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Rumors and Comments About Apple’s iPhones to Be on Sale in 2018

Monica Jessop,

While the iPhone X is still very new, we already can hear lots of rumors about the 2018’s model. We’ve collected the most exciting ones and wish to present them to you right here.

No matter that the iPhone X is only a few months old; people are already speculating about the features of the next year’s iPhone. So we have prepared for you a few recent gossips on the topic.

Recent rumors

The famous Ming-Chi Kuo (KGI Securities), one of the most popular predictors of new iPhone features has produced a forecast based on the supply and manufacturing chain. The report includes a few details about probable differences between the iPhone models.

The new iPhones, according to Kuo, will be two models similar to iPhone X, one of which will have the same 5.8-inch size and one will be somehow larger. The two models should be identical in everything except the size and probably display resolution.

A KGI chart displaying essential differences between the new iPhone models.

But after that, Apple will not continue to sell this year’s iPhone X for a reduced price (which is the company’s typical practice). Instead, it will produce a new LCD-based iPhone, but very similar in design (in particular, having similar slim bezels and a taller aspect ratio).

The 6.1-inch version will have a single camera, a RAM of 3GB (instead of 4GB), and an aluminum (instead of steel) frame. However, the body may remain primary glass (thus ensuring wireless charge). According to Kuo, there won’t be 3D Touch. Overall, the new model should be simpler than iPhone X. It will use a rectangular battery and a usual non-stacked logic board.

While such rumors suggest about certain cost-saving efforts, the above-mentioned changes will be a definite step back, which makes the entire impression somewhat contradictory. The absence of dual-camera setup and 3D Touch is not an encouraging news. Probably some users will opt to return to older phones like iPhone 8 Plus or some other model in the company’s current lineup.

iPhone X: ceasing production

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the launching of the 6.5-inch OLED and 6.1-inch LCD iPhone models will raise Apple’s market share in China. In addition, the 6.1-inch LCD model on sale at US$650-750 will make it possible for wider user circles to obtain 3D sensing and full-screen design.

As to the iPhone X, Kuo predicts a cease of the model’s production this summer, which largely contradicts Apple’s usual practice. Traditionally, the company continues production of previous models after the launch of the new ones. But in this case, in Kuo’s opinion, the 6.1-inch LCD phone will assume the role of the iPhone X.

LG: 6.5-inch displays expected

Reportedly, LG Display has an order from Apple for production of 15-16 million phone displays this year. All the displays should be of 6.5 inches, meaning that the Korean producer is to make them for a larger sequel to the iPhone X model. So Samsung will remain the main producer of OLED display, this time for the new 5.8-inch model. On the whole, the amount of 15-16 million is not a big deal, but probably it only applies to several months of the production of the largest and most expensive model of the three iPhones.

Apple’s own custom power management chip for the iOS

Another report informs about alleged development of Apple’s own power management chips for their iOS devices. Integration of the chips in the iOS devices may start already in 2018.

Presently, the iOS devices are using chips supplied by the British company Dialog Semiconductor. The current chips perform the management of battery charging and power supply for the phone’s components. According to information from Nikkei, the new chip will be the most sophisticated version in the whole sector and will ensure the Apple iOS’s improved performance and a longer battery life. However, there is a certain discrepancy with timing in different Nikkei sources. It is not clear yet whether the production will start in 2018 or 2019.

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The news has all chances to be true, as Apple has always been making efforts to ensure own supply of silicon. Since power management chips are critical to mobile devices, the company may decide to make them another in-house component.

Upgraded iPhone SE

A new iPhone SE (tentatively iPhone SE 2) may appear on the market. According to rumors, the assembly will be performed by Wistron in India. The device’s landing is expected in the first half of 2018. The news has come from China, and the similar report was produced by a source in Taiwan not long ago. How likely is the appearance of refreshed iPhone SE? The A9 chip makes the present iPhone somewhat old. The new one is almost the same, but with an A10 chip. Judging by market indicators, such a move is quite probable. However, it will hardly attract those Apple lovers who are tuned to the iPhone 8 and X with all their boons.

Faster modems in the new iPhones

Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that the new iPhones will be equipped with new sophisticated cellular baseband chips. Most modems will be sourced from Intel (XMM 7560), while the remaining 20-30% will be Snapdragon X 20 modems from Qualcomm.

Both XMM 7560 and Snapdragon X 20 support 4×4 MIMO (while the current iPhones only support 2×2 MIMO), as well as 5x carrier aggregation. Besides, they are capable to support the new 600MHz carrier bands (if Apple provides appropriate antennas and software).

If the rumor comes true, it would be a nice step forward in terms of cellular performance, as the users will easily reach gigabit LTE speeds and have a real jump in the number of accessible frequencies.

Kuo continues to say that at least one iPhone model (it may be the largest one) will support the dual-SIM dual-standby (DSDS) so that in the process both its SIMs will provide LTE connectivity. Although dual SIMs are nor so widely spread in the US, there are regions where such an advance will be very welcome.

The above-mentioned scenario looks quite plausible, as Apple is presently somewhat behind Android in terms of cellular connectivity. In the best conditions, Android phones can support the more advanced LTE technologies and are faster in terms of real-world download and upload.

Three phones of three sizes

Also, Ming-Chi Kuo speaks about Apple’s three iPhone models in the upcoming year. The first one, a phone of unchanged size and design, the second one – the iPhone X, and the third one – some “Plus” model also with unchanged design but having a 6.5-inch display with a higher resolution.

In the current market situation, Apple will probably introduce a new less expensive model, which could be sold lower than $1000. According to Kuo, it may be a 6.1-inch LCD model having a lower resolution and the same aspect ratio. Other features may include smaller bezels and a Face ID with TrueDepth camera replacing Touch ID and the home button.

Apple’s expected iPhone lineup in 2018

Both a larger model and a less expensive one with a lower LCD resolution are absolutely possible. It is still curious whether the LCD model will have a single camera, like the current non-plus models.

More frame parts for faster transmission?

Yet another Kuo’s forecast deals with the new model’s metal frame. The predictor says it will include more parts that the ones on the iPhone X. And the purpose is the higher transmission quality. Also mentioned are the names of possible suppliers, they are Catcher Technology and Casetek. How should we comment this prediction? Logically, the company’s intention to alter the frame for the sake of better transmission may point to possible discontent with the current data transmission quality. But so far no such news has been heard. Another purpose may be to build a more solid support for high transmission speeds (for instance, gigabit LTE) or the 600MHz LTE frequency band.