2018 LOOKS SET to be a big year for Apple fanbois (and girls), with the firm set to launch three new smartphones: the iPhone 9, iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Plus.
If the rumours are legit, the iPhone 9 will be Apple's 'entry-level' offering and will pack an iPhone X-a-like 6.1in LCD screen with room up top for Face ID. The so-called iPhone 11 and 11 Plus will sport 5.8in and 6.5 OLED displays, respectively, with rumours also pointing to souped-up camera setups, an upgraded 7nm A11 CPU, and a brand new USB-C charger.
We've rounded up everything we know about Apple's incoming trio of iPhones below, and will update this article as we hear more.
Apple's 2018 iPhones will, if past launched are anything to go by, will make their official debut in September. Last year's iPhones were unveiled on 15 September and went on sale the following week on 22 September.
According to rumours, the iPhone 9 will be the most-affordable in Apple's 2018 iPhones. Apple guru Ming-Chi Kuo expects the smartphone to retail for $600-$700 (around £450-£530).
There's no word yet as to how much the iPhone 11 or 11 Plus will fetch at launch, but if anything like last year's iPhone X, don't expect them to be cheap.
19/7/17: Apple's incoming USB-C fast charger will be exclusive to 2018 iPhones, despite offering backwards compatibility.
So says Japanese blog Macotakara, which reports that the 18W charger will come with a USB-C to Lightning connection, won't be available to purchase seperately due to supply constraints. The initial supply will only meet Apple's needs for 2018 iPhones, so buyers will have to wait until next year to purchase the accessory.
17/7/18: Apple's entry-level 2018 iPhone won't feature an edge-to-edge screen on par with the iPhone X, according to leaked glass panels.
Images posted by Twitter tipster Benjamin Geskin (below) has given our first look at glass panels that will allegedly feature Apple's so-called iPhone 9, iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Plus.
2018 Apple iPhone, iPhone X, iPhone X Plus front panels pic.twitter.com/fGlzRH5Q6x— Ben Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) July 17, 2018
If legit, the images confirm that low-cost, 6.1in LCD iPhone 9 won't feature a completely bezel-free display of the 5.8in and 6.5in OLED models, despite Apple's plan to adopt new backlight-reducing chips order to achieve a full-screen design.
The leak doesn't give much else away, beyond confirming that all three models will adopt a notched design to facilitate Apple's Face ID tech.
13/7/18: Apple will adopt backlight-reducing chips for its upcoming LCD iPhone in order to equip it with a full-screen design.
A report out of >Digitimes claims that Apple will "exclusively" use Japanese manufacturer Nichia's 0.3t LED chips for its 6.1in LCD iPhone, which will equip the device with similar brightness to previous LCD models but also with the same super-thin bezel as the iPhone X.
"While LTPS-LCD smartphone screens with backlights using 0.4t LED chips have bottom bezels of 4.0-4.5mm, use of 0.3t LED chips can reduce them to 2.0-2.5mm, enhancing LCD screens' competitiveness against OLED all (bezel-free) screens panels," the report explains.
Digitimes notes that while the use of 0.3t LED chips comes with greater technical risk, especially when it comes accuracy and stability, Nichia "successfully started production" in the first half of 2018.
According to earlier rumours, Apple's LCD iPhone - which is expected to be the cheapest of the firm's three incoming iPhones with a starting price of $700 - will allegedly be made available in grey, white, blue, red and orange colour options.
5/17/18: Apple is reportedly planning to introduce as many as five new colour options with its 2018 iPhone line-up.
At least that's according to a report from renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, seen by >9to5Mac. He claims that the 6.5in OLED iPhone, expected to arrive as the iPhone X Plus, will be offered in black, white and a new gold option.
The 'entry-level' 6.1in LCD iPhone will allegedly debut in more out-there grey, white, blue, red and orange flavours, according to Kuo.
As noted by 9to5Mac, the reference to 'grey' and 'white' models could be a nod to Apple's current Space Grey and Silver finishes, while the rumoured red model could arrive as part of Apple's PRODUCT(RED) lineup - although these typically arrive months after an iPhone has been launched.
