New Report Confirms Three New iPhones This Year

Posted on August 27, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in iOS with 37 Comments

For months, we’ve been hearing that Apple will release three new iPhone models this September. A credible report confirms this news, and provides some additional details.

“Apple plans to launch three new phones soon that keep the edge-to-edge screen design of last year’s flagship, according to people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg reports. “The devices will boast a wider range of prices, features and sizes to increase their appeal, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unannounced products.”

As you may know, Apple currently sells three new iPhones, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which are physically almost identical to the previous three iPhone generations, and the iPhone X, which is a controversial new design with a notch and no home button.

For 2018, Apple is taking its iPhone X design and applying it to all three new iPhones. This is interesting, given that the iPhone X has not sold as well as Apple or industry analysts had expected, though Apple has routinely claimed that it is the best-selling iPhone model overall. But it’s also interesting because, as Bloomberg’s sources note, that makes 2018 an “S” year where Apple simply reuses previous designs and makes iterative changes. And Apple is apparently “planning more significant changes” for 2019.

Indeed, Apple’s goals for the new iPhone range are both incredibly self-serving, even given its faithful audience of customers. It wishes to raise the average selling price of the iPhone, a strategy it began last year with the $1000 iPhone X. And it wishes to push its digital services ever higher. Both of these goals point to one thing: Apple is feeling the pinch in a smartphone market that has flat-lined. And it is doing what it can to keep revenues high as unit sales flatten or show slow growth.

So here’s the strategy for 2018, as outlined by Bloomberg.

Apple will replace the current iPhone X with a new 5.8-inch model that also features an OLED display. Codenamed D32, this handset seems to be physically identical to the current iPhone X, but it will, of course, feature a faster processor and some camera improvements.

At the high-end, Apple will sell a new “Plus” handset that is codenamed D33. It features a 6.5-inch OLED display, making it the biggest iPhone yet, and will retain the basic iPhone X design, with dual cameras and a glass back. Thanks to its size, users will be able to view apps side-by-side, as is currently possible only on iPads.

At the low-end, Apple will sell a less expensive device, codenamed N84, that is likewise less expensive to build. It will look like the iPhone X, Bloomberg claims, but will provide a 6.1-inch LCD display, come in multiple colors, and have aluminum (as opposed to stainless steel) edges.

All three iPhones will ship without a home button, like the iPhone X, and will thus use the same gesture-based navigation system and Face ID-based sign-in capabilities. The two larger iPhones will feature dual-SIM trays, a first for Apple, at least in some locales.

As for the naming, it appears that Apple has predictably run into some issues, given the way it named last year’s models. Bloomberg wasn’t able to learn the final names, but the publication was told that Apple had at one point considered iPhone Xs for the lineup. And had considered dropping the “Plus” name.


Tagged with , ,

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (37)

37 responses to “New Report Confirms Three New iPhones This Year”

  1. thalter

    I would say that slow sales of the iPhone X isn't so much because of the "controversial design," but rather the exorbitant price, especially since you can essentially the same innards for hundreds less in the iPhone 8.

    • skborders

      In reply to thalter:
      I agree. 1k for a phone is ridiculous. I bought the 7 plus right after the 8 came out and the price dropped. It was still too expensive but at least affordable.

  2. randallcorn

    We are Apple. Just give us your money!

  3. Jeffery Commaroto

    For the first time ever I am completely content with my phone. I have an iPhone 7+. Works exactly the same as it did the day I got it. No lag, slowdowns, battery seems fine. Screen is beautiful and I honestly wouldn't be able to tell much of a difference in quality from anything else. Camera is fine. I have no interest in Face ID, I like the force-touch button and TouchID instead. It is thin and light enough.

    Honestly I cannot really think of anything more I would want. If I had to get a replacement tomorrow I would either get the same one or an 8. I will always welcome a better camera but it's fine. For my money I have zero interest or excitement left in the phone space and no interest in AR/VR so I don't see that changing much.

    • thalter

      In reply to Jeffery_Commaroto

      Ditto: Still rolling a 7 Plus. The iPhone X was too expensive for me last year, and not enough new in the 8/8 Plus to convince me to move. We've reached peak phone, which is a good thing.

    • jbinaz

      In reply to Jeffery_Commaroto
      For the first time ever I am completely content with my phone.

      I'm not using an iPhone, but a Samsung S8, and I've hit the same point: I'm content with what I have. In six months, it'll be paid off and it will be nice to have a phone that I'm not paying $30/month for. I'll probably have to spend $100 to get the battery replaced at some point, but I got tired of the "I need a new phone every year" thing. It's a device that helps me get things done. The cheap "high" I get from a new phone just isn't worth the money since I get no amazing new features, be it hardware (particularly the camera), or software.

      • Jeffery Commaroto

        In reply to jbinaz:

        Yes I will likely replace the battery at some point just to keep it going but otherwise, content.

        I definitely have a more utilitarian view of the phone and technology these days. Less excitement, more toaster. I just want the technology I have to do a handful of things really well instead of trying to do everything mediocre.

