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With Ap­ple’s next iPhone(s) due in Septem­ber, ru­mours about what we can ex­pect have reached fever pitch. Here we look at what’s been said and an­a­lyse what seems fea­si­ble.

Dual-SIM iPhones on the way Re­ported on 31 July 2018

The fifth beta of iOS 12 went out to de­vel­op­ers on 30 July and it only took one day for the tip­sters at 9to5Mac to spot an in­trigu­ing bit of code that points to dual-SIM en­abled hard­ware on the way. In the part of the sys­tem re­spon­si­ble for gen­er­at­ing di­ag­nos­tic

re­ports, there are ref­er­ences to ‘sec­ondSimS­ta­tus’ and ‘sec­ond SimTray Sta­tus’ .Else­where, an­other com­po­nent has an ‘isDualSimDe­vice’ ref­er­ence.

Plau­si­ble? There have been ru­mours of dual-SIM iPhones in the works for years. In many coun­tries where smart­phone use is grow­ing the fastest, it’s a lot cheaper to have one SIM with a pay-as-you-go talk plan and an­other data-only SIM. Some cus­tomers won’t con­sider a phone that doesn’t have that ca­pa­bil­ity.

Per­haps hav­ing two mo­dem ven­dors with dif­fer­ent ca­pa­bil­i­ties has made this chal­leng­ing in the past, and the change is be­ing en­abled by the switch to a sin­gle mo­dem ven­dor? Or maybe Ap­ple has never wanted to give up the space for two SIM slots, but a move to eSIM would let them have a pri­mary in­ter­nal eSIM and a se­condary SIM in a tray? Ei­ther way, this ru­mour looks pretty likely. It’s hard to think that this code ref­er­ences any­thing else.

What we don’t know is ex­actly which iPhone model(s) may get dual-SIM sup­port. It could be for a fu­ture iPhone SE re­place­ment, for ex­am­ple, or it may be avail­able on higher-end iPhones but only in cer­tain coun­tries where dual SIMs are pop­u­lar.

6.1in LCD iPhone may launch af­ter the OLED mod­els Re­ported on 25 July 2018

A re­cent re­port from Bar­ron’s cites an anal­y­sis from Mor­gan Stan­ley’s Katy Hu­berty in ex­pect­ing rel­a­tively weak Septem­ber iPhone sales com­pared to most years. The rea­son? While the 5.8- and 6.5in high-end iPhones with OLED screens are ex­pected to launch in Septem­ber as usual, the 6.1in LCD model may suf­fer a small de­lay.

Hu­berty’s re­port says, “sus­pected is­sues with LED back­light leak­age” are to blame for the hold up. Ap­ple is try­ing to give the 6.1in LCD iPhone the same curve­hug­ging, su­per-slim bezel de­sign as the OLED mod­els (only with a slightly thicker bezel). That cre­ates big tech­ni­cal chal­lenges with the lo­ca­tion of the dis­play con­troller and back­light leak­age around the edges.

This is ac­tu­ally an im­prove­ment, ac­cord­ing to Hu­berty. Ac­cord­ing to her re­port, sup­pli­ers orig­i­nally ex­pected a six-week de­lay on that model, forc­ing it to launch in Novem­ber, per­haps even later than the iPhone X did in 2017.

Plau­si­ble? A small de­lay for one prod­uct in Ap­ple’s line-up isn’t un­heard of, and cre­at­ing an iPhone X-like form fac­tor with an LCD screen is a big chal­lenge for a com­pany as fa­mously fussy about dis­play qual­ity as Ap­ple. Still, when you start pre­dict­ing iPhone re­lease dates, any­thing can hap­pen.

All three front glass pan­els leaked Re­ported on 17 July 2018

As we count the days to the new iPhone’s ex­pected Septem­ber un­veil­ing, Twit­ter user Ben Ge­skin has seem­ingly spilled the beans for all to see. A new photo re­port­edly (see be­low) shows off the front panel for all three iPhones, let­ting you eas­ily see the size dif­fer­ence be­tween the 5.8-, 6.1-, and 6.5in mod­els. Of note, the ru­moured LCD model has slightly thicker

bezels all around, but all three fea­ture the same iPhone X-in­spired de­sign, with no home but­ton and a cam­era notch at the top of the screen.

