iPhone Xs — or iPhone 9 or iPhone XI or X2, or whatever Apple ends up calling the 2018 iPhone — is widely expected to come next fall. But with iPhone 8 and iPhone X both on the market now, there are several ways Apple could go for the next generation. This article is continuously updated to include the latest news and rumors so you can be among the first to find out. Bookmark it, save it, share it, and check back often!
September 12, 2018: New iPhone names, colors, capacities, accessories leak just hours ahead of Apple Event
iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone Xr are all listed in XML product site files discovered on Apple.com, along with a bunch of details.
- iPhone XS Display Size: 5.8-inch
- iPhone XS Max Display Size: 6.5-inch
- iPhone XS and XS Max Storage Options: 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB
iPhone XS and XS Max Color Options: Silver, Black, and Gold
iPhone XR Display Size: 6.1-inch
- iPhone XR Storage Options: 64GB and 256GB
- iPhone XR Color Options: Black, White, Red, Yellow, Blue, and Coral
Also listed are iPhone cases in black, white, midnight blue, stone, taupe, and saddle brown, and more.
We're just hours away from Apple's official announcements.
September 11, 2018: Supposed iPhone Xc SIM trays in
Tomorrow's event can't come soon enough.
September 10, 2018: iPhone Xs might stick with old 5W USB-A charger
Ming-Chi Kuo is back, back again, with more iPhone (2018) rumors. This time a bit of a buzzkill for those hoping for a bigger, faster charger in-box for this year's iPhones.
Kuo adds that 2018 iPhone models will retain the Lightning connector and remain bundled with a 5W power adapter, not the widely rumored 18W power adapter with a USB-C port, which could be for 2018 iPad Pro models after all.
Slow, wired chargers are still technically better for overall battery health, but the difference isn't so significant that the convenience of faster charging should be ignored.
It's unclear if that's for just the lower-end iPhone Xc/iPhone Xr model, or for all 2018 models, including iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Plus/Max.
We'll find out on September 12, 2018 when Apple holds its annual event.
September 9, 2018: These might be the iPhone Xc name, colors, and pricing
A China Mobile presentation — or at least a snapshot of a slide from what's being claimed is a China Mobile presentation — shows the names iPhone Xs, as has been recently rumored, as well as iPhone Xs Plus — as opposed to the previously rumored iPhone Xs Max — and the widely assumed but thus far less frequently leaked iPhone Xc.
According to the [posting], it seems tht the product name and price of the next generation iPhone are, for 5.8 OLED, iPhone Xs with price of 7388 RMB, for 6.5 OLED, iPhone Xs Plus with price of 8388 RMB, for 6.1 OLED, iPhone Xc with price of 5888 RMB, which was explained in a China Mobile internal company meeting.
MacRumors did the math, and those prices work out to:
As for the slide's pricing, which includes 17 percent Chinese sales tax, the "iPhone XS" is 7388 yuan ($1079), the "iPhone XS Plus" is 8388 yuan ($1225), and the lower-spec "iPhone XC" is 5888 yuan ($860). Minus tax, the "iPhone XS", "iPhone XS Plus", and "iPhone XC" prices approximately convert to $900, $1015, and $700, respectively.
Separately, purported colors have been shown off on Twitter.
Apple's event, schedule for September 12, 2018, is just days away.
September 5, 2018: iPhone Xs Max name gets rumored. Twice. Seriously.
iPhone Xs may be the rumored name for the next-generation iPhone X, but what about the bigger version? iPhone Xs Max, according to a couple sources from a couple sources.
We have heard from two sources that Apple will use an entirely new name for its 6.5-inch OLED model: iPhone XS Max. While Apple has experimented with naming conventions outside of a single number or that number followed by 'Plus,' this would obviously break with tradition in a meaningful way.
We've since learned that Apple has considered the name "iPhone Xs Max" for the larger 6.5-inch version, according to two sources familiar with Apple's marketing plans.
And, from VentureBeat:
Additionally, the name "iPhone Xr" has been circulating as the supposed title of the 6.1-inch budget iPhone model, which will sit below the iPhone Xs but above the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in Apple's lineup.
The event — and a stop to all this name angst — can't come fast enough.
