By G9ija

Three new iPhones (and plenty of other products) are expected to be the highlights at Apple’s big Sept. 12 media event on Wednesday, and we’ve rounded up weeks and months worth of rumours about them below. Despite the event being tomorrow, last-minute reports, rumours and predictions are surfacing almost hourly.

On Monday, a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman validates much of what we already expect for Sept. 12 but also suggests that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone may be called the “iPhone XR,” and — according to at least one analyst Gurman cites — it could be priced anywhere from $699 to $849. The phone, which is expected to use “aluminium instead of stainless steel edges” may ship in “limited quantities” to start.

The Bloomberg story was followed immediately by a fresh research note (reported by MacRumors) from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In addition to reaffirming much of the Bloomberg report (as well as earlier stories), Kuo claims that the new iPad Pro will swap USB-C connectors in place of Apple’s traditional Lightning ports, and that the Apple Watch Series 4 will include electrocardiogram (EKG) functionality for improved heart-rate monitoring.

On Sunday, Twitter user Ben Geskin claimed that the photos of “dummy handsets” that he shared earlier last week are actual real photos of the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, one of three expected to be announced on Wednesday. Because it’s rumoured to come in multiple colours, he’s dubbing it the “iPhone XC.”

Is it true? Are the photos prototypes of the iPhone in question? We won’t know for sure until Apple’s event. But the multiple colours and the dual SIM tray shown do comport with earlier rumours and reports that have been churning for the past few months.

We put more credence in the earlier leaked photos that 9to5Mac released back on August 30 which purport to show the other two new 2018 iPhones. The picture, if authentic, shows the new 5.8-inch iPhone and a larger-screen variant both in gold9to5Mac believes that Apple will launch a 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch model named the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The “S” name would be a return to form for Apple, which has a history of adding the letter “S” to iPhone models with updated components, new features and no major changes to the exterior design. (Apple did not respond to CNET’s request to comment on the 9to5Mac stories.)

BGR and 9to5Mac both reported that Apple won’t call the larger model “Plus,” as it has done in previous years. Instead, it will opt for the nomenclature “Max,” as in iPhone XS Max. As with all of the other stories listed above, we’ll know how accurate 9to5Mac’s reporting is in just a few days.

The 9to5Mac leaks hit the same day Apple sent out invites for an event on Sept. 12 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California. The invitation has a picture of the circular roof of the company’s Apple Park campus rendered in gold — another hint at a new colour for the next iPhone X. While the invite didn’t specify that the event is to announce the next iPhone, September has been when Apple announces new phones in the past.

All of the leaks suggest three new iPhones presumed for 2018: an updated version of the 5.8-inch iPhone X that retains an OLED screen; a larger 6.5-inch OLED model; and the 6.1-inch model with an LCD screen, which is expected to have a single rear camera and be the most affordable of the three.

iPhone XS might come in three models

Apple is expected to release a larger version of the iPhone XS — the iPhone XS Plus, perhaps — as well as a less expensive version. It’s worth noting that price hasn’t been a major obstacle for the premium flagship so far. Though it’s the priciest iPhone ever at $999, the iPhone X was the best-selling phone every quarter since it’s been released. Of course, a less-expensive version would almost certainly broaden its addressable market. And now that it’s been out for months, it’s a perfect time to inject some new excitement into the line.

In addition to refining the designs and adding in some new features, Apple is likely to deliver the annual enhancements we’ve come to expect — new build materials and colours, a bump in processing speeds, higher screen resolution and tweaks to extend battery life.

An alleged render of the iPhone XS Plus shows three cameras on the back.

Ghostek/Gordon Kelly (Forbes)

Rumour: Three rear cameras

One of the new 2018 iPhone models could have a rear-facing camera with a triple-lens array, according to the Chinese language Economic Daily News (as reported by MacRumors). The article suggests that such a camera would enhance the iPhone’s rear zoom capacity and improve picture quality in dim light environments. Note that Huawei’s new P20 Pro comes equipped with a triple-lens rear-facing camera that does just that.

Forbes reported back in June that the highest-end iPhone XS Plus model for 2018 could be the phone to get the three vertically stacked lenses, but a conflicting report suggested we wouldn’t see the three camera lenses until 2019, and that the combination could create a depth map that’d be used for AR, an area that Apple is pursuing aggressively.

Rumour: That budget-friendly LCD iPhone might not ship until October

Apple’s rumoured plan is to launch three new iPhones this year. Two with OLED screens and one using an LCD screen. While it’s assumed the two OLED models will ship in September, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, we might not see the LCD iPhone until October.

“We currently see no delay in the ramp of Apple’s upcoming flagship 5.8-inch or 6.5-inch OLED iPhones. However suspected issues with LED backlight leakage have caused a one-month delay in mass production of the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, although this is down from a six-week delay baked into the original production forecast, according to suppliers.”

Those of us who want to save a few bucks on a 2018 iPhone may have to wait a bit longer before we take delivery.

Apple’s invites are for an event on Wed. Sept. 12 at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus.


Sept. 12 is the date of the announcement

Apple sent out invites Thursday for an event on Sept. 12 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California. The invitation had a gold circle that looks similar to its Apple Park campus and serves as another hint that there will be a gold version of the iPhone XS and XS Plus.