iPhone’s controversial notch may get smaller next year

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Can you spot the change in the 2019 iPhone models?
Can you spot the change in the 2019 iPhone models?
Photo: Ben Geskin

The 2018 iPhones aren’t even out yet and we already have our first rumor about next year’s models. If you’re hoping for big changes in the 2019 iPhones, better temper your expectations. It seems the next-generation of Apple handsets will include displays the same size size as this year’s iPhone XS and XS Max.

But there reportedly will be one significant difference. One that many people will like.

Why iPhone XS is a brilliant name for Apple’s new phone

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iPhone X
Turns out iPhone XS shouldn't be pronounced "iPhone 10 S."
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

You might be pronouncing the name of Apple’s next smartphone incorrectly. And this goes beyond the confusion resulting from people not calling the iPhone X the “iPhone 10”. But it’s related.

It turns out the “S” in the iPhone XS doesn’t mean what you think it means.

No one knows what 2018 iPhone models will cost

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This could be the iPhone XS Plus and iPhone XS, Apple's 2018 iPhone models.
What will these two devices cost? Your guess is probably about as good as any analyst's.
Photo: Lee Gunho

A hot topic of debate among Apple analysts is the prices for the three iPhone models expected next week. And there have been some leaks suggesting prices for the 2018 models. Thing is, none of these agree.

At this point, there’s enough disparity between what the rumors say and the various analysts’ predictions to question whether there’s a point of paying attention to any of them.  

2018 iPhones could cost just the same as the 2017 models

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We might have just found out all the 2018 iPhone prices.
We might have just found out all the 2018 iPhone prices.
Photo: MobileFun

With most of the specifications of the 2018 iPhones already known, the largest remaining question is price. Possibly answering that burning question is a report coming out of Europe that indicates that the three upcoming iOS models will cost just the same Apple’s three most recent offerings.

Apple’s foldable iPhone still years away

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Learn valuable coding skills by building working apps in iOS 11.
The iPhone that can unfold into an iPad might be farther away than we'd hoped.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The next dramatic shift in smartphone design is expected to be folding displays. An industry source in Asia says that Apple is developing a foldable iPhone but it won’t be out before 2020 and possibly even later.

This means Samsung could beat Apple to the punch. The foldable Galaxy X is rumored for release in the first half of 2019.

2018 iPhone getting a big RAM boost

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2018 iPhone rumors 3D mockups
Benchmark scores for a prototype 2018 iPhone X Plus reveal the amount of RAM and the processor speed, plus an early look at the performance.
Photo: Mac Otakara

Someone testing a 2018 iPhone prototype inadvertently uploaded benchmark results for this device. Among the other details revealed is an indication that this will be the first iPhone with 4GB of RAM.

Naturally, the Geekbench results also include the performance. However, with the model still months away, scores are a bit underwhelming.

2018 iPhone mockups hint at new details

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2018 iPhone rumors 3D mockups
3D mockups might reveal additional info about the 2018 iPhone models.
Photo: Mac Otakara

The release of Apple’s next smartphones is apparently close enough that the Asian supply chain has detailed specifications on the design. These have been used to create 3D mockups.

A video comparing these to current iPhone models reveals new details about Apple’s plans.

Render shows 2018 iPhone SE in all its budget glory

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2018 iPhone SE render
This might be the 2018 iPhone SE. This image comes from @OnLeaks, who gave us an early look at the iPhone 8.
Photo: @OnLeaks

A couple of new renders and a video from a reliable source show what might be the next-generation iPhone SE. The device shown looks a lot like the earlier version, but updated with some of Apple’s newest tech.

Most notably, the Home button is gone, being replaced by a screen cutout with Face ID sensors.

Death of Touch ID scheduled for this fall

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iPhone plus model next to iPhone X
Our artist's concept of what the iPhone Xs Plus might look like. And this won't even be the largest of the 2018 iPhone models.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

All of the 2018 iPhone models will have Face ID, according to an industry analyst. This helps confirm earlier reports that Apple is phasing out its Touch ID fingerprint-scanning system in favor of the facial-recognition system that debuted in the iPhone X. 

The analyst also indicated that two of the three models coming this fall will have OLED displays. There will be one medium-size and two bigger iPhones, both larger than any before.

2018 iPhone X models could be cheaper (and bigger)

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2018 iPhone
The new 2018 iPhone is expected to cost less than the iPhone X.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

An updated iPhone X could be a better deal than the current version, coming it at $100 less. Or buyers might be able to get a larger version for the same money as the original.

That’s the latest speculation about 2018 iPhone pricing, as Apple’s smartphone lineup gets increasingly complicated.