August 30, 2018: The next iPhone will (probably) be called iPhone Xs
Apple might have settled on the name iPhone Xs for the next-generation flagship phones.
From 9to5 Mac:
We believe that the new 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch iPhones will both be called iPhone XS. We also believe iPhone XS will come in a new gold color option not previously offered on the new design. Apple leaked its own gold version of the iPhone X through the FCC, but it has not been available to purchase.
They also snagged what looks like a marketing image.
Apple's iPhone Xs event takes place on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California. We'll be there to bring it to you live.
August 27, 2018: Apple's three new iPhone (2018) codenames are...
... Just about as routines as you'd expect. It's rumor round up time. As we get closer to Apple's annual September iPhone event, all the speculation is coalescing around a few, now-familiar themes.
On iPhone Xs Plus:
There'll be a new high-end iPhone, internally dubbed D33, with a display that measures about 6.5-inch diagonally, according to the people familiar with the matter. That would make it the largest iPhone by far and one of the biggest mainstream phones on the market. It will continue to have a glass back with stainless steel edges and dual cameras on the back. The big difference on the software side will be the ability to view content side-by-side in apps like Mail and Calendar. It will be Apple's second phone with a crisper organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screen.
On iPhone Xs:
Apple also plans an upgrade to the current iPhone X with a 5.8-inch OLED screen, which is internally dubbed D32, the people said. The main changes to the new OLED iPhones will be to processing speed and the camera, according to the people familiar with the devices.
On the 6.1-inch less-expensive iPhone 9:
Codenamed N84, it will look like the iPhone X, but include a larger near 6.1-inch screen, come in multiple colors, and sport aluminum edges instead of the iPhone X's stainless steel casing. It will also have a cheaper LCD screen instead of an OLED panel to keep costs down.
And, yeah, I'm just using random names for all three phones because, following iPhone X, I'm not sure how Apple will play the next-gen name game this year.
August 27, 2018: Apple A12 SoC expectations
Last year we got the Apple A11 Bionic system-on-chip (SoC), with its neural engine block and custom graphics core (GPU). This year, it'll be the A12 (Redacted), fabricated on Taiwan Semiconductor's new 7 nanometer process. So, never mind architecture, what could that mean for process improvement alone?
The company paints a very rosy picture. Compared to the 10nm process that the A11 Bionic was made with, the company says 7nm offers "1.6X logic density, ~20% speed improvement, and ~40% power reduction."
In other words, if Apple were to produce the exact same A11 Bionic chip with the 7nm process, it could be roughly 40 percent smaller, and use either 40 percent less power running at the same speed, or run at a 20 percent higher clock speed at the same power. You can be assured those are best-case figures.
August 16, 2018: Yet more Apple Pencil rumors for iPhone (2018)
I'd be so happy if this turns out to be true.
From Economic Daily:
Apple's two large-screen OLED iPhones are expected to support the Apple Pencil stylus this year, so as to increase consumer fun and convenience, and sprint new machine sales. The industry is optimistic, Apple's move will help detonate the mobile phone with a stylus trend, among the Taiwanese industry, Elan is the world's top two stylus IC suppliers, will become a big winner.
It would be good on iPhone. It would be great on iPhone Plus.
Grain of salt, yeah, but sometimes salt tastes so good.
August 14, 2018: $699 LCD price and Apple Pencil support get fed to the rumor mill
Obviously, I'm a huge fan of Apple Pencil on iPhone, but it's unclear that these rumors have any real sourcing behind them. Still, it's silly season so they're bound to get pickup.
Similarly, the company plans to introduce three new iPhone models later this year, says TrendForce. All three models would continue to feature Face ID, and two of them would be premium versions with an AMOLED screen. Apple Pencil would be offered as an option as well.
Apple is bound to adjust the prices of this model to meet the market expectation and to further expand its market share. Considering the cost reduction of components, TrendForce estimates the starting price of this LCD version at around $699~749.
The LCD model should slot into where iPhone 8 currently sits, which is at $699 for the non-Plus model. So we'll see what 6.1-inches of screen do to those numbers.
August 4, 2018: Apple chipset supplier TSCM hit by computer virus
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has been attacked by malware, resulting in the disruption of its production lines.
