Bloomberg: Apple Considered 'iPhone Xs' Names for 2018 OLED iPhones, Weighed Dropping 'Plus' Branding
A new report out today by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu further confirms a bevy of rumors centering upon Apple's three 2018 iPhones. Expected to be revealed at an event in just a few weeks, the iPhones will all look visually similar to last year's iPhone X, but "boast a wider range of prices, features, and sizes to increase their appeal."
According to people familiar with Apple's launch plans, some inside of the company have referred to this year's launch as an "S year," designated for years when its smartphones keep the same design of a previous generation but bump up internals and add new features. "The company is planning more significant changes for next year," the people said.
One of the tidbits from today's report focuses on the naming scheme for this year's iPhone models, which appears to have caused somewhat of a "naming conundrum" within Apple. The company reportedly considered going with "iPhone Xs" for the OLED models, akin to the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6s, etc., but has "altered the name multiple times," so it's unclear what Apple finally landed on. We'll have to wait a few more weeks to know the official names of the 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.5-inch iPhones.
The new iPhone lineup has presented Apple with a naming conundrum, according to a person familiar with the deliberations. The company will be selling three phones that look similar and all have Face ID. But the cheapest model will be larger than the mid-range version, potentially confusing consumers.
While planning the new devices, Apple has altered the names multiple times. It has at least considered branding the new premium phones the "iPhone Xs," indicating that they’re an upgrade to last year’s iPhone X, the person said. The company has also weighed eschewing the "Plus" label for the larger model, which it has used since the iPhone 6 Plus launched with a larger screen in 2014. The final names could be different, the person noted.
Reiterating on previous rumors, Bloomberg mentions that Apple will launch a 6.5-inch "high-end" iPhone this year with a glass back, stainless steel edges, dual cameras, and an iPad-like landscape view. This would introduce a feature similar to iPad and previous "Plus" iPhones, although Apple has been thinking about ditching the "Plus" label this year.
There’ll be a new high-end iPhone, internally dubbed D33, with a display that measures about 6.5-inch diagonally, according to the people familiar with the matter. That would make it the largest iPhone by far and one of the biggest mainstream phones on the market. It will continue to have a glass back with stainless steel edges and dual cameras on the back.
The big difference on the software side will be the ability to view content side-by-side in apps like Mail and Calendar. It will be Apple’s second phone with a crisper organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screen.
For the upgrade to the 5.8-inch iPhone X, the "main changes" will be iterative updates to processing speed and the camera. Lastly, the low-cost 6.1-inch iPhone will also look visually similar to the iPhone X, but include multiple color options, include aluminum edges instead of stainless steel, and have a cheaper LCD screen. According to the sources, "the cheaper version's aluminum edges won't necessarily be the same color as the colored glass back," similar to the way the White/Space Gray of the iPhone X's back did not affect the color of the silver stainless steel edges last year.
Further confirming previous rumors, all three models will have Face ID, and the two larger iPhones will have dual-SIM card slots "in at least some regions." Previously, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the 6.1-inch iPhone would come in two models, one that includes a single SIM and a second that offers dual-SIM card slots. Today Bloomberg suggests the 6.5-inch model will get this feature as well.
Today's report also briefly mentions a "nearly edge-to-edge" Apple Watch, while confirming compatibility with existing Apple Watch bands. The next iPad Pros will measure around 11-inches and 12.9-inches with slimmer bezels and Face ID, although anyone awaiting an update to the iPad mini will again be disappointed this year as this model "won't be upgraded."
We're getting very close to the launch of the 2018 iPhones, with German carriers suggesting that pre-orders for the iPhone will take place on Friday, September 14. That puts an announcement earlier in the week, perhaps on September 12, which would be in line with historic iPhone event dates. Following September 14 pre-orders, new 2018 iPhones are likely to see a launch on Friday, September 21.