January 19, 2018: KGI once again predicts larger iPhones (and larger Chinese appeal)
KGI Securities financial analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a solid record when it comes to getting supply chain-sourced information on Apple’s upcoming products, reiterated his previous predictions for the 2018 iPhone lineup.
We believe the addition of 6.5-inch OLED and 6.1-inch LCD iPhone models will boost Apple’s market share in China, and that the US$650-750 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will make it easier for users worldwide to own a 3D sensing and full-screen design iPhone which offers an innovative user experience.
Those sizes would be in addition to an updated version of the current 5.8-inch OLED iPhone X. Kuo believes both the larger size 6.5-inch and lower priced 6.1-inch would help Apple boost interest in China.
January 8, 2018: Updated iPhone SE rumored to have glass back
According to a new report the rumored update to the iPhone SE will feature a glass back. The report comes from Tekz24, citing “a very reliable source” for the information:
So let’s come straight to the point now. Recently, we got a tip from a very reliable source that the iPhone SE 2 will have a glass back panel just like the iPhone 8 series and iPhone X. This also backs the leaked images of the so-called iPhone SE on Weibo, which showed up with a glass panel. However, we are sure that the design is not going to be like this and we already had listed some renders that were created by our team on the basis of information we got. The source also told us that the upgraded iPhone SE might support wireless charging and hence the implementation of glass back makes a lot of sense.
This change would bring the iPhone SE design more in line with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, as well as likely helping to facilitate wireless charging, which Apple added to the iPhone for the first time with its latest phones.
January 2, 2017: New iPhone SE again said to be coming in 2018
Market research group TrendForce reports that Apple will release a second-generation iPhone SE in 2018, possibly as soon as the first half of the year. The prediction came as part of a report, obtained by MacRumors, on global smartphone production trends the firm expects to see in 2018. TrendForce offers no insight into what components this new iPhone SE might use or if it will see any sort of redesign.
TrendForce also offers some supposed details on updates to Apple’s flagship iPhone lineup, likely coming in fall of this year. Backing up previous reports, TrendForce expects a second-generation iPhone X, along with a 6.5-inch ‘iPhone X Plus,’ as well as a 6.1-inch iPhone with a similar design to the iPhone X but with an LCD display instead of OLED.
iPhone X sparked a heated discussion in 2017, but iPhone’s production volume increased by only 3% over 2016 due to the technical barriers in improving yield rate of innovative models. With regard to the supply chain, new iPhones in 2018 will continue to improve Face ID technology, screen to body ratio, etc., moreover, the company plans to increase the memory content and embed AMOLED display in two of its models. […]
In terms of biometric recognition, iPhone will continue to feature Face ID while other brands will use mainly capacitive fingerprint sensors in the first half of 2018 due to existing technical barriers.
December 8, 2017: 2018 iPhones may get an energy boost from new battery design
According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s rumored 2018 iPhone X will feature a new, L-shaped battery that comes in a single cell and has increased capacity over current iPhone batteries, while the rumored 6.5-inch variant will supposedly adopt the current two-cell design. Additionally, Apple’s LCD iPhone for 2018, rumored to be a 6.1-inch all-screen design similar to the iPhone X, will reportedly also see a bump in battery life over previous LCD phones. From AppleInsider:
If Apple and LGC work out manufacturing hurdles in time for mass production, the next-generation 5.8-inch OLED iPhone will be powered by a 2,900- to 3,000-mAh battery, Kuo says. A larger 6.5-inch OLED model is anticipated to employ a two-cell design with a capacity between 3,300 and 3,400 mAh. By comparison, the dual-cell unit in iPhone X is rated at 2,716 mAh.
To keep costs down, Kuo expects Apple to stick with a rectangular battery design for the rumored 6.1-inch LCD iPhone set to debut alongside the flagship handsets next year. Like the OLED models, however, the LCD version is predicted to boast a power-hungry TrueDepth camera and will therefore receive a boost in battery capacity compared to this year’s iPhone 8 series.
November 14, 2017: Apple reportedly considering new time-of-flight 3D sensor for rear iPhone cameras
Apple has already deployed a front-facing TrueDepth camera system, which uses infrared mapping to deliver 3D data to iPhone X. Now, Apple is rumored to be considering a laser-powered time-of-flight system to do similar for the rear camera(s).
Apple Inc. is working on a rear-facing 3-D sensor system for the iPhone in 2019, another step toward turning the handset into a leading augmented-reality device, according to people familiar with the plan.