"TSMC has been attacked by viruses before, but this is the first time a virus attack has affected our production lines," Chief Financial Officer Lora Ho told Bloomberg News by phone. She wouldn't talk about how much revenue it would lose as a result of the disruption, or whether the facilities affected were involved in making iPhone chips.
No word yet on how, if at all, this might affect the ramp up for Apple's A12 System-on-Chip, widely expected to power the next generation of iPhones coming this fall.
August 3, 2018: iPhone X Plus icon found in latest iOS beta
No idea how this keeps happening. But, for fans of spoilers, it does.
July 31, 2018: iPhone (2018) 'dummies' gets shown off on video
First, you get the photo. Then, you get the video. That's how "dummy" hype works.
Just over a month to go until Apple announces the real thing.
July 30, 2018: Here are your alleged iPhone (2018) 'dummies'
Ben Geskin has shared what are purported to be iPhone X Plus and iPhone 6.1-inch "dummies":
A "dummy" is something that gets built based on alleged schematics for actual devices. It's not uncommon, for example, for a case company to build a "dummy" iPhone so they can try and get product ready as soon as possible following the actual launch.
Given how much money is involved, and how much the supply chain can leak, some years the dummies are pretty accurate. Other years, like with the Touch ID-on-the-back dummies from last year... not so much.
Consider these iPhone (2018) "dummies" for what they are — fun signs on the road towards iPhone (2018) launch.
July 24, 2018: Multiple colors once again predicted for 6.1-inch iPhone (2018)
It's often hard to tell what's rumor and what's regurgitation of rumor, especially from the financial analyst community. Keep that in mind as you read the latest on iPhone (2018) color variants for the 6.1-inch model.
The analysis of Roseblatt Securities Jun Zhang predicts that for the next generation iPhone 6.1 LCD models will be multiple colours as blue, yellow, pink and so on and the analyst of TF International Securities Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that will be developed in five colours of gray, white, blue, red and orange and predicts for OLED display models gold colour will be added. As above, it will be a lineup of multiple colours ever since iPhone 5c.
If this pans out, it'll be interesting to see how well the colors sell, and which colors sell the best. Nailing demand forecasting for that many SKUs is tough.
July 23, 2018: Fast charging on iPhone 9 may require USB-C authentication
These sound like minor implementation details, but because everyone cares so much about the next-gen iPhone, it may be worth a read .
According to multiple supplier information, in the case of using a third party USB-C adapter other than Apple attached to the next generation iPhone, a fast-speed charging for 18W (9V/2A) may not be available if it is other than the USB-C charger with USB Power Delivery Revision 3.0 specification certification.
In other words, non-certified knock-off chargers may not deliver as much juice. Good to know!
July 17, 2018: Front panels of 2018 iPhones supposedly leaked
Leaker Ben Geskin has tweeted out photos of a set of supposed iPhone front display panels for this year's new models. The panels are supposedly for the new version of the 5.8-inch iPhone X, as well as the rumored 6.1-inch LCD iPhone and 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus.
July 5, 2018: Next-gen iPhone rumored to come in silver, space gray, gold, red, blue, orange, gray, and white — oh, my!
Ming-Chi Kuo isn't back with new Apple rumors. Dude never left. He simply switched companies.
From Economic Daily News, Google translated:
[Ming-Chi Kuo] pointed out that for the three new iPhones, the 6.5-inch OLED version will not exceed the iPhone X due to the expected price, and it has a larger screen and dual card dual standby function. The color of the case may be black, white or gold. There are three options, so the demand in the high-end market is estimated to be better than the iPhone X.
6.1 LCD LCD version, expected to have full-screen design, Face ID, dual card dual standby and other functions, and the chassis color may have gray, white, blue, red, orange and other five options, and the price will be less than 700 US dollars Therefore, it is expected to drive the market's replacement needs more than the iPhone 8 and 8s.
When Apple chose not to price drop iPhone 5 and, instead, replace it with iPhone 5c, it when full-on rainbow with the color options. Now that Apple is reportedly choosing not to price drop the iPhone X, it might be doing the same thing with the 6.1 replacement.
Nothing is official, though, until we see it on stage.
