New iPhone design changes iPhone 2018 prices New iPhone screen sizes New iPhone 2018 release date, price & specs rumour
Apple’s new iPhones for 2018 (the iPhone 11, iPhone XI or iPhone X Plus): their release date, new features, design, price & tech specs
<1>What will the new iPhone be called?
<2> New iPhone screen sizes
< 3> Release date for the new iPhone
<4> New iPhone leaked photos & illustrations
<5> How many new iPhone will Apple launch?
<6> iPhone 2018 prices
<7> New iPhone Cameras
<8> New features & tech specs
<9> New iPhone design changes
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 hear the announcements.
In this article we look at all the rumour concerning the successor to the iPhone X, and the expected larger iPhone X Plus (which a new report thinks will have triple rear-facing camera lenses): their release date, prices, design changes, tech specs and new features.
We’ve got the latest leaked photos, leaked design schematics, and a source predicting that the LCD model will be available in blue, yellow and pink. (But probably not purple and green.)
We also think Apple is likely to update the iPhone SE soon, so we have a separate article addressing iPhone SE 2 rumour. And for advice related to the current lineup, read our iPhone buying guide and roundup of the best iPhone deals
What will the new iPhone be called? Here are some of the possibilities:
* iPhone 9 and iPhone 9 Plus
* iPhone 11 and 11 Plus (aka iPhone XI and XI Plus)
* iPhone Xs and Xs Plus
* iPhone X Plus (to join the existing iPhone X)
*Or just plain iPhone and iPhone Plus
There are enough potential names for the new 2018 iPhone that we could probably write a whole article just about that! Tell us what you think in the poll below.
Release date for the new iPhones :
We expect the successor(s) to the iPhones 8, 8 Plus and X to be unveiled in September 2018. This would be one 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 iPhones 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, despite claims from a Korean report that the cheaper model will be delayed until November, we don’t expect there will be a staggered launch in autumn 2018.
KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo 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.
And in Mar 2018 the Taiwanese site DigiTimes, citing “sources from Taiwan-based IC design houses”, predicted that Apple would begin production earlier than usual – in Q2 – in order to avoid the stock bottlenecks it suffered in 2017.
In April 2018 the French site Consomac spotted 11 new entries – all of them devices running iOS 11 – in the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) database, which suggests that Apple has registered models ahead of an iPhone launch. Arriving so early in the year, however, this is more likely to indicate an imminent iPhone SE 2 announcement.
How many new iPhones will Apple launch?
Initial reports indicated that three new iPhones would be announced in autumn 2018; further reports in Jan 2018 suggested it could be as many as four.
Back in Nov 2017 Ming-Chi Kuo 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:
5.8in OLED: iPhone 11 or XI, with largely same design as iPhone X
6.5in OLED: 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 3D Touch and won’t have twin camera lenses on the rear; Kuo later predicted that this model could sell 100 million units. This may be the new device
since heard a number of slightly different predictions. Nikkei, citing “a source privy to the company’s product designs”, said we should expect two new OLED models, in 6.3in and 5.8in sizes, and an LCD phone measuring 6.1in. But according to DigiTimes Research senior analyst Luke Lin in Jan 2018, there will be four new iPhones:
*5.7- to 5.8in LCD
*6.0- to 6.1in LCD
*6.0- to 6.1in OLED
*6.4- to 6.5in OLED
iPhone 2018 prices :
The iPhone X was positioned by Apple as a premium iPhone with a premium price – starting at £999/$999, while the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were priced at £699/$699 and £799/$799 accordingly. We would expect the new models for late 2018 to be priced at a similar level.
However, respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s first research note since departing KGI Securities in April suggested that Apple will be offering a “more aggresive” pricing strategy for its three new iPhones in 2018.
He believes that Apple is concerned about “the negative impact of a higher price,” but also that it has an improved cost structure thanks to assembly yield improvements. He suggests that the “iPhone X Plus” will cost $900-$1,000, the “iPhone X” will be $800-$900 (down from $999), and the new iPhone will be $600-$700.
New iPhone design change :
1 : Screen design: smaller bezels and notches
We expect all of Apple’s late-2018 iPhones to adopt 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.
