A fresh set of regulatory filings with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) may be dropping hints about Apple’s 2018 lineup.
Legally, any smart device with encryption is required to be registered with the EEC to be sold in several Eastern European countries. Because of that, EEC filings are good indicators that Apple devices are coming.
Today’s EEC filing gives us a few suggestions about what Apple’s iPhone, iPad and Mac lineup this year could look like.
French tech site Consomac first spotted filings today for two new unreleased tablet-sized devices: A1895 and A1980. This joins an additional five tablet models that Apple registered with the EEC earlier this month.
Based on the timeline, it’s safe to assume that some or most of these unreleased tablet devices comprise the 2018 iPad Pro refresh.
This year’s iPad Pro models are expected to sport a major redesign, which is expected to include much slimmer bezels, Face ID, and no Home button. According to a recent report by well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, it’ll come in two sizes: 11 inches and 12.9 inches.
Based on that, we can make a few guesses. Both iPad Pro models will likely come in Wi-Fi + Cellular and Wi-Fi only variants. It’s also possible that one of the variants is a model with cellular capabilities tailored for China.
That would leave one tablet-sized device with no analog. Guessing at what it could be is pure speculation at this point, but some Apple fans are hoping for a refreshed iPad mini 5.
Interestingly, Consomac reports that today’s EEC regulatory filing also includes 11 existing iPhone models running iOS 12. That includes the iPhone X and iPhone SE.
While a previous rumor suggested that those two devices could be discontinued, the fact that they were registered with an upcoming version of iOS makes it rather unclear whether Apple will continue offering them.
It’s also worth noting that, back in April, Consomac spotted 11 regulatory filings for unreleased iPhone devices running iOS 11.
Back then, those filings were seen as evidence that Apple was planning on refreshing the iPhone SE device — a low-cost smartphone with an aging form factor that has turned out to be surprisingly popular.
Of course, some analysts indicate that the iPhone SE 2 has been scrapped altogether. And most current rumors agree that the September lineup will only include three devices: an iPhone X successor, an iPhone X Plus, and a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone.
In other words, we have no idea what those unreleased iPhones running iOS 11 could be. But if they are new models, they’d have to debut before iOS 12 drops in the fall.
The EEC filing also included five new unreleased laptop models.
We now know that two of those models were the recently announced 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook with Touch Bar Pro refreshes.
That leaves three laptop models that haven’t been announced yet. As with the other EEC filings, it’s unclear what these could be — but analyst forecasts and rumors have suggested Apple could debut a lower-cost MacBook-type device this year.