Apple's next iPhone update for 2018, according to the latest rumours, will see three new iPhone X-style handsets launched at the same time, including a larger iPhone X Plus and a cheaper LCD model. In this article we round up all the news about these phones' release date, prices, design changes, tech specs and new features.
A new video shows dummy models of the new handsets, while icons in iOS 12 appear to confirm an all-screen design for the iPhone X Plus. And multiple sources now predict Apple Pencil support in the new premium handsets.
What will the 2018 iPhones be called?
There are enough potential names for the next iPhone that we could write a whole article just about that!
- iPhone 9 and iPhone 9 Plus (for the successors to the iPhone 8 models)
- iPhone 11 and 11 Plus (aka iPhone XI and XI Plus)
- iPhone Xs and Xs Plus
- iPhone X Plus
- Or just plain iPhone and iPhone Plus
Tell us which you prefer in the poll below.
Release date for the new iPhones
We expect the 2018 iPhones to be unveiled in September. This would be one year after the iPhone 8 launched, and fits Apple's usual release calendar.
Mind you, in 2017 the company didn't launch all of its new phones at the same time: the X arrived one month after the 8 and 8 Plus.
Is it likely that the new iPhones will have different launch dates in 2018? Probably not.
A Korean report in June claimed that the cheaper model wouldn't arrive until November, but most analysts now believe production plans are back on schedule. Ming-Chi Kuo, for instance, says Apple is focused on ensuring all the new models are ready to meet the same shipping date, and claims that despite entering mass production later than the other models, the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will hit stores at the same time.
How many new iPhones will Apple launch in 2018?
Most reports point to three.
That's what analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted back in November, adding that these would have the same all-screen design with the now-familiar notch. In January he followed up with more details:
- 5.8in OLED: the successor to the iPhone X, with largely same design.
- 6.5in OLED: a Plus version of the iPhone X, aka iPhone X Plus or XI Plus.
- 6.1in LCD: a cheaper iPhone with the same design as the X but slightly larger bezels ad an LCD display. It will feature Face ID but not 3D Touch and won't have twin camera lenses on the rear.
There is some disagreement about the size of the largest model; an Olixar leak backs up the 6.5in measurement above, but Nikkei, citing "a source privy to the company's product designs", argues that it will be 6.3in.
But according to DigiTimes analyst Luke Lin, there will actually be four new iPhones, including an additional smaller handset:
- 5.7- to 5.8in LCD
- 6.0- to 6.1in LCD
- 6.0- to 6.1in OLED
- 6.4- to 6.5in OLED
We think that's pushing it for a single event.
iPhone 2018 prices
The iPhone X was positioned by Apple as a premium iPhone with a premium price - starting at £999/$999, while the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were priced at £699/$699 and £799/$799. Will the 2018 models follow suit?
Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's first research note since departing KGI Securities in April suggested that Apple will be offering a "more aggressive" pricing strategy this year.
He believes that Apple is concerned about "the negative impact of a higher price," but also that it has an improved cost structure thanks to assembly yield improvements. He suggests the following prices:
- 5.8in "iPhone X" will be $800-$900 (down from $999).
- 6.5in "iPhone X Plus" will cost $900-$1,000.
- 6.1in LCD model will be $600-$700.
In terms of UK pricing, rather than doing a straight currency conversion, which wouldn't include VAT, it is generally more accurate (at least with iPhones) to switch the dollar signs to pounds - so that's £900-£1,000 for the Plus handset, £800-£900 for the X successor, and £600-£700 for the LCD.
A number of reports suggest a far cheaper iPhone X-style handset is in the offing. An Economic Daily article from October 2017, for example, predicted a budget-friendly model codenamed Hangzhou, while Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson has predicted that an iPhone X 'Lite' will be released to cater for those were put off by the iPhone X's price.
Of course, even if an X Lite replaced the SE as Apple's entry-level handset it would still be more expensive: the SE starts at $349/£349 and even the iPhone 6s is still available from $449/£449.
