With days to go until the next iPhone launch on Sept. 12, it seems like we're still playing a guessing game and the latest rumor has an iPhone Max replacing the Plus. But the giant XS could play second fiddle this year to that rumored cheaper 6.1-inch LCD version of the iPhone X. Here's the latest iPhone news from the week to get you all caught up.
Will the Plus become a Max?
Apple's best kept secret about the 2018 iPhones is the name. Remember when this was the easiest thing to predict about the next iPhone cycle? Then last year Apple decides to mess up the sequence, gloss over the 7S and go straight to the iPhone 8 while also announcing an iPhone X to make it more confusing. Fast forward to this year and there seems to be a new name prediction every week.
Last week's rumors seemed to have settled on the XS name for the two OLED sequels to the tenth anniversary iPhone with Apple getting rid of the Plus branding. Then this week both 9to5Mac and BGR, reported that the the larger 6.5-inch iPhone XS will be called the iPhone XS Max.
Both reports cited two anonymous sources for the iPhone XS Max scoop, but at this rate next week could bring something completely different like an iPhone XL... Now that would be a good one!
Face ID could get a facelift
Regardless of the names, the new line of iPhones (at least the two OLED models) are rumored to be getting an updated version of Face ID. The feature which debuted on the iPhone X last year continues to be one of the most secure facial login options out there, but that doesn't mean there's not room for improvement.
Among the potential improvements for this second generation Face ID, CNET Senior Editor Scott Stein suggests support for multiple faces, faster unlock, closer range support and horizontal unlock.
The 6.1-inch iPhone to take center stage
But the best seller this cycle, may not have all the bells and whistles. The rumored cheaper 6.1 inch LCD version of the iPhone X is looking to lure the back the more budget conscious Apple fans that may not want to pay more for a larger screen.
Now playing: Watch this: 2018 iPhone XS launch event: Everything we're expecting
Sizewise, this iPhone would fall right in between the two OLED models, but it's rumored to have a starting price of about $600 to $700 in the US compared to the $900 and $1,000 dollar price tags of the other two. To cut costs, the 6.1-inch model would have an LCD panel and aluminum frame (instead of stainless steel like the X), according to a Bloomberg report. It would also come in different color options, similar to what Apple did with the iPhone 5C line a few years back, but with the same glass back as the X instead of the plastic.
Other Apple news this week:
Last week's iPhone news: 2018 iPhone XS and Watch Series 4 leak before Sept. 12 event
Save the date for a Sept. 12 Apple event because we'll be meeting the new batch of iPhones. Apple sent out the invitations for its presser this week, and we've been playing the guessing game to figure out hidden clues in the invite. Then again, who needs clues when you have leaks? Here's a closer look at what you missed this week in iPhone news.
New iPhone on the horizon for Sept. 12 event
Apple sent out official invitations for its launch event on Sept. 12 -- a date that many, including CNET, suspected for weeks. It's the exact date and place where the iPhone X was announced last year. It will take place at the Steve Jobs theater in Apple's new campus in Cupertino and the live stream starts at 10 a.m. PT online (CNET's live show will start an hour earlier at 9 a.m. PT).
Now playing: Watch this: Apple confirms 2018 iPhone event for Sept. 12
The all-black invite includes the phrase "Gather round" in gold font with a circular symbol at the top. At face value, the image could just be a birds-eye view of Apple Park, where the event is set to take place. But if we wanted to dissect the clues, we could take it to mean a lot more. The symbol looks a lot like a watch dial, and paired with the word "round," this could point to a new Apple Watch. The gold lettering also could foreshadow a gold iPhone X, which has been talked about a lot this year. But at this point it's anyone's guess and we won't have to wait long to find out.
iPhone XS leak: Real or fake?
Two hours after the invite went out, 9to5Mac released an image of two gold iPhones layered on top of each other. The site claims it's not a mock up, but rather a first look at the iPhones XS. According to the report, Apple is rumored to drop the Plus branding and call both new models "XS."
Both of the phones shown in the images are the OLED screen versions. The smaller one on the top is the rumored 5.8-inch sequel to the current iPhone X, while the larger is the 6.5-inch model that has been previously referred to as the iPhone X Plus. The image also corroborates the addition of a rumored gold color to the lineup. Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Watch Series 4 leak reveals more details
The other big leak this week from the same source gives us a first apparent look at the Watch Series 4. 9to5Mac reported that the watch in the shot is the real deal, although the report doesn't mention where it came from or how the publication got it.
If true, the image would support a lot of the rumors that have been going around about the Series 4, including the larger screen and slimmer form factor. It also shows a microphone below the digital crown, which now has a red outline instead of a full red circle like the Series 3. The watch face seems to display a lot more too, with what seems to be a new UV exposure reading on the bottom that Apple patented a few months back.
Apple is also rumored to announce the Watch Series 4 at the Sept. 12 launch event.
iPhone SE 2 may be a revamped iPhone 7
According to Guilherme Rambo of 9to5Mac, a section of the code mentions an "iPhone xx" with an A10 processor and P3-gamut display, but without the iPhone X notch or Face ID. This year's iPhone X sequels include an iPhone X Plus and a 6.1-inch LCD model that're rumored to have a proprietary A12 chip and the second generation of Face ID. It's likely that the code here could reference the iPhone SE 2, the sequel to Apple's budget iPhone that fans were expecting earlier this year.
iPhone X Plus could cut the cord for fast charging
Rumor has it that Apple will add fast wireless charging to this year's iPhones, but it could turn out that only one of the three expected models will get it. A China Times report picked up by Forbes last week showed an X-ray of what could be an iPhone X Plus with a new charging coil that would make this feature possible.
The report states that the iPhone X Plus' larger body would be better at dissipating the extra heat generated by this wireless fast charging coil by spreading the heat around.
In addition, Apple's said to be blessing its new iPhones with faster wired charging as well by putting a fast charger in the box this time around.
Apple Watch Series 4 debuting alongside new iPhones
All signs point to an Apple Watch Series 4 in the pipeline for a September launch event, and this week brings even more "proof".
Apple recently registered six new product numbers with the Eurasian Economic Commission, French site Consomac reports. According to a translation of the filing's text, the model numbers refer to "wearable electronic devices" that run WatchOS 5. The six numbers don't translate into six different watches though, but maybe configurations of the same single device: perhaps different sizing options, LTE/non-LTE versions and materials, such as aluminum, ceramic or stainless steel.
Rumors around the new Apple Watch suggest it could also get an iPhone X-like makeover with slimmer bezels that yield more screen real estate, static "buttons" that don't press down (like on the HTC U12 Plus) and a larger battery and sleep tracking software.
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