Even though it hasn’t even been a year since Apple’s iPhone Xlaunched, rumors are already surfacing about the next iPhone. While there’s nothing official yet, here’s everything we think we know about the next-generation device.
Almost every iteration of the iPhone has seen some internal improvements that make it faster, stronger, and better than the iPhones that came before, and we expect the iPhone X Plus to be no different in this regard.
While we haven’t heard much about improved specifications yet, the first rumblings have begun to emerge. Apple’s manufacturing partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing has begun manufacture of the next series of chip we expect to see in this year’s iPhone. Likely named the A12, the new chip will apparently use a 7-nanometer design that will help make it smaller, faster, and more power efficient than the 10-nanometer chips currently in circulation in the latest series of the iPhone.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple is looking to get ahead of other manufacturers who are also working on 7-nanometer designs — Samsung and Qualcomm being at the top of the list of competition that Apple would dearly love to beat to the finish line. With the iPhone X’s A11 Bionic chip currently losing out in benchmarking tests to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845, you can bet that Apple is making the iPhone’s chip the most powerful in the world a priority.
At least one of the iPhone X models will feature a metal body according to a story in the Nikkei Asian Review. The 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will likely feature a metal body in several different colors, and a new report from KGI Securities mentions the frame of the 6.1-inch phone will be aluminum. According a post on StreetInsider, Jun Zhang, an analyst with Rosenblatt, speculates this model will come in an array of bright colors including pink, yellow, and blue.Casetek, the company that currently manufactures iPad frames, could be the supplier for the cases.
We believe both the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch iPhones will feature a glass body that is reminiscent of the current iPhone X.
Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone a few years ago, but now it looks like the company could be preparing to ditch it altogether — including by not shipping the iPhone with a Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter. A new report from MacRumors, which cites Barclays, says that Apple may not include an adapter with the iPhone X Plus — so if you use wired headphones, you’ll have to buy them separately.
One of the most annoying things about the 2017 lineup of iPhones was the lack of quick-charging adapters in the box. If you wanted to take advantage of quick charging on the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or iPhone X, you needed to purchase a separate charging adapter, as well as a USB-C to Lightning cable. Well, it looks like Apple may have heard iPhone users’ collective groans.
A new rumor, first reported on Macrumors, says the 2018 lineup of iPhones will ship with an 18W USB-C adapter, as well as a USB-C to Lightning cable. With an 18W USB-C power adapter, you could expect to see your phone charge from 0 to 30 percent in about 30 minutes.
All three 2018 iPhone models will feature more powerful batteries, according to information from KGI Securities that wasfirst reported on MacRumors. Both the 5.8- and 6.5-inch iPhones will take advantage of the new L-shaped battery design used in the iPhone X. Apple’s budget model, the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, will likely have a rectangular battery in order to keep costs down. The report from KGI Securities says the 5.8-inch iPhone will likely have a 2,900-3,00mAh battery. In a separate report, KGI reports the 6.5-inch iPhone will feature a 3,30 to 3,400mAH battery, while the 5.8-inch iPhone will have a 2,800mAh battery.
TheiPhone X was the first to feature an L-shaped battery. The new L-shaped battery allows Apple to make more efficient use of the limited space inside the chassis. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said this design also allows the battery to charge more quickly. A report earlier this year in Chosun Ilbo confirmed Apple had chosen LG Chem to supply the L-shaped batteries in 2018 iPhones. While Apple relies on a number of companies to supply batteries for the iPhone, LG Chem is the only company that makes L-shaped batteries.
In 2017,Apple finally included wireless charging on its iPhones. This is a welcome addition that has been on many Android phones for the last several years. In 2018, Apple may be mixing things up a bit more, and while we assume that at least two models of the next iPhone will come with a glass back, a report from Nikkei claims the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will include a more traditional iPhone 7-esque metal casing on the phone, which would lock out wireless charging. It would also sidestep some of those horrendouslyhuge repair costs that result from accidents with glass backs.
Apple has also been rumored to be working with a company called Energous since 2015. Energous created a charging method that would allow you to charge your iPhone X Plus up to 15 feet away from one of its transmitters. While there were rumors thatlast year’s crop of iPhones would include Energous wireless charging, the company was unable to ship its transmitters in time.