New iPhone design changes
With the three rumoured new iPhones said to sport the notch rather than a home button we can expect 2018 to mark the move away from the familiar iPhone design as everything takes on the X-style introduced in 2017. Here's everything we've heard about the 2018 iPhone's design so far:
We expect all of Apple's late-2018 iPhones to adopt the all-screen iPhone X design. This means a bezel-free design, Face ID camera, and no Home button.
The bezel-less design allows Apple to fit a larger screen into the same size of body; for this reason a "reliable supplier information source" has told Macotakara that the so-called iPhone X Plus will have a giant 6.5in screen but a chassis of the same dimensions as the iPhone 8 Plus (with 5.5in screen).
We also expect the new models to feature a notch at the top of the display, incorporating the FaceTime camera and facial recognition sensors.
Case maker Olixar has produced three screen protectors based on the expected measurements of the three new iPhones, which MobileFun published details of in June. If the dimensions are correct - and Olixar has been right before - the 6.1in LCD iPhone will have a slightly thicker bezel.
I'm having dejavu. Payment glyphs for "iPhone X Plus", iPhone X (for comparison) and 2018 iPad Pro (which is square and weird). Found in PassKitUIFoundation. pic.twitter.com/H13448oYr8— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) August 3, 2018
In May 2018, Olixar showed off plans for its own case and cover for a successor to the iPhone SE, and those designs suggest that the new SE will have a smaller notch (via 9to5Mac). That may not be surprising given that the phone is smaller - but crucially it indicates that Apple has been able to squeeze in the components underneath the notch into a smaller space, and that could translate to a smaller notch on the 2018 iPhone X.
Barclays analysts Andrew Gardiner, Hiral Patel, Joseph Wolf and Blayne Curtis also predict that the notch is likely to get smaller.
Another indication that the notch could get smaller comes via a patent application that suggests that Apple could be looking at a screen technology that allows sensors to be placed in microscopic spaces between pixels. These gaps would be so small you wouldn't be able to see them, and it would mean that the sensors could be embedded in the display itself, rather than behind the notch, according to Digital Trends.
However, the latter looks more likely to happen in 2019, when analysts also believe that Apple plans to introduce a combined face recognition module and camera - read about the 2019 iPhones here.
But the notch disappearing entirely? Not likely. In February 2018, Apple doubled down on the concept, updating its App Store submission guidelines to insist that from April 2018, all apps must support the iPhone X's Super Retina display. That means "respecting safe areas, supporting adaptive layouts", and absolutely accommodating the notch.
Metal or glass back
According to Nikkei, Apple is going to continue hedging its bets when it comes to materials. The site claims that while the OLED models will maintain the glass back of the iPhone X, the LCD iPhone will have a metal back. It follows that this device probably won't be able to offer wireless charging.
What the metal-backed LCD-option could offer is a splash of colour: Nikkei adds that the handset "will be available in several colours". Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang, meanwhile, predicted in May 2018 that the cheaper LCD iPhone model released in late 2018 would launch in multiple colours, including blue, yellow and pink.
Jun Zhang argues that this step will be taken in order to appeal to younger users (which we would note was largely the justification used for the iPhone 5c in 2013, and that didn't go particularly well) and to differentiate between the LCD iPhone and the more expensive OLED models that will launch alongside it.
"Since Apple start to launch three new models every year, we believe the company needs to differentiate the designs of the LCD model from the two high-end OLED models," writes Zhang. "One reasonable choice would be to add different colours."
As for the rest of the range, Bloomberg believes the giant iPhone X Plus could see the return of the gold colour option, which was withdrawn for the iPhone X launch.
"Apple is considering a gold [colour] option for the update to the iPhone X and the larger model," the site writes. "The company tried to develop gold for the current X handset, but abandoned it because of production problems... The gold option is especially appealing to consumers in Asia and may help boost sales in the region."
A gold iPhone X did once exist it seems, Apple just happens to have sent an image of a gold iPhone X to the FCC when it was seeking approval for the new handset, and those images are now public, via MacRumors.
