Apple’s iPhone update in the autumn of 2018 could see three or even four new iPhones launched at the same time, and fans can’t wait to see what’s in store.
In this article we look at all the rumors concerning the successor to the iPhone X, and the expected larger iPhone X Plus: their release date, prices (which may be lower than expected, if Apple releases the rumored iPhone X Lite), design changes, tech specs and new features. We’ve also got the latest leaked photos, including what is believed to be a prototype iPhone X Plus display.
We also think Apple is likely to update the iPhone SE in the spring of 2018, and we have a separate article addressing those rumors here: iPhone SE 2 news. And for advice related to the current lineup, you may prefer to read our iPhone buying guide and roundup of the best iPhone deals.
If Apple follows its usual schedule, we’ll see new i-Phones announced in early September. For last year’s 10th anniversary of Apple’s hugely influential device, we got the totally new — and totally expensive — iPhone X, with its edge-to-edge O L E D display, distinctive top center notch and Face ID instead of a familiar Touch ID fingerprint home button. Apple also launched two more-traditional handset upgrades, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, so consumers not ready to jump to the high price and radical redesign of the X still had a more familiar option.
For 2018, though, it looks as if Apple may be going all-in on Face ID. The rumor mill — started by influential analyst Ming-Chi K u o and corroborated by Bloomberg’s Mark G u r man — pegs two larger-screen models on deck: a 6.5-inch O L E D and a 6.1-inch LCD handset. The latter might strip a few features — such as 3 D Touch and the dual rear camera — to come in at a price point lower than the current iPhone X.
We expect the successor(s) to the i-Phones 8, 8 Plus and X to be unveiled in September 2018. This would be exactly a year after the iPhone 8 launched, and is in line with Apple’s usual habit of launching a new flagship iPhone every September.
In 2017 the company didn’t launch all of its new i-Phones at the same time: the iPhone X arrived one month after the 8 and 8 Plus. Whether this was intentional isn’t completely clear. But we don’t expect there will be a staggered launch for the new i-Phones in autumn 2018.
K G I analyst Ming-Chi K u o doesn’t think Apple will miss the September launch date in 2018, and believes Apple’s focus this year will be to ensure all the new models are ready to meet the same shipping date. “Achieving stable shipments and on-time shipping” will be the company’s aim, he said in a research note back in October 2017.
That model, meanwhile, may be discontinued, based on rumors that orders for its 5.8-inch OLED screens are ramping down.
Whether Apple eventually unveils two or three new i-Phones come September — and no matter what they’re called — there are plenty of features we’d like to see in the new models. Here are our top priorities — along with our guess on the likelihood of each one being implemented in the top-end model.
First up, in Nov 2017 Ming-Chi K u o predicted that three new models would launch in autumn 2018, and that these would have the same all-screen design with the now-familiar notch. In January he followed up with more details of each model. As illustrated below, that’s:
- 5.8 in O L E D: iPhone 11 or XI, with largely same design as iPhone X
- 6.5 in O L E D: iPhone X Plus or XI Plus
- 6.1 in LCD: a cheaper alternative – starting at around $700 – with the notch design of the X but slightly larger bezels. It will feature Face ID but not 3 D Touch and won’t have twin camera lenses on the rear. K u o later predicted that this model could sell 100 million units
The 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus will have a display with 480 to 500 pixels per inch, possibly making it more pixel dense than the iPhone X. The 6.1-inch LCD version will only have a display with 320 to 330 P P I.
A surprising rumor, which started doing the rounds in Jan 2018, holds that Apple is looking to end production of the iPhone X after only a year on the market. This appears to have been sparked by analyst Jun Zhang of R o s e n b l a t t Securities making the (noticeably less controversial) prediction that the company “may be planning to cut iPhone X production for the June quarter by as much as 10 million units”.
“The primary selling points of the T FT-LCD model may be the innovative user experience of an integrated full-screen design and 3 D sensing with a lower price tag (we expect it will likely be US$649-749),” writes K u o in the email obtained by Mac Rumors.
In 2018 we expect all of Apple’s new i-Phones to take on the all-screen iPhone X design. This would mean the successors to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, as well as the successor to the iPhone X, will have a bezel-free design, Face ID camera, and no Home button.