Mystery iPhone spotted in Apple code hints at surprising refresh

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iOS 11 Beta 4
It's a great time to buy older Apple devices.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is expected to introduce three new smartphones this fall — all of which will include some of the best features of iPhone X. But it seems it could have another surprising refresh up its sleeve.

One developer has discovered references to an unreleased device that closely resembles the iPhone 7.

The price of Apple’s smartphones has risen sharply in the past year, but we are expecting more affordable options this fall. In addition to a brand new handset with a 6.1-inch LCD display, we could see an even cheaper upgrade to iPhone 7.

iPhone 7 upgrade spotted in Xcode

iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith has uncovered references to an unreleased iPhone, codenamed T500, with an A10 processor and the same amount of RAM as iPhone 7. The device also has the same screen resolution.

The device won’t carry the same design as the iPhone X, Troughton-Smith adds, so it isn’t one of the new models we were already expecting. It’s likely to retain the iPhone 7’s form factor instead.

“Presumably this would take the place of the existing iPhone 7 as the entry model iPhone (replacing the 6s in the lineup),” Troughton-Smith says. “It’s likely either a ‘7c’ or just a cheaper-to-manufacture variant of the 7.”

Without a faster chip, more RAM, or a new display, the device won’t be much of an upgrade over the iPhone 7. The device will likely be aimed at older iPhone owners, or those with an iPhone SE who want something a little snappier.

Apple will deliver its new iPhone lineup this September

Apple’s annual iPhone event is expected to take place next month, so we don’t have long to wait before we find out what’s planned for the iPhone lineup over the next 12 months.

We’re also expecting the event to bring new iPads, an Apple Watch Series 4, and upgrades for a bunch of Macs.