[…] The planned rear-facing sensor would instead use a time-of-flight approach that calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off surrounding objects to create a three-dimensional picture of the environment.
Apple is all-in on augmented reality (AR) so, regardless of the technology used, expect the company to keep increasing capabilities and pushing boundaries — in existing product lines and beyond.
November 13, 2017: As many as three full-screen iPhones could be coming 2018
KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple is planning three full-screen iPhones for 2018. In addition to an updated of the 5.8-inch model of the iPhone X, the company will also reportedly launch a bigger ‘Plus’ variant with a 6.5-inch OLED display, along with an all-screen LCD model with a 6.1-inch display. All of this comes in a KGI note to investors (via MacRumors):
Two new OLED models target high-end market; new TFT-LCD model aims at low-end & midrange markets: We believe the major hardware difference in the two new OLED models is size, in a bid to satisfy various needs of the high-end market. The new TFT-LCD model will differ significantly from the OLED models in hardware and design specs (for instance, the PPI will be lower). The primary selling points of the TFT-LCD model may be the innovative user experience of an integrated full-screen design and 3D sensing with a lower price tag (we expect it will likely be US$649-749).
October 13, 2017: Apple rumored to be bringing Pencil to iPhone… in 2019
iPad Pro launched with Apple Pencil, a device that turned the tablet into an artists canvas. iPhone is much smaller but there are times when it would be useful to be able to scribble down sketches and notes on the go. And a new rumor says Apple is considering just that kind of support.
sources say Apple engineers have recently been working on a new iPhone that comes with a digital pen.
“Apple is preparing to launch the phone as early as 2019,” an industry source told The Investor on condition of anonymity. “It is also in talks with a couple of stylus makers for a partnership.”
This rumor suggests it wouldn’t be direct Apple Pencil support, but a different type of device:
the iPhone stylus is likely to adopt a supercapacitor stylus type for price benefits.
“A supercapacitor type is cheaper to make compared to the EMR stylus. It also offers a more pen-like feel,” another source said.
That sounds odd. There would be huge benefits to one device — a next-generation Apple Pencil — supporting both iPad and iPhone platforms, rather than separate devices for each.
Another odd bit:
Along with the stylus technology, the source said, Apple’s current A-series mobile chip should undergo a drastic upgrade to better support handwriting functions of the planned stylus.
A11 Bionic is plenty powerful enough for handwriting. So were the last few Apple chipsets. A11 would even support neural networks for handwriting recognition at the chipset level.
There may be a substantial amount of broken telephone going on between what Apple’s doing and what The Investor is printing. That said, I’d love Apple Pencil support for iPhone to come out of the labs and into the shipping product.
October 9, 2017: All 2018 iPhone models to sport TrueDepth camera systems
Apple is all-in on Face ID, face tracking for AR, and the TrueDepth camera system launching alongside iPhone X. So, to the surprise of no one, new rumors suggest that TrueDepth camera system will be making its way to all iPhones launched in 2018. (Namely, a second generation iPhone X and whatever smaller and/or larger version comes with it.)
Ming Chi Kuo, as quoted by MacRumors:
We predict iOS devices to be equipped with TrueDepth Camera in 2018F will include iPhone X and 2018 new iPhone and iPad models. Because of this, we believe more developers will pay attention to TrueDepth Camera/ facial recognition related applications. We expect Apple’s (US) major promotion of facial recognition related applications will encourage the Android camp to also dedicate more resources to developing hardware and facial recognition applications.
August 4, 2017: New iPhone SE could be coming in 2018
A new report from Focus Taiwan claims that a new version of the iPhone SE, Apple’s smaller, more budget-friendly iPhone, will be coming in early 2018. Wistron will reportedly assemble the phone in India
According to the sources, Wistron is expected to start to ship the new iPhone SE — which is expected to be more affordable than larger iPhones for many Indian consumers — in the first quarter of next year.
July 6, 2017: Three OLED iPhones rumored to be coming in 2018
According to Nikkei, Apple may be planning on releasing three new iPhones in 2018, each sporting an OLED display. Apple is currently rumored to be producing one iPhone model this year with an OLED display.
Apple is planning to use advanced organic light-emitting diode displays in all new iPhone models launched from the second half of 2018, according to two industry sources.
One said that Apple is tentatively looking at releasing three new models next year. Apple did not respond to an email seeking comments.
iPhone 9 / iPhone XI rumors: Release date, specs, price, and features!