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An iPhone 11 part was seemingly stolen from Foxconn, and it might confirm Apple’s new design

Published Apr 4th, 2019 8:17AM EDT
iPhone 11 Release Date 2019
Image: Weibo

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With just five months to go before Apple’s next-generation iPhone 11 series is announced, leaks have definitely begun to pick up pace in recent weeks. For Apple fans, that’s both good news and bad news. The good news is that hardcore Apple fans love to learn about what their favorite company is up to before anyone else. The bad news is that their favorite company might not be up to anything too impressive in 2019 when it comes to new iPhone hardware. According to everything we’ve seen so far, Apple’s upcoming iPhone 11 series will use the same overall design that iPhones have been using since the iPhone X debuted in 2017. In fact, it appears as though we’re looking at a situation that’s similar to the iPhone 7, when Apple used the same iPhone design for a third consecutive year and only changed the camera on the back.

In the case of the iPhone 11, it might end up looking identical to the iPhone X and iPhone XS on the front, but the back is shaping up to be quite different. Rather than a somewhat small camera bump that houses Apple’s dual-lens rear camera array, the iPhone 11 will apparently have a massive camera bump with three camera lenses and an LED flash. It gives us hope that Apple is planning a major camera upgrade for its new iPhones in 2019, which is great news because Apple’s iPhones are falling way behind leaders like Huawei and Google in the camera department. Now, a new leak seemingly firms up the camera design we’ve seen numerous times in the iPhone 11 leaks, which suggests just about everything else we’ve seen so far is likely accurate as well.

Just last week we saw a schematics leak that supposedly showed an illustration of the iPhone 11’s chasis. The graphic appeared to be displayed on a computer at a factory where the iPhone 11 is being manufactured, and it showed a series of welding points that show where the midplate will be attached to the stainless steel frame that is positioned around the outer edge of the phone.

Here’s the schematic in question:

Image source: Weibo

Take a close look at that midplate in the center of the iPhone 11 chasis illustration. Now, check out the following image that was posted on Chinese microblogging network Weibo on Thursday morning:

Image source: Weibo

The image was posted along with the iPhone 11 render shown at the top of this post, and it appears to show the very same iPhone midplate illustrated in the leak from last week. If it’s legitimate, the part was likely stolen from a Foxconn factory, and it tells us a few things about the iPhone 11’s design.

First, we can see a big hole at the center where the iPhone 11’s wireless charging coil will go, though it hardly comes as a surprise that the handset will support wireless charging. In fact, the iPhone 11 is rumored to support two-way wireless charging so it can also refuel other devices, just like Samsung’s new Galaxy S10.

More important than the wireless charging coil, of course, is what appears to be space for the triple-lens camera array in the top corner of the midplate. It’s shaped just like the iPhone 11 camera setup we’ve seen leak a few times now, and it appears to confirm the bulbous square camera bump we’ve seen pictured time and time again. In addition to the three lenses, there’s also space for an LED flash as well as another sensor in the bottom-right corner.

Apple’s new iPhone 11 series is expected to launch in September just like all of Apple’s iPhones since the iPhone 4S, so we’ll see plenty more leaks before Apple finally makes the phones official.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.

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