There's no word yet as to whether the 5.8in iPhone X successor will be offered in any new colour variations.
In his research note, Kuo is also raising his prediction for iPhone sales. He expects the cheaper, LCD iPhone to account for 55 per cent of sales when the new iPhones launch, and take even more share through 2019.
He's clearly expecting a burst of demand, too, and expects that Apple will see significant growth with sales of 70 million iPhones in the fourth quarter.
4/7/18: Images posted on Chinese blog >Chongdiantou claim to show off the USB-C charger that will ship with this year's iPhones.
The images allegedly give us a glimpse at an "engineering sample" of the 18-watt USB-C charger, which is also expected to be bundled with Apple's incoming iPads.
While the labelling looks different to Apple's usual style - suggesting this could be a third-party accessory from China - the design of the charger matches up with earlier leaks, which suggested that the 18W accessory would be oval-shaped and offer a USB-C input.
While the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X all offer support for wireless charging, Apple doesn't currently offer the accessories to enable it. With third-party accessories, though, USB-C fast chargers can just an iPhone from empty to 50 per cent in less than half an hour.
iPhone X Plus has cropped up on Geekbench, confirming that it'll offer a decent upgrade under the hood.
The handset, referred to as the 'iPhone 11,2' in the Geekbench listing first spotted by >BGR, will come equipped with a new six-core CPU (D321AP), 4GB RAM (1GB more than the iPhone X) and Apple's iOS 12 software, which has a major focus on performance.
The aforementioned CPU will likely be Apple's homegrown A12 chip, built by TSMC, which is expected to be the industry's first 7nm chip, which will - in theory, at least - offer more speed and better efficiency than the 10nm chips found in current iDevices.
That rings true in the Geekbench scores, as the so-called 'iPhone 11,2' trounced Apple's current iPhone X flagship with a single-core score of 4673 and a multi-core score of 10,912. The iPhone X, for comparison, scored 4206 and 10,123, respectively.
2/7/18: A video showing
alleged dummy models of Apple's 6.1in 'iPhone 9' and 6.5in 'iPhone X Plus' has surfaced online.
The video (below), sent to 9to5Mac by tipster @shaimizrachi who has shared accurate dummies for iPhones in the past, shows off the duo of incoming devices next to current iPhone models, including the flagship iPhone X.
Cases from accessory maker Sketch are also shown in the video, suggesting that case companies are already started making designs ahead of an official announcement from Apple in September. Probably, at least.
The iPhone 9, as expected, appears to have a single camera on its rear, adding weight to rumours that it'll be Apple's entry-level offering this year. Earlier rumours also point to a 6.1in LCD screen, with Apple opting against OLED in order to keep the cost of the handset low.
The iPhone X Plus appears to be the same size as the iPhone 7 Plus it's stacked up against, despite packing a larger 6.5in screen. This is because Apple has ditched the large bezels seen on its Plus-sized model in favour of its notch-equipped, iPhone X design.
The audio-less video also appears to show a dual camera setup on the rear of the so-called iPhone X Plus, despite some rumours pointing to a Huawei P20-esque triple-camera setup.
The video does not show the expected 5.8in OLED model, but Mizrachi has teased that "another surprise" is coming.
29/6/18: Apple has reportedly roped in LG to supply OLED screens for its 2018 iPhones in a bid to lessen its reliance on Samsung.
The >South China Morning Post reports that LG Display will initially supply Apple with between 2 and 4 million OLED screens, small fry compared to how many tens of millions of iPhones the firm likely will produce, as it "continues to work on ramping up capacity".
However, LG - which is reportedly considering opening a new OLED production factory in the Chinese port city of Guangzhou - has bigger ambitions though, and is reportedly looking to secure all OLED orders for one of Apple's 2018 iPhones, likely the 6.5in iPhone X Plus.
Such a move would help Apple to lessen its reliance on Samsung, which is currently the sole supplier of displays for the iPhone X and has been linked to the smartphone's £1,000 starting price. However, on the other hand, LG's OLED displays have previously received lacklustre reviews - particularly when it comes to the bork-ridden screen on Google's Pixel 2 XL.
