Another year, another iPhone reveal. But unlike the iPhone X's sweeping changes and technological wizardry, Apple offered a fairly restrained rollout for the iPhone 11 and its various incarnations. Form factor remains largely the same; one doubts that the iPhone 11's shape in and of itself will turn heads. The notch is still there, for better or worse. The iconic Home button is now ancient history. Really, the most drastic, noticeable change for Apple's next batch of phones is the multitude of camera lenses on the rear of the body.

Of course, in light of Google's newly found technical proficiency with their own Pixel line, especially with regards to the Pixel 3 and 3a's cameras, this makes sense. It's possible Apple is laying the groundwork for another iPhone X-esque reveal next year, and this year is simply a facelift with supporting nips and tucks. Chief among Apple's bullet points for the phones are improved battery life, better cameras, and fast charging on its iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max. The base iPhone 11, however, is still stuck with the standard, five-watt charger.

In terms of this generation of iPhone's reveal slotting into the wider world of smartphones, I think Apple needed a quiet year. It can't be $999 monitor stands or Animojis all the time. With this generation of phones, Apple is giving its adherents a breather. People have had time to adjust to the notch and face scanning technology. Time to grieve for the 3.5mm audio jack. For Apple, the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and Max are solid, if not mind-blowing entries into the Apple pantheon.

If nothing else, Apple's restraint with this generation of phones has me speculating about what kind of risks they're willing to take next year. Especially considering Samsung's folding phone fiasco, manufacturers are collectively trying to divine what feature will be the next killer device. Graphite batteries? Display-embedded fingerprint readers? Hidden front-facing cameras? Nothing this year has quite seized the imagination of the public. Here's to hoping a post-Jobs and Jony Ive Apple is still capable of making big plays.

Tags: iphone 11, iphone, apple, iphone 11 pro max