July 2, 2018: Rumored iPhone 9 USB-C charger purportedly caught on camera
From Chiang Dian Tou, translated by Google:
The dynamics of the supply chain people in the circle of friends said "#apple 18W PD #apple has come to USB-C PD3.0 full power", and with three charger pictures, Apple 18W USB PD charger ushered in the first true Machine exposure . Let's take a closer look at these three pictures and find out the specific information.
The photos show pretty much exactly what the rumored specs showed previously: A wide, flat 18W charger with USB-C on one end and AC plugs on the other.
Again, nothing is official until Apple announces it, but a USB-C fast charger in the box makes the kind of sense that does.
Tap/click through for all the pics.
June 4, 2018: All 2018 iPhone models will reportedly launch in September
Ming-Chi Kuo, noted Apple analyst now working for TF International Securities, is back with a new supply chain report for investors, claiming that Apple will pursue an "aggressive" pricing strategy with this year's iPhones, which will apparently all come to market in September of this year. According to Kuo (via MacRumors), Apple will offer lower comparative prices following concerns that price had a negative impact on sales of the 2017 iPhone lineup, despite the iPhone X being Apple's single best-selling iPhone in the last few quarters.
We forecast that Apple will adopt a more aggressive price policy for the following reasons: (1) concern over the negative impact of a higher price in a mature smartphone market on selling momentum, (2) improved cost structure, which is mainly attributed to assembly yield improvements of end product & 3D sensing and cost reduction of components, and (3) increasing users of Face ID benefiting the promotion of the Apple service and ecosystem.
The second generation of the iPhone X will reportedly now start between $800 and $900, rather than the $999 starting price of last year's model, while the large "iPhone X Plus" model will start between $900 and $1,000. The rumored 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will apparently adopt a more traditional pricing point in Apple's iPhone pricing structure, starting between $600 and $700.
June 1, 2018: LCD version of iPhone (2018) might be delayed... but far more likely, market manipulation has started!
Every year it's the same thing: Before a new iPhone is announced, rumors start to spread about yield rates and delays. This year, for the iPhone XI — or whatever Apple ends up calling it — those rumors are starting super early.
Japan Display (JDI) and LG Display that are said to be provide LCD panels for the upcoming 2018 LCD iPhone are struggling to secure yields. An analyst has claimed that manufacturers are encountering light leakage problem while applying notch design on the LCD iPhone. Hence, the mass production of the smartphone is behind its usual schedule.
"An analyst" doesn't really say much since, absent a name, we can't consider their trackrecord, if any. Given the general history, though, it's also very possible this is less a rumor and more yet another attempt to manipulate Apple stock.
So, don't take it even with a grain of salt. Don't take it at all unless and until quality information becomes available.
May 23, 2018: TSMC reportedly starts spinning up Apple A12 chipset for next-gen iPhone
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company reportedly edged out Samsung's silicon fab for iPhone (2018) chipset production. And now, it sounds like A12 is ramping up.
Mark Gurman, writing for Bloomberg:
Apple Inc. manufacturing partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has started mass production of next-generation processors for new iPhones launching later this year, according to people familiar with the matter.
The processor, likely to be called the A12 chip, will use a 7-nanometer design that can be smaller, faster and more efficient than the 10-nanometer chips in current Apple devices like the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing private plans.
Intel is still struggling to solidify its 14-nanometer process and move to 10-nanometer for future chips, so getting A12 up and running on 7-nanometer this year shows just how different the mobile (read; ARM) and traditional (read: x86) platforms have become.
We should see A12 launch alongside the 2018 iPhones this September. The real question is, after A10 Fusion and A11 Bionic, what will Apple call them?
May 16, 2018: Apple's next iPhones could come with 18-watt charger standard
Apple might be packing an upgraded charger with this year's iPhone lineup, as least according to a new report from ChargerLab. Citing supply chain sources, ChargerLab claims that the 2018 iPhones will have an 18W USB-C-to-Lightning charger in the box.
Apple's upcoming 2018 iPhone will be unveiled this September, but according to our exclusive sources inside production lines, ChargerLab already has early information on the device: it will ship with an 18-watt USB-C to Lighning fast charger.
This would be an upgrade of the 5W charger currently packaged with all iPhone models.
May 10, 2018: LCD iPhone (2018) display might be just what you ThinQ (sorry!)
