Apple Reportedly Distributing 'VendorUI' Version of iOS 18 to Factories

Apple recently started distributing internal builds of iOS 18 to factories and relevant vendors, according to credible information shared on X by a private account with a track record of sharing accurate details on Apple's plans. The version of iOS that Apple provides at this stage is called "VendorUI," and access to it is strictly controlled.

iOS 18 Mock Feature Baubles
Sent out on an annual basis, VendorUI is a variant of iOS that is provided to factories for quality control testing. Because it has a pre-production version of the iOS user interface that Apple won't publicly unveil until WWDC, Apple is careful about where it is distributed. VendorUI can include references to new features, new settings or changes in branding. Unlike the versions of iOS used by Apple's software engineers, VendorUI often has certain apps omitted, ensuring that only the apps necessary for testing are present.

With every iOS release, Apple develops several different versions of iOS:

  • Release – Stock iOS intended for end-consumers.

  • InternalUI – Created for Apple's software engineers, often contains pre-production version of the iOS user interface, with unreleased and unannounced features.

  • VendorUI – Designed for quality control testing in factories and can contain elements of pre-production iOS user interface.

  • NonUI – Developed for hardware engineers and calibration machines, does not feature the standard iOS user interface.

  • LLDiags – Intended for use in low-level diagnostics and has no user interface at all except for a simple diagnostics menu (Diags).

The distribution of the VendorUI version of ‌iOS 18‌ means that we could soon start seeing more iOS features leak because the operating system is available to a larger number of people.

Even without VendorUI, information about iOS has started to come out. We've heard that ‌iOS 18‌ will have a heavy focus on AI, and there will be new Accessibility features, such as Adaptive Voice Shortcuts and Live Speech Categories. Internal versions of iOS can also contain hardware information, and back in December, we shared details on the iPhone 16 hardware sourced from ‌iOS 18‌ code.

To learn more about the features that are expected in ‌iOS 18‌, check out our dedicated rumor roundup page for iOS 18.

Related Roundup: iOS 18
Tag: iOS 18

Top Rated Comments

boswald Avatar
6 weeks ago
I know it’s trendy to bash Apple around here lately, but I, for one, am very excited for iOS 18.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
6 weeks ago
Ah, so this is an 'Inside the Factory' moment which sort of explains where some of the software feature leaks have originated in years past. Had never heard of the "VendorUI" terminology.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nfl46 Avatar
6 weeks ago

I was thinking that it was a little early but I guess WWDC is just a few short months away..
84 days left until iOS 18 Beta 1 is released.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lazyrighteye Avatar
6 weeks ago
Oooh, I appreciate the breakdown of the OS stages. The LLDiags and NonUI are new-to-me.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dionte Avatar
6 weeks ago

In know it’s trendy to bash Apple around here lately, but I, for one, am very excited for iOS 18.
You are not alone.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darngooddesign Avatar
6 weeks ago

I’m still holding out for the Skankphone app in the public release.
Isn’t that Tinder? ?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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