The iPhone X was introduced earlier this month and won’t actually be ready for release until the beginning of November. However, the tech news industry has already moved onto the iPhone XI, or iPhone 11, or whatever they plan on calling it. Seriously, how Apple plans to name their next flagship keeps me awake at night. My mind can’t calm down and allow me to rest while Apple is out here messing up naming conventions.
Anyway, regardless of what they decide to call it, the new iPhone 11 is coming and, of course, the rumor mill is already kicking into gear. The Korea Herald did a report about a new display size for the next iPhone which has some people raising their eyebrows.
The report claims that Apple is planning on using a 6-inch or larger LCD display in the next batch of iPhones. This is interesting for a few reasons. First, that would be a larger display than the iPhone X. In fact, that would be similar to what we see in devices like the Galaxy Note 8. We are firmly in “phablet” territory when we talk about displays larger than 6-inches.
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The other interesting part about the claim is that Apple is using an LCD display and has apparently already been placing parts orders for the next devices. After moving to an OLED display for the iPhone X, it seems strange that Apple would use an LCD display for their next devices, especially if they are introducing a new phablet-sized model.
Finally, it sounds like Apple wants to get rid of the smaller display size in their lineup – the same display size you see in the iPhone 8. This is another interesting choice as it shows Apple seems to think consumers are moving to favoring larger display sizes. We have known this for awhile but Apple’s smaller devices have always been among their most popular. To kill of that display size would be a huge decision.
So, what does all of this tell us about the new iPhone 11?
First, this is all just rumors and speculation literally a year in advance of any announcement or launch. Things can change, people can be wrong. With that said, if all of this turns out to be true then I think it means Apple is moving to an iPhone X-style design for their entire lineup of devices and not just the new iPhone 11.
Think about it… Apple’s Plus models of the iPhone are pretty large due to their bezels. Reducing bezel sizes allows smartphone manufacturers to put in bigger displays without actually increasing the actual size of devices. If they move to a bezel-less design for all iPhone models then Apple could easily get rid of the smaller display size without actually having to stop offering a smaller device as the current iPhone 8 Plus display would be a similar size to the iPhone 8 if you removed the bezels. Basically, if Apple gets rid of bezels they can remove the smaller end of their lineup and add a larger size in order to appeal to a larger market of people who want bigger displays in their devices.
This rumor also begs the question about what the new iPhone 11 will offer apart from the mid-range devices in Apple’s lineup. If Apple moves to a consistent design in all of their devices, what can we expect to set the iPhone 11 apart from the rest as a premium device? An OLED display is the obvious choice but Apple will have to do more than that to convince people to spend $999 or whatever they end up pricing the new flagship at.
While it’s exciting to already be hearing reports about the new iPhone 11, we have to be careful to take any rumors as gospel. Apple could still be in the planning stage and waiting to see how the iPhone X release goes. If people clearly show more love for the iPhone X then, from a business and profit standpoint, Apple has no choice but to change the design for their other devices or stop making them entirely. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Apple. Their smartphone design seems to be riding a fine line between catering to people who love the classic design and trying to once again become a leader in design. At some point they have to make a decision about what kind of devices they want to be known for.