Here are the deets, according to WSJ: The new set of phones will feature a higher-end model with a triple rear camera and two lower-end models with double rear cameras. The two more expensive models will come with the OLED (organic light-emitting) display screens like the XS and XS Max, and the less expensive one will have the LCD (liquid-crystal) display, like the XR.
What a person needs three cameras on their phone for, I cannot know. (We reached out to Apple for comment.) But also...catch me a year from now with three phone cameras in disbelief that I ever had only one! (Such is the life of this impressionable, phone-addicted millennial.)
Apple fans have had a lot to be excited about of late. 2018 was already a big year for the iPhone: We said goodbye to the home button and hello to Portrait Mode, a boost in battery life, and a much-improved camera. Still, Apple has been lagging behind some of its competitors on the camera front, like Samsung and Huawei, which already offer multiple rear cameras on their models at a lower price point.
The XR screen wasn't exactly beloved by users, which is perhaps why in 2020, Apple is reportedly planning to move away from LCD display of the XR in favor of the more expensive OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display of the XS, which is thought to provide better contrast. Poor sales on the XR no doubt played into these considerations, leading to rumors that until the display switch in 2020, the XR will be upgraded from having a single camera to a double.
This announcement comes days after Tim Cook's January 2 letter to Apple investors, in which he cited lackluster iPhone sales China, where Apple earns around 20% of its revenue. Since the announcement, retailers in China like Suning and JD.com have been slashing costs of the newest iPhone models by as much as $118.
But fear not, Apple fans — the iPhone still reigns supreme in the U.S. Until the new models are released this fall, you can get an XS starting at $999, an XS Max starting at $1,099, or an XR starting at $799. Just don't forget to trade in your old model for a discount on your new one.