"Securing a second supplier for OLED screens is crucial for Apple as it will allow the company to reduce its reliance on Samsung, which is currently the sole supplier," said Jerry Kang, a senior principal analyst at IHS Markit.
"At the same time, it will help accelerate a broad adoption of OLED screens. More suppliers means more volume, and in turn, lower pricing."
27/6/18: Apple's 6.1in LCD iPhone will arrive in September despite "difficulties" in mass production, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In a new research note, Kuo - now of TF International Securities after leaving KGI Securities - reiterates his previous predictions that the mid-sized iPhone will be a "popular option" thanks to its iPhone X-a-like features and lower price-tag.
He writes that the 6.1in iPhone will feature an LCD display with an all-screen (read: notch-equipped) design similar to that seen on the iPhone X. Because of the decision to switch to LCD, Kuo claims that mass production is "more difficult" and will unlikely kick off until later this year, but notes that the model will be ready for release in September.
And it'll be cheaper than first thought, too. Kuo says that he expects the LCD iPhone to retail for $600-$700 (around £450-£530), despite previously predicting a $700-$800 starting price.
This price is afforded by the handset's cheaper LCD panel, the removal of 3D Touch and the decision to stick with a single rear camera, Kuo notes, adding that Apple will also release an LCD phone in 2019 - despite earlier speculation of a shift to a full OLED line-up.
New iPhones aren't the only new Apple products to expect this year either, according to Kuo. He notes that the firm will also launch a cheaper MacBook Air, iPad Pro models with Face ID and new Apple Watch models with larger displays.
22/6/18: The largest of Apple's incoming 2018 iPhone trio, the iPhone X Plus, is expected to be the most popular model.
Korean website >The Bell reports that the so-called iPhone X Plus, which will allegedly pack a 6.5in OLED display, is likely to be Apple's best-seller, with the firm ordering more screen panels for the plus-sized handset than any other model.
It claims that Apple has ordered 45 million 6.5in panels, compared to around 25 million panels for the 5.8in iPhone X successor, and 30 million 6.04in LCD screens for the new lower-priced flagship.
The Bell notes, however, that these orders could be readjusted "depending on future sales", noting that Apple scaled-back parts orders earlier this year due to lower-than-expected demand for the iPhone X.
19/6/18: Chipmaker Intel has begun production of modem chips for Apple's next-generation iPhones.
Thanks to escalating tensions between Apple and Qualcomm, Intel is expected to supply the majority, if not all of the modem chips for Apple's 2018 iPhone line-up.
>Nikkei reports that Intel has started production of the XMM 7560 modem chips, the first that the chipmaker has produced in-house.
"XMM 7560 [modem chips are] now in the process of being deployed… It is in trial and mass production", Intel's VP of Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group, Asha Keddy, was quoted as saying by Nikkei as saying.
Keddy added that the XMM 7560 modem chip is a milestone for Intel as it is the company's first with CDMA support, which means iPhones equipped with the new Intel modem chips will finally be available on all major carriers.
Built on the 14nm process, the XMM 7560 is also the first modem chip by Intel to offer download speed of up to 1Gbps with support for 35 LTE bands.
The report claims that Intel is also working with Apple to develop the XMM 8000 series of 5G modems which are expected to debut in the iPhone models set to arrive in 2019.
14/6/18: Apple's 2018 iPhones will offer improved fast charging technologies, according to new rumours.
Following recent chatter that the incoming iPhone trio would be the first to ship with a USB-C cable, Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang claims that Apple might team up with new suppliers who can provide higher-powered charging components.
In a research note seen by >AppleInsider, Zhang says he expects Apple to upgrade from 5V 2A to 9V 2A and 5V 3A charging circuitry in its upcoming iPhones, thanks to a partnership with a company called Power Integrations who will allegedly replace ON Semiconductor and NXP as the "the main provider for the charging solution for all new iPhone and iPads."
This shift will allow the iPhone to "support more applications, provide a quicker recharge, and better compete with Android OEMs," Zhang said.
