The fifth generation of iPhones brought forth a trend of adopting the metal unibody design and the seventh generation brought multiple cameras into the spotlight.
The iPhone X was perhaps the last major game-changer for Apple in terms of design, software and hardware. It introduced new smartphone trends like the polarising notched-displays, animojis, Face ID and gestural navigation. But since then, radical changes have stagnated from Apple's end as other players played catch up.
This year, we expected several features that have spoilt Android users for good. Here are some of them:
Higher screen-to-body ratio
We have started to look at smartphones differently, literally, thanks to innovations (read workarounds) that provide the best media consumption experience. From circular notch cutouts for minimal obstructions to removing the front-facing camera altogether from the screen, Android smartphones have made Apple's notch cutout look outdated.
We expected a slightly smaller notch in the iPhone 11-series, but we assume it was imperative for Apple to still go with it to accommodate the FaceID sensors.
"Who wants a stylus?" Steve Jobs said while introducing the first iPhone. "You have to get 'em, put 'em away, you lose 'em. Yuck! Nobody wants a stylus. So let's not use a stylus."
More than a decade later, smartphone displays have become bigger and ‘pro-users’ have started drawing and illustrating on them. The Apple Pencil was first introduced two years ago, with the 2017 iPad Pro, and it made sense—it had a huge display with a stunning 120Hz ProMotion Retina display.
While it seems silly to imagine a massive Pencil being hurled at the tiny display of the new iPhones, a miniaturised version of it could have really helped artists. If we can do it on a Samsung smartphone for the last eight years, Pro-level iPhones shouldn’t be missing out on it.
Reverse wireless charging
“Here’s a mat that you can put your iPhone 8 or X down on and it just starts to charge and it’s a beautiful new interface. It doesn’t stop there—you can put your Series-3 Apple Watch down on it," that’s what Phillip Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple Inc said at the company’s 2017 keynote while introducing the new AirMat.
Except it never really made it to the market.
The rare miss from the American tech giant prompted users to expect a reverse wireless charging mechanism from the new iPhones. Several industrial experts were anticipating it, but that too didn’t make the cut. Huawei and Samsung are already offering the feature in their flagship devices.
USB Type-C slot
This is a real bummer. It has made its way to the MacBooks and iPads of the world but Apple has still held on to the lightning port. It did rub salt in our wounds by carving a beautiful Type-C shaped hole in its 18W super-fast charger though.
This is something that might not be that relevant in India, even though we are pushing hard for it, but American, Korean and British customers, among many others, are now enjoying 5G networks.
The number of 5G smartphones have started increasing, and there have even been older modular smartphones that can now support 5G simply by slapping a magnetic accessory on their backs.
Apple, however, didn't include a 5G-enable iPhone in its line-up this year. This might have something to do with the company buying Intel's modems unit. Intel earlier said that it would be making 5G-ready modems in the second half of 2019, with broader deployment in 2020.
Qualcomm, on the other hand, started producing 5G modems in the first month of 2019 and nearly all of the 5G smartphones we've seen this year have a Qualcomm modem embedded in them.
Another school of thought is Apple might just be waiting for network to catch on in more areas before it actually launches its first 5G smartphone.
Maybe the 2020 'Apple iPhone 11 Max Pro S 5G' might be the chosen one.
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