Another year, another iPhone. Possibly three or even four, in fact. The rumour mill never stops grinding when it comes to Apple’s next coveted flagship iPhone 2018 smartphones.
Here, we take a look at the rumours, leaks and speculation about this year’s new iPhone, as well as what features we’d like to see in the next iPhone for 2018.
When is the new iPhone coming out?
iPhone 2018 release date: September 2018
Despite Apple sometimes launching new hardware out of the blue between launches, that's usually Macs and iPads. The last time Apple announced an iPhone outside September was the iPhone SE in March 2016.
The new iPhone for 2018 will almost certainly be announced in September 2018. Apple announces all its flagship iPhones in September and there is no reason to suggest that will change this pattern.
September 2017 saw Apple announce the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X. The big follow up will be scheduled for exactly 12 months later.
How much will the new iPhone cost?
We’d expect a new flagship iPhone in 2018 to cost the same as the iPhone X: £999/$999 but a price rise isn't out of the question these days. Apple's 'new product at the old price' paradigm is no longer a given.
But, there will be other price points should the company release varying models or sizes of the new handset.
What will the new iPhone be called?
This is hard to say. Ever since the iPhone 4, it was fairly straightforward with either adding an S or going one number up.
Now, with the 8 and X (10) released and no iPhone 9, the 2018 iPhone might be called iPhone 11.
Apple is unlikely to use Roman numerals and call it iPhone XI, but you never know. We also don't think Apple will go with iPhone XS or 8S given the last phone with an S was 2016's iPhone 6S.
We are waiting for the day it drops all the numbers and just calls it ‘iPhone’ again. Apple may keep the Plus branding with an iPhone X Plus, though.
There are several reports suggesting that the iPhone X is being discontinued in 2018, with some saying it will never see its first birthday. Remove the hype and what they're actually saying is that when it is replaced in September 2018 the original iPhone X will no longer be on sale at the Apple Store. Probably.
The rumour comes from Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities, via Apple Insider. It stems from the idea that there has been poor demand for the iPhone X, and therefore production will cease in the summer when the factories starts making the 2018 iPhones. However, Kuo suggests Apple will instead create an iPhone X Plus that will offset concerns about the amount of usable screen area.
How many new iPhones will there be in 2018?
It’s always hard to say how many iPhones Apple will announce. Usually its September event gives us two (one regular, one Plus), but the introduction of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X all at the same event was somewhat unexpected until a few weeks before.
And of course, the company has caught us off guard in the past, like with the iPhone 5C at the same time as the 5S, or with the March 2016 unveiling of the iPhone SE.
It would be logical for Apple to make a new size of the iPhone X while upgrading the specs, so perhaps we’ll have an iPhone X Plus. It looks like there will once again be three new flagship iPhone models for 2018.
Apple may also decide to iterate on the iPhone X design in cheaper phones in its range like the iPhone SE 2 which could well arrive alongside new flagship models this year.
The new SE model aside, here's what's likely to launch this September:
- 5.8in OLED: This would be the iPhone 11 or XI
- 6.5in OLED: The larger iPhone 11 Plus or X Plus
- 6.1in LCD: A cheaper version, but still with the notch design
What will the design of the iPhone 2018 be?
Apple is likely to iterate on the bold design of the iPhone X. We, and others, expect a similar design – perhaps in the style of the S updates, though iPhone XS looks odd written down (and means extra small).
With the iPhone X bringing the design overhaul already, we expect things like smaller bezels and a smaller notch. No notch at all would be nice but it's probably too early for that this year.
One big question is whether Apple will put a fingerprint scanner in the screen, therefore bringing back Touch ID. Apple has looked into it so it's certainly a possibility but would likely be an alternative to Face ID.
Nikkei reports that Apple is planning a cheaper LCD display iPhone in 2018, which could be reminiscent of the iPhone X but with cheaper materials and a metal back. This could mean the return of some interesting colours, although probably not like the 5C; more like the return of gold.
Will the new iPhones have any new features?
You can bet the new iPhones for 2018 will have new features, after all what's the point in a new model if it doesn't?
As detailed breifly earlier, the new iPhones will supposedly come in three sizes. Two - 5.8- and 6.5in for the regular and Plus model, both OLED along with a cheaper LCD model in 6.1in.
It's been reported that Apple is looking into Micro-LED technology that brings benefits in a number of areas such as power consumption and brightness. However, this is more likely to appear in an Apple Watch before arriving on iPhone.
In terms of resolution, Super Retina HD (458ppi) was introduced with the iPhone X but this could be increased with the larger flagship in 2018.
Face ID and Touch ID
It's thought that Face ID, Apple's facial recognition technology, will make its way across the entire flagship range in 2018.
You can bet that Apple will make it better by improving accuracy and security, too. It might also require a smaller notch.
It's far more up in the air when it comes to the possible return of Touch ID. This will only make an appearance, it seems, if Apple manages to embed it into the display.
This is possible, and is appearing on Android rivals, but it's 50/50 as to whether the new iPhones will get it - our fingers are crossed.
It's far easier to predict the processor for the new iPhones, which will almost certainly be the A12.
This will follow the iPhone X's A11 Fusion and the big news is that the A12 is thought to be manufacturer with a 7nm process. The A11, and rivals like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, use 10nm so going down to 7nm will bring increased performance and efficiency.
Technology around photography and video remains a high priority for any smartphone maker and you can bet things are going to get better for the iPhone 2018 models.
Details for these are not available just yet but the phone is supposedly getting a 3D Scanner feature, namely for AR purposes. Other reports suggest things like super resolution photos and even interchangeable lenses.
battery life on the iPhone could jump quite a bit and not just due to a more efficient processor.
Apple is reportedly going to put bigger batteries in this year's models. Up to 3400mAh which would be a 25 percent increase and more in-line with Android rivals.
Those larger batteries will take longer to charge up, but fast charging will help with that.
Although current models offer fast charging, Apple doesn't included the necessary adapter in the box. This year, though, an 18W charger will come with the phone, according to ChargeLab.
Long-range wireless charging
It might not arrive this year - we can dream - but Apple is reportedly working on long-range wireless charging.
This would mean you do have to put the device directly onto a wireless charging pad to top it up. The technology could mean the iPhone can be as far as a meter away thanks to near-field magnetic resonance, according to Bloomberg.
So far the NFC chip in the iPhone, in contrast to Android, has been locked so owners can only use it for Apple Pay.
While The Information reported that the capabilities would be expanded to more uses such as security-sensitive interactions like opening car doors. However, Apple did not announce this as part of iOS 12 at WWDC.
Hopefully the news is simply being saved for September.
What we would like to see in the new iPhone for 2018
Aside from the rumours, there’s a few things we’d like to see in the next iPhone.
Surely, surely Apple will one day let users customise their home screens a bit more. The iPhone X design does give the familiar grid of apps a new lease of life, and the widget view is always improving but it can't be your home screen.
iOS customisation is nothing compared to Android, where everyone’s tastes are different and can be expressed but this doesn't appear to be the case with iOS 12.
We’d also like to be able to choose the default browser and map apps to be something other than Safari and Apple Maps as this seems user hostile. Oh, and Apple, please put the camera settings in the actual camera app. It’s nuts that they are buried in the settings menu!
Aside from this, losing the camera bump if possible and perhaps adding some slick new colour options would be on our list.
For now, we sit and wait for the dubious leaks to build. We’ll add the legit ones to this article.
Read next: Best new phones coming in 2018 and beyond