Plau­si­ble? We’ve been hear­ing for a while now that the 2018 iPhone will come in three sizes, and this leak cer­tainly fits that nar­ra­tive. It makes sense for Ap­ple to go all-in on the de­sign in­tro­duced with the iPhone X as quickly as pos­si­ble as iOS shifts to a more ges­ture­based nav­i­ga­tion with­out a home but­ton. Pre­vi­ous ru­mours have pegged the 6.1in mid­dle model as the cheap­est of the lot, and if true, we ex­pect it to sell as fast as Ap­ple can make it, and maybe even faster.

New iPhone to come in bold new colours

With just a few weeks to go un­til the new iPhones are un­veiled, Ming-Chi Kuo is pro­vid­ing some new de­tails on the up­com­ing mod­els. While con­firm­ing the pric­ing of a £700 LCD low-end model and a £999 6.5in flag­ship, he also spills some de­tails on the dif­fer­ent ver­sions that will re­lease.

For one, the 6.5in iPhone will be avail­able in gold (a colour that’s avail­able on the iPhone 8 but not the X). But it’s the 6.1in model that’s most in­ter­est­ing: Ac­cord­ing to Kuo, it will come in five colours: grey, white, blue, red, and or­ange. The cur­rent iPhone 8 comes in just three colours: space grey, sil­ver, and gold, so this would rep­re­sent quite a change.

Plau­si­ble? Sure, why not? Ap­ple in­tro­duced the ‘un­apolo­get­i­cally plas­tic’ iPhone 5c five years ago in green, blue, yel­low, pink, and white to boost sales and

vis­i­bil­ity of the hand­set, so it wouldn’t be a com­plete de­par­ture to do the same thing this year. Ap­ple will likely po­si­tion the 6.1in iPhone sim­i­larly to the 5c as both a new model and a cheaper al­ter­na­tive to the high-end hand­sets, so a bunch of colours would help dis­tin­guish the lines.

USB-C Power adap­tor pho­tos leaked Re­ported on 2 July 2 2018

The Chi­nese site Chong­diantou has what it claims are early images from some­one in Ap­ple’s sup­ply chain of

the USB-C power adap­tor that is said to ship with this year’s iPhones. This was first re­ported on back in May, and these leaked images (see above) ap­pear to lend cred­i­bil­ity to that ini­tial re­port.

Plau­si­ble? The de­sign of this en­gi­neer­ing pro­to­type does match the pre­vi­ous CAD draw­ings and, more gen­er­ally, Ap­ple’s style. These things could eas­ily be faked or a case of mis­taken iden­tity, but we think this will prob­a­bly come to pass. Ap­ple’s iPhones have con­tin­ued to ship with an un­sat­is­fy­ing 5-watt USB-A power adap­tor, when it’s phones are eas­ily ca­pa­ble of charg­ing much faster. It’s long past the time for Ap­ple to re­place its power adap­tor and pro­vide the av­er­age user with the much faster charg­ing per­for­mance the iPhone is ca­pa­ble of.

iPhone X Plus to cost less than iPhone X Re­ported on 4 June 2018

Ming-Chi Kuo, who of­ten makes re­mark­ably ac­cu­rate pre­dic­tions based on his sup­ply-chain con­tacts for an­a­lyst firm KGI Se­cu­ri­ties, made this pre­dic­tion back in the spring. He had re­cently left KGI Se­cu­ri­ties, but landed at ri­val firm TF In­ter­na­tional Se­cu­ri­ties. This was his first re­port at that com­pany.

Kuo be­lieves that the largest model, the 6.5in OLED ‘iPhone X Plus’ (if you will), will cost be­tween £900 and £1,000. The 5.8in OLED model, sim­i­lar in size and shape to the cur­rent iPhone X, will fall into the £800 to £900 price range. That’s con­sid­er­ably cheaper than the iPhone X, but po­ten­tially more ex­pen­sive than the iPhone 8 Plus, which starts at £799. The LCD-based 6.1in model would cost £600 to £700.

What’s more, Kuo says that he ex­pects Ap­ple to an­nounce all three new phone mod­els at an event in Septem­ber, with all three ship­ping to cus­tomers later that month. This con­tra­dicts other ru­mours that claimed the LCD-based model might not ship un­til Novem­ber.

Plau­si­ble? These prices make sense. The iPhone 8 starts at £699, the 8 Plus at £799, and the X quite a bit more at £999. We could eas­ily see Ap­ple bring­ing the price of its most ex­pen­sive model down to £949 or even £899 (higher than the most ex­pen­sive iPhone in ev­ery year but this one), with the other two new hand­sets roughly com­par­ing to the prices of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Those phones, then, would still be avail­able but with the price re­duced by £100 to £150. The iPhone X would

prob­a­bly no longer be sold – with­out drop­ping the price by £300 or more, there would be no point, when cus­tomers could get a su­pe­rior phone for less.