Due to continued OLED supply limitations and pricing, the less-expensive of the three rumored new iPhones for 2018 is widely expected to use an LCD display. A new rumor suggests it might even be the same as the one found in the new LG G7.
From Business Korea:
According to the smartphone industry on May 9, Apple is expected to load its next 6.1-inch iPhone model with an MLCD+ display which LG used in its G7 ThinQ smartphone. The MLCD+ display realizes a bright screen with less power consumption than the IPS LCD display.
LG named the display of the G7 ThinQ "Super Bright Display." Its color reproduction rate is 100% on the DCI-P3 basis which expresses delicate colors close to nature even on bright screens. At the same brightness, the G7 ThinQ consumes 30% less power compared to the previous G6 model loaded with an LCD display.
Here is it, in action, on the G7:
May 7, 2018: iPhone X Plus (2018) will — wait for it — be iPhone Plus sized!
A reliable supplier source says that iPhone X 6.5 inches model which has a rumor that it's a large size model equipping iPhone's OLED, seems to be the same size as iPhone 8 Plus.
I think it's safe to say this has always been the assumption. Same as iPhone X is regular iPhone size-ish, iPhone X Plus would be Plus iPhone size-ish.
Next model of iPhone X 5.8 inches uses the same body as current model, but along with growing the size of the camera sensor, the lens will become bigger.
Camera improvements happen every year because they help sell iPhones. Hard.
When you use Face ID authentication, iPhone X needed to be vertical state to recognize it, but in case of iOS 12, it will be able to unlock in horizontal state.
The portrait restriction was to get Face ID solid faster. It helped to have a known orientation and optimize for it. As the technology improves, restrictions can be removed. So, this makes sense.
So does horizontal support for the next-generation iPads Pro, of course.
May 2, 2018: Apple rumored to include 18W USB-C fast-chargers with next-gen iPhones
Apple currently includes 5W USB-A chargers in every iPhone box. But that could leap to 18W USB-C fast chargers with iPhone 9 / iPhone XI as soon as this year.
Apple is said to be planning to upgrade to USB-C support for all of its devices, shipping next-generation iPhones with a redesigned 18W power adapter that allows for USB-C fast charging with an included USB-C to Lightning cable.
There's no track record for this source but it does feel like a step Apple should be taking. The existing USB-C charger, sold separately, will get you to 50% in about 30 min. An in-box version should be similar.
Speed comes at the expense of longevity, of course. Faster charging creates more heat which breaks down batteries faster, but Apple is really good at managing the charging process and most users shouldn't see much difference over the life of the battery.
Nothing is official, though, until Apple announces it.
April 24, 2018: Dual SIM-card 6.1-inch LCD iPhone rumored for 2018
Supply-chain information exfiltrator Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is back in the news with another note to clients. In it, he claims Apple could be prepping two versions of the lower cost 6.1-inch LCD iPhone for 2018: One with a single SIM-card slot, and one with dual slots.
Apple's upcoming lower-cost 6.1-inch iPhone could be available in two models, one that includes a single SIM and a second that offers dual-SIM dual standby (DSDS) functionality, aka two physical SIM card slots, according to an investor's note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Kuo believes that the 6.1-inch dual-SIM iPhone could be priced at $650 to $750, while a single SIM model could potentially be less expensive at $550 to $650. Prospective prices for the two OLED iPhones Apple plans to introduce in 2018 were not mentioned in today's note, but those two devices are expected to be significantly more expensive.
Dual SIM-card slots are popular in Asia, where connecting to multiple carriers is a far more common requirement than in is in North America. Offering the capability could enhance Apple's appeal, especially at the lower price tier.
April 13, 2018: FCC leaks unreleased gold iPhone X —could we see it for iPhone XI?
A gold iPhone X could be on the horizon … if Apple's FCC filings are to be believed, anyway. The documents, which were filed back in September of last year, show a gold iPhone X with a gold stainless steel band, a gold(ish) backplate, and a black display.
It appears the documents were filed as part of Apple's planned launch of the iPhone X, which is available in both black and white. It's unclear why this gold iPhone X isn't included in Apple's lineup, but folks on Twitter are speculating this could be a hint at whatever comes after the iPhone X.