The bezel-less design allows Apple to fit a larger screen into the same size of body; for this reason a “reliable supplier information source” has told Macotakara that the so-called iPhone X Plus will have a giant 6.5in screen but a chassis of the same dimensions as the iPhone 8 Plus (which has a 5.5in screen).
We also expect the new models to feature a notch at the top of the display, incorporating the FaceTime camera and facial recognition sensors.
The new notch could be smaller than the notch on the current iPhone X if a blueprint from case maker Olixar is to be believed. Olixar has shown off plans for it’s own case and cover for a new iPhone SE, and interestingly those designs suggest that the new iPhone SE will have a smaller notch. That may not be surprising given that the phone is smaller – but crucially it indicates that Apple has been able to squeeze in the components underneath the notch into a smaller space, and that could mean a smaller notch on the 2018 iPhone X successor.
Barclays analysts Andrew Gardiner, Hiral Patel, Joseph Wolf and Blayne Curtis also think that the notch is likely to get smaller: in a research note released on Valentine’s Day 2018 they predicted this would affect the 2018 launch.
Another indication that the notch could get smaller comes via a patent application that suggests that Apple could be looking at a screen technology that allows sensors to be placed in microscopic spaces between pixels. These gaps would be so small you wouldn’t be able to see them and it would mean that the sensors could be embedded in the display itself, rather than behind the notch, according to Digital Trends. However, this looks like it won’t happen in time for the 2018 release.
Analysts have predicted that Apple is looking into a combined face recognition module and camera, which could result in the notch being shrunk down when the 2019 updates are announced.
But the notch disappearing entirely? Not likely. In February 2018, Apple doubled down on the concept, updating its App Store submission guidelines to insist that from April 2018, all apps must support the iPhone X’s Super Retina display. That means “respecting safe areas, supporting adaptive layouts”, and absolutely accommodating the notch.
2 : Metal or glass back?
Apple is going to continue hedging its bets when it comes to materials. There will be two OLED phones in autumn 2018, the site claims, but there will also be single LCD phone – and this will probably have a metal back. It follows that this device probably won’t be able to offer wireless charging
3 : Colour options
What the metal-backed device could offer is a splash of colour: Nikkei adds that it “will be available in several colours”. Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang, meanwhile, predicted in May 2018 that the cheaper LCD iPhone model released in late 2018 would launch in multiple colours, including blue, yellow and pink.
Jun Zhang argues that this step will be taken in order to appeal to younger users (which we would note was largely the justification used for the iPhone 5c in 2013, and that didn’t go particularly well) and to differentiate between the LCD iPhone and the more expensive OLED models that will launch alongside it.
“Since Apple start to launch three new models every year, we believe the company needs to differentiate the designs of the LCD model from the two high end OLED models,” writes Zhang. “One reasonable choice would be to add different colour
As for the rest of the range, Bloomberg believes the giant iPhone X Plus could see the return of the gold colour option, which was withdrawn for the iPhone X launch.
“Apple is considering a gold [colour] option for the update to the iPhone X and the larger model,” the site writes. “The company tried to develop gold for the current X handset, but abandoned it because of production problems… The gold option is especially appealing to consumers in Asia and may help boost sales in the region.”
A gold iPhone X did once exist it seems, Apple just happen to have sent an image of a gold iPhone X to the FCC when it was seeking approval for the new handset, and those images are now public,
In March 2018, gold iPhone images were posted by a prolific if somewhat indiscriminate : he tends to be the first to post genuine shots of new products, but more cautious rivals are less likely to be taken in by fakes. So we cannot depend on this being reliable.
It’s possible that this is one of the colour options being prepared for the autumn 2018 update, but it seems more likely that this is a the iPhone X in the un-released gold finish.
New iPhone screen sizes :
The Bell (via The Investor), quoting anonymous industry sources, claimed in May 2017 that Apple and Samsung had signed a deal for the supply of 5.28in and 6.46in sized OLED panels for the 2018 iPhones; although a report in August 2017 claimed the 5.28in model had been canned in favour of a 5.85in screen. And in Nov 2017 Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that there would be three new iPhone models: 6.5in, 6.1in and 5.8in, as mentioned above.
A Jan 2018 report from suggested the four new iPhone could come with screens in the following sizes: an LCD measuring 5.7 to 5.8in, two phones measuring 6.0 to 6.1in (one an LCD, the other an OLED) and an OLED screen measuring 6.4 to 6.5in. But Bloomberg, writing in Feb, still expected only three – including “the largest iPhone ever.
