New iPhone mod­els

Judg­ing by the lat­est ru­mours, it’s go­ing to be all change in the dis­play depart­ment

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - BY Alex Sum­mersby

The lat­est ru­mors sug­gest a fu­ture dis­play change.

Ap­ple does not dis­close its fu­ture plans, but other sources sug­gest that new iPhone mod­els are im­mi­nent. A reg­u­la­tory fil­ing with the Eurasian Eco­nomic Com­mis­sion, re­quired for com­pa­nies want­ing to mar­ket prod­ucts in Russia that in­cor­po­rate en­cryp­tion, lists 11 new iPhone model num­bers. Fil­ings with the Com­mis­sion have been a re­li­able in­di­ca­tor of new Ap­ple prod­ucts, lift­ing the cur­tain on AirPods, iPhone 7, new MacBook mod­els, and the lat­est iPad, which was launched a month or so af­ter be­ing listed. On this record, it seems likely that the new iPhone mod­els might be an­nounced at WWDC in early June.

How­ever, Ap­ple’s usual up­date cycle sees new iPhones re­leased in the fall, so in­stead, com­men­ta­tors an­tic­i­pate an up­date to the iPhone SE, which has not had a sub­stan­tial re­vi­sion since it was in­tro­duced in March 2016. Spec­u­la­tion is that the new SE model’s specs will be in line with those of the iPhone 7, in­clud­ing Ru­mors sug­gest that the up­dated iPhone SE will reach Amer­i­can con­sumers in the fall. the A10 Fu­sion chip, a sig­nif­i­cant step up from the A9 in the cur­rent SE. No­body knows whether a new SE would still have a 4-inch screen, pop­u­lar with users who want a more compact de­vice, or grow to 4.7-inch like the iPhone 7 and 8. It is also un­clear why there may be 11 dis­tinct mod­els — re­ports spec­u­late about a range of new col­ors, but that would not re­quire sep­a­rate model num­bers.

It is pos­si­ble that the fil­ing cov­ers a whole new range of iPhones, which ob­servers ex­pect around Septem­ber. KGI Se­cu­ri­ties an­a­lyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a good track record of fore­cast­ing Ap­ple prod­ucts, pre­dicts a com­pletely new three-model line: • a second-gen­er­a­tion ver­sion of the cur­rent flag­ship iPhone X, with the same 5.8-inch OLED dis­play; • an “iPhone X Plus” with a larger 6.5-inch OLED dis­play; • a new, more af­ford­able 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD dis­play (so slightly larger than the 5.5-inch screen on the cur­rent iPhone 8 Plus).

All three are ex­pected to have an edge-to-edge screen like the iPhone X, and Face ID — no more Home but­ton or Touch ID sen­sor. It may also be that, in­stead of re­leas­ing a sin­gle “iPhone SE-2” model, Ap­ple plans a wider range of mod­els with a tra­di­tional Home but­ton in ad­di­tion to th­ese three pre­mium mod­els.

Screen thrills

The iPhone X is the only cur­rent model with an OLED screen. This com­po­nent is made by Sam­sung, and re­ports say Ap­ple does not want to rely on sup­plies from a com­pany that hap­pens to be its main com­peti­tor in the smart­phone mar­ket, es­pe­cially if Ap­ple plans more mod­els with OLED screens. Some claim Ap­ple has been ex­plor­ing other sources, no­tably LG, but the Wall Street Jour­nal re­ports LG has en­coun­tered man­u­fac­tur­ing prob­lems and can’t de­liver on time.

Down the line, Bloomberg re­ports, Ap­ple will break the iPhone mold with a curved, ges­ture-con­trolled phone. The screen will be con­cave, gen­tly curv­ing in­ward from top to bot­tom (un­like Sam­sung’s cur­rent curved phones, which curve down at the edges). Ap­ple would use OLED dis­plays, which can be curved in ways that LCD can­not. Bloomberg says ges­ture con­trols would make it pos­si­ble to move a fin­ger close to the screen (with­out ac­tu­ally touch­ing it) to per­form some tasks, but it says the tech­nol­ogy will not be ready for at least another cou­ple of years.

In a break with tra­di­tion, Ap­ple’s next iPhone could in­clude an OLED con­cave screen.

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