Jun 26, 2018 Update – The iPhone 11 (or whatever Apple chooses to name its 2018 flagship) is only a few months away. Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is fairly certain that the tech giant will release not one but three different models this September. There will be a 5.8-inch iPhone X successor, a 6.1-inch iPhone with LCD screen, and a giant 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus or iPhone 11. All the three models will launch simultaneously this fall. Here’s what the rumor mill has revealed about Apple’s next-gen flagship models.
Will Apple kick out the Lighting port?
Consumers were in for a big shock when Apple ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. A lot of people who use iPhone 6S or older models haven’t upgraded their phones precisely because the newer models lack the 3.5mm audio jack. Bloomberg reported last week that Apple was seriously considering to ditch the Lightning connector as well with the iPhone 11. In fact, Apple plans to “remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone.”
More recent reports suggest that the tech giant will merely replace the Lighting port with a USB Type-C port, which would be much better. The USB-C could make life easier for users because you’ll find USB-C ports on the Mac, PCs, Android smartphones, tablets, and a plethora of other devices.
iPhone 11 could have a triple camera
KB Securities analyst Kim Dong-won predicts that at least one model of Apple’s 2018 iPhones will have a triple camera system on the back. We have come across reports of a triple camera on the iPhones in the past, but those reports claimed the feature would arrive in 2019. Dong-won says Apple could introduce the feature sooner than expected to take on Huawei’s P20 Pro, which sports a triple camera. DxOMark has described the Huawei P20 Pro as the world’s best smartphone camera available in the market.
The iPhone 11 will have to catch up with, if not exceed, the Huawei P20 Pro in terms of photography. Asian publication Economic Daily News has also learned from supply chain sources that the flagship iPhone 11 could include a third rear camera to enhance zoom capacity and improve the low-light photography. It could also help enhance the augmented reality experience.
The 2018 iPhones will have a design similar to last year’s iPhone X. All the three models will get a display notch to accommodate the front camera, ear speaker, and the TrueDepth camera system. All the upcoming iPhones, including the LCD model, will get the Face ID technology. Face ID will be the only method of authentication and security. So, how will Apple differentiate between the three models?
Ming-Chi Kuo predicts the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will have only 3GB RAM compared to 4GB inside its OLED siblings. The LCD variant is said to feature only a single camera lens on the back. The 5.8-inch OLED iPhone X successor could get a dual camera while the triple camera could be exclusive to the 6.5-inch model. Since the LCD version will have a relatively lower price tag, Apple will remove the 3D Touch functionality from the device to keep its production costs down, claims Kuo.
iPhone 11 to have a lower price than iPhone X
Apple claims the iPhone X was its top-selling smartphone during the 2017 holiday quarter and again in the first quarter of 2018. But its sales were affected due to its ridiculously high price tag. Ming-Chi Kuo, who now works at TF International Securities, said in a research note earlier this month that Apple’s pricing strategy for the new iPhones will be “more aggressive” to boost shipments. One of the reasons Apple will keep the prices competitive this year is the “concern over the negative impact of a higher price” for the flagship models.
The iPhone X was priced at $999 for the 64GB model and $1,149 for the 256GB variant. The iPhone X successor will be priced between $800 and $900. The larger 6.5-inch model will cost $900-$1,000. The 6.1-inch LCD iPhone is going to set you back by $600-$700. Kuo believes the LCD version will be the most popular iPhone this year as it will offer iPhone X-like design and Face ID at an affordable price.
TSMC-made A12 chipset to power 2018 iPhones
TSMC, which makes the A11 Bionic chips for the current iPhones, will also be the sole supplier of A12 chips for the upcoming models. TSMC has started producing the A12 processor using its 7nm fabrication process, which should lead to better energy efficiency and performance. The Taiwanese company claims its 7nm chips will be 20% faster and up to 40% more energy efficient than 10nm processors such as the A11 Bionic.
PREVIOUS UPDATES ON iPHONE 11
As preparations continue for the iPhone 11, more information is seeping out regarding what will be the most important mobile release of the year. It seems that Apple will release a revolutionary iPhone 11, by no means resting on its laurels after the highly successful iPhone X of last year.
The notorious KGI Securities is already releasing key information on the iPhone 11, and suggests that Apple will release an improved version of the iPhone 11 that will still be rather affordable. This smartphone will feature a 6.1-inch screen, yet will retail at a price point of just $699.
KGI indicates that this version of the Apple flagship will “use slightly less premium components” than the iPhone X. Possibly an aluminum frame could feature, instead of the stainless steel of the flagship from 2017. However, KGI still asserts that the appearance of the iPhone 11 will be rather similar to the iPhone X from last year.
We can reasonably assume that this new 6.1-inch smartphone will launch alongside two other variants, with numerous sources suggesting that a massive iPhone device will be part of the Apple portfolio in 2018. It is interesting that Apple is making this decision now, as it has traditionally refused to follow the industry trends for ever larger smartphone sizes.
“Two new OLED models target high-end market; new TFT-LCD model aims at low-end & midrange markets,” KGI notes. “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)”.
KGI believes that the iPhone 11 will be a huge success for Apple, anticipating that the 6.1-inch model with an LCD display will be the most popular device ever, dominating the mobile niche for 2018. Total sales of around 100 million units are already expected for this release, which would propel Apple back to the top of the mobile rankings.
By way of comparison, KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo has already predicted that the iPhone X will ship around 62 million units in its lifecycle. So based on these predictions, the iPhone 11 could be a huge success for Apple in 2018.
Meanwhile, the chipset to be included in the iPhone 11 has already been a major subject of speculation. It is suggested that Intel will be entirely trusted to provide cellular modems for the 2018 iPhone series, ending the reliance of Apple on Qualcomm.
Tensions between the two companies have escalated due to a major legal action that is ongoing, and the aforementioned Kuo indicates that this will lead Apple to move away from Qualcomm. “Intel will be the exclusive supplier of baseband chip for 2H18 new iPhone models, while Qualcomm may not have a share of the orders at all,” Kuo commented.
While Intel chips have sometimes performed poorly in comparison to Qualcomm’s offerings, Kuo believes that Intel will be able to meet the technical requirements of Apple in 2018. Another incentive for the Californian corporation is that Intel offers a more competitive pricing structure, meaning that Apple can potentially invest funds elsewhere in the iPhone 11 generation.
Intel’s XMM 7560 modem – which supports 4×4 MIMO technology – has been particularly earmarked for the iPhone 11, and it will be interesting to see whether this prediction turns out to be accurate. But Qualcomm could still return it to the iPhone fold in a big way if the legal dispute and hostility between the two corporations is settled satisfactorily.
Apple has also been working on proprietary power management checks, which could debut alongside the Intel modem in the forthcoming iPhone release. It is suggested that this new chip would become the most advanced in the smartphone industry, and could have a positive impact on the battery life of the iPhone range.
Although including this technology in the iPhone series will pose technical and logistical difficulties, the latest reports suggest that the chips could debut in the 2018 iPhone series.
The release date of the 2018 iPhone 11 has yet to be decided, and certainly Apple has not released any useful information on the subject. But we can reasonably expect the iPhone 11 to appear in September, which has been the release date for recent iPhone ranges. Possibly we could see a staggered release for the three devices, with the high spec 6.5-inch device predicted possibly delayed until October.
It has also been suggested that Apple could tinker with 4K resolution in 2018, particularly if Samsung chooses to introduce this increasingly mainstream technology in the Galaxy Note 9. It seems certain that 4K resolution will not feature in the imminent Galaxy S9, but Samsung could instead reserve the screen technology for the Galaxy Note 9 series. If this is the case then Apple could follow suit, at least in the largest version of the iPhone 11 generation.
Photographic capabilities will also be a focus of the iPhone 11, with Apple reportedly working on a new system to improve the low-light shooting capabilities of its smartphones. It is possible that all three iPhone 11 releases will also benefit from a dual-lens cameras, with Apple affectively throwing down the gauntlet to other smartphone manufacturers in this area.
Expect spec increases in other key departments as well, with a larger battery, more RAM and increased storage all anticipated. Apple may also particularly concentrate on the virtual reality and augmented reality capabilities of the iPhone 11 series, building on the Face ID system that was introduced last year.