iPhone 2019 rumors: Is a smaller Apple Pencil in the cards?

What’s in store for the new iPhone in 2019? We won’t officially know until the fall (most likely in September), but until then, you can bet that the rumor mill will be fully operational. This page will keep track of what’s being rumored as new features of the 2019 iPhones, and we’ll provide some analysis and whether or not a rumor seems feasible.

Updated 08/21/19: Case maker Olixar is selling an iPhone 11 Pro case with a slot for a smaller Apple Pencil.

A smaller Apple Pencil incoming?

File this one under Weird Last-Minute iPhone Rumors. Online retailer Mobile Fun is selling an iPhone 11 Pro case by Olixar with an interesting feature: a slot on the rear of the case for a smaller Apple Pencil. Normally we’d completely dismiss such a odd rumor as ridiculous, but there are a few reasons why we’re lending some credence to this one. For one, it’s already being sold, but more importantly, Mobile Fun has a decent track record of predicting phone designs before launch. Earlier this year, it nailed the Galaxy S10’s hole-punch design, and it was one of first to accurately predict that the Note 10 would be dumping the headphone jack. But this one is certainly going out on a limb. Not only does Olixar think the iPhone 11 Pro will have Apple Pencil support, it also think Apple will be making a shorter Apple Pencil for it.

Plausible: While we wouldn’t be surprised to see this rumor go up in smoke, it’s just crazy enough to be believable. If Apple is actually going to differentiate its flagship iPhone with the “Pro” moniker this year, it’s going to need something other than a bigger screen to justify it. Apple Pencil support would fill that need well, and the current Pencil isn’t exactly iPhone friendly, in that it’s taller than every model. So maybe a smaller Pencil that only works with the iPhone 11 Pro isn’t so crazy.

iPhone Pro

A random Twitter post about the next iPhone doesn’t usually rise to the level of plausibility, but CoinX’s 13 posts have been remarkably accurate. Not only did CoinX predict the return of the iPad mini, the weight of the iPhone XS Max, and the lack of a headphone jack on the latest iPad Pro, he also nailed the 2018 iPhone naming scheme. And now CoinX is claiming to know the name of Apple’s next top-of-the-line iPhone: iPhone Pro. Presumably this will pertain to the 6.5-inch model, but CoinX doesn’t specify in the cryptic tweet, which reads: “‘Pro’ for iPhone? Crazy naming schemes over the past few years.”

Plausible: We’re been hearing rumors about a supposed iPhone Pro for more years than we care to remember, so it’s pretty clear that Apple has been toying with the name for a while. Since rumors have suggested that the larger iPhone won’t include any additional features this year (other than the bigger screen, of course), we’re not sure what will give it “pro” status, but we’re definitely intrigued. 

Improved Haptics

A report from 9to5Mac primarily reiterates the rumors we’ve heard before, with one significant new wrinkle: This year’s new iPhones will feature “a new type of Taptic Engine, known by the codename leap haptics.” It’s not known what the new features of this improved Taptic Engine would be. Apple is already one of the very few to use a linear resonant actuator for its haptics, which provide much greater fidelity than the eccentric rotating mass vibration motors used in so many other phones.

Plausible? Apple is introducing a new Core Haptics framework in iOS 13 to give third-party developers greatly expanded control over the Taptic Engine, which has thus far been quite limited. Introducing new, more advanced haptics hardware at the same time would be excellent timing. In fact, it seems reasonable to assume that Apple’s plans to introduce more advanced haptic hardware is the very reason it created a new developer framework for haptics.