2018 iPhones to come with 18W USB-C adap­tor in box Re­ported on 16 May 2018

In early May, we re­ported on a ru­mour posted the Chi­nese so­cial net­work Weibo that claimed Ap­ple is chang­ing its in­cluded-in-box power adap­tors from a puny 5-watt USB-A adap­tor to a speedy 18W USB-C adap­tor (the iPhone con­nec­tion side will still be a

Light­ning plug, don’t worry). Now Charg­er­lab claims it has the same in­for­ma­tion from an in­de­pen­dent source, and has CAD draw­ings of the charger with a Euro­pean plug. It dove­tails nicely with the pre­vi­ous leak – the charger has the same new rounded oval shape, save for the part that plugs into the Euro­pean wall sock­ets.

Plau­si­ble? It has been pretty em­bar­rass­ing for the iPhone, an ex­pen­sive pre­mium phone, to ship with an an­cient and slow 5-watt power adap­tor all this time. Cheaper An­droid phones have had faster charg­ers in the box for a long time. Most mod­ern iPhones charge faster with the 12W iPad adap­tor, and the iPhone 8 and iPhone X ex­plic­itly sup­port USB-C fast charg­ing, though the only way to uti­lize it us­ing Ap­ple’s of­fi­cial gear is to buy a 30W USB-C adap­tor (£49 from

fave.co/2OXGWRC and a grossly over­priced USB-C Light­ning ca­ble (£19 from fave.co/2vxRWwU).

It’s long past time for Ap­ple to pack in a much faster power adap­tor, and since most cus­tomers just use what

comes in the box, it means the av­er­age iPhone buyer is go­ing to no­tice a vast im­prove­ment in charg­ing speed.

iPhone SE 2 will be re­leased in Septem­ber, mul­ti­ple mod­els un­der con­sid­er­a­tion Re­ported on 14 May 2018

The Ja­panese Mac Otakara blog, hav­ing pre­vi­ously re­ported that the new iPhone SE model was due in May, is now stat­ing that Ap­ple is con­sid­er­ing among sev­eral pos­si­ble mod­els and has not yet en­tered pro­duc­tion, push­ing the re­lease back to the Septem­ber time frame.

The blog states that the com­pany is con­sid­er­ing ver­sions with the same gen­eral phys­i­cal di­men­sions as the cur­rent iPhone SE, and even at least one with a large 6in dis­play. The blog’s source is a glass maker who says there are three glass de­signs un­der con­sid­er­a­tion, and all of them share a com­mon qual­ity: no home but­ton and a cutout for the TrueDepth cam­era sen­sor.

Plau­si­ble? Well, May is well and truly gone. There are now ru­mours stat­ing that the new SE will have a ‘notch’ and no Touch ID but­ton, though it’s hard to tell if that’s just the typ­i­cal ru­mour echo cham­ber or mul­ti­ple points of in­de­pen­dent con­fir­ma­tion.

We have mixed feel­ings about the idea of a 6in SE. Surely, a less ex­pen­sive iPhone of that size would cut into sales of higher-priced iPhones, right? And one of the big sell­ing points for the SE, at least in the US and Europe, is among those who want a ‘new’ iPhone that is much smaller than even the non-plus mod­els. On the other hand, big screen phones are the hot thing in a lot

of Asian mar­kets. A more af­ford­able big-screen iPhone might do ex­cep­tion­ally well in places like China, which will help boost Ap­ple’s mar­ket share in the re­gion.

Ap­ple hasn’t al­ways been deeply con­cerned with mar­ket share, but as ser­vices be­come an in­creas­ingly large part of the com­pany’s busi­ness, hav­ing a big­ger reach starts to mat­ter more.

It’s also pos­si­ble that this sup­plier is merely con­flat­ing the iPhone SE suc­ces­sor and the 6.1in LCD-based phone al­ready ru­moured to launch along­side the iPhone X suc­ces­sor, which would carry a much higher price tag than the iPhone SE.