Screen resolution/pixel density :
Earning the new branding Super Retina HD, the iPhone X had the highest resolution (2436 x 1125) and pixel density (459 pixels per inch, or ppi) of any iPhone so far, and after that major upgrade we don’t expect Apple to go any higher than 458ppi in 2018. But there have been some rumours.
It has been noticed on Twitter that eMagin, an OLED microdisplay maker that Apple (along with LG and Valve) invested in early in 2018, has the capability to make displays with a pixel density greater than 2,500ppi. Displays even close to that capability would be an extraordinary step forward for the iPhone range.
The reason we don’t expect such a step is that eMagin makes microdisplays, and it’s very difficult to recreate their capabilities on larger screens. eMagin’s displays are designed for extremely close-up use – most obviously VR headsets – and it’s therefore far more likely that this investment is significant in terms of
OLED, LCD-TFT or Micro LED screen :
According to Kuo (in Nov 2017), two of the new 2018 iPhones will feature a OLED screen, like the iPhone X, but one will have an LCD-TFT display, and therefore a lower price. The resolution of that model will be lower.
However, the model to get the ‘budget’ features will have a 6.1in screen, rather than the smaller 5.8in model Kuo is also predicting.
Two new OLED models target high-end market; new TFT-LCD model aims at low-end & midrange markets: We believe the major hardware difference in the two new OLED models is size, in a bid to satisfy various needs of the high-end market. The new TFT-LCD model will differ significantly from the OLED models in hardware and design specs (for instance, the PPI will be lower). The primary selling points of the TFT-LCD model may be the innovative user experience of an integrated full-screen design and 3D sensing with a lower price tag (we expect it will likely be US$649-749).
On 26 Jan 2018 Digitimes Research senior analyst Luke Lin said that Apple is leaning towards releasing two LCD-based iPhones in 2018. One of these LCD models will be 5.7in to 5.8in, and the other from 6.0in to 6.1in
There are also reports appearing that suggest Apple is looking into using Micro LED screens. These could initially appear on the Apple Watch, as was the case with OLED, but eventually be used for the iPhone.
Apple’s interest in the technology is clear from its acquisition of LuxVue (a company specialising in the field) back in 2014.
Micro-LEDs offer low power consumption, high brightness, ultra-high definition, high colour saturation, faster response rate, longer lifetimes and higher efficiency. While OLEDs offer many of these features, micro-LEDs offer higher brightness and colour saturation.
for its LCD model, Apple could use the Super Bright Display featured in the LG G7 ThinQ. This would enable it to offer 1,000 nits brightness. We see how that device shapes up in our iPhone X vs LG G7 comparison.
Curved screen :
Apple is working on phone screens “that curve inward gradually from top to bottom”, although he acknowledges that this is highly unlikely to be ready for the 2018 update. Instead, Gurman expects curved iPhones to take two to three years to appear.
Part of the reason that curved screens are at last a realistic option for Apple comes down to OLED, the screen tech used in the iPhone X: OLED is far easier to produce in bent, folded or curved forms than the LCD tech that the company used in all previous iPhone models.
In terms of batteries, it looks like we can expect improvements here in 2018.
According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (in a report referred to above), the new models with LCD screens (successors to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus) will have a 2850-2950 mAh battery. This should add up to 8% more capacity than the battery in the iPhone X. In these phones the battery will be rectangular.
And the models with the OLED screens (successors to the iPhone X, we’ll call them the iPhone Xs and XS Plus, for the sake of argument) will offer an L-shaped, 3300-3400mAh battery. That is 25% more capacity than the iPhone X.
In other battery-related news, Korea Economic Daily claims that Apple has chosen LG Chem as the exclusive supplier for batteries that will be featured in the next-generation iPhone, due out in 2018. Citing an unnamed source, the report claims that LG has invested “hundreds of billions” in battery manufacturing facilities and that it’ll be ready to begin full-scale production in early 2018, just in time for the ‘iPhone 11’.
That’s not all, either; the report also claims that Apple’s next-generation iPhone will adopt a ‘bent’ battery module shaped like the letter ‘L’. It’s said that the optimised shape of the battery maximises internal space and also boosts charging speeds, two features that the iPhone desperately needs.
