From the release date to the slick new screens, here’s the lowdown on the upcoming new models from Apple
How’s that knackered out iPhone holding up? Barely hanging in there, sporting a screen scarred by numerous encounters with the pub toilet floors, a battery that gives up the ghost at 40% and a home button that stopped working in 2016.
As you line up your badly abused handset for its overdue retirement, you’ll no doubt be eager to hear all about the next iPhone you’ll be wrapping your thumbs around.
Here’s our comprehensive guide to all the rumours and leaks to have snuck from Chinese factory floors to the nerdiest corners of the web.
1. We’ll get three iPhones – and they’re HUGE
Apple has occasionally pumped out its handsets in groups of three: a fancy flagship in two sizes and a ‘budget’ option for those of us who don’t have the coordination or bank balance to be trusted with a grand’s-worth of smartphone.
2. Two of them will be dead nifty
The 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch models are set to take all the features of the current iPhone X up a peg: they’ll feature polished stainless-steel cases and glass bodies with edge-to-edge screens with the Home button firmly ditched. The notch introduced at the top of the iPhone X remains, allowing Apple to squeeze in a new generation of TrueDepth front-facing camera, so you can unlock your phone with Face ID and transforming your visage into that of a talking turd.
Word has it that both these flagship models will use an OLED display with specs comparable to the current super slick iPhone X. If you’re one for numbers (you big geek), the 5.8-inch model will feature a display with 458 pixels per inch, with a 1125 x 2436 resolution, while the 6.5-inch model will pump out around 480 pixels per inch, with a 1242 x 2688 resolution.
In short, you’ll get more bystanders peering in on a flashy Netflix commute.
The majority of scruffy photos to have surfaced online are from manufacturers playing around with ‘dummy units’ – brick handsets used to help create accessories and cases. They consistently point to the 5.8 and 6.5-inch phones arriving with dual-lens cameras currently taking incredible shots on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X models.
However, the larger ‘Plus’ model may feature a triple-lens camera, which would give it improved low-light photography and the potential for interesting augmented reality applications (like turning your mate’s face into a super-realistic talking turd).
These two flagship phones could also come in the standard black and white finishes, and a new gold version.
3. The budget iPhone won’t be all bad
The runt of Apple’s new phones is built for the smartphone user who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of £1,000 phone but yearns for a fresh handset to fill with unanswered messages from the Family WhatsApp group.
The much-rumoured 6.1-inch handset sees Apple shave off some notable features to save us some pennies: there’s no dual-lens camera, but rather a single-lens shooter, while the stainless-steel case is dropped for a cheap-yet-robust aluminium alternative. Another big saving for Apple is the use of an LCD display, comparable to the current iPhone 8, but without the useful 3D Touch feature.
As with the previous budget model of the iPhone 5c, the new 6.1-inch handset could come in a whole rainbow of colour options, including grey, white, blue, red and - for the first time - orange.
It’s all ‘good’ rather than ‘great’, with the handset keeping the edge-to-edge screen and front-facing camera for Face ID, continuing in the iPhone X mould of dropping the Home button altogether. It’ll be cheaper, and ideal for anyone looking to upgrade from their iPhone 6 or 7 without wanting to break the bank.
4. The headphone jack isn’t coming back
Yep. We’re gutted too. There’s also a strong indication that Apple won’t be supplying a headphone adaptor with the new phones either, as the company that currently makes the parts for that gadget-saving dongle hasn’t increased its output ahead of the latest phone’s arrival. Time to invest in some wireless headphones.
5. This is how much they will cost
Adamant you’re not going to let a smartphone rule your wallet? Then you’ll want to consider the 6.1-inch ‘budget’ model, speculated (by analyst types who know how this stuff goes down) to be coming in for as little as $550. Now, that should convert to £430-ish, but Apple has a nasty habit of converting dollar signs to pound sterling and hoping we don’t notice - so we could get a cheap £550 model, rather than a £430 bargain.
As for the flagships, there’s no escaping the fact that Apple will squeeze as much money out of us fanboys as they possibly can. Despite being £999 at launch, the iPhone X was one of the best selling phones of the last year, outselling the iPhone 8 and 8s for the first few months of 2018 - so Apple won’t be scared to slap a £999+ price tag on the new 5.8-inch handset, and even more on the 6.5-inch model.
If you want a guess (and it’s an educated one), we’d say:
6.1-inch ‘budget’ - £550
5.8-inch flagship - £999
6.5-inch flagship - £1,199
6. The names aren’t at all obvious
We’re stumped on this. Here’s a rundown of all the names Apple has given its iPhones over the years:
iPhone 6 & 6 Plus
iPhone 6s & 6s Plus
iPhone 7 & 7 Plus
iPhone 8 & 8 Plus
Here are the options that leaves us with:
iPhone Xs & Xs Plus (naff, and Apple appears to have ditched the ‘s’ convention) and the 6.1-inch iPhone SE-X (marketing genius)
iPhone XI & XI Plus (Roman numerals are in) and the 6.1-inch iPhone IX (which would confuse everyone)
iPhone 11 & 11 Plus and the 6.1-inch iPhone 11c
Or maybe, just maybe, we’ll see Apple give up on the numerical system and adopt a route used by its other products. The iPhone Pro? iPhone Air? We’re hoping we things go back to basics: the iPhone, the iPhone Plus and the iPhone… Medium.
7. They’ll launch in September
Apple is a company of habit. Since the iPhone 5, every handset has been revealed in second week of September, either on a Tuesday or Wednesday, with the handsets arriving in mid-September (apart from the iPhone X, which snuck in as a late November addition last year).
That points to a likely reveal date of Tuesday 11 September (although Apple might avoid the date for obvious reasons) or Wednesday 12 September (don’t worry, the Champions League kicks off the week after), with the snazzy handsets hitting the shelves the following week. New speculation suggests it is likely to be the latter date, so get that in the diary for now.
Lusting after the 6.1-inch basic handset? You might have to wait a little longer: there are some mutterings of issues with the manufacturing process that could push the arrival back to October or November.
And there you have it. Three phones, two good, one less so, all with massive edge-to-edge screens. Here’s hoping the battery life lasts longer than three hours after six months.