        I also have young kids, a full time job and no free time so I have little patience for fiddling with things. If I have a minute free to get something done, I just want it done with no hassle. I find I use my iPhone and iPad for just about everything outside of work because I know I can pick them up, get what I want and then be able to put them down with little investment.

  4. RobertJasiek

    New iPhones - yawn. I am not interested until there is Windows-like local file management, no notch, no flickering OLED, low price.

  5. prebengh

    Also I think Tim Cook during the latest investors call claimed the iPhone X was the best selling iPhone for each month since it launched. As far as I know, it would be illegal for him to make false claims during this call.

  6. Aurand

    iPhone Xs pronounced iPhone excess or tennis?

  7. John Noonan

    My iPhone X is easily the best phone that I have ever used.

  8. gvan

    Any word on an iPhone 9 with fingerprint sensor. The 8 seems to be the most popular model right now? I love my 8+. I’m not into the face recognition concept. Who is with me on this???

  9. Gt5

    So, according to you the iPhone X (ten) didn’t sell very well. Well, either Apple is lying or you’re blinded by prejudice. I’ll go with Apple.

  10. sentinel6671

    Whenever Paul writes about Apple, I feel...guilty, dirty even, for preferring them.

  11. Aaron Arruda

    Very interested in the pricing of all three and what it will be.

  12. fishnet37222

    I'll be hanging on to my iPhone 8 as long as possible, or until Apple releases a phone with a fingerprint sensor embedded in the display. I like not having to look at my phone in order to unlock it.

    • skborders

      In reply to fishnet37222:
      I feel the same way about my 7Plus. I do not want a phone without a fingerprint sensor. Just a preference.

    • Gregory Steeno

      In reply to fishnet37222:

      How often do you unlock your phone without looking at it??! I can't think of a reasonable use-case. If you're unlocking your phone, I surmise you're going to do "something" with it that will require looking at it.

      • fishnet37222

        In reply to SteenMachine:

        I pick my phone up with my thumb on the fingerprint reader so it's already unlocked by the time I'm looking at it.

      • cheetahdriver

        In reply to SteenMachine:

        Trying to unlock it in the cockpit of a high performance plane with a helmet and mic in place. Yeah, I'm looking at it, but no, it's not recognizing me. Typing in my password is a good way to put an airshow on, so fortunately I can pull up my iPad mini with the thumbprint and look at maps.

        I was trying to record a funny engine reading, and finally gave up. Never had this problem with my 7Plus

      • sandman

        In reply to SteenMachine:

        I often have it setting on a table and don't pick it up. I may just glance at it to see the status of something. Does facial recognition work then?

    • red.radar

      In reply to fishnet37222:

      I bought the 8 when the carriers started moving the surplus stock in BOGO deals.

      The 8 still has a decent camera and does all the important no face-id.. I want to give it some time for that tech to mature.

      Contraversy aside about the glass back for wireless charging, the 8 represents the refinement and best of the "iphone 6" design language.

    • KingPCGeek

      In reply to fishnet37222:

      As a user of an X with facial recognition and an iPad with touch, facial is the only way to go.

  13. SeattleMike

    And idea on when this will be officially announced?

  14. prebengh

    I wonder if the IPhone X design is so controversial, why would Apple expand it to three new models?

    • Andi

      In reply to Prebengh:

      It is controversial in abstract, for us tech heads commenting on forum boards. Not controversial at all for the people on the street. In the real world Apple enjoys a cult of personality and every year people line up to their stores for the sake to line up for the latest iphone.

      • David Berk

        In reply to Andi:

        There’s a whole lot more to the decision process than just to ‘line up’. Just silly to state otherwise.

        • Andi

          In reply to Chidoro45:

          Ofc, the lining up was an argument towards the "cult of personality" part of my post. Simple judging by public perception of tech companies, Apple's brand is more than just tech.

        • sonichedgehog360

          In reply to Chidoro45:

          Naturally. There are friends, family, coworkers, neighbors who all gloat and chatter about the new iPhone but they have absolutely no idea why they should get it except for the fact that everyone else does so they must as well. How do I know? I worked in an IT department where iPhone SEs are deployed and managed to users as their company phone. There are so many employees who now own the X as their personal phone but without the home button, they simply cannot operate it properly for the life of them. The complaints about there being no headphone jack continue as well. Yet they buy it because the Apple borg who they belong to refuses to let be one-upped by Grandpa Joe or Todd the Office Water Fountain Junkie.

          • John Noonan

            In reply to sonichedgehog360:

            Since most of the public does not use iPhone I do not believe people get the iPhone because "Everyone Else Does." I use an iPhone X and I also use a Nexus 6P (granted, old but still good) and a Samsung Galaxy. Overall the iPhone is quite a bit better on most fronts (subjective I know, but my opinion as an experienced user of both Android and iOS).

  15. Martin Sjöholm

    In my subjective view, getting rid of the button is the right thing. I have an X and the gestures are so intuitive and comes so natural that I actually find the home button a nuisance whenever I handle an older iPhone. The notch? Do not find it a problem at all. It could be an irritating obscuring thing when watching full screen, but since the format of the phone means cropping top and bottom of the picture in full screen, I never do full screen. The format is perhaps my only gripe, but only in that it crops full screen video.