The Apple rumor mill is in full swing, with media outlets such as South Korea’s The Investor reporting that Apple could release as many as four new iPhone models throughout 2018, all while continuing the flagship iPhone X.
This is in contrast to older rumors that Apple planned to discontinue the iPhone X this year as replacement models were released. The report in The Investor states that Apple is predicted to continue iPhone X production, keeping the current range-topping phone as a smaller model.
In place of the latest iPhone models, Apple is reported to be working on a 5.85 inch and 6.46 inch version of the iPhone. The sources for the South Korean story are anonymous, but are reported to be “insiders” that work in Apple’s local supply chain.
Several South Korean suppliers are involved in the production of Apple’s iPhone lineup, with BH, Samsung-Electro Mechanics and Interflex providing parts either currently used or likely to be used in Apple’s upcoming models.
There are also rumors that the new models will use an “L-shaped” battery that offers a higher capacity level than existing iPhone batteries, potentially increasing the maximum charge that models can offer and providing users with an extended battery life.
The rumored extended battery sizes range from 2,800 to 3,400 mAh — numbers that have been supported by reports in South Korea’s ET News. The iPhone X Plus, the largest rumored phone in Apple’s lineup, is also reported to cost anywhere from $1,200 to $1,350.
Although they share some similarities, these rumors conflict with rumors from other sources about the upcoming iPhone models. DigiTimes, a tech-focused outlet based in Taipei, recently reported that Apple is currently working on four new replacement iPhone models.
Of the four models reportedly in development, three are likely to enter into production — 5.7 and 6.1 inch LCD models, and a larger 6.5 inch OLED model. The report claims that the other model is likely to be scrapped before production, limiting the new lineup to three new models.
According to the DigiTimes report, all four of the new iPhone models currently in development will support wireless charging and 3D sensing functionalities.
Luke Lin, the DigiTimes Research senior analyst responsible for the report, notes that Apple has yet to make a final decision and could release a different combination.
According to the rumors, one of Apple’s new iPhones will be a low-cost smartphone aimed at a similar market to previous inexpensive iPhones such as the iPhone SE. The entry-level model is reported to feature wireless charging but not the 3D sensing feature found in higher end models.
As Apple has yet to make any announcement about upcoming models, any rumors about new models are best regarded as unreliable at best and merely predictive at worst. However, given the accuracy of previous leaks from Apple’s supply chain, it’s interesting news for fans of the brand.
Like in previous years, Apple is expected to announce the new iPhone models (as well as other hardware) in the second half of this year.