Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

2019 will be an incredible year for smartphone designs… if you’re an Android fan

Published Jan 7th, 2019 9:47AM EST
iPhone 11 Release Date 2019
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Apple loved the design on its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from 2014 so much that it ended up reusing almost the exact same design for not two, not three, but four consecutive years. The iPhone 6s was exactly the same, the iPhone 7 added a dual-lens camera on the Plus model, and the iPhone 8 swapped out the aluminum back for glass. Still, each of those iPhone models was indistinguishable from its predecessors from afar. Thankfully, big performance boosts and nifty new features such as Portrait Mode photography on the iPhone 7 Plus and wireless charging on the iPhone 8 were introduced to help keep things fresh.

For a long time, Apple had introduced new iPhone designs every other year, and some people thought the company might go back to that pattern now that its new iPhone design identity was introduced on 2017’s iPhone X. If you were hoping that would be the case though, we may have some bad news. It appears as though Apple is just as pleased with its 2017 iPhone X design as it was with the iPhone 6, because a new leak from a top smartphone industry insider says Apple will use the iPhone X’s design for a third consecutive year on its upcoming new “iPhone 11” series handsets.

After about 18 months filled with smartphones that looked exactly the same, it appears as though 2019 is going to be an exciting year for smartphone designs… if you’re an Android fan. Samsung is going to start the year off strong in February with one of the most exciting smartphones the company has ever made.

The world’s top smartphone vendor by volume steered clear of Apple’s notched iPhone X design last year. In fact, Samsung is the only noteworthy Android phone maker that didn’t steal Apple’s iPhone design last year (oh, the irony). In 2019, Samsung is skipping the notch and moving to a nifty new design. The Galaxy S10 series will feature an all-screen design with barely any bezels above or below the screen. Instead, the front-facing camera will be placed in a small hole cut out of the top-right corner of the phones’ displays.

The good news if you’re an Apple fan is that Apple is indeed said to be working on similar designs for its iPhone lineup. The bad news, however, is that its iPhone models with HIAA (hole in active area) technology aren’t expected to be released until 2020. This year, Apple will apparently release new iPhones that look a lot like its old iPhones, but with a new triple-lens camera on the back. On the front, it looks like Apple’s “iPhone 11” will still feature a notch like the one on 2017’s iPhone X and 2018’s iPhone XS/XR. Here’s a pair of tweets from Ice Universe, a top smartphone industry insider known to share accurate information about unreleased smartphones:

That second tweet refers to a leak from Sunday that showed renders of Apple’s purported 2019 iPhone design. Only the back of the phone is visible in the leak, and it shows a new triple-lens camera cluster that will be considered by some to be an eyesore. But the bigger issue people might have is referenced in Ice Universe’s first tweet above. Instead of adopting a modern smartphone design this year, Apple will stick with the notch.

If you’re an iPhone user looking for an upside, the good news is that we might have one for you. Whereas smartphones like the Galaxy S10 will have transparent holes in their displays that leave camera lenses visible, Apple is said to be working on technology that will hide the camera lenses embedded beneath its displays. If true, it would mean the entire front side of Apple’s 2020 iPhone models will appear to be screen with no empty space at all.

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.