Editors’ note: This article was originally published on Feb. 16, and we’ll continue to add new rumors and stories as they emerge.
Follow ourat 10 a.m. PT on Tuesday, September 12.
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Just days ahead of the, an apparent major leak has revealed a handful of intriguing new details about the trio of phones it’s expected to introduce, while confirming a number of long-rumored features.
In a near replay of, which sharpened our knowledge of new features like the virtual home button, a gesture-based UI, and facial recognition technology, an apparent leak of the hit the internet.
Planned or not, thedelivered a slew of juicy new morsels, not the least of which are indications that Apple has named the new flagship the iPhone X — possibly referring to the 10th anniversary of the historic device — while the other two will be called the . Apparently, this year there’s just too much new stuff for a conventional “S” update. But that’s not all: we’ve got fresh insight into the new user interface, the role of the side button, and something called “Animojis.”
We’ll have to wait until; Apple did not respond to our inquiries. But in the interim, we’ve got a pretty clear view of what we think we’ll see with the new phones, in addition to the and we expect to see. And though the big day is nearly here, there’s plenty of time for more news to break. So stay tuned here to track all the new rumors in real time.
iPhone X/iPhone 8 specs we might see:
- Three new phones including and an all-new OLED flagship
- Curved, edge-to-edge display with True Tone technology and/or Ion-X glass
- Virtual home button
- Facial recognition alternative to Touch ID
- and/or faster USB-C charging
- Dual-lens camera, possibly in a vertical configuration
- featuring rear-facing 3D laser for enhanced depth perception
- Support for the Apple Pencil
- Stainless steel and glass body with a new “side button”
- Limited colors with an outside chance of a reflective, mirror-like finish
- Upgraded storage and memory, possibly starting at 64GB and 3GB of RAM
- Intel or Qualcomm modem
- featuring gesture-based user interface and animated emojis (“Animojis”)
- Enhanced water resistance or waterproofing
- Higher quality earpiece for louder, clearer audio
- Apple’s next-generation processor (the A10X or A11)
- Priced between $ 1,000 and $ 1,200 in the US,
Announcement and release date
On Sept. 12, at 10 a.m. PT, the company will hold its inaugural event at the Steve Jobs Theater at its newly built headquarters in Cupertino, California. The official invitation, distributed to media on Aug. 31, followed tech blog Mac4Ever’s report (later corroborated by the Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch) that Apple would bring out new phones at an event on Sept. 12.
Despite months of reports aboutand even panic, we presume that Apple will deliver a plentiful supply of the two LCD models soon after the announcement. TechCrunch reports that Apple will take pre-orders on Friday, Sept. and release some phones on Friday, Sept. 22. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the OLED model may be more difficult to come by, at least initially, with its store release delayed by a month or more.
Too different to stick with the same old names
Steve Troughton-Smith, one of the developers who dug into the HomePod firmware to, believes he has confirmed the names of the new phones: the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. This corroborates last weekend’s news from veteran leaker Evan Blass, who tweeted that he’s “heard” the new flagship called the iPhone X, and others’ reporting that what we’ve been calling the may actually be the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. If true, the many case makers who bet big on the iPhone Edition name will have their faces wet with tears on Tuesday (via MacRumors).
According to new reports by Steve Troughton-Smith and 9to5Mac, the higher-end iPhone X will feature a new type of animated emoji — “Animoji” — that leverages the phone’s new 3D sensing technology. Apparently, these special emoji will be able to track and superimpose your facial expressions on a handful of animals including chimps, robots, pigs, cats, chickens, dogs, foxes, and, of course, poop.
A whole new UI
For months we heard murmurs that Apple might do away with the home button, and last week Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, among the most credible sources of Apple news, reported that it was true: the iPhone X will replace the home button with a brand new gesture-based user interface. He suggests that the new phone will have an app dock similar to the one found on the iPad, with a thin software bar anchored along the bottom of the display.
We also expect that the side button will have new functionality; 9to5Mac reports that double-clicking it will show Apple Pay cards and passes, while a longer hold will activate Siri. Last month, Steve Troughton-Smith tweeted that the iPhone X would have a virtual home button, which can change its size or disappear entirely, depending on the app or task.
Your face is the key
According to 9to5Mac, the iOS 11 code confirms both the existence of Apple’s new facial recognition technology — and its name: Face ID. This follows the initial discoveries by developer Steve Troughton-Smith in thethat you’ll be able to use your face to unlock the iPhone X, pay for stuff and much more. Mark Gurman, the Bloomberg News technology reporter with a strong record on Apple stories, says that the company’s pitch will be that “Face ID is quicker, more secure, and more accurate than Touch ID.”
Face-seeking cam on the front
To support the new facial-recognition technology, Apple has arranged the front-facing cameras in a new configuration within a cutout atop the new edge-to-edge display. According to veteran Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the setup will support AR and 3D modeling with a trio of components — a front-facing camera, infrared transmitter and infrared receiver.
Dual cams on the back
The growing consensus among the rumor watchers is that the iPhone X has two rear cameras arranged vertically with an LED flash in the middle. Fast Company has reported that Apple has developed athat supports AR depth detection and autofocusing.
LCD or OLED displays?
Both. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are expected to stick with the iPhone’s current LCD technology, while the next flagship is almost certain to have an OLED. (We’ve also heard thatin 2018.) Ironically, those OLED screens will almost certainly , which is said to control around 98 percent or more of current phone-sized OLED manufacturing capacity.
