Despite Tim Cook saying the iPhone X had “surpassed Apple’s expectations”, it’s an open secret that the £1,000 iPhone is struggling to shift in the numbers Apple hoped for – especially in Asian markets. To counter this, Apple is reportedly planning on three handsets this year – including the biggest iPhone ever made.
This is according to Bloomberg which cites “people familiar with the products.” The three products will be a an entry-level model with some of the flagship phones’ key features, an upgraded version of the iPhone X and the aforementioned big beast: a 6.5in phablet.
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It’s the last of these that is the most interesting, especially given how keen Apple once was to distance itself from the move to larger screens. The sources claim that the handset will boast a 6.5in screen, making it one of the biggest phones on the market. Despite this, it should manage to be roughly the same dimensions as the iPhone 8 Plus, only with a whole extra inch of screen thanks to the edge-to-edge screen lifted from the iPhone X.
It’s codenamed D33, and prototypes have a screen resolution of 1,242 x 2,688 – making it as sharp as the iPhone X. Like Apple’s current flagship, it’ll use OLED technology.
While it seems likely the original iPhone X will die after just one generation, with no life as a cheaper option in 2019, it will get a follow-up currently codenamed the D32. Both the D32 and D33 handsets will share Face ID and the same stainless steel edges, and will be powered by the next-generation A12 processors. In some regions, it’s possible the handsets will get dual-SIM functionality, allowing people to easily work across borders.
So if we’re looking at an iPhone X and an iPhone X Plus, where does that leave people who want to save money? There’s a third handset which will cut a few corners when compared to the premium handsets: mainly in the screen technology and frame.
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This isn’t a revival of the doomed iPhone 5C by any means though, with the handset using the same kind of aluminum edges and glass as the iPhone 8 rather than switching back to brightly-coloured polycarbonate. LCD screens will also tag in for the OLED tech used in the new flagships.
We’re likely a good seven or eight months away from Apple formally announcing anything, but if these inside sources prove to be correct, the company is making a very clear calculation: it’s the price and size rather than the form of the iPhone X that’s failing to grip consumers. That seems like a sensible conclusion to me, but time will tell.
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