Maybe there's a rose gold iPhone X hiding somewhere in those documents! Hey, a person can hope, right?
January 19, 2018: KGI once again predicts larger iPhones (and larger Chinese appeal)
KGI Securities financial analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a solid record when it comes to getting supply chain-sourced information on Apple's upcoming products, reiterated his previous predictions for the 2018 iPhone lineup.
We believe the addition of 6.5-inch OLED and 6.1-inch LCD iPhone models will boost Apple's market share in China, and that the US$650-750 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will make it easier for users worldwide to own a 3D sensing and full-screen design iPhone which offers an innovative user experience.
Those sizes would be in addition to an updated version of the current 5.8-inch OLED iPhone X. Kuo believes both the larger size 6.5-inch and lower priced 6.1-inch would help Apple boost interest in China.
December 8, 2017: 2018 iPhones may get an energy boost from new battery design
According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple's rumored 2018 iPhone X will feature a new, L-shaped battery that comes in a single cell and has increased capacity over current iPhone batteries, while the rumored 6.5-inch variant will supposedly adopt the current two-cell design. Additionally, Apple's LCD iPhone for 2018, rumored to be a 6.1-inch all-screen design similar to the iPhone X, will reportedly also see a bump in battery life over previous LCD phones. From AppleInsider:
If Apple and LGC work out manufacturing hurdles in time for mass production, the next-generation 5.8-inch OLED iPhone will be powered by a 2,900- to 3,000-mAh battery, Kuo says. A larger 6.5-inch OLED model is anticipated to employ a two-cell design with a capacity between 3,300 and 3,400 mAh. By comparison, the dual-cell unit in iPhone X is rated at 2,716 mAh.
To keep costs down, Kuo expects Apple to stick with a rectangular battery design for the rumored 6.1-inch LCD iPhone set to debut alongside the flagship handsets next year. Like the OLED models, however, the LCD version is predicted to boast a power-hungry TrueDepth camera and will therefore receive a boost in battery capacity compared to this year's iPhone 8 series.
November 14, 2017: Apple reportedly considering new time-of-flight 3D sensor for rear iPhone cameras
Apple has already deployed a front-facing TrueDepth camera system, which uses infrared mapping to deliver 3D data to iPhone X. Now, Apple is rumored to be considering a laser-powered time-of-flight system to do similar for the rear camera(s).
Apple Inc. is working on a rear-facing 3-D sensor system for the iPhone in 2019, another step toward turning the handset into a leading augmented-reality device, according to people familiar with the plan.
[...] The planned rear-facing sensor would instead use a time-of-flight approach that calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off surrounding objects to create a three-dimensional picture of the environment.
Apple is all-in on augmented reality (AR) so, regardless of the technology used, expect the company to keep increasing capabilities and pushing boundaries — in existing product lines and beyond.
November 13, 2017: As many as three full-screen iPhones could be coming 2018
KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple is planning three full-screen iPhones for 2018. In addition to an updated of the 5.8-inch model of the iPhone X, the company will also reportedly launch a bigger 'Plus' variant with a 6.5-inch OLED display, along with an all-screen LCD model with a 6.1-inch display. All of this comes in a KGI note to investors (via MacRumors):
Two new OLED models target high-end market; new TFT-LCD model aims at low-end & midrange markets: We believe the major hardware difference in the two new OLED models is size, in a bid to satisfy various needs of the high-end market. The new TFT-LCD model will differ significantly from the OLED models in hardware and design specs (for instance, the PPI will be lower). The primary selling points of the TFT-LCD model may be the innovative user experience of an integrated full-screen design and 3D sensing with a lower price tag (we expect it will likely be US$649-749).
October 9, 2017: All 2018 iPhone models to sport TrueDepth camera systems
Apple is all-in on Face ID, face tracking for AR, and the TrueDepth camera system launching alongside iPhone X. So, to the surprise of no one, new rumors suggest that TrueDepth camera system will be making its way to all iPhones launched in 2018. (Namely, a second generation iPhone X and whatever smaller and/or larger version comes with it.)
