks seem to exist for the feature.
- Resolution: likely 12 MP + 12 MP
- Aperture: currently unknown
- Zoom: likely 2x optical (digital unknown)
- Flash: Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync
- Image stabilization: optical, all lenses
- RAW support: yes
- Lens cover: sapphire crystal
- Object detection: bodies, faces
- Formats: HEIF, JPEG, RAW
It seems we shouldn’t expect anything too new for video with the rear camera. Unless there are new features on their way that the rumors have missed, we should see similar video specs when compared to last year’s iPhone XR:
- Resolution: 720p, 1080p, and 4K
- Max frame rate: 30 fps for 720; 60 fps for 1080p and 4K
- Slow motion: yes, 1080p at 120 or 240 fps
- Time-lapse: yes, with stabilization
- Photos: 8 MP stills while recording 4K
- Zoom: 3x optical, 6x digital
- Flash: Quad-LED True Tone flash
- Image stabilization: optical
- Lens cover: sapphire crystal
- Object detection: bodies, faces
- Audio: stereo sound
- Formats: H.264, H.65 (HEVC)
No new changes regarding audio functionality are expected to change from the iPhone XR, so there won’t be a 3.5 mm headphone jack, there will be stereo speakers, and there will be three mics total.
If you’re hoping for a return of the headphone jack, think again — we have no reasons to assume that Apple will be changing much in terms of audio on the 11R. Stereo speakers, triple mics, and a lack of a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack are all we expect to see.
- 3.5 mm headphone jack: no
- Stereo speakers: yes
- Mics: three total (on rear, front, and bottom)
- Max speaker volume: unknown
Don’t expect anything too much to change in the sensor department. From what we’ve seen so far, the 11R is going to bring the same sensors last year’s iPhones had, although anything is possible. One or more of the sensors below could be taken out as well if a newer one can do its job.
- Sensors: GPS, barometer, accelerometer, three-axis gyroscope, proximity sensor, magnetometer, barometer, digital compass, pedometer
While we don’t see many rumors concerning SIM upgrade for the 11R, the phone may ship with Wi-Fi 6. This upcoming update to Wi-Fi 5 will result in faster speeds with lower energy consumption, so having an iPhone compatible with the technology will do wonders for the lifespan of your device.
We don’t expect to see 5G hit the 11R, though. While some rumors point to 5G iPhones in 2019, most suggest 2020 is the year instead. Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC will also make their way to the 11R 2019, just like the XR.
According to a Barclays research note, the 11R could get a 4×4 MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-out) antenna design. This new design would bring four antennas to the 11R, versus the two found on the XR, increasing connectivity speeds.
The rumors also point to the 11R gaining a modified polyimide (MPI) along with an ultra-wideband upgrade. MPIs are an improvement over the traditional liquid crystal polymer (LCP), and it’s rumored that the 11R will see four MPIs and two LCPs.
Where you see the most improvement with MPIs is with indoor use. So Apple Maps’ indoor maps for malls and airports should perform better on the 11R than the XR. You might also see improved connections over short distances, like with your iPhone to Apple Watch, other iPhones, Airpods, wireless printers, etc.
While we would love to let our imaginations run away with the idea the 11R will receive Apple Pencil support, we have to face facts. There aren’t any viable rumors to show that Apple Pencil is coming to 11R. The most concrete leak we see is a predication from Citi Research, expecting Pencil support for the 2019 iPhones. Aside from that guess, however, not much to confirm (or deny!) Apple Pencil working with iPhone 11R.
The Lightning port also appears here to stay. While past rumors pointed to the possibility of USB-C hitting the new iPhones, more recent stories — including rumors from Kuo — lead to Lightning prevailing once again.
- Wi-Fi: 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
- Bluetooth: 5.0
- NFC: yes
- Cellular: dual Nano-SIM card tray, Gigabit-class LTE
- Port: Lightning
- Other: iBeacon microlocation, AirPlay, AirDrop
- Apple Pencil: unlikely
The iPhone 11R will once again feature Face ID, a powerful method of security powered by the TrueDepth camera. As noted above, we could see improvements to Face ID, which could result in more accurate face scans. Still, we expect Face ID to feature it’s “one-in-a-million” chance of failure, which, in most cases, is enough to keep out the random stranger. You’ll find your Apple Pay and Apple Pay Cash payments well protected by Face ID.
Kuo believes the 11R will receive a flood illuminator. This feature helps make Face ID more accurate by disregarding invisible light sources to focus on reading your face.
USB restricted mode will find its way to the 11R as well, stopping third-party devices from establishing a wired connecting to your iPhone and extracting your private information. You need a passcode to grant access when plugging your iPhone into a computer.
- Security: Face ID and USB restricted mode
The iPhone 11R will ship with iOS 13 preinstalled. Apple will announce the software on the same day as the iPhone, as is mostly tradition. If you’re thinking about jailbreaking your iPhone 11R already, you’ll need to wait until jailbreakers figure out how to exploit iOS 13.
- Software: iOS 13 and higher
Built-in features will include Wi-Fi or cellular FaceTime video calls, FaceTime audio, voice over LTE (VoLTE), Wi-Fi calling, and full Siri support. A variety of language options, QuickType keyboard, Siri, dictation, dictionaries, and spell check, will also be available.
The following audio files will be supported — AAC-LC, HE-AAC, HE-AAC v2, Protected AAC, MP3, Linear PCM, Apple Lossless, FLAC, Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), and Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+) files. Video playback support will include HEVC, H.264, MPEG-4 Part 2, and Motion JPEG, as well as High Dynamic Range with Dolby Vision and HDR10 content.
What you see in the box besides the iPhone itself will most likely be the same as the iPhone 11R: