This year's upcoming iPhone releases have long been rumored to represent incremental upgrades over last year's iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. However, if a new research note is to be believed, Apple's 2019 iPhones might be the first to offer support for the Apple Pencil stylus.
According to a report from Business Insider, Citi Research's latest note suggests that the firm's analysts expect the so-called "iPhone 11" to come with Apple Pencil support, four years after the accessory was first launched together with the original iPad Pro. At the moment, the Apple Pencil comes in two variants – one that works with the latest iPad Pro and another that is also compatible with a number of other Apple tablets, including the latest iPad Air and iPad mini.
Although this feature could potentially make the 2019 iPhones more attractive to buyers despite the likely similarity to last year's models, 9to5Mac noted in a separate report that Citi usually focuses mainly on a company's financial statistics, as opposed to their latest products. As such, the publication warned that Citi "doesn't really have a firm track record" in terms of rumors detailing technical features and specifications.
On the other hand, Business Insider wrote that Citi's report included a number of potential features that have long been a staple of the 2019 iPhone rumor mill. These include larger batteries, a triple-lens rear camera setup for the two premium iPhone variants, and a bezel-less design not unlike that of the current iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. The research note also hinted that Apple's new iPhones might come with 14-megapixel rear cameras and 10-megapixel front cameras.Aside from last year's ultimately inaccurate rumors suggesting that Apple's flagship iPhones for 2018 would ship with Apple Pencil support, 9to5Mac pointed out that Apple CEO Tim Cook "slipped" during a 2016 interview when he talked about "what can be created with that pencil on an iPad or an iPhone." The publication also noted that there have been multiple patents suggesting future iPhone designs that allow for the use of a stylus, as well as rumors suggesting that Apple is working on a smaller version of the Pencil.
Should this year's iPhones become the first to support the Apple Pencil, the devices will represent a "departure" from late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' original vision for the Cupertino, California, company's signature smartphone line, Business Insider noted. As quoted in an earlier Business Insider report, Jobs didn't hide his disgust for the stylus when he spoke to biographer Walter Isaacson, telling him that "as soon as you have a stylus, you're dead." He also remarked at a 2007 conference that "nobody" would want such an accessory with their smartphones.