In less than a year, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is likely to launch a new set of iPhones. Considering more than 60% of Apple's revenue in its last fiscal year came from iPhone sales, the company is under continuous pressure to bring new and innovative iPhones to the market each year.
Here are three upgrades that I expect Apple to bring to next year's iPhones.
More memory, please!
This year's iPhone 8 comes with 2GB of random access memory (RAM). The iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X, however, come with 3GB of RAM. Next year, I think Apple will increase the minimum amount of RAM it includes in the new iPhone models.
I currently expect Apple to introduce three new iPhones next year: a new iPhone with a liquid crystal display (LCD) as the entry-level flagship, a successor to this year's iPhone X with a 5.85-inch organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display, and a variant of the successor to this year's iPhone X, which I'll refer to as the iPhone X Plus, with a larger 6.46-inch OLED display.
Since RAM prices continue to be quite high as industrywide memory demand remains robust, Apple probably won't be able to include significant memory upgrades across all its models. Instead, I expect that the new LCD iPhone as well as the next iPhone X to have 3GB of memory, while the 6.46-inch iPhone X Plus will be endowed with more than 3GB of memory.
Better selfie cam
One area Apple has continue to work on is the quality of the front-facing, or selfie, camera. Considering how enamored many smartphone users seem to be with taking selfies, it's little wonder Apple keeps trying to make this feature better -- it's highly marketable.
To that end, I expect Apple to deliver some straightforward improvements to the front-facing cameras on next year's iPhones. There are a few areas where the front-facing cameras on this year's iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X smartphones fall short of those found in some competing flagships, like the Galaxy Note8 -- namely, pixel size and lens aperture.
Here's a simple way to think about these things: Larger sensors with larger pixels tend to produce better-looking images than smaller sensors with smaller pixels, and lenses capable of wider apertures can generally produce better low-light photos than lenses that are only capable of narrower apertures.
So I expect Apple to improve on both those fronts with next year's iPhones to not only deliver a better user experience but also improve its competitiveness with other flagship smartphones.
TrueDepth all around
Although KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn't think Apple will add 3D-sensing capabilities to the rear-facing cameras of its next-generation iPhones, I disagree. Apple continues to talk about how important augmented reality is to the future of iPhone and the iOS platform, so I'd expect Apple is quite keen to add capabilities to future devices that improve the augmented-reality experience.
I get it, though: Kuo says adding this technology to the rear-facing camera would be difficult. But I think it would make sense to, at the very least, include it on the upcoming iPhone X with a 6.46-inch OLED display. This product would probably sell in smaller quantities than the 5.85-inch version, so Apple wouldn't need to worry as much about potential manufacturing difficulties.
A rear-facing camera with 3D sensing capabilities could help Apple extend its lead in the mobile augmented-reality market, so ideally, I'd like to see it on all new iPhone X models released next year. But if that's too risky, I'd at least hope to see it on the highest-end, highest-priced model, as it could be a compelling selling point that could drive customers to shift their purchases to those higher-end phones.
Ashraf Eassa has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.