On Thursday, the 30th of August, Apple sent out invitations for an event on the 12th of September at the Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino, California. And while the invite did not specifically say that the event is to announce the next iPhone, it is extremely likely that the newest iPhone will be launched on the next Wednesday. Apple’s past tendencies of announcing new phones in September make us even more sure that we can expect great things on the September, the 12th.
So, being almost certain that next week will bring us new devices from Apple, possibly the newest iPhone - what are the predictions, news and rumours you should know about?
First of all, and it’s pretty big – rumour has it that we can expect 3 new iPhone models including a second-generation version of the iPhone X with the same 5.8-inch OLED display, larger ‘iPhone X Plus’ with 6.5-inch OLED display, and more affordable 6.1-inch iPhone with LCD display.
9to5Mac has revealed that the new OLED iPhones are going to use the name iPhone XS, and while some think that Apple might not be as keen on the name as it can be associated with both excess and extra small, company has been known for its ‘S’ generation phones presenting new features rather than new design. This can also lead us to the speculation that all three of the new iPhones will look similar to the iPhone X.
Thus, new line up of iPhones is expected to feature an edge-to-edge screen with the same almost non-existent bezels of the iPhone X, and be equipped with a TrueDepth camera system that supports Face ID. But does it mean that 2018 will bring an official end to the Home Button as well as Touch ID fingerprint sensor in all Apple’s phones? Well, most likely – yes.
While the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED iPhone XS models will have the same features as iPhone X, some info suggests that Apple is not going to include certain features in the rumoured 6.1 – inch model in order to keep costs low. LCD iPhone will, most likely, have an aluminium frame instead of the stainless steel one, it will also have a single lens-rear camera, and the display, which may not support 3D Touch. By eliminating and changing some features, the price of the phone is expected to be significantly cheaper ranging from £450 to £530, that will put it on par with the more affordable iPhone 8. When comparing it with rumoured prices for iPhone XS (£625 – £700) and iPhone X Plus (£700 – £780), 6.1 – inch model does seem much more affordable. However, some info suggests that rather than doing a straight currency conversion, which wouldn't include VAT, it is generally more accurate (at least with Apple phones) to switch the dollar signs to pounds – that would be £900-£1,000 for the iPhone X Plus, £800-£900 for the iPhone XS, and £600-£700 for the LCD model.
As mentioned earlier, Apple has invited press to an event on the 12th of September, so we expect the 2018 iPhones to be unveiled on that day. Moreover, on the 21st of August, German website Macerkopf stated that the new iPhone will most likely be available to pre-order on Friday 14th of September. Knowing these dates, we can assume that the phone will possibly go on sale on Friday 21 September or Friday 28 September. It is also worth mentioning that the official release of iPhone in 2017 was on Friday the 22nd of September. And while the 5.8 and 6.5-inch OLED iPhones will be available in September, the 6.1 – inch LED model, according to Apple analyst Ming – Chi Kuo will be available ‘slightly later due to its production schedule’. As for now, there is no specific information stating when we can expect to buy this cheaper iPhone. However, there are some rumours, which suggest we might not be able to see it until October 2018.
9to5Mac has published an image of (according to them) iPhone XS. In fact, it does look very much like an Apple marketing graphic, which could appear on their website. There are 2 key things we can notice: iPhone will come in two sizes, and a gold version will be offered.
As stated before new iPhones will adopt the all-screen, bezel-free iPhone X design, Face ID camera, and no Home button.
The bezel-less design allows Apple to fit a larger screen into the same size of body, what enables so-called iPhone X Plus to have a giant 6.5 – inch screen but a chassis of the same dimensions as the iPhone 8 Plus with 5.5 - inch screen. It is also expected that the new models will feature a smaller notch at the top of the display, incorporating the FaceTime camera and facial recognition sensors. According to Digital Trends, Apple might be considering a screen technology that lets sensors to be placed in microscopic spaces between pixels, meaning that sensors could be embedded in the display itself, rather than behind the notch. But some people predict it might not happen until 2019 when Apple is most likely to introduce a combined face recognition module and camera.
As for the metal or glass back, OLED models are rumoured to maintain the glass back of the iPhone X, while the LCD iPhone will, most likely, have a metal back and as a result this model probably won’t offer wireless charging. However, other sources suggest that all new iPhones will be able to offer wireless charging, so there’s still big uncertainty regarding this report.
Moreover, the metal back for LCD model would offer a variety of colours such as blue, yellow and pink. Nonetheless, according to Ming – Chi Kuo’s colour predictions, the new 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will debut in ‘grey, white, blue, red and orange’. Some analysts argue that this offering along with a cheaper price is aimed at appealing to younger users. Apart from that, it will also allow to differentiate between the LCD iPhone and the more expensive OLED models that will launch approximately one month earlier. In terms of new iPhone XS and iPhone X Plus, Kuo suggests that they will be introduced in black, white and previously mentioned new gold colour.
Now, let’s focus on features on the new iPhone line up. Firstly, all new iPhones are expected to allow Face ID facial recognition feature as in-screen Touch ID fingerprint scanning remains a technological challenge.
To all fans of the 3D Touch – we may have bad news for you. As stated by analyst Ming – Chi Kuo, 6.1 – inch LCD iPhone will not feature the 3D Touch and might be superseded by longer screen presses. Essentially, leaving this feature out of the low-cost iPhone was one way that Apple could reduce the price of that handset. But on the good side – it can possibly reduce the weight and thickness of the screen.
The camera is said to be one of the key areas of focus for Apple in 2018. Although some reports had suggested Apple could attempt the jump to a 3-lens system this year, that now looks to be more like a 2019. However, some reports argue that iPhone X Plus will have triple camera lenses on its rear. Bloomberg states that the iPhone XS will feature significant camera improvements – with camera upgrades and performance being the “main changes” this year. However, features such as front-facing TrueDepth 3D camera and rear-facing 3D scanner for AR can be expected to be the area of focus for 2019.
Another feature that needs to be mentioned is Apple Pencil. Ever since it came out for the iPad Pro, people have been wondering if it would be possible to bring it to the much more-selling Apple’s devices. And it looks like 2018 will make it happen. It seems that 2018 will be the year when the iPhone gets Apple Pencil support. One of the possible reason might be direct competition with Samsung Galaxy Note 9, but apart from that it can have a side effect on selling higher number of Apple accessories. However, some reports suggest that this feature will be only available for more expensive OLED models, while Apple analyst Kuo says that new iPhone models won’t support Apple Pencil as it doesn’t represent a ‘good user experience’.
Unfortunately, it looks like the only way to find out if mentioned news, predictions and rumours are true is to wait until the 12th of September.
Are you already excited?
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