Apple currently fits two batteries in an L formation inside the iPhone X, as you can see in this image from .http://www.alwaysask.net
Apple could even, thanks to the new technology, make more radical changes to the overall design of the iPhone, because its engineers would no longer to base their work on a fixed battery shape. Although the smartphone is such a mature market now that it would take a brave manufacturer to change its essential form – a bit like a mad microwave designer inventing one that’s spherical.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the successor to the iPhone X could have 4GB RAM. The iPhone X has 3GB RAM.
One of the landmarks in iPhone history was the inclusion of 3G in its second-generation model; with the launch of the iPhone 5 Apple fans got 4G as well. Now it seems that 5G could be on its way, if testing works out.
Apple has submitted an application, obtained by Business Insider, to test “cellular link performance in direct path and multi-path environments between base station transmitters and receivers” using the 28GHz and 39GHz bands, approved for 5G, and ‘millimetre wave’ wireless technology.
“These assessments will provide engineering data relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers’ future 5G networks,” the application adds.
5G will deliver faster cellular internet connections, but the details remain fuzzy: currently, there are no standards for 5G, although many companies are working towards agreeing on technology and specifications. You can read more about the latest 5G developments here: What is 5G?
Perhaps Apple is intending to wait for 5 G rather than adding LT E Advanced capabilities to the iPhone? If it is there may be a long wait: the first public 5 G networks aren’t expected to roll out in the UK until 2020, although some preliminary implementations may arrive in 2019. It’s unlikely that 5G will become widespread until 2022.
Fast charging :
The iPhone X boasts that it’s “fast-charge capable”, but the charging unit bundled with the phone won’t blow your socks off with its speed. Well, according to Charger Lab, Apple is going to include an altogether more powerful charger with the late-2018 models.
According to our exclusive sources inside production lines,” says the site, “it will ship with an 18-watt USB-C to Lightning fast charger… Using a USB-C for power delivery should result in significantly faster power delivery compared to the USB-A ports that Apple had been using since 2007.”
(Speculation about a switch to iPhones being bundled with USB-C instead of USB-A cables was further enflamed in mid-May 2018 by news of a price drop to the USB-C-to-Lightning adaptor that Apple currently sells separately.)
Charger Lab claims to have further details on the charging unit itself, predicting that it will be thinner than the currently used components “and not in that square-shaped white cube form factor. This will make it more convenient and portable.
Apple Pencil compatibility :
iPhone fans have been requesting this for a while, and although the case for stylus input on iPhone is less clear-cut than on iPad, there are definitely situations where it would be helpful. And the bigger the screens get, the more useful a stylus would be – which makes the iPhone X, and even more so the rumoured iPhone X Plus, strong candidates for Apple Pencil compatibility.
Apple is working on a smartphone that comes with a “digital pen” – not necessarily the Apple Pencil – and this will be launched in 2019. This idea does seem to be at odds with Steve Jobs claims that the best stylus is the finger.
iPhone Cameras :
<1> Triple camera lenses :
We still think this is more likely to appear in the 2019 update, as was suggested by the original rumour, but a report in June 2018 is now arguing that the late-2018 iPhone X Plus will have triple camera lenses on its rear.
<2> Front-facing ‘True Depth’ 3D camera :
According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (in October 2017) the iPhone X’s 3D sensing capabilities are already at least one year ahead of Android smartphones so it’s unlikely we will see an update to that technology in 2018.
However, in 2019 we may see improvements to the TrueDepth Camera on the front of the iPhone (as well as a TrueDepth camera on the back of the device, which we will discuss next
<3> Rear-facing 3D scanner :
As mentioned above, it seems unlikely that Face ID, or any of the True Depth technology, will make it to the iPhone’s rear-facing camera in 2018. However, that doesn’t mean that the camera on the rear of the iPhone won’t get clever new features.
Instead, the new system would use “a time-of-flight approach that calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off surrounding objects”, the site claims.
It’s believed that this new scanner will be used primarily for augmented reality (AR) applications: building a 3 D model of the surrounding environment, and then delivering information and functionality related to this model. Apple has already gone big on AR, with the launch of AR Kit at WW DC 2018.