Apple is expected to launch three iPhone X look-alike models with different price tags this year.
Mark Gurman from Bloomberg reports that Apple is planning to introduce three new iPhones. All three iPhones will share the design of iPhone X. One of them will be an upgraded version of iPhone X with the same 5.8” OLED display. On top of that, Apple is planning to introduce two more. One at the high end with 6.5” OLED screen size and iPad like split view option. There is a possibility that Apple might finally be making this iPhone work with Apple pencil. Second, there will be 6.1” model with LCD display. Despite the bigger display, this iPhone looks more like a replacement of iPhone 8. And the price point will likely to reflect that as Gurman predicts LCD model to be “cheaper”.
Until iPhone 4S or 5 every new iPhone outsold all previous versions of iPhones combined. The first weekend sales were phenomenal. But we have definitely moved past that and Apple is possibly hitting the saturation point of people who can afford a new iPhone.
The only two countries where Apple sees a growth potential even resembling to those early days are China and India. Both countries, however, value iPhones differently than US. While iPhones are always better in terms of usage and as a complete package, customers in China and India value physical form factor more than utility. Growth in these and other similar demographics e.g. Pakistan is dependent on how different new iPhones look. That’s one of the reasons why Apple is seemingly moving away from S naming convention. An iPhone XS implies that update is focused on improving the internals.
How will the new iPhones be named?
Which brings us to the intriguing topic of what these new iPhones will be called. Names of these new iPhones is still a mystery, to be honest. It’s likely that Apple will follow the convention of X with a number moving forward. Much like they have done with Mac OS. There is also a chance that higher-end iPhone might be termed as Pro to the tunes of other hardware products like iPad and Mac. Since these are marketing decision, there is little chance of them leaking out. Anything on the topic is pure speculation. What’s not a total speculation is that Apple is planning to introduce the lower end LCD model in multiple colors. Apple has always relied on colors to add intrigue to lower end products (hint: iPhone 5C, iPod Touch etc).
iPhones are indeed going to be the highlight of the September event. But expect more. New Apple Watch with end to end display making the screen area bigger while retaining the same overall size. And newer iPad Pros with same iPhone X like design, FaceID and multitouch gestures. No more Home buttons. Apple recently updated its MacBook Pro line up so no Macs unless we get the surprise of modular Mac Pro, Mac Mini Pro or everyone’s favorite, freshly rumored, MacBook Air. iPad 9.7” introduced earlier this year and iPad Mini won’t be seeing any upgrades as well.
Last but not least this might be the year where we get our dual-sim iPhone—if Apple is indeed planning to make such a phone. Dual Sim iPhones are popular in Asia and are a huge convenience for frequent travelers.
Normally Apple holds the event on the second Tuesday of September. This year, however, Second Tuesday of September is Sep 11 which is sort of memorial day in US in lieu of 2001 attacks. Expect the event to be held on Wed, Sep 12th this year.