In March 2018, gold iPhone images were posted by Ben Geskin, a prolific if occasionally indiscriminate leaker: he tends to be the first to post genuine shots of new products, but more cautious rivals are less likely to be taken in by fakes. So we cannot depend on this being reliable.
It's possible that this is one of the colour options being prepared for the autumn 2018 update, but it seems more likely that this is the iPhone X in the un-released gold finish.
New iPhone screen sizes
There could be three or four new screen sizes - including the biggest screen on an iPhone yet.
Most reports point to the following dimensions (those predicted by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in November 2017):
However, there are a few conflicting reports. The Bell (via The Investor), quoting anonymous industry sources, claimed in May 2017 that Apple and Samsung had signed a deal for the supply of 5.28in and 6.46in sized OLED panels for the 2018 iPhones. Then another Investor report in August 2017 claimed the 5.28in model had been canned in favour of a 5.85in screen.
A January 2018 report from DigiTimes suggested that four new iPhones could arrive with screens in the following sizes: 5.7 to 5.8in (LCD model), two phones measuring 6.0 to 6.1in (one an LCD, the other an OLED) and an OLED model measuring 6.4 to 6.5in.
Finally, in May 2018, ET News suggested that there would be a 6.04in screen.
Screen resolution/pixel density
Earning the new branding Super Retina HD, the iPhone X had the highest resolution (2,436 x 1125) and pixel density (459 pixels per inch, or ppi) of any iPhone so far, and after that major upgrade we don't expect Apple to go any higher than 458ppi in 2018. But there have been some rumours.
It has been noticed on Twitter that eMagin, an OLED microdisplay maker that Apple (along with LG and Valve) invested in early in 2018, has the capability to make displays with a pixel density greater than 2,500ppi. Displays even close to that capability would be an extraordinary step forward for the iPhone range.
The reason we don't expect such a step is that eMagin makes microdisplays, and it's very difficult to recreate their capabilities on larger screens. eMagin's displays are designed for extremely close-up use - most obviously VR headsets - and it's therefore far more likely that this investment is significant in terms of Apple's VR ambitions.
OLED and beyond
In November 2017 the analyst Kuo wrote that two of the new 2018 iPhones will feature an OLED screen, like the iPhone X, but one will use LCD, and therefore cost less. The resolution of that model will be lower, too. The model to get the 'budget' features will have a 6.1in screen.
Kuo said: "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 $649-749)."
However, on 26 January 2018 Digitimes Research senior analyst Luke Lin said that Apple is leaning towards releasing two LCD-based iPhones in 2018. One of these LCD models will be 5.7in to 5.8in, and the other from 6.0in to 6.1in, reports MacRumors.
There are also reports appearing that suggest Apple is looking into using MicroLED screens. These could initially appear on the Apple Watch, as was the case with OLED, but eventually be used for the iPhone. Apple's interest in the technology is clear from its acquisition of LuxVue (a company specialising in the field) back in 2014.
MicroLEDs offer low power consumption, high brightness, ultra-high definition, high colour saturation, faster response rate, longer lifetimes and higher efficiency.
One last screen theory: for its LCD model, Apple could use the Super Bright Display featured in the LG G7 ThinQ. This would enable it to offer 1,000 nits brightness. See how that device shapes up in our iPhone X vs LG G7 comparison.
This is a recurrent rumour, but sources suggest that it may finally come true within the next couple of generations.
In April 2018, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman cites a person "familiar with the situation" for his claim that Apple is working on phone screens "that curve inward gradually from top to bottom", although he acknowledges that this is highly unlikely to be ready for the 2018 update. Instead, Gurman expects curved iPhones to take two to three years to appear.
Part of the reason that curved screens are at last a realistic option for Apple comes down to OLED, the screen tech used in the iPhone X: OLED is far easier to produce in bent, folded or curved forms than the LCD tech that the company used in all previous iPhone models.
