The iPhone XS is the name of Apple’s new iPhone for 2018, and the photo above is our first look at it in two different sizes, according to a convincing new leak.
The photo in question depicts the 5.8-inch iPhone XS and 6.5-inch iPhone XS Plus, according to an exclusive report from 9to5Mac, and both have OLED screens.
Update: In addition to the iPhone XS news, we’ve given the release date and price section an overhaul based on new rumors and existing speculation. Read on.
The new leak comes less than two weeks before Apple is expected to announce its new smartphones at the Steve Jobs Theater on Wednesday, September 12.
We expect there to be three new iPhones: the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Plus, and a ‘cheaper’ 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD screen. It may simply be called ‘iPhone’.
Previously, iPhone rumors called these phones the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Plus, and the cheaper iPhone 9. That’s all going to change, if the newest report is correct.
iPhone XS release date
- Wednesday, September 12 – iPhone XS launch event date
- Friday, September 14 – iPhone XS pre-order (estimated)
- Friday, September 21 or 28 – (likely) iPhone XS release date
The iPhone XS will almost certainly be announced on September 12 and we’ll get our first glimpse of it at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park in San Jose, California. No surprise, this was where the iPhone X launched last year.
This launch event date means the actual iPhone XS release date is likely to be Friday, September 21 or Friday September 28. Apple typically launches new iPhones on a Friday one to two weeks after CEO Tim Cook unveiled everything on stage.
Here’s another date – September 14. That’s when, at midnight, you can expect the iