The hype. The expectation. The rumour mill in full swing. No, we’re not talking about the approach of the new Premier League football season and the transfer window slamming shut.
For those of us who love our smartphones, late summer means only one thing – the countdown to a new iPhone release.
Ever since the launch of the iPhone 4, Apple has made the September release of a new iPhone a major international event. Last year, of course, the tech giant hit us all with a double whammy, releasing the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus as expected in September, but then catching us all from the blindside with the unveiling of the iPhone X in November.
This year, there is talk of Apple matching or perhaps even bettering 2017’s bumper offering with the release of three or maybe four new iPhone models. The suggestions are that, unlike last year, Apple is aiming to avoid a staggered release, which would make the next iPhone Day the biggest yet.
So what can we expect from the new models? With two ‘current’ models on the market, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, there is speculation that Apple will seek to update both simultaneously – perhaps with a new iPhone 9 and an iPhone XI. On the other hand, some rumours suggest that Apple will only be looking to upgrade the X, and will also retain X brand for all new handsets.
Plus size and cut price
What the rumours do seem to agree on is that the new offering will include a larger version of the iPhone X and a cut-price offering to target the mid-market. In that case, we could be looking at a four-way release along the following lines:
- iPhone 9 – An update based on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, likely to be the smallest of the new offerings, with screen sizes in the 4.7 to 5.5 inch range in keeping with its predecessors.
- iPhone X Plus – An enlarged version of the iPhone X with a 6.5 inch OLED screen.
- iPhone XI – an upgrade on the iPhone X, with a 5.8 inch OLED screen.
- iPhone X / XI SE – A mid-market version of the X, with a 6.1inch LCD screen and a single rear camera.
Of these, the rumour there appears to be most doubt about is whether Apple will choose to update the iPhone 8 at all, especially if reports of a cheaper SE version of the iPhone X are true. Having chosen to skip an iPhone 9 last year, perhaps Apple never intended to revisit it.
The possible iPhone 9 aside, it seems certain that all of the new releases will be full screen versions in the X style. Functionality of a cheaper LCD full screen model will surely be a hot topic of debate should it emerge.
The biggest rumour relating to the cameras is the possibility that the enlarged Plus model will feature a triple rear camera, although this was something originally mooted as being in development for 2019 release. It also seems unlikely that there will be any move to introduce the TrueDepth 3D technology used for Face ID to the rear cameras, while the cheaper LCD model is likely not to have it at all.