According to The Investor, at least two of the next iPhones will likely have OLED displays. In 2017, Apple placed an order with Samsung for 5.2-inch, 5.8-inch, and 6.5-inch displays. However, a subsequent report in September 2017said Apple canceled the 5.2-inch display order, possibly due to low marketability.
A decline in sales for the iPhone X is reportedly to blame for the company lowering sales prices and cutting down orders from its suppliers. This has also lead to a negotiation between Samsung Display and Apple about the price of the OLED panels. According to a recent report fromThe Bell, Samsung plans to produce about 25 million units for the iPhone X, and 75 million for the 2018 iPhone model. But Apple is apparently asking for price cuts — the company is said to have paid $110 per OLED panel for the iPhone X to Samsung, and is expected to pay about $100 per panel this year.
Both Apple and Samsung Display had apparently met to discuss the matterbut did not end up reaching an agreement. But Samsung Display is apparently already considering cutting prices because of its decline in capacity utilization rate.Samsung Display is also said to have started preparations with partners to produce new OLED iPhone screens starting in May, ET News reports.
But Samsung might be Apple’s only choice as an OLED supplier, which could give Samsung more power over pricing. According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, LG’s production of OLED screens have fallen behind schedule due to manufacturing issues — which has left them struggling to reach demand for this year’s lineup of iPhones.
The report also states that LG Display was recently ordered by Apple in order to go through a third round of prototype production specifically for OLED smartphone screens. According to an analyst, LG is expected to supply as much as 20 percent of OLED displays for the 2018 iPhones leaving Samsung to supply the other 80 percent.
But if LG is unable to supply its portion, Samsung might have to step in with the rest. If Samsung does become the only supplier, then it’s unlikely the cost of the future iPhones will decrease. Samsung’s OLED display is the most expensive component of the iPhone — coming in at $96 out of the $367 each device costs in total.
In addition to the OLED order, The Wall Street Journal reports Apple made a panel order with Japan Display for a 6-inch-plus model. Japan Display makes Full Active LCD displaysthat are less expensive than OLED displays, yet offer many of the same features. The iPhones with Full Active LCD display will feature darker blacks than on a traditional LCD display and can be used with wet hands.
A report from KGI Securities supports that information, stating that iPhone will produce a 6.1-inch budget iPhone with an LCD screen in 2018. This iPhone will have a lower-resolution screen but will still have Face ID. Nikkei backs that rumor up with information fromits source that Apple will be doing exactly that. While it may seem like a jump backward at first glance, it’s likely Apple has some solid reasoning behind such a move. OLED displays are currently only able to be supplied in bulk by Samsung, whose Galaxy smartphone range is the iPhone’s biggest competitor, and going back to LCD for at least one model would ensure that Apple would be able to guarantee supply of at least one type of iPhone.
In addition, areport from KGI Securities notes something else about the display of the 6.1-inch phone — that it won’t include Apple’s 3D Touch. A report from the Chinese website Feng, states the reason Apple is dropping 3D Touch on the upcoming 6.1-inch iPhone is to balance costs. This year’s mid-tier iPhone will feature a new display technology called Glass Cover Sensor (GCS). The technology moves the touch module from the display to the surface glass via “a thin film sensor.” While the technology is more expensive than the current LCD display on most iPhones, it adds some a few benefits: The 6.1-inch iPhone will reportedly have a lighter and more durable display compared to the other iPhones rumored to be announced this year.
Apple has previously seen OLED supply as a potential issue, and although LG has previously invested heavily to keep up production ofits OLED screens, Nikkei claims that LG’s production cannot currently provide enough stock for Apple’s needs. Switching to LCD would allow Apple to control its supply more easily, and not have to rely on a single supplier for iPhone displays.
It looks like 2018 will finally be the year that Apple discontinues its 4.7-inch iPhone.Amid reports that it canceled an order for 5.2-inch displays due to low marketability potential, it seems unlikely that the company is going to release another 4.7-inch model.
Several reports also claim that Apple will release an update of the iPhone SE, called iPhone SE 2, in May or June. The low-cost iPhone is reported to have an improved processor and camera sensor. Here are the latest details we have on the iPhone SE 2.
Although the iPhone X is Apple’s most expensive phone, the company may be focused on bringing down costs in 2018. A report from KGI Securities says Apple wants to “reduce costs and selling prices” before the release of the next iPhone.