New features & tech specs
The late-2017 iPhones added Face ID and wireless charging features. Here's what we're expecting in 2018.
KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that Apple will expand its new Face ID facial recognition tech to all new iPhones released in autumn 2018 because in-screen Touch ID fingerprint scanning remains a technological challenge.
On 8 February 2018 Kuo's prediction was backed up by two reports from Apple's Asian supply chain, which each agree that Face ID is coming to all three new iPhones in 2018. The Korean-language site ETNews and the Investor each quote industry sources to support their assertions. And Gene Munster agrees.
Apple might have settled on Face ID with the iPhone X, but the company has explored the possibility of integrating the Touch ID fingerprint scanner into the display of a smartphone or tablet. In fact, Apple filed a patent describing a Touch ID display back in January 2013.
The patent describes how you could place your finger on the display to scan it, instead of the Home Button. It describes a touchscreen display with a fingerprint-sensing layer that could be used to introduce advanced multi-user support.
For example, Apple could use the fingerprint sensing display to only allow particular users to open certain apps. This could be useful for those with children who like to explore the iPad, for example.
Additionally, Apple could take the display even further. It could be used in conjunction with a piano app, for example, to teach users the correct finger placement for the instrument.
Ever since the Pencil came out for the iPad Pro, pundits have wondered if compatibility for the stylus would be brought to the much bigger-selling iPhone line - speculation that intensified in spring 2018 when Pro exclusivity came to an end and it could be used with the cheaper 9.7in iPad too.
Research firm TrendForce was the first to make a firm prediction that 2018 will be the year when the iPhone gets Apple Pencil support. The company reasoned in part that this would help the new iPhone compete with the (stylus-equipped) Samsung Galaxy Note 9, but it would have the side effect of selling lots and lots of accessories.
The prediction was later backed by Economic Daily News, which further clarified that the feature would be limited to the more expensive OLED models.
It's easy to say what processor we'll get in the iPhone 2018: a proprietary Apple chip named "A12 [codename]", following the A10 Fusion in the iPhone 7 and the A11 Bionic in the iPhone 8 and X.
In May 2018 a Bloomberg report claimed that A12 chips for the next iPhone are already under production, according to Bloomberg sources. The report claims that "people familiar with the matter" have revealed that TSMC has begun mass production of the new chips using a 7-nanometer design that "can be smaller, faster and more efficient than the 10-nanometer chips".
We already knew that TSMC had developed a 7nm FinFET production process (which they detail here), which could result in a 20 percent speed bump and a 40 percent reduction in power consumption over the 10nm chips.
The iPhone X and iPhone 8 (and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, used in the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, Sony Xperia XZ2, LG G7 ThinQ, OnePlus 6, and others) all use 10 nanometer chips, so you can expect the next iPhone to be faster and more efficient than those handsets. Which could mean that the new phone (or phones) will offer improved battery life. (Samsung won't start producing 7nm chips at scale until 2019, so Apple has a headstart here.)
Impressive benchmarks for a new iPhone listed as 'iPhone 11,2' and running a non-beta version of iOS 12, have appeared on the benchmarking tool Geekbench, hinting that the next iPhone will have a new CPU with six cores, and 4GB RAM. First reported by French site Consomac.
The iPhone 11,2 scored 4,673 points in single-core mode and 10,912 in multi-core mode.
The iPhone X scored 4,206 and 10,123 (reference our tests). When that device first appeared on Geekbench it was listed as iPhone 10,3, while the iPhone 8 Plus was listed as iPhone 10,2, which has lead to the suggestion that this unknown iPhone is the rumoured iPhone X Plus, or iPhone 11 Plus - the big brother to the successor to the iPhone X.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the successor to the iPhone X could have 4GB RAM. The iPhone X has 3GB RAM.
Benchmarks that appeared on Geekbench in July 2018 also suggest that at least one of the new 2018 iPhones could have 4GB RAM.
