There's talk of a super-size one, a less-expensive one and one with three rear cameras.
Apple is planning to release three new iPhones in 2018, including one with three rear cameras, according to rumors.
The company plans to introduce three new iPhone models later this year which may include a considerably larger version of the iPhone X -- the iPhone X Plus, perhaps -- as well as a significantly less expensive version. It's worth noting that price hasn't been a major obstacle for the premium flagship so far; though it's the priciest iPhone ever at $999, £999 or AU$1,579, the iPhone X was the best-selling phone for the first three months of 2018, followed by the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Of course, a less expensive version would almost certainly broaden its addressable market. Six plus months after the iPhone X's release, however, the phone has lost a bit of its initial sheen.
In addition to refining the designs and adding in some new features, Apple is likely to deliver the annual enhancements we've come to expect -- new build materials and colors, a bump in processing speeds, higher screen resolution and tweaks to extend battery life.
Meanwhile, the Android world continues to react and respond to the iPhone X. At its I/O event in May, Google showed off the new gesture-based interface at the center of its new Android P operating system. (For what it's worth, Google says it started working on the new navigation before the debut of the iPhone X.) And then there's Samsung's AR emoji and Intelligent Scan features -- lesser versions of the iPhone's Animoji, Memoji and Face ID that don't quite measure up to the originals.
Watch this: See Android P's new swiping controls up close
OnePlus, Asus, LG, Huawei and others have announced or are rumored to be working on phones that ape the distinctive notch design that Apple popularized (but with which the Essential Phone was first to market). And Huawei has already iterated on the notch concept with its P20, which gives you the option to toggle it on and off. Interestingly enough, Samsung has thus far avoided the notch even on its latest most advanced phone yet, the Galaxy Note 9.
With the Android world making strides in camera technology and other fronts, Apple can't rest on its laurels. The trillion dollar question is whether the company can keep its amazing winning streak alive even as the overall market for handsets slows.
Though we're likely two months out from seeing the next iPhone (and we don't have any proof as to what its features will be), the rumor mill is already creating a compelling picture of what's to come. We'll continue to update this page with news and leaks as we begin our countdown to the 2018 Apple iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone X2, iPhone 11 or whatever the next generation may be called.
Also, check out our weekly iPhone news report to see all the latest iPhone news.
Editors' note: This post was originally published on March 13, 2018, and will continue to be updated with news and rumors on the 2018 iPhone lineup.
2018 iPhones could be slower than Android phones
Qualcomm says it doesn't expect to supply modems for any upcoming iPhones. In an earnings call with analysts, Qualcomm's financial chief George Davis said "We believe Apple intends to solely use our competitor's modems rather than our modems in its next iPhone release." And by "competitors" he means Intel.
We'll of course have to wait and see if this is actually the case when when we've had a chance to test the new phones later this year.
Rumor: That budget-friendly LCD iPhone might not ship until October
Apple's rumored plan is to launch three new iPhones this year. Two with OLED screens and one using an LCD screen. While it's assumed the two OLED models will ship in September, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, we might not see the LCD iPhone until October.
"We currently see no delay in the ramp of Apple's upcoming flagship 5.8-inch or 6.5-inch OLED iPhones. However suspected issues with LED backlight leakage have caused a one-month delay in mass production of the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, although this is down from a six-week delay baked into the original production forecast, according to suppliers."
Those of us who want to save a few bucks on a 2018 iPhone may have to wait a bit longer before we take delivery.
Likely: September 2018 announcement and release date
Apple hasn't officially announced when we'll see the next phone. But the timing for this annual ritual has now hardened into a reliable tradition. After launching the first few iPhones in June, Apple shifted to the early September time frame with the iPhone 5 in 2012 and, apart from the off-cycle iPhone SE, has stuck to it since. No reason to expect this to change in 2018.
What comes after the iPhone X?
Rumor: It could be called the iPhone 11, iPhone X Plus, or the iPhone X2 -- but probably not the iPhone 9
According to some analysts, Apple may revert to its "S" series nomenclature, giving us an iPhone XS (perhaps a fitting homophone to "excess") and XS Plus or perhaps the numeric equivalent, with the X2.
That noted, there are some very rich design opportunities with the two ones of an iPhone 11. And then there's the possibility of Apple doing away with numbers entirely -- at least for the lower-end, non-X model -- similar to the company's approach with its entry-level tablet, which is now just the "new iPad" every year.
Regardless, we do believe that Apple effectively killed the iPhone 9 when it brought out the iPhone X alongside the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in September.
What's the deal with OLED or LCD for the next iPhone X?
Multiple sources believe that Apple will include at least one lower-cost LCD screen iPhone in the 2018 lineup, but rumors disagree on which phones will have OLED screens and which will use LCD.
The tech blog echo chamber (Patently Apple to BusinessKorea to Patently Apple) is pointing to an LCD 2018 iPhone. They've suggested that Apple will revert the next iPhone X to have an LCD screen, slashing the price tag and improving the availability of the current OLED model. More specifically, the BusinessKorea report predicts that a forthcoming 6.1-inch iPhone will have a MLCD+ display, similar to the new LG G7 ThinQ.
The Wall Street Journal similarly reports that the less-expensive LCD iPhone is expected to sell faster than a pricy OLED one. It suggests that Apple will come out with two OLED iPhones and one iPhone with an LCD screen in the fall, but there will probably be a higher volume of LCD iPhones produced in anticipation of higher sales.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo backed up this claim in early July when he predicted the following specs for the 2018 iPhones: a 5.8-inch OLED iPhone, a 6.5-inch OLED iPhone Plus and a 6.1-inch affordable LCD iPhone.
Kuo speculates that the company's 2018 iPhones will be based on the design of the today's full-screen flagship. According to Jusy Hong, an analyst at IHS Markit, all three new models (including the LCD one) could be expected to look similar to the iPhone X.
An alleged render of the iPhone X Plus shows three cameras on the back.
Ghostek/Gordon Kelly (Forbes)
Rumor: Three rear cameras
One of the new 2018 iPhone models could have a rear-facing camera with a triple-lens array, according to the Chinese language Economic Daily News (as reported by MacRumors). The article suggests that such a camera would enhance the iPhone's rear zoom capacity and improve picture quality in dim light environments. Note that Huawei's new P20 Pro comes equipped with a triple-lens rear-facing camera.
The rumor has gained more ground -- the highest-end iPhone X Plus model for 2018 could be the phone to get the three vertically stacked lenses, according to Forbes.
A conflicting report suggested we wouldn't see the three camera lenses until 2019, and that the combination could create a depth map that'd be used for AR, an area that Apple is pursuing aggressively.