The rumour mill picked up pace ahead of the launch of Apple’s next-generation of iPhones, which is expected to take place early in September.
Reports state the company is readying three devices, which will all feature an edge-to-edge screen design. While the range is broadening, the update was described as an “S year”: every other year, Apple releases more modest upgrades which sees devices gain an “S” model number (such as iPhone 6s).
Bloomberg said the update reflects the fact that, due to the state of the smartphone market, Apple is no longer seeking shipment growth but instead looking to raise iPhone ASPs and increase sales of supporting products and services.
To aid it in this aim, the company is apparently set to offer a device with a 6.5-inch screen, making it the largest (and most expensive) iPhone to date. It would be the second in Apple’s line to use an OLED screen and be able to display content from two apps side-by-side.
The iPhone X – the 2017 flagship – will gain internal improvements, specifically the camera and processor. Now sitting in the mid-tier, it maintains the 5.8-inch OLED display.
An iPhone 8 replacement will be launched echoing the iPhone X design, but with a 6.1-inch screen and aluminium detailing rather than the stainless steel of iPhone X. The screen will be LCD rather than OLED to control costs, and it may also omit the dual camera of its premium siblings.
There have been questions over the resolution of the display, with 1792×828 pixels mooted, putting it far behind not only its family, but also many Android rivals. The device would also be available in a wide range of colours, rather than the usual, more muted grey/silver/gold options.
Widely-cited analyst Ming-chi Kuo predicted the lower-cost devices will launch later than the more expensive versions. While this could impact availability into the lucrative Christmas selling period, it may also push early adopters to the more expensive devices.
Apple’s expected screen sizes would also mean the smallest available in the new device line would be the 5.8-inch iPhone X, a significant jump from the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 and even up on the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus. While Apple was relatively late to the big-screen party, it now seems to have swapped to the other extreme (older, smaller screen iPhones are still for sale by Apple).
The line is expected to be powered by a new Apple-developed processor, A12, which will include features to improve battery life and performance. Devices will also be bundled with a fast charger. The cheapest device would have 3GB of RAM and the more expensive, OLED, smartphones 4GB. Storage options are 64GB or 256GB across-the-board, with a 512GB option available for the premium devices.
Software features announced in 2017 including gesture control and Face ID will spread more widely through the range. Dual-SIM models targeting specific markets including China were also mooted.
Bloomberg suggested the new line is presenting a naming challenge for Apple. The devices will all look similar, but the cheapest would be larger than the mid-range model.
One is likely to be iPhone Xs, but the Plus name used to differentiate devices with a larger display may be axed.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back