In June 2019, a Chinese report claimed that one of the new iPhones will come with an embedded Apple SIM alongside the usual SIM card slot. (Translation here).
The Apple SIM is currently available in the iPad and owners can switch between carriers easily.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said that the 6.1in LCD iPhone and the 6.5in iPhone X Plus will support dual-SIM thanks to this embedded Apple SIM.
The Century Business Herald report suggests this dual-SIM option may only be available in the Chinese market, however.
Gigabit LTE/LTE Advanced
It might feel like its no time at all since 4G was introduced but the next big thing is Gigabit LTE, which is in itself a stopgap on the way to 5G. It seems likely that the 2018 flagship iPhone will feature this technology.
Gigabit LTE promises download speeds of up to 1000 megabits per second. Gigabit LTE-ready smartphones will also benefit from being able to get a data connection miles away from a tower, and they will be able to get connected even when they are surrounded by other devices jostling for the same airspace, say at a busy train station.
Some phones are already capable of supporting the new technology, including the Galaxy Note 8. The iPhone X however, does not support Gigabit LTE.
Gigabit LTE is only available at EE test sites at London's Tech City and in Cardiff. But in 2018 that will change as EE rolls out Gigabit LTE around the country. Then those phones that are ready to support it will be able to take advantage of the faster upload and download speeds, the iPhone X won't.
However, when it launches 5G, which promises speeds in excess of 1Gb/s (or even 10Gb/s), will require a completely different modem chip to be used inside smartphones, so even Gigabit LTE ready phones will miss out. More on 5G below...
One of the landmarks in iPhone history was the inclusion of 3G in its second-generation model; with the launch of the iPhone 5 Apple fans got 4G as well. Now it seems that 5G could be on its way if testing works out.
Apple has submitted an application, obtained by Business Insider, to test "cellular link performance in direct path and multi-path environments between base station transmitters and receivers" using the 28GHz and 39GHz bands, approved for 5G, and 'millimetre wave' wireless technology.
"These assessments will provide engineering data relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers' future 5G networks," the application adds.
5G will deliver faster cellular internet connections, but the details remain fuzzy: currently, there are no standards for 5G, although many companies are working towards agreeing on technology and specifications. You can read more about the latest 5G developments here: What is 5G?
Perhaps Apple is intending to wait for 5G rather than adding LTE Advanced capabilities to the iPhone? If it is there may be a long wait: the first public 5G networks aren't expected to roll out in the UK until 2020, although some preliminary implementations may arrive in 2019. It's unlikely that 5G will become widespread until 2022, though.
iPhones have come with NFC chips since 2014 (the iPhone 6 was the first), but while NFC usually lets you do a wide range of things such as identifying a user and unlocking security doors, the chips in iPhones have largely been limited to Apple Pay. It's believed that Apple is about to 'unlock' the capacities of these chips.
According to The Information's sources, Apple employees are already using the feature to open doors at the Apple Park campus.
"The change to the NFC chip, which is expected to be announced [in June 2018], could pave the way for people to use iPhones for other security-sensitive interactions, from paying transit fares and opening car doors to verifying their identity in other ways," the site predicted. This feature was not announced at WWDC in June, but could be on the way.
Batteries & Charging
What improvements can we expect in terms of iPhone battery and charging tech in 2018? Read on to find out.
According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (in a report referred to above), the new models with LCD screens (successors to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus) will have a 2850-2950 mAh battery. This should add up to 8% more capacity than the battery in the iPhone X. In these phones the battery will be rectangular.
And the models with the OLED screens (successors to the iPhone X, we'll call them the iPhone Xs and XS Plus, for the sake of argument) will offer an L-shaped, 3,300-3,400mAh battery. That is 25% more capacity than the iPhone X.
In other battery-related news, Korea Economic Daily claims that Apple has chosen LG Chem as the exclusive supplier for batteries that will be featured in the next-generation iPhone, due out in 2018, and that Apple's next-generation iPhone will adopt a 'bent' battery module shaped like the letter 'L'. It's said that the optimised shape of the battery maximises internal space and also boosts charging speeds.
