Earlier this year, citing anonymous sources “familiar” with the developments, Bloomberg had reported that Apple was getting ready to add “a trio of new smartphones” to its iPhone line-up, sometime later this year.
In a new report released Monday (August 23), Bloomberg again cites sources privy to the matter, saying that the Cupertino-based company plans to introduce three new phones that will retain “the edge-to-edge screen design of last year’s flagship.”
“The devices will boast a wider range of prices, features and sizes to increase their appeal, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unannounced products,” said the report.
Based on the earlier Bloomberg revelation as well as its latest report, Apple’s most talked-about release will be a ‘biggest ever’ iPhone, boasting a 6.5-inch display, in addition to an iPhone X-sized upgraded version, as well as a cheaper model along the lines of the iPhone X design.
If the publication’s reports are to be believed, Apple is in the process of running production tests with suppliers in regard to the three expected iPhone additions to its already impressive array.
“Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. will assemble the two high-end OLED iPhones, while the LCD phone will be split primarily between Hon Hai and Pegatron Corp.,” the unnamed sources told Bloomberg.
According to one of the publication’s sources, “Hon Hai began assembling the OLED devices in late July and only started on the LCD phones this month, partly due to minor challenges with the LCD panels.”
Meanwhile, “Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. will remain sole supplier of the main processor for the new iPhones, while primary iPhone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. is expected to see sales rise with the launch of new Apple phones,” says Bloomberg.
However, Bloomberg’s anonymous sources have said that there’s always the chance of a change in plans.
While there have been other reports and rumors concerning the three possible additions to the iPhone family in 2018, none were as comprehensive about the specification and improvement details of the three phones as the Bloomberg reports.
The big boy among the three, codenamed D33, will reportedly incorporate a 6.5-inch screen on a body the size of the iPhone 8 Plus, made possible by the edge-to-edge design technology used on the iPhone X.
“According to people familiar with the matter,” other features the 6.5-inch version is expected to include will be:
- Face ID scanner to unlock the device and enable payments
- It will incorporate a next-generation A12 processor
- A 1242 x 2688-pixel screen resolution
- An OLED display like the one on the iPhone X
Also, the upgraded version of the current iPhone X – internally being called the D32 – will also have the A12 processor with the possibility of a gold color option for both the D32 and the D33 high-end phones, keeping in mind the Asian market where demand for the gold option is especially high.
Currently, the iPhone X is available in just two colors, the silver gray and the space gray.
There’s also the likelihood that the D33 will be offered with a dual-SIM option in selected regions where multiple carrier plans are available, allowing customers the flexibility to use two simultaneous plans “without having to swap out cards,” said Bloomberg’s February report on the subject.
However, Apple has yet to take a final call on the dual-SIM feature and may well decide to wait it out until the E-SIM technology becomes commonplace on smartphones.
When it does happen, the technology will allow users to access multiple networks without the requirement of a removable SIM.
While the company does have the technology on its iPad and Apple Watch, opposition by some carriers as far as incorporating the technology on iPhones is concerned, has been holding the company back.
Both the high-end phones are due to get an upgraded operating system, which has been codenamed “Peace” and is likely to be called iOS 12.
Also, the phones will, reportedly, include “upgraded augmented reality capabilities deeper integration of the Siri digital assistant, digital health monitoring and the ability to use Animojis in FaceTime.”
The latest report, however, does not talk about those inclusions.
The third and the cheaper iPhone will be based on the iPhone X design, as aforementioned, but with a few compromises, understandably, in order to allow the company to sell it at a relatively lower price.
So, what are the compromises being made on the cheaper model?
Well, Bloomberg says that it will have aluminum edges and a glass back similar to that on the iPhone 8, instead of the more expensive stainless steel used on the iPhone X.
It will also include an LCD screen, again similar to the iPhone 8 screen technology, instead of OLED.
KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo said in a January report that the cheaper model will have a 6.1-inch display and will do away with the 3D Touch feature available on all iPhones since the iPhone 6S.
Calling the D33 a “big deal,” Loup Ventures co-founder Gene Munster said:
“When you have a measurable upgrade in screen size, people go to update their phone in droves. We saw that with the iPhone 6, and we think this is setting up to be a similar step up in growth.”
He also said that “the market that will see the biggest jump in sales is likely Asia,” because of “the many single-device consumers” who prefer “big phones.”