We here in the good old U.S. of A. are about to enter our time honored silly season. New iPhones? Yes, but there isn’t anything silly about new iPhones. Silly season often refers to political elections.
Apple updated the iPhone line every year since the beginning in 2007. New iPhones once meant long to longer lines at the Apple Store in the Mall. These days Apple is more organized and there are more ways than ever to learn about and buy the latest and greatest of the company’s gadget creations.
The 2018 iPhone launch is hours away, and that event signals the rumor season for next year’s iPhone models. Every year at this time the rumors about new iPhones and features become distilled down to the essence of what to expect, and the crazy-assed rumors dissipate into steam.
First, new models, probably three different sizes, each with thin micro-bezels, two with new fangled OLED displays, and one with a nearly perfect LCD display. Say goodbye to Touch ID and hello to Face ID. And the Notch.
Screen sizes seem to be etched into stone already; 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.5-inch.
What are the iPhone names?
Surprise seems to be the name of the game and Apple tends to keep surprises to a minimum, probably with a few well timed and well sourced leaks.
The 5.8-inch iPhone– same size as 2017’s iPhone X– should be called iPhone XS, or iPhone Xs. I’m going with the lower-case ‘s’ because that’s how Apple described previous tock models in the tick-tock series. iPhone Xs.
The 6.5-inch iPhone– not all that far removed in total pixels to a 7.9-inch iPad mini– will be called iPhone Xs Plus. Or, iPhone Xs Max. It just depends upon which rumor you prefer to distill. I like iPhone Xs Max. Think iPhone Excess to the Max. iPhone Plus is old already, and a 6.5-inch display is more Mac than Plus.
The 6.1-inch iPhone– positioned to be the least expensive new iPhone– could be iPhone 9 and nobody would complain. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus replaced iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, so it makes sense that it, too, would be replaced by another number jump. iPhone 9. That would make next year’s naming convention a major challenge, but let’s save that rumor mongering until next week.
iPhone 9? Or, iPhone XC? Or, iPhone Xc? Both names are on the streets and both make sense from a naming convention.
What I have yet to read online are the hardware differences between iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max, and the 6.1-inch iPhone 9-ish model, other than the OLED vs. LCD displays. Look for more storage options and higher price tags for the X models.
What about iPhone SE?
Yes, it’s aging rapidly and long in the tooth. Yes, SE is not a big seller, so I look for Apple to make a notable change here. New iPhones will have screen sizes of 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.5-inch, so what about those of use who prefer an even smaller iPhone display?
Enter a 2018 iPhone SE with the 4.7-inch LCD display that resembles the design form factor of iPhone 7 but without Face ID and Notch. Goodbye, iPhone 7 Plus. That means the entire 2018 iPhone line looks like this.
- iPhone Xs Max – 6.5-inch display, Notch and Face ID, A-12 CPU, $999
- iPhone Xs – 5.8-inch display, Notch and Face ID, A-12 CPU, $899
- iPhone Xc – 6.1-inch LCD display, Notch and Face ID, A-12 CPU, $799
- iPhone 8 – 4.7-inch LCD display, Touch ID, A-11 CPU, $599
- iPhone 8 Plus – 5.5-inch LCD Display, Touch ID, A-11 CPU, $699
- iPhone SE – 4.7-inch LCD display, Touch ID, A-11 CPU, $399
That makes almost perfect sense, right?
Five iPhone models, each with various colors and storage capacity upgrade options, with the best cameras, CPUs, and displays reserved for the X models; then, last year’s iPhone 8 models mostly intact; and, finally, an upgraded iPhone SE with iPhone 7 form factor and parts.
OK, what about other rumors, including Apple swapping out the Lightning connector in favor of USB-C with Thunderbolt? That would not surprise me, but probably only for the iPhone Xs models. What about wireless earbuds, ala AirPods? Probably not’ if anything because Apple has difficulty manufacturing enough AirPods to meet demand.
What do you think? Nailed it, right? We’ll see.