The Features to Watch
Apple's next major smartphone, now believed to be called the iPhone X, will mark the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone, but will it live up to the hype? A new OLED display, 3D face scanning feature and wireless charging are just a few of the rumored features of Apple's next flagship. It's also expected to sport a fresh new design.
Now that the Sept. 12 launch event is almost upon us, here are the most compelling (and likely) iPhone X rumors so far. And be sure to check out our mega iPhone rumor roundup for even more detail on every spec and feature.
Credit: Benjamin Geskin
Design: Almost All Screen
A slew of CAD drawings, renderings, and schematics have leaked that all show a similar, if not identical, device. The latest information suggests the iPhone X will come with the highest screen-to-surface-area ratio of any smartphone on the market. The display will cover its face but won’t be curved. At the top of its face will sit the only area that won’t be display.
In that area, which KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is calling a “notch,” Apple will place the iPhone’s earpiece and front-facing camera. That notch is causing some controversy, because it may be distracting if a leaked video is true. The notch will reportedly be black no matter what color iPhone X you have. (And those colors are reportedly black, white and champagne gold.)
The iPhone X will reportedly have glass on the front and back and sport a piece of metal around its spine to separate the two panels.
Where Will the Fingerprint Sensor Go?
Arguably the biggest iPhone X debate is over exactly where Apple will place a fingerprint sensor. Early on, reports pointed to Apple baking the Touch ID sensor into the display. After all, the schematics and mock-ups show no holes on the back for a fingerprint sensor.
However, a report from Ming-Chi Kuo suggests Apple will not offer Touch ID through the iPhone’s display. Kuo didn’t, however, provide an alternative. The latest rumors before launch point to the possibility of an enlarged Home button for invoking Siri, but it may not have a Touch ID sensor embedded.
Credit: Martin Hajek
OLED Screen In Just the Right Size
The iPhone X will be the first Apple phone to sport an OLED display, which promises richer colors, better black levels and improved viewing angles. Most reports say Apple is sticking to a flat screen that won’t have curved edges like Samsung’s Galaxy S8 line. It might, however, have a slight bend like its current 2.5D iPhone 7 display. (More modest updates to Apple's current iPhones, which will reportedly be called the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, will still offer LCD panels.)
Regardless, all signs are pointing to the iPhone X being about the same size as Apple’s iPhone 7. However, because its screen ratio is so high, there’s a good chance the smartphone’s display will measure around 5.8 inches, making it a bit larger than the iPhone 7 Plus’ 5.5-inch screen. By comparison, the new Galaxy Note 8 is 6.3 inches.
Credit: Benjamin Geskin
Long-Awaited Wireless Charging
Although we haven’t heard much about Apple’s battery plans, the company appears set to unveil wireless charging in the iPhone X, making it the first of its smartphones to come with the feature. But don't worry that only the iPhone X will offer this feature: it's reportedly coming to Apple's other new (and less expensive) iPhones, too.
Additionally, some reports have said that Apple is planning to bundle a Tristar 3 Hydra chip inside the phone, which should allow for fast charging.
A Different Take on Cameras
The iPhone 8, the smallest of the three Apple smartphones expected to be released this year, will reportedly come with a single-lens, rear-facing camera. The other Apple handsets — the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X — will come with dual-lens cameras.
However, while Apple has clung to a horizontally aligned rear camera in the iPhone 7 Plus (and is likely to do the same in the iPhone 8 Plus), the company won’t follow that strategy in the iPhone X.
According to most leaks and renderings, the iPhone X's rear-facing camera will be vertically aligned, which might or might not deliver better images. Apple is also said to be spending considerable time on the front cameras and will add 3D-sensing capabilities to boost its augmented-reality features.
3D Face Scanning
A Bloomberg report says Apple is working on a new facial-scanning feature that could be used to replace Touch ID. According to the report, a 3D sensor would be used to unlock the iPhone X, as well as authorize payments through Apple Pay. It's not clear whether the sensor will be discrete or integrated into the front camera. The feature will reportedly be called Face ID, according to the latest version of iOS 11.
However, it does look like the facial scanning could be faster than anything in the Android universe, as well as more secure, thanks to Apple's acquisition of Realface.
Credit: Cult of Mac
Seriously Powerful A11 Chip
Apple’s iPhone X won’t be a slouch on power. Quite the contrary, it’s expected to sport with Apple’s A11 Fusion processor, the next iteration of the company’s powerful chip. Additionally, the iPhone X could ship with 3GB of RAM and come with between 64GB and 256GB of storage. There are already some early benchmark numbers for the iPhone X, and if they're accurate, Apple's phone would blow away the Galaxy S8.
Apple’s other new iPhones for this year — the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus — will similarly feature the A11 Fusion chip. However, they’re expected to come with 32GB of storage in the base model. The iPhone 8 is rumored to offer only 2GB of RAM, but the iPhone 8 Plus will reportedly match the iPhone X with 3GB of onboard memory.
Credit: iPhone 8 Concept by Handy Abovergleich
Release Date: Delayed or Not?
All signs point to Apple unveiling the iPhone X at the company's Sept. 12 event. When it actually might hit store shelves, however, is a major question mark.
Some reports have said that Apple is planning a September release for the iPhone X. (It would be Sept. 22 if Apple sticks to its usual pattern and ships the phone 10 days after its big reveal.) Others, however, have said that Apple’s suppliers are having difficulty getting the iPhone X’s OLED panels ready in time, and the high-end handset could be delayed into October or even November, depending on supply and other concerns. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus should arrive in September.
Even then, it’s unknown how many units Apple will have available to customers. Combine that with a possible supply shortage with what’s expected to be huge demand for the iPhone X, and the phone might be exceedingly hard to buy into 2018.
Credit: Imran Taylor
It’s Going to Cost How Much?
Don’t expect the iPhone X to be affordable. In fact, it might just prove to be the most expensive iPhone ever released.
According to some reports, the iPhone X might start just below $1,000, but could quickly exceed that mark with versions that come with additional storage. Apple hasn’t set a price on the iPhone X, of course, but you might want to start saving now or content yourself with an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, which will cost around the same as Apple's current iPhones.
Credit: iPhone X concept by Martin Hajek