Alternatively, one persistent rumour holds that Apple will take the battery tech it developed for the original 12in MacBook whereby contoured, layered battery units are stacked inside the chassis in order to take up every possible inch of space, and use these to squeeze more battery capacity inside the fixed or even reduced volume that will be available in future iPhones.
If photos from Chinese site Chongdiantou are to be believed, Apple may be planning to introduce a more powerful, 18-watt USB-C charger alongside a Lightning to USB cable with iOS devices. (Translation here.)
The iPad currently uses a 10-12W charger.
The images are apparently engineering prototypes of the new charger.
The wireless charging you get with the iPhones 8 and X is the kind, commonplace with today's technology's standards, where you still have to physically place the device on a charging mat. It's convenient, but not exactly a game-changer, since the two elements have to be in contact or within a couple of centimetres.
Bloomberg, however, reckons Apple is working on longer-range wireless charging, potentially charging at a distance of about 1 metre using near-field magnetic resonance. And some cryptic comments from the CEO of a charging company suggest Apple may be planning something even more ambitious.
Steve Rizzone, CEO of Energous, spoke to The Verge before CES 2017 and dropped some major hints about an exclusive "key strategic partnership" that the company signed a couple of years back and which has delayed the launch of its wireless charging tech... which has a range of 15 feet.
"That 'key' partner is suspected to be Apple," observes The Verge, "and Energous - though declining to state its partner's name - is certainly happy to fuel the speculation."
The iPhone X boasts that it's "fast-charge capable", but the charging unit bundled with the phone won't blow your socks off with its speed. Well, according to ChargerLab, Apple is going to include an altogether more powerful charger with the late-2018 models.
"According to our exclusive sources inside production lines," says the site, "it will ship with an 18W USB-C to Lightning fast charger... Using a USB-C for power delivery should result in significantly faster power delivery compared to the USB-A ports that Apple had been using since 2007."
(Speculation about a switch to iPhones being bundled with USB-C instead of USB-A cables was further enflamed in mid-May 2018 by news of a price drop to the USB-C-to-Lightning adaptor that Apple currently sells separately.)
Here's where we see the iPhone cameras heading in the 2018 update.
We still think this is more likely to appear in the 2019 update, as was suggested by the original rumour, but a report in June 2018 is now arguing that the late-2018 iPhone X Plus will have triple camera lenses on its rear.
Korea Herald's report mainly focuses on Samsung developments, but briefly adds that "one of Apple's next premium smartphones, reportedly named as the iPhone X Plus, is also anticipated to come fitted with three camera lenses on the rear."
Front-facing 'TrueDepth' 3D camera
According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (in October 2017) the iPhone X's 3D sensing capabilities are already at least one year ahead of Android smartphones so it's unlikely we will see an update to that technology in 2018.
However, in 2019 we may see improvements to the TrueDepth Camera on the front of the iPhone (as well as a TrueDepth camera on the back of the device, which we will discuss next).
As mentioned above, it seems unlikely that Face ID, or any of the TrueDepth technology, will make it to the iPhone's rear-facing camera in 2018. However, that doesn't mean that the camera on the rear of the iPhone won't get clever new features.
In November 2017, Bloomberg reported that 2018's iPhone 11/Xs/Xi will have a 3D scanner on its rear sensor array, citing "people familiar with the plan". This is in addition to - and distinct from - the existing TrueDepth scanner on the front, which is used for Face ID, Animoji and similar features, and which "relies on a structured-light technique that projects a pattern of 30,000 laser dots on to a user's face and measures the distortion".
Instead, the new system would use "a time-of-flight approach that calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off surrounding objects", the site claims.
It's believed that this new scanner will be used primarily for augmented reality (AR) applications: building a 3D model of the surrounding environment, and then delivering information and functionality related to this model. Apple has already gone big on AR, with the launch of ARKit at WWDC 2017.