An­other re­port on iPhone specs Re­ported on 26 Fe­bru­ary 2018

Mark Gur­man and Debby Wu’s re­port for Bloomberg of­fers more de­tails on the specs of the new iPhones that could be com­ing this au­tumn. It says the largest iPhone, code-named D33, will be the same size as the 8 Plus, but the edge-to-edge screen makes the dis­play size an inch larger than the Plus’s. The OLED screen will have a res­o­lu­tion of 2,688x1,242 pix­els. You’ll prob­a­bly be able to use split-screen mode on some apps, like you can on the 8 Plus.

The 6.5in iPhone will have Face ID, though Bloomberg did not specif­i­cally say if there will be a notch like that on the iPhone X. As we’ve stated Ap­ple is con­sid­er­ing dual-SIM card sup­port in some re­gions where the fea­ture is pop­u­lar (Europe and Asia), but it would rather use E-SIM, which al­lows users to switch ser­vice providers with­out charg­ing a phys­i­cal SIM card.

The sec­ond new iPhone would es­sen­tially be an up­date of the cur­rent 5.8in iPhone X. Both of the new hand­sets would have Ap­ple’s A12 pro­ces­sor and iOS 12. The tech gi­ant may of­fer a gold fin­ish for both the 6.5and 5.8in iPhones, though Ap­ple wanted to pro­duce a gold iPhone X and ran into pro­duc­tion prob­lems.

The third new model, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg, will be a new lower-priced phone, but will fea­ture an edgeto-edge LCD screen and Face ID. The edges will be alu­minium, not the stain­less steel that will be on the other two iPhones. The back will be glass to al­low for wire­less charg­ing.

Plau­si­ble? There are a lot of sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the Bloomberg re­port and Ming-Chi Kuo’s pre­dic­tion ear­lier in the year. Kuo also said that Ap­ple will re­lease a 6.5in iPhone and a new 5.8in model at the higher price range, with an LCD-based iPhone in the lower price range. Know­ing what we do about iPhone sales, it’s not sur­pris­ing that Ap­ple is hop­ing to boost sales by mak­ing an af­ford­able iPhone with many of the bells and whistles of the high-end ver­sion. Now that there are two sim­i­lar re­ports by peo­ple who tend to have a good track record on Ap­ple’s plans, it looks like we’ll see three new iPhones this au­tumn.

Two high-end iPhones and a new low-end model Re­ported on 23 Jan­uary 2018

The ever-pop­u­lar iPhone tip­ster Ming-Chi Kuo from TF In­ter­na­tional Se­cu­ri­ties, who pre­dicts iPhone de­tails based pri­mar­ily on watch­ing the sup­ply and man­u­fac­tur­ing chain, has is­sued a re­port with new de­tails on what he be­lieves will be some of the ma­jor dif­fer­ences be­tween iPhone mod­els this year.

As pre­vi­ously re­ported, the new iPhones this year will, Kuo be­lieves, con­sist of two mod­els sim­i­lar to the iPhone X – one at the same 5.8 inch size and one larger model. Size dif­fer­ences aside (and per­haps dis­play res­o­lu­tion), these phones will be iden­ti­cal.

Then, in­stead of con­tin­u­ing to sell this year’s iPhone X at a re­duced price as Ap­ple typ­i­cally does, the com­pany will in­stead pro­duce a new LCD-based iPhone with many of the same de­sign cues, in­clud­ing a taller

as­pect ra­tio and very slim bezels. We should point out that the im­age above shows bezels all around the dis­play on the LCD model that may be too small to achieve with an LCD screen.

Now, Kuo has pre­dic­tions on what else will be dif­fer­ent about that 6.1in model (which he ex­pects to sell for £700 to £800, slightly higher than his orig­i­nal £650 to £750 es­ti­mate).

In ad­di­tion to the LCD screen with a lower res­o­lu­tion, the 6.1in model will have a sin­gle cam­era in­stead of a dual cam­era setup, 3GB of RAM in­stead of 4GB, and an alu­minium frame in­stead of a steel one. Note that this is just the frame, not the body, which may still be pri­mar­ily glass in or­der to en­able wire­less charg­ing. Kuo be­lieves the phone will also forego 3D touch. As far as

con­struc­tion goes, it should be sim­pler than the iPhone X (or it’s re­place­ments), by virtue of us­ing a reg­u­lar non-stacked logic board and rec­tan­gu­lar, rather than L-shaped, bat­tery.

