iPhone X has become a new page in the history of design Apple, so it is rather difficult to imagine what will happen after it. Fortunately, there is already enough information from reputable sources to give us an idea of the plans Apple.
Interestingly, the focus is not on iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Plus (in leaks it is also referred to as iPhone XI), but on iPhone 9. It is reported that it will take place iPhone 8 in the manufacturer's lineup (at least for the price tag). Let's try to figure out what the differences will be between iPhone Xs and iPhone 9 and how the latter will manage to save not only the base cost of $ 700, but also the notch with the TrueDepth camera.
All-metal? Not this time
While there were initially rumors that the “affordable” iPhone 9 would be made entirely of metal with no glass back cover, KGI analyst Min-Chi Kuo now claims that the only difference between him and the older models is the “aluminum frame ”On the sides of the device. iPhone X has a side frame made of stainless steel – not only more durable, but also more expensive to manufacture.
So now there are two paths that Apple can go to reduce the cost iPhone 9. Either go back to the all-metal design, or still make a glass panel on the back for wireless charging, but side frames are made of cheaper 7000 series aluminum alloy. The latter scheme is used in iPhone 8/8 Plus.
Qualcomm is currently working on WiPower wireless charging technology, which, in theory, could charge metal smartphones without overheating. However, with standard Qi-chargers, smartphones with WiPower will not be able to be used, they will need separate new type of chargers. Thus, it is now easier for manufacturers to add a glass panel to a smartphone than to rely on an imperfect system, for which there will be practically no alternative accessories at first.
That is why we think that iPhone 9 will still be glass, but with an aluminum frame. Given that wireless charging was already in its eighth generation, there is no reason to believe that Apple will abandon it in the ninth.
We count the camera modules
Little is known about the cameras of the three new iPhones of 2018. However, we already know which of them will receive a dual module with optical image stabilization – and yes, we are talking about older models. On the back iPhone 9 there will be only one main camera lens, which makes it the true successor to iPhone 8.
Most likely, we can count on the improvement of optics and / or sensor, if Apple we manage to develop a new camera by the time of release. It will be interesting to see how Apple is going to improve a camera that shoots in 4K HDR at 60fps.
Perhaps in the new product we will see tracking autofocus, like in the Samsung Dual Pixel camera, or optical zoom with a magnification of more than 2x? One way or another, users of iPhone 9 will receive a less advanced camera than iPhone Xs – at least due to the lack of powerful zoom, which is provided by the second module.
Notch in LCD – display
It is reported that all three models, despite the difference in positioning, will receive a TrueDepth camera – accordingly, a characteristic notch will appear even in the LCD – display iPhone 9. Most likely, the “nine” will use the Full Active display from JDI – and that's cool.
Cool not only because this display provides all the benefits of OLED – panels (including incredibly deep blacks, of course), but even surpasses OLED in a number of parameters. When installing Full Active, it is possible to reduce the frames along the edges of it to 0.5 mm on all sides, which already looks more like a “frameless” than other OLED – and LCD – smartphones with frames twice as thick.
Apple usually makes unique orders with specified characteristics from component suppliers. There is, of course, the hope that iPhone 9 will have an aspect ratio of 18: 9, but it is extremely ghostly, considering that this will force developers under three types of displays at once. Just before the start of cooperation with Apple JDI announced a 6-inch Full Active display with a resolution of 2160×1080 pixels – and, most likely, it will be used in iPhone 9. This panel is flexible, durable, virtually borderless and with PixelEyes technology (improved color reproduction compared to conventional LCD).
So, iPhone 9 has a chance to get a pretty cool display, albeit not OLED, which will allow Apple to lower the production cost. It is true that this model is unlikely to support 3D Touch. However, in return, users will have access to Face ID. As a result, millions of people will have access to top technologies Apple at a more affordable starting price.
Same processors, different memory
Although iPhone 9, Xs and Xs Plus will most likely be equipped with the same processor, the amount of RAM will differ: 3 GB for iPhone 9 versus 4 GB for it OLED – “brothers”. There are also rumors now that Apple is going to release modifications with 512 GB of internal memory for older models. Samsung has already announced this type of storage, so it's definitely feasible. However, pricing for iPhone with 512GB of memory is scary even to think about. Considering that iPhone 9 is likely to stay in the $ 700- $ 800 range, the most likely options here are 64 and 256 GB.
Obviously, from the iPhones of 2018, we expect the chip Apple A12, made according to the 12nm process technology. According to current information, such a process for manufacturing processors will become available in the second half of the year. If anyone can get TSMC to release 100+ million processors by the end of the year, it is Apple. So we hope that we will see the A12 in these three models already.
Battery and PCB
Rumors of an L-shaped battery for iPhone have already been implemented, albeit in a slightly different form factor. We expected a solid block, but got two connected to one battery. The second fragment took the space freed up thanks to technologies to minimize space on the PCB. In the case of iPhone X, this added another 30% to the battery capacity, which ended up being 2.716 mAh.
Of course, he is not going to stop there Apple. According to the same Min-Chi Kuo, this year Apple can equip iPhone with an L-shaped battery, but this time with a “real” one – without a connecting element. As a result, the second generation battery iPhone X will be approximately the same in size, but a couple of hundred mAh more capacious. As for the 6.5-inch iPhone Xs, Kuo predicts it will have a 3,300-3,400mAh battery.
In iPhone 9, the usual non-optimized PCB will remain, due to which there will be no space for an L-shaped battery. As a result, the battery will be rectangular, with a capacity of approximately 2.850-2.950 mAh. So Apple will kill two birds with one stone at the same time: and reduce the cost of production, since non-standard shaped batteries from LG Chem will cost more and increase the battery capacity iPhone 9 compared with last year's iPhone 8.
iPhone 9 should be the cheapest iPhone this year (after iPhone SE 2 of course). In the US it will cost $ 700- $ 800 at the time of release, while there is no information on the price iPhone of the Xs / Xs Plus yet. Usually Apple is determined with the final characteristics and design of new devices by March, so it is quite possible that as a result not one, but two 2018 models will be equipped with LCD – displays. These are iPhone 9 and iPhone Xs.
Given that prices of some components become cheaper over time, Apple may lower the starting price of iPhone Xs versus iPhone X. If iPhone Xs will indeed have a LCD – panel, then its price in the basic configuration will be around $ 849. At the same time, the 6.5-inch OLED display will provide the iPhone Xs Plus with a $ 999 price tag. However, there are speculations that the Plus version may eventually become the first iPhone costing more than $ 1,000 in the basic configuration.
So far, we don't presume how much the iPhone Xs Plus with 512GB of storage might cost – if it ever comes out, of course. Hopefully Kuo or other reputable analysts will be able to share information on this in the near future.