12/6/18: Apple's new iPhones will reportedly ship with a Lightning to USB-C cable as Apple prepares to add a USB-C port to its 2019 iDevice lineup.
The unlikely rumour comes via Digitimes, which claims that Apple will bundle 2018 iPhones with a Lightning to USB-C cable and a new 18W charger, enabling users to take advantage of Type-C fast charging without needing to buy additional accessories.
More interestingly, Digitimes claims that Apple will be ditching its proprietary Lightning connection, first introduced in 2012, with USB-C in 2019. The shift, which will see Apple joining the rest of the smartphone world. was allegedly considered for the 2018 iPhones but left too late in the process to implement.
Although such a move seems unlikely, it also makes a lot of sense. Apple has already adopted USB-C in its MacBook devices, and USB Type-C is more robust than the firm's own Lightning connector in terms of bandwidth.
What's more, adopting USB-C would allow Apple device users to use the same cables and charging accessories across all of their devices, albeit bad news for those who have forked out for Lightning headphones or other accessories.
11/6/18: Leaked schematics have given us a closer look at Apple's incoming iPhone X Plus and LCD 'iPhone'.
The schematics were obtained by Forbes from accessory maker Ghostek, and there's a fair chance the latter has access to design information ahead of the handsets' September launch. It'd also provided Forbes with accurate schematics before, most notably ahead of the launch of the Galaxy S9.
First on show is the iPhone X Plus (above) which Forbes claims will come with a 6.5in OLED screen, corroborating earlier rumours. The handset will allegedly measure in at 157x77x78, making it slightly smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus. However, it's expected to boast a steel chassis, which will likely make it weightier than its aluminium-clad, plus-sized predecessor.
The schematics also show what Forbes claims is a triple-lens camera on the rear of the iPhone X Plus, similar to that seen on the Huawei P20 Pro. However, one of the three cutouts is likely a flash, as Apple isn't rumoured to be switching to triple-lens cameras until next year.
Next up is Apple's long-rumoured "affordable" LCD handset (below), which Forbes claims will be called the, er, 'iPhone'.
This will have a 6.1in screen, according to this latest leak, and will measure in at 147.12x71.52 mm - longer and wider than current iPhones with 5.8in displays.
The report notes that the 'iPhone' will come with the same Face ID tech as first seen on the iPhone X, while the iPhone X Plus will boast 'second generation' mug-scanning tech.
7/6/18: Apple's incoming trio of iPhones might be cheaper than expected.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, famed for his accurate Apple forecasts, said in a recent research note (via >MacRumours) that pricing for Apple's incoming iPhones could start at just $600 (£465). That will bag you the 6.1in LCD model, according to Kuo.
Apple's 5.8in iPhone 6 successor will cost between "$800-$900" (£600-£670), Kuo claims, which means despite offering similar specs to the current iPhone X, it could be
Unsurprisingly, the rumoured 6.5in OLED iPhone will be the most expensive of Apple's 2018 smartphones, with Kuo predicting a starting price of between $900 and $1,000 (£670-£745).
Kuo said in his research note: "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."
Kuo also believes that Apple will announce and release all three 2018 iPhones in September, including the LCD model which recent reports claimed won't start shipping until November.
4/6/18: Apple's long-rumoured 'affordable' LCD iPhone has reportedly been delayed due to issues with its display.
So says Korean news site >The Bell, which reports that the LCD display - which will have a notch cutout akin to the iPhone X' OLED display - is suffering production issues.
Both Japanese firm JDI and LG Display are "struggling to secure yields", with the redesigned screen said to be causing light leakage that can affect the readings of Apple's Face ID-enabling TrueDepth camera.
"There is a problem with the yield of the added process and the light leakage problem due to the application of the notch design, and it is expected that mass production will be possible by the end of the year," an industry analyst told The Bell.
This means that the LCD iPhone, expected to be the cheapest in Apple's upcoming 2018 lineup, will unlikely be released until November.
"Apple will release the three kinds of LCDs in September," an industry source added, noting that "it is predicted that the LCD iPhone will be released and shipped in November."
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