Ming Chi Kuo, as quoted by MacRumors:
We predict iOS devices to be equipped with TrueDepth Camera in 2018F will include iPhone X and 2018 new iPhone and iPad models. Because of this, we believe more developers will pay attention to TrueDepth Camera/ facial recognition related applications. We expect Apple's (US) major promotion of facial recognition related applications will encourage the Android camp to also dedicate more resources to developing hardware and facial recognition applications.
July 6, 2017: Three OLED iPhones rumored to be coming in 2018
According to Nikkei, Apple may be planning on releasing three new iPhones in 2018, each sporting an OLED display. Apple is currently rumored to be producing one iPhone model this year with an OLED display.
Apple is planning to use advanced organic light-emitting diode displays in all new iPhone models launched from the second half of 2018, according to two industry sources.
One said that Apple is tentatively looking at releasing three new models next year. Apple did not respond to an email seeking comments.
What will the next iPhone be called?
Up until this year, Apple's naming pattern had been consistent: iPhone [Number] followed by iPhone [Number + s].
- iPhone: 2007
- iPhone 3G: 2008
- iPhone 3GS: 2009
- iPhone 4: 2010
- iPhone 4s: 2011
- iPhone 5: 2012
- iPhone 5s: 2013
- iPhone 6: 2014
- iPhone 6s: 2015
- iPhone 7: 2016
But 2017 changed everything. Instead of iPhone 7s, we got:
- iPhone 8
- iPhone X (iPhone "Ten")
So, what follows iPhone 8 and iPhone X? Will it be iPhone 9 and iPhone X2? Just iPhone 9 or iPhone X2? Something else entirely?
Apple can name the next iPhone anything it wants. iPhone 9. iPhone X2. iPhone Edition. iPhone Pro. iPhone Mother of Dragons. It's purely a marketing decision.
For the sake of simplicity, iPhone 9 will be used in our rumor roundup until we hear otherwise.
Will there be an iPhone 9 Plus or an iPhone 9 SE?
Quite possibly. The advantage of iPhone X is that it puts a bigger-than-iPhone-Plus display into a roughly the same size casing as a regular iPhone. That leaves open two possibilities:
- iPhone 9 Plus: Same size as iPhone 8 Plus but with an even bigger, 6-inch (ish) display.
- iPhone 9 SE: Same size as iPhone SE but with an iPhone 8-like 4.7-inch (ish) display.
When will the iPhone 9 be released?
Since the iPhone 5, Apple has announced every flagship iPhone during a special event held the first or second Tuesday or Wednesday of September.
- iPhone 5: September 12, 2012
- iPhone 5s: September 10, 2013
- iPhone 6: September 9, 2014
- iPhone 6s: September 9, 2015
- iPhone 7: September 7, 2016
- iPhone 8: September 12, 2017
- iPhone X: September 12, 2017
Likewise, since the iPhone 5, Apple has shipped every flagship iPhone the second Friday following the event, with the exception of the iPhone 6s in 2015, which shipped the third Friday following the event, and iPhone X, which shipped on November 3:
- iPhone 5: September 21, 2012
- iPhone 5S: September 20, 2013
- iPhone 6: September 19, 2014
- iPhone 6s: September 25, 2015
- iPhone 7: September 16, 2016
- iPhone 8: September 22, 2017
- iPhone X: November 3, 2017
Past patterns are the best indicator of future events, but they aren't perfect. Apple can and will throw curveballs whenever the company's logistics or strategy demands. So, be aware of the dates but don't be bound to them.
What can we expect in the iPhone 9 design?
Now that Apple has debuted an all-new design language with iPhone X, it's possible the company will stick with it for at least another generation. That was the pattern with iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s, and iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. With iPhone 6 through iPhone 8, Apple changed materials and manufacturing processes but stuck with the same design language for four years.
- iPhone 3G: 2008 — Plastic shell.
- iPhone 4: 2010 — Antenna band and glass back.
- iPhone 5: 2012 — 16:9 aspect ratio, chamfered edges.
- iPhone 6: 2014 — Bigger screens, rounded edges.
- iPhone X: 2017 — Edge-to-edge display.
There's always a possibility Apple will iterate more quickly following iPhone X, but it's likely what we'll see with iPhone 9 is multiple sizes of the same design.
Will touch ID make a comeback?
With iPhone X, Apple deleted the Home button and Touch ID along with it. Instead, we got Face ID. It's always possible Apple will bring Touch ID back, implementing it below the OLED display.
