Apple Inc. is preparing to release a trio of new smartphones later this year: the largest iPhone ever, an upgraded handset the same size as the current iPhone X and a less expensive model with some of the flagship phone’s key features.
Mark Gurman, notorious for legitimate Apple leaks, reports that the iPhone X Plus will see an official launch later this year and will be just one of three new iPhones in 2018.
With the new lineup, Apple wants to appeal to the growing number of consumers who crave the multitasking attributes of so-called phablets while also catering to those looking for a more affordable version of the iPhone X, according to people familiar with the products.
What does the leaks suggest?
A new model “For Everyone”
Perhaps Apple’s most daring move will be what Gurman describes as a cheaper (but larger) variant of the iPhone X which the company believes will be “a model for everyone”. It will have a 6.1-inch bezel-less display, Face ID and a top of the range A12 chipset but the screen will be LCD rather than OLED and the edges will be aluminium rather than stainless steel.
According to the reports, this model, the ‘iPhone X SE’ is expected to cost as much as an iPhone 8 ($699) while Apple is not expected to retain the budget iPhone SE or introduce any new models based on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus designs.
Gurman says Apple hopes the iPhone X SE will “rekindle” iPhone sales after the company was (secretly) disappointed that iPhone X sales were lower than analyst expectations last quarter.
Launching the “Largest iPhone Ever”
Apple’s next big move according to Gurman is a 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus (codename ‘D33’), which was also backed up by MacRumors and Ming-Chi Kuo. This will overtake the 5.8-inch iPhone X as the new flagship model and have all its premium features (OLED, stainless steel edges, dual rear camera, etc) in a larger form factor with a bigger battery.
Gurman’s says Apple will increase the screen resolution of the iPhone X to 2688 x 1242 pixels for iPhone X Plus, the highest in any iPhone. He also says Apple is currently considering introducing dual sim support on the iPhone X Plus and the second generation iPhone X (codename ‘D32’). This would make it easy to switch carriers, for example, when travelling.
Like the iPhone X, the larger model will include a Face ID scanner that unlocks the device and enables payments. Apple is also preparing an update to the regular-sized iPhone X that is internally dubbed D32, people familiar with the product said. Both of these phones are expected to use next-generation A12 processors and will continue to include stainless steel edges, they say, and will be Apple’s high-end smartphone offerings.
What do you feel?
Apple has tried selling cheaper phones in the past with poor results. In 2013, the company debuted the iPhone 5c, which had a polycarbonate body and came in various colors. Consumers quickly discovered that for a mere $100 more they could buy a 5s, which had an aluminum body, a slow-motion video camera and a fingerprint scanner. Apple soon discontinued the 5c.
This time, the company is trying something different: using a cheaper body but including the features — Face ID and an edge-to-edge screen — that consumers most prize.