Plau­si­ble? Most of these ru­mours seem rea­son­able as cost-sav­ing mea­sures, though they are a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing. Ap­ple’s cur­rent line-up fea­tures the iPhone 7 Plus in the £669 to £769 price point and larger size of this new iPhone, at it has the du­al­cam­era setup. De­pend­ing on what other new things Ap­ple brings to the ta­ble in this de­vice, buy­ing the year-old (by then) iPhone 8 Plus might be a bet­ter value. Los­ing 3D touch would be odd, too. The only phone in Ap­ple’s cur­rent line-up that doesn’t have this tech­nol­ogy is the £349 iPhone SE. It would be rather strange for the com­pany to take a step back in a new phone at a high price point.

An Ap­ple cus­tom power man­age­ment chip Re­ported on 30 Novem­ber 2017

A re­port in Nikkei Asian Re­view claims that Ap­ple is work­ing on its own power man­age­ment chips for iOS de­vices, which it will start in­te­grat­ing into iOS de­vices in 2018.

Cur­rent iOS de­vices use power man­age­ment chips made by the UK com­pany Dia­log Semi­con­duc­tor. These chips man­age bat­tery charg­ing and the power sup­plied from the bat­tery to the var­i­ous com­po­nents within the phone. Nikkei’s sources say Ap­ple’s new chip will be the most ad­vanced in the in­dus­try, and would al­low the

tech gi­ant to de­liver bet­ter per­for­mance with longer bat­tery life. There is some un­cer­tainty as to the tim­ing, how­ever. One of Nikkei’s sources says it will show up in some prod­ucts next year, while an­other thinks it might not ap­pear un­til 2019.

Plau­si­ble? Ap­ple is driv­ing hard to pro­duce as much of its own sil­i­con as pos­si­ble. For ex­am­ple, it re­cently started in­te­grat­ing its own graph­ics pro­ces­sors in­stead of one li­censed from Pow­erVR. The power man­age­ment chip plays a cru­cial role in mo­bile de­vices, and seems an ob­vi­ous com­po­nent for Ap­ple to bring in-house as op­posed to more gen­eral com­mod­ity com­po­nents like RAM or flash stor­age.

Faster modems and bet­ter an­ten­nas Re­porte­don17Novem­ber2017

An­a­lyst Ming-Chi Kuo, al­ways on top of the lat­est Ap­ple sup­ply chain gos­sip, says that we’ll see much im­proved cel­lu­lar base­band chips in 2018’s iPhones. It will again source chips from both In­tel and Qual­comm, but most phones (70- to 80 per­cent) will sport the In­tel chip, specif­i­cally an In­tel XMM 7560 mo­dem. The Qual­comm mo­dem is ex­pected to be the Snap­dragon X20.

Both modems sup­port 4x4 MIMO (cur­rent iPhones sup­port only 2x2 MIMO) and 5x car­rier ag­gre­ga­tion, and should work with the newly-de­ployed 600MHz car­rier bands, pro­vided that Ap­ple does all the nec­es­sary work on an­ten­nas and soft­ware. This means a big jump in

max­i­mum cel­lu­lar per­for­mance, in­clud­ing gi­ga­bit LTE speeds and sup­port for more fre­quen­cies in more ar­eas.

Plau­si­ble? Ap­ple is be­hind its big­gest An­droid ri­vals when it comes to cel­lu­lar con­nec­tiv­ity. In the right lo­ca­tions, the best An­droid phones sup­port newer LTE tech­nolo­gies and faster real-world down­load and up­load speeds. Get­ting on par with Sam­sung and Google’s best in this area is some­thing that needs to hap­pen.

The iPhone X was Ap­ple’s first to have an OLED screen

This leaked im­age sup­pos­edly shows the three sizes of the 2018 iPhones

The new 6.1in iPhone will re­port­edly bring bright colours to the hand­set for the first time since the 5c in­tro­duced green, blue, yel­low pink and white

It’s ru­moured that the iPhone X Plus will cost less than the iPhone X

This is sup­pos­edly the shape of the new iPhone power adap­tor, with Euro­pean Type C plug

Bloomberg re­ports that Ap­ple’s next iPhone will be the same size as the 8 Plus

A chart from KGI show­ing ma­jor dif­fer­ences be­tween iPhone mod­els this year. Spe­cific de­sign el­e­ments are not nec­es­sar­ily rep­re­sented

It’s thought that Ap­ple could use its own chips in up­com­ing iOS de­vices

Its thought that the up­com­ing iPhones will come with bet­ter base­band chips for im­proved con­nec­tiv­ity

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