BIG MISTAKE: Apple’s iPhone 11 looks like a big snoozer

At some point, we’ll get a real view of what the next iPhone looks like. (The image above is a fan’s render.) Of course, it’s 2019 not 2011, and the number of people positively drooling to get one isn’t really that big. Those people are also likely to be older, less hip, and more likely to have lived through over a decade of Apple products.

What to look forward to

If the rumors are true, the next crop of iPhones will look disturbingly like the current crop, which looked disturbingly like the last crop. They’ll likely cost even more than the current crop does as well. The days of getting an iPhone for under $200 on contract are long gone; prepare to pay upwards of $1,200 if you want the latest tech. But the question is, will you want the latest tech?

The big changes for the iPhone this year seem to revolve around the cameras. Yes, you will be getting more cameras, faster cameras, and better cameras. This is because a small group of online journalists seem to think that the cameras in current phones are inadequate. They’re wrong of course.

Thanks to those cameras you’ll get a bigger, uglier, rear bump. You won’t care because iPhone users will probably put their phones in a case anyway. It’s a smart idea if you’re trying to care for your $1,200 investment.

You should also look forward to people saying “Oh I have that same phone” as they tap away at their 2-year-old iPhone X. The phones will look and perform about the same.

Apple’s big blunder

Apple could have made at least one splash this year by putting USB-C connectors on their phones. I personally think Lightning is a better connector, less prone to dust and even easier to connect than USB-C. But let’s be honest, that ship has sailed. The world is moving rapidly to USB-C. It’s not a perfect solution but it’s a good one. Apple’s already moved to USB-C for iPads, as I predicted. Even Mac laptops use the connector. Time to complete the cycle.

Just imagine if you could share chargers with practically anyone. Imagine cheaper cables that still worked right. It’s all just out of the reach of iPhone users, and that’s not right.

This would have been a perfect time to introduce a new connector on a phone that otherwise doesn’t bring a lot to the table. Yes, people will miss their collection of Lightning cables but it’s really ok, honestly. We all made it through the transition from the Dock connector to Lightning and that was harder. Back then you actually used the port at the bottom of your phone. Today you charge wirelessly, stream over Bluetooth, and only connect a cable when you need a super fast charge or need to sync to your computer. (Who still does that? I do, and about 6 other people.)

What Apple needs to do now

Apple needs to use up some of its massive cash store and sell the iPhone 11 (or whatever it’s called) at a lower price. Ignore the profit margin for a little while. The top-end iPhone 11 Max 128GB or whatever should be $699. Then, they need to release a really transformational superphone. iPhone X really reinvigorated the brand but in the words of Janet Jackson, “what have you done for me lately?”

I think it’s time for the iPhone Infinity or whatever you want to call it. Make it incredibly new and different. Totally droolworthy. Stop worrying about cameras and make something that people actually want.

I want a phone that’s durable and still thin. A phone that really doesn’t need a case. I know Apple doesn’t think their phones need cases but they do. I want a phone that’s hand-sized but somehow has a decent sized screen. I don’t know how you do that, and I don’t care. Make a folding phone that actually works. Make a dual-layer screen that slides out on the sides. Whatever. Just make it amazing.

And I want to get a week out of a charge when the phone’s new. Again, I don’t know how you do that. Maybe it self-charges like those self-winding watches. Maybe it’s solar. Maybe it’s nuclear. I’m not an Apple engineer. I’m just the guy who wants a better experience.

That’s a phone I’d pay $1,200 for. A warmed-over design and the same old problems won’t make me shell out that kind of cash, and I don’t care how many cameras it has.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.