The latest speculation suggests that we should expect a rear-facing 3D scanner designed to add a range of new augmented reality features.
One analyst is expecting three new iPhones from the company: KGI Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reckons that all three models will have the same all-screen design with the now familiar notch.
New screen sizes
Sources suggest that Apple’s 2018 iPhone updates will include as many as three new screen sizes – including the biggest screen on an iPhone yet.
In May 2017 Apple and Samsung had signed a deal for the supply of OLED panels in iPhones next year, and that these would be supplied in 5.28in and 6.46in sizes. That’s a significant increase on the 4.7in and 5.5in screen sizes in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus respectively. (The iPhone X has a 5.8in screen.)
Two new OLED models target high-end market and a new TFT-LCD model aims at low-end & midrange markets: We believe the major hardware difference in the two new OLED models is size, in a bid to satisfy various needs of the high-end market. The new TFT-LCD model will differ significantly from the OLED models in hardware and design specs (for instance, the PPI will be lower). The primary selling points of the TFT-LCD model may be the innovative user experience of an integrated full-screen design and 3D sensing with a lower price tag and it will likely be US$649-749.
Apple will expand its new Face ID facial recognition tech to all new iPhones released in autumn 2018 because in-screen Touch ID fingerprint scanning remains a technological challenge.
The iPhone 11 will have a 3D scanner on its rear sensor array, citing “people familiar with the plan”. This is in addition to – and distinct from – the existing TrueDepth scanner on the front, which is used for Face ID, Animoji and similar features, and which “relies on a structured-light technique that projects a pattern of 30,000 laser dots onto a user’s face and measures the distortion”
Long-range wireless charging
The wireless charging you get with the iPhone 8 is the kind, commonplace with today’s technology’s standards, where you still have to physically place the device on a charging mat. It’s convenient, but not exactly a gamechanger, since the two elements have to be in contact.
Korea Economic Daily claims that Apple has chosen LG Chem as the exclusive supplier for batteries that will be featured in the next-generation iPhone, due out in 2018. Citing an unnamed source, the report claims that LG has invested “hundreds of billions” in battery manufacturing facilities and that it’ll be ready to begin full-scale production in early 2018, just in time for the ‘iPhone X 2018 generation’.
iPhone fans have been requesting this for a while, and although the case for stylus input on iPhone is less clear-cut than on iPad, there are definitely situations where it would be helpful. And the bigger the screens get, the more useful a stylus would be – which makes the iPhone X 2018, and even more so the rumoured iPhone X Plus, strong candidates for Apple Pencil compatibility.
Apple is understood to be exploring the possibility of integrating the Touch ID fingerprint scanner into the display of a smartphone or tablet. In fact, Apple filed a patent describing a Touch ID display back in January 2013.
Apple seems to be keen to improve the camera capabilities of its iOS devices, and one patent published by USPTO in May 2014 suggests we could soon see iPhones that are able to capture “Super-resolution” photos thanks to optical image stabilisation, which is already a feature of the iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple is also investigating the possibility of making interchangeable iPhone camera lenses.
One of the landmarks in iPhone history was the inclusion of 3G in its second-generation model; with the launch of the iPhone 5 Apple fans got 4G as well. Now it seems that 5G could be on its way, if testing works out.
Apple suggests that sidewall screen space could be used to display app icons, or for slide-to-unlock functionality, music player controls, messaging readout, caller ID, system controls and more.