It’s less then a week to go until Apple’s yearly September event and it sounds like we’re about to see the launch of the iPhone XS. Yoyo’s chief technology officer, Ali Minaei, takes a look at the latest rumours and makes his predictions on what we can expect from Apple’s latest iPhone offering…
What happens each year when we reach September? Summer holidays are over, it’s back to school and Apple lets it be known that they are going to announce something “big”.
Last year we saw the launch of the the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus, which were pretty much updates of previous models with some reasonably cool new features.
But more importantly, we were introduced to the “biggest leap forward since the original iPhone”, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook – the iPhone X.
We saw the removal of the Home button – a big move, as it had been present on every previous model since the first iPhone was released in 2007 – and were introduced to Face ID, a slick new interface, augmented reality and, of course, animojis.
So what should we expect in 2018? This year it’s all going to be about the iPhone XS apparently – and given the name, this is likely to be an upgrade rather than anything totally new!
Here’s some of the most common rumours on what we can expect:
- Three new iPhone models are expected to be released – including the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Plus – all of which will be based on the iPhone X design (it really is farewell to the Home button!)
- A new A12 chip, replacing last year’s A11, which could potentially boost battery power, making the phone last 40% longer
- Rear-facing camera with a triple-lens array
- A sized-up iPhone XS Plus could feature a 6.5-inch screen
- We’re unlikely to see Touch ID introduced on our screens this year (this year’s weakest link for Apple?)
As well as new iPhones, Apple’s new operating system – iOS12 – will also be fully released to the public, with features including:
- Improved Face ID
- App Limits features so you can monitor and restrict how much time your spending on your phone / apps.
- Group facetime
- An introduction to Memojis (an amimoji that looks like you)
- A Do Not Disturb feature – so you no longer wake up to a list of messages / emails and push notifications
- Enhanced performance and faster app load times
There are also some hints that Apple is about to open up its NFC functionality to external developers, which could lead to much better user experiences. For instance, if Apple opens up facial recognition to developers, it could lead to a lot of innovation, especially around payments and loyalty platforms.
I think this would be a good move for Apple, as the heat is on for them to improve their payments experience. In the US, it’s been reported that more people are using the Starbucks app than Apple Pay (or any other mobile payment service for that matter). Apple will want to remedy this.
And while Apple Pay Cash – a new service which enables users to send money to their contacts through iMessage – was launched in the US back in December, we have yet to see this reach UK shores.
All in all, while it sounds like a lot is going on, this year’s release has been somewhat low key – both in terms of rumoured functionality and the PR activity around Apple’s big yearly event. I’d say it’s main aim is to introduce a new offering at a slightly lower price then last year.
And if I were to point to any stumbling blocks, it would be the issue of Touch ID. There were high expectations that this would be introduced onto the screens of the new iPhone XS, but it looks like we’ll be disappointed this year. While Face ID has been a great success, not giving your customers this option, even when your competitors are, could be damaging.
So I think we’re unlikely to witness a high profile release next week. But then again Apple has been super secretive this year, which could mean we’re in store for some exciting stuff! Either way, we’ll find out soon.
Apple’s annual September event will be held on 12 September (6PM GMT).