All kinds of new goodies in iOS 11
Even before we saw the, we knew Apple was going all-in on AR. Apple delivered the of the next generation mobile operating system in June (here’s ) and the HomePod leak has expanded the list of we’ve discovered. Beyond , highlights include a smarter, , and AR software that will overlay the virtual world on to the physical one. .
3 phones, 3 colors
Kuo reports that each of the three new models will be available in three colors — black, silver and gold. This runs counter to previous reports of an expanded palette of options that included a, jet black and rose gold.
In August Troughton-Smith refined his initial leak of the iPhone X glyph with some precise measurements of the front of the device, with a camera cut-out along the top edge. An increasing number of images andof dummy phones and molds show an iPhone X that’s bigger than the iPhone 7 and smaller than the 7 Plus; the iPhone X’s display, rumored to extend from edge to edge, with very narrow bezels, would likely be more comparable with that of the 7 Plus. The iPhone X is likely to feature a combination of curved glass and stainless steel, according to Bloomberg.
Ming-Chi Kuo reports that all three new models, both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus as well as the flagship, will support faster “plugged-in” charges, though you’ll need an add-on USB-C power adapter to take advantage of it. Noted Apple watcher John Gruber tweeted in July that “wireless” charging — that is, an inductive charge pad accessory, which, technically, still has wires — may be “sold separately” and not until later in the year, as part of a future iOS 11 update, similar to Apple’sin 2016.
According to analysts at JPMorgan (as reported by MacRumors), Apple may equip the iPhone X with an “enhanced receiver,” which is housed within the slit on the front of the phone where you put your ear during calls. This upgrade would ostensibly deliver louder, clearer audio as well as superior waterproofing (more on that below).
The iOS 11 GM release lifts the curtain on what looks like a minor revision to Apple’s megapopular wireless headphones. The tweak seems to involve moving the charging indicator light to the outside of the charging case, so you don’t have to open the thing to see if your Pods have power.
JPMorgan has postulated that the iPhone X would come withincluded. These Bluetooth-enabled headphones currently sell as a $ 159 accessory (£159 in the UK and AU$ 229 in Australia). And so this one is a stretch. But if Apple prices the new phone high enough, there could be margin enough to make it happen.
One area the iPhone X may end up trailing the Galaxy S8 is cellular network speed. The Samsung phone features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor or, in some markets, Samsung’s own Exynos 8895 chip — both of which support Gigabit LTE. According to CNET’s Roger Cheng, Apple uses Qualcomm and Intel modems and, at the moment, the Intel version can’t deliver Gigabit LTE speed. This could force Apple to slow down the Qualcomm version to ensure all iPhones are on the same footing.
Return of the headphone jack? Nope
A Barclays analyst (reported by MacRumors) has suggested that Apple will stick with its Lightning connector — and include a 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter — for the next phone. Highly doubtful. Despite the shade being thrown by competitors like OnePlus, whose newhas the legacy connector, Apple is very unlikely to reverse its position on this one.
That same Nikkei Asian Review article also claims that at least one of the forthcoming iPhones will be waterproof. This follows earlier rumors, reported by the Korea Herald and others, that the next iPhone will have a higherof IP68 compared with the current generation’s IP67, meaning it could be immersed in water for longer and to greater depths.
Pencil it in
Apple could undercut one of the’s greatest strengths by adding Pencil support to the iPhone X. The long-simmering iPhone stylus rumor boiled up, as Apple filed new patent applications connecting the Apple Pencil with the iPhone (via PatentlyApple). We think this one’s a long shot for the iPhone X — there hasn’t been much chatter or photographic evidence to support it — but inevitable in the long run.
The iPhone X is expected to run on Apple’s A11 CPU. There’s a rumor that the company is developing its own graphics chips, too. But the time frame for phasing out its current supplier is 15 to 24 months, so it’s unlikely that an Apple-manufactured GPU will make it into the next iPhone. We’re probably looking at 2018 or 2019 for this one.
According to a listing on Chinese blogging site Weibo, Apple may dump its 32GB model, at least for the iPhone X, and offer three storage tiers: 64GB, 256GB and 512GB; this is consistent with an earlier rumor reported by TrendForce. These reports also suggest that the company will boost the amount of memory to 3GB, though the 8 and 8 Plus will get only 2GB. These incremental bumps for the flagship would follow last year’s precedent of Applewhen it released the iPhone 7.
$ 1,000 base model
The New York Times reports that the “premium model” will start at roughly $ 1,000. That squares with earlier predictions from Morgan Stanley, Fast Company and Goldman Sachs, who have suggested that the new flagship could cost as much as $ 1,200 in the US (roughly £950 or AU$ 1,450), which would account for upper-end models with more storage capacity (more on that below). Earlier this year, a UBS analyst reported that Apple could price the 64GB iPhone 8 as low as $ 850 (roughly £655 and AU$ 1,110) to better compete with the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. Theare expected to be priced comparably with the current generation 7 and 7 Plus, so $ 649 (£500 and AU$ 850) and $ 769 (£580 and AU$ 980), respectively.
And what about the iPhone XS?
From the outer frontier of the iPhone hype cycle, The Bell (via Korean site The Investor) reports that Apple will supersize its future phones — the iPhone XS, the iPhone 9, the iPhone 11? — featuring two variations with an OLED display, a 5.28-inch model and a 6.46-inch one. And Nikkei Asian Review suggests that all of next year’s iPhones could adopt new screen technology, not just the most high-end model.