AppleInsider reported that a 6.1-inch budget model iPhone with an LCD screen will go on sale in 2018. This model will be priced at $650-$750, well below the iPhone X. KGI Securities says, however, that the 6.1-inch phone, which reportedly won’t have 3D Touch or a dual-lens camera, will cost between $700 and $800.
According to a tweet by a reporter from Business Insider, an analyst from RBC Capital gives more insight on potential future pricing for 2018. Amit Daryanani predicts the 6.1-inch LCD model will start at $700 and the 5.8-inch OLED model could start at $899 — leaving the iPhone X Plus to start at $999.Daryanani believes Apple will lower the starting price of the next-generation iPhone X by $100 in order to strengthen and boost sales of the device. That way, the company can then push the iPhone X Plus into the $999 price range instead.
RBC forecasts 2018 iPhone prices pic.twitter.com/Mc2eqFPNH3
— kif (@kifleswing) March 26, 2018
While we don’t know exactly what the next iPhone will be called, we’re assuming it’s not going to be labeled as the iPhone 9. Originally, we assumed Apple would call it the iPhone 11 — but as more rumors begin to circulate, it seems there could be other options. A majority of recent reports have been referring to this year’s flagship as the iPhone X Plus, so we’re going to call it that for now.
As for the lower-cost 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, an analyst with Rosenblatt claims the phone will be called the iPhone 8S, following Apple’s naming convention for the last several updates.
Apple dipped its toes into edge-to-edge phones with the iPhone X, but reports indicate the company could seriously expand its lineup in 2018. In fact, rumors suggest that the company will launch three phones with an iPhone X-like design.
According to areport from Bloomberg, Apple will launch its largest iPhone ever, a new phone the same size as the current iPhone X and a less expensive iPhone with some features missing. The larger device will reportedly feature a 6.5-inch display, which is pretty huge. It will likely be positioned as the “plus-sized” iPhone, much like the iPhone 8 Plus is today.
Then there is the low-cost device, which will reportedly also feature an edge-to-edge display, as well as Face ID over a fingerprint sensor. So how will Apple cut costs? The company will reportedly use slightly cheaper materials, instead of limiting the features on the phone.
According to a story on Mashable, the next iPhone will not feature TrueDepth 3D rear cameras. The story, based on a report from KGI Securities,says Apple will instead focus on launching new models with the front-facing TrueDepth cameras and stabilizing shipments. While KGI originally reported that the next iPhones would feature the TrueDepth 3D rear cameras, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple’s current cameras haveabout two-and-a-half-year lead over current Android phones.
KGI Securities also predicted that the 6.1-inch iPhone may do away with dual-lens cameras altogether, instead opting for a single-lens camera. It’s currently unclear if Apple intends to use machine learning to implement features like Portrait Mode, like Google did with the Google Pixel 2, or if it’ll just be a single-lens camera with single-lens features.
In November, KGI’s analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted2018 iPhones will feature baseband chips from Intel (as the main supplier) and Qualcomm.They were supposedly pre-5G wireless chips, which would increase the iPhone from 2×2 MIMO — multiple-input multiple-output technology — to 4×4 MIMO.
According to the most recent report from9to5Mac, Kuo claims Apple will use Intel as its exclusive supplier — excluding Qualcomm from 2018 iPhones completely.KGI says Intel is better-suited for Apple’s technical requirements and also offers more competitive prices. But Qualcomm might have the upper hand when it comes to 5G networking, which KGI claims Intel might not be quite ready for.
The next iPhone may offer 5G technology, dramatically increasing data speeds. Business Insider reports that Apple applied with the Federal Communications Commissionto begin testing a new wireless technology called millimeter wave. This technology allows devices to access more bandwidth than is currently possible on existing cellular networks.
In 2017,we reported that Apple may be creating a special version of the Pencil for at least one model ofthis year’s iPhone. While the Pencil debuted with the iPad Pro in 2015, the company has yet to make a Pencil that is compatible with the iPhone. If the next iPhone does include a Pencil, it will place the phone in direct competition with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.
AppleInsider reports that Apple has developed a relationship with LG Innotek to create flexible circuit boards for the next iPhone. These flexible circuit boards, already used in some devices like the Samsung Galaxy, would allow Apple to create an iPhone with a curved display.
Updated on May 23, 2018: Added the latest information regarding new 7-nanometer chips in the iPhone X Plus.