What colors will the iPhone 9 be offered in?
So far Apple has saved the new iPhone finishes for the years absent big redesigns, save for 2017's iPhone 7 Project RED special edition.
- iPhone 5s: 2013 — Gold.
- iPhone 6s: 2015 — Rose gold.
- iPhone 7: 2016 — Black and jet black.
- iPhone 7: 2017 — (Product) RED.
- iPhone 8: 2018 — "New" gold.
Here again, Apple can do anything the company wants, any time the company wants, including introducing new colors at any time.
Apple Watch Series 2 being released in white ceramics sent the internet atwitter with thoughts of iPhone 9 being made out of the same material. Tougher than stainless steel, it still remains to be seen if it would hold up in a device as big as an iPhone or iPhone Plus.
Notably, Greg Koenig of Luma Labs thinks it unlikely, writing on Atomic Delights:
More bluntly, not only is Apple not using any new ceramics manufacturing technology in the new Watch Edition, they are not even utilizing the primary patent the original Quora article pins most of its extrapolations on - that patent described a vacuum liquid slurry casting process for ceramics. The Edition watch uses a very common pressed powder forming method.
In short, not only does the ceramic Watch quash any hopes of a ceramic iPhone, I think it actually indicates that Apple isn't chasing down ceramics for iPhone production any time on the horizon.
What specs will the iPhone 9 have?
Since Apple introduced the company's first branded system-on-a-chip (SoC) in 2010, every new iPhone has come with a new A-series chipset. If Apple sticks to that pattern, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will ship with Apple A11 processors. New SoC typically take advantage of better processes that let them be faster and more powerful but also more energy efficient.
Apple has also been adding coprocessors to handle motion voice activation, fusion cores, and neural engines. A12 will continue to push Apple silicon forward. That inclues a second generation custom GPU as well.
What about an iPad Pro-style Smart Connector?
Apple typically introduces a technology in one device and then rolls it out across the lineup. Retina was like that with iPhone 4 and Touch ID with iPhone 5s. The Smart Connector, which debuted with the iPad Pro in the fall of 2015, attaches via a magnet and runs power, data, and ground directly from the device. It currently powers Apple's Smart Keyboard and a similar keyboard from Logitech, with more expected to follow.
Apple could certainly engineer a Smart Connector for iPhone 9, but what it would be used for is a more interesting question. Apple made a smaller Smart Keyboard for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but would the company make an even smaller one for iPhone 8 Plus? For iPhone 8 standard?
What about the display? Will we get ProMotion?
With iPhone 8 and iPhone X, Apple brought TrueTone to iPhone. It makes sure the color temperature of the display matches the ambient color temperature. That way, whites don't look yellow or blue — they look white. Like paper.
What iPhone 8 and iPhone X didn't get was ProMotion.
Introduced with the 2017 iPads Pro, ProMotion allows dynamic refresh so the display can ramp up to support Apple Pencil and impossibly smooth scrolling, and ramp down to conserve power.
Like TrueTone, once you see it, you want it everywhere. Including the next-generation iPhone.
Will the iPhone 9 be waterproof?
iPhone 7, iPhone 8, and iPad X are water resistant but not waterproof. Rated IP67, they can survive accidental splashes, dunks, and floods, but isn't rated as highly as some competing phones from Samsung and others.
Although swimming with an iPhone may not be on everyone's wish-list, those whose jobs or pastimes expose them to the elements, and even those who want to do underwater photography at shallow depths would be thrilled by IP68.
Will the iPhone 9 have distance charging?
iPhone 8 and iPhone X introduced inductive charging to iPhone. It uses the Qi-standard, though, and currently requires the iPhone to be placed in direct physical contact with the charging pad.
There have been rumors for a while that suggest Apple is also working on resonant inductive coupling, which would let devices charge even at a distance. (The greater the distance, the lower the efficiency.) So, instead of having to put the iPhone in direct contact with the charging pad, you can simply put it down anywhere nearby the power station.
It would make charging even more convenient and less error-prone. If Apple can nail it.
Okay, what do we know for sure?
Only that nothing is confirmed until an Apple executive holds an iPhone 9 up on stage!