Apple to launch iPhone XS Max today, here’s what to expect

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Apple’s Gather Round event is about to kick off in just a few hours. The tech giant will launch three new iPhones, Apple Watch Series 4, and other hardware at the event. Fresh details continue to emerge even as Apple executives prepare for the big event. The 6.5-inch iPhone, dubbed iPhone XS Max, will be the star of the show and probably the most expensive device to debut at Wednesday’s event. Let’s take a look at the rumored iPhone XS Max price, specs, and release date.

The Gather Round event is set to begin at 10 AM Pacific Time / 1 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday. Here’s how you can live stream the event from the comfort of your home or office. Multiple leaks and analysts have revealed that Apple would unveil three new iPhones: a 5.8-inch iPhone XS, a 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max, and a 6.1-inch iPhone XR (or iPhone XC). It will be the first time none of Apple’s new smartphones will have a physical home button.

iPhone XS Max design

In terms of appearance, the 6.5-inch model will look similar to last year’s iPhone X, except that it will have a larger display and a bigger battery. Not only the iPhone XS Max, but all three new models will have a bezel-less design with a display cutout at the top.

The device will sport an OLED display. The front and rear glass panels will be supported by a stainless steel frame in the middle. The display notch will house the front camera, ear speaker, and the Face ID sensors.

Folks at 9to5Mac have learned from reliable sources that the iPhone XS Max would also be the heaviest of the three models. It would weigh 7.34 ounces or 208.08g, making it even heavier than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9, which weighs 201g. By comparison, last year’s iPhone 8 Plus was 7.13 ounces. The overall size of the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone XS Max is expected to be the same, but the new model would be slightly heavier because it would feature a stainless steel frame rather than the aluminum one.

Another leak indicates the dual-SIM variant of iPhone XS Max will have seven holes on one side of the Lightning port and only four holes on another side. The current iPhone X has six holes on either side of the Lightning port. The location of buttons will be the same as iPhone X. And Apple is not bringing back the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The iPhone XS Max will likely launch in Gold, Silver, and Space Gray colors. Accessories maker Spigen is already selling cases for the iPhone XS Max.

iPhone XS Max Cases
Image Source: (screenshot)

iPhone XS Max specs

This year’s iPhones are not getting any major design changes. So, much of the improvements will be on the inside. According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone XS and XS Max both would feature 4GB RAM, up from 3GB on the iPhone X. The XS Max will also have a bigger battery to power that giant screen all day along.

The rumor mill claims the new iPhones would feature a second-generation Face ID that will be faster than its predecessor. The new Face ID would also work in both portrait and landscape orientations.

Ming-Chi Kuo indicated in his latest research note that Apple would ship the new iPhones with the ridiculously slow 5W charging brick with a USB Type-A port in the box. That’s disappointing, especially considering the new iPhones will support both fast charging and wireless charging capabilities. Consumers will have to spend additional money to enjoy fast charging.

The iPhone XS Max as well as its less expensive siblings will be powered by Apple’s custom A12 chipset. The new processor is made by TSMC using its 7nm FinFET process, which should lead to better performance and energy efficiency. Last year’s iPhone X running the A11 Bionic chipset is still one of the most powerful phones on the planet. The A12 will take processing power to a whole new level.

On the software front, the iPhone XS Max would run the iOS 12 out of the box. The new software is optimized to enhance performance. It will also bring new features such as Siri shortcuts, Memoji, an improved Control Center, a revamped Stocks app, better notifications, and Screen Time. The Screen Time feature will allow you to monitor and control the amount of time you spend on your iOS device and within individual apps.

iPhone XS Max price

The iPhone XS Max price remains a mystery. And a confusing one at that. Ming-Chi Kuo has told investors that Apple had resolved the manufacturing and supply issues that drove up the iPhone X price last year. Kuo indicated that the iPhone XS Max price would be $999 for the base model, and the iPhone XS would start at around $899. The iPhone XR/XC would occupy the same price point as the iPhone 8.

However, as I have pointed out before, Apple has found that convincing buyers to pay more for its devices is a good way to keep growing its revenues, especially as unit sales growth has slowed in the last few years. The iPhone X proved that consumers wouldn’t mind paying more if they think the design and features are worth it. So, the company is unlikely to reduce the iPhone XS Max price.

According to Neil Cybart of Above Avalon, the iPhone XS Max price will be $1,099 for the base model, making it the most expensive iPhone ever. The iPhone XS could cost $949. The cheapest model, the iPhone XR/XC is expected to start at $649, according to Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall. The iPhone XR would cost less than its OLE siblings because it would feature only 3GB RAM, a single camera, and an LCD screen.

iPhone XS Max release date

All the three iPhones will be unveiled on September 12, and pre-orders will kick off soon after. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max should go on sale the following Friday, which is September 21st. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty has told clients that the cheaper iPhone XR/XC was facing production issues which could delay its launch by a few weeks.

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