Apple plans iPhone Pro models for its September launch, report says

Apple is strongly considering implementing time-of-flight sensors in future iPhones.
Apple's three new iPhones, to be announced in September, will run the A13 chip with a co-processor to handle heavy math.

Apple is planning to launch three new iPhones in September and will soon release upgraded iPads and a large MacBook Pro laptop, according to a report in Bloomberg.

The report, based on interviews with unnamed people familiar with the unveilings, said Apple will launch two “Pro” iPhone models to succeed the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The third will be a successor to the iPhone XR.

All the new iPhones feature the A13 chip, manufactured by TSMC in Taiwan but based on Apple’s design. The chip is built on a 7nm+ process that has been described in various reports earlier this year.

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The Apple iPhone announcements are held in the second week of September based on the last six years of events, but no exact date has been announced yet.

Apple still counts on sales from iPhones to bolster about half of its bottom line, even as its handset sales declined by 12% in the quarter that ended in June. 

RELATED: Apple reports $53.8B in revenues despite 12% iPhone sales decline

Customers are holding onto smartphones for longer, but staying in the Apple ecosystem, CEO Tim Cook said last month. Clearly, Apple wants to offer its fans something new and different to keep them engaged.

The new Pro iPhones will feature a camera system with a third sensor on the back for ultra-wide-angle photos and videos. A feature will allow users to retouch, apply effects, reframe and crop video as it is being recorded live, according to the Bloomberg report.

The iPhone XR successor will add a second back camera for optical zoom.

All three iPhones will have the faster A13 processors, codename Cebu. A co-processor in the chip will handle complex math calculations to divert that work away from the main processor. Reportedly, this AMX or “matrix” co-processor will help with computer vision and augmented reality (AR)

However, the biggest component for AR could be 5G capability, but none of the new iPhones will have it, as earlier reported. That 5G capability will come next year, along with 3D cameras for AR.

The new MacBook Pro will be equipped with a screen that is over 16-inches diagonally. Apple discontinued its 17-in. model in 2012, but apparently hopes the larger model will please professional Mac users.

Bloomberg said the 11-in. and 12.9-in. iPad Pros will be upgraded with faster processors and better cameras while the iPad at the low-end will be a 10.2-in. model. Apple won’t sell another new iPad with a 9.7-in. display after doing so for many years.

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