With the onset of autumn comes the year's latest iPhone releases from Apple, meaning fans are already no doubt getting excited about what's in the pipeline for 2018. Although the company typically plays its cards pretty close to its chest and likes to throw in a few surprises, we do already know (or at least have suspicions) about some of the things that are going to be coming up for this new release.
Let's take a look at some of the rumoured features iPhone aficionados could be looking forward to in the weeks to come.
Three phones and possible release dates
There won't just be one handset coming to market, experts believe, but three: an upgrade to the current iPhone X; a larger device being referred to as the iPhone X Plus; and a smaller smartphone believed to be aimed at the budget-friendly end of the market tentatively called the iPhone 9, as confirmed by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg.
Since Apple usually makes its announcement within the first couple of weeks of September and usually on a Tuesday or Wednesday, experts are guessing that September 11th 2018 could be a day worth marking on your calendar – but of course, that's not set in stone yet.
It's thought that the new iPhones will continue with the X name, meaning we're likely to see 'iPhone XI' or 'iPhone X2' for the upgrade and 'iPhone X Plus' for the larger model (both organic LED), then potentially 'iPhone 9' for the smaller, LCD model.
However, some have suggested that Apple might go back to its old tradition of adding 's' to new models, possibly resulting in an 'iPhone Xs' – although that perhaps doesn't slip off the tongue quite so easily.
Of course, we're all most interested in what the new handsets are going to be able to do for us. Last year's iPhone X proved to be among the biggest smartphone updates in years, adding an all-screen front, wireless charging, dual camera and facial recognition, so we don't think there will be too many changes this time around.
Indeed, Tim Cook said the X laid the foundations for the next decade of the device, so it's likely the new models will feature mostly the same design, again doing away with that home button to incorporate bigger screens and Face ID.
Analysts from Barclays claim the new iPhone will have a smaller notch, but it's not likely to make too much difference to the overall look.
The best clues as to appearance come from the YouTube channel DetroitBORG's alleged prototype mock-ups, which reveal 5.8, 6.5 and 6.1-inch True Tone displays respectively, with the latter offering an LCD screen as opposed to OLED and possible aluminium casing that could contribute to a lower price point.
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, customers could enjoy 25 per cent longer battery life thanks to a two-cell battery, while Jun Zhang of Rosenblatt Securities believes faster charging tech is on its way, too. Excitingly, TrendForce predicts that a 512GB storage option may be a possibility, which is great for keen photographers.
The smaller device, meanwhile, could have a single-lens camera on the back, do without 3D Touch and provide lower specs to boast a similar price to the iPhone 8.
Good news for fashionistas, as Ming-Chi Kuo suggested via 9to5Mac that the new phones could come in grey, white, blue, red, and orange – although other sources believe this to be unlikely and perhaps only for the 'cheaper' model. We did see red last year, though, so Apple might be eager to play on the success of this with more hues.
TrendForce has suggested that Apple might be keen to make more of its Pencil technology to bring it into the mainstream, so incorporation into the next releases could be a possibility. However, it may be that such a move is for next year, rather than this.
Finally, the software for the new release has actually been confirmed, so we know the fresh handsets will be launching with iOS 12 and enhancements to Photos, Siri and ARKit.
It will be interesting to see what comes to fruition this autumn, what proves to be hearsay – and what Apple might surprise us with.