In June 2016, Apple filed a patent to prevent people from recording at concerts through an infrared signal. This is to address the complaints made by artists that fans are uploading poor-quality videos of their performances.
Apple seems keen to improve the camera capabilities of its iOS devices, and one patent published by USPTO in May 2014 suggests we could soon see iPhones that are able to capture "Super-resolution" photos thanks to optical image stabilisation, which is already a feature of the iPhone 6 Plus.
The patent describes a system that takes a series of photographs at slightly different angles and stitches them together to create a 'super-resolution' image.
Several rumours suggest Apple plans to introduce a feature like this with an iPhone in the near future, with reports pointing to a 'DSLR-quality' capability that would represent the biggest camera jump in iPhone upgrade history.
DigiTimes has reported that Apple is already booking in production for iPhone cameras above 12Mp in resolution. This is at a new factory built by lens maker Largan Precision in Taiwan.
Apple is also investigating the possibility of making interchangeable iPhone camera lenses.
In January 2014, the company was issued two patents that describe methods of attaching camera modules to devices such as the iPhone and iPad.
The first patent, titled "Back panel for a portable electronic device with different camera lens options", describes a portable electronic device that has a removable case that would allow camera attachments such as wide-angle or fisheye lenses.
The second patent, titled "Magnetic add-on lenses with alignment ridge," offers an alternative method of attaching new camera lenses to the iPhone using magnets.
It's already possible to use detachable iPhone camera lenses, of course, but at present those are exterior accessories made by third parties. You can also read about our pick of the Best iPhone camera lenses.
Leaked videos, photos & illustrations
In this section we'll post the most interesting leaked photos and videos of the late-2018 iPhone posted online. We're already seeing snatched images of components or prototypes.
Another video of dummy models was sent to 9to5Mac in June 2018.
These dummy models are based on reports and rumours about the new iPhones, so while they aren't legitimate leaked prototypes, they do at least represent what's expected from the new line up and could give you a preview of what to expect.
iPhone case-maker Ghostek has created images of the case it plans to sell for the 6.1in LCD iPhone. It shows the bezels to be larger than in the iPhone X. On the back there is no dual-lens camera - just a single lens, another difference to the iPhone X, via BGR.
MobileFun published these images of Olixar's screen protectors for the three new iPhones in June:
Russian-language site Wylsa - a site without an established track record, so we cannot vouch for its accuracy - claimed in June 2018 to have obtained leaked schematics for the 2018 iPhones:
This image, posted by the Twitter user Mr White, purportedly shows screen components for the 6.1in edition of the new iPhone. It's claimed that this is an OLED model, which goes against the widespread belief that the 6.1in phone will cut costs by using LCD.
iPhone X 6.1 OLED pic.twitter.com/C9rYWNmShA— Mr·white (@laobaiTD) May 24, 2018
Here's another image from Mr White, this time of the new gold colour option. Mr White doesn't cite any sources so this may not be reliable, but it fits in with analyst expectations.
Slashleaks speculates that the following image shows "mostly likely iPhone X Plus initial screen protectors and sizes and demo prototypes for trial runs", but this has been met with a degree of scepticism online (although readers have voted it to a 'trust score' of 90 percent).
We will also post the best artists' renders as they appear. Ahead of an iPhone launch designers and illustrators around the world put their brains to the task of imagining radical new designs.
We mentioned a gold colour finish earlier; this black-and-gold concept is our favourite from a set of concept illustrations by the designer Martin Hajek:
Previously, renders appeared on iDrop News in October 2017:
Back in May 2014, Apple was granted a patent for "Electronic devices with sidewall displays", which could lead to future iPhones with displays around the sides and edges as well as on the front. The patent suggests that the sidewall displays could be used to display app icons, or for slide-to-unlock functionality, music player controls, caller ID and more.
The problem is that it would be impossible to put a cover on the phone without taking away functionality - and without a cover the phone would be easily broken. Still, we have a concept image for such a design here:
Concept illustration by Michael Shanks.