We are quickly approaching Apple’s annual keynote and the rumor mill is doubling-down on the expected features for this year’s iPhone lineup.
Credible sources and analysts have long predicted that all three 2018 iPhones will feature an edge-to-edge design, a gesture-based control scheme, and a TrueDepth camera with Face ID in lieu of a Home button.
Today’s Bloomberg report corroborates rumors that Apple will release three new iPhones this year. They’ll include an OLED successor to the iPhone X with a 5.8-inch display; a larger OLED iPhone X Plus with a 6.5-inch display; and a lower-cost iPhone with a 6.1-inch LCD display.
Sources within Apple told Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Debby Wu that the company is labeling 2018 an “S year.” Basically, that means this year’s iPhones will have the same design as last year’s iPhone X but will sport upgraded internals and capabilities.
Gurman and Wu report that Apple has changed the naming scheme for this year’s lineup multiple times. At one point, it’s considered branding the OLED devices the “iPhone XS” and “iPhone XS Plus” — although Bloomberg reports that the company has at least considered nixing the Plus label entirely.
There’s also been talk about differentiating between the three 2018 iPhones as all three devices will have a similar design and feature set. Apple is also reportedly concerned that the cheapest model being larger than the mid-range iPhone X successor could cause confusion among consumers.
But Apple could have other ways of making that model stand out. Bloomberg reports that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will come in multiple colors, with previous reports indicating they could be bright hues similar to the iPhone 5c.
Those colors could include gray, white, blue, red and orange. The lower-cost iPhone will also feature un-colored aluminum casing, instead of the stainless steel chassis for the two OLED handsets.
Gurman and Wu aren’t the only Apple watchers who are fielding last-minute forecasts. Renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who now works for TF Securities, has produced his own set of predictions.
Kuo expects the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone to ship “slightly later” than the two premium OLED models, but with the same powerful A12 chipset as the other devices.
While this could suggest a delayed release in October like the iPhone X last year, the analyst didn’t specify an exact timeline.
He also predicts that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone and the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone will ship in both single- and dual-SIM variants, depending on the region.
The 5.8-inch iPhone, on the other hand, will sport a single physical SIM tray but might support an embedded Apple SIM.
Lastly, the analyst does not expect any 2018 iPhone to feature Apple Pencil support. That runs counter to a previous rumor that indicated the larger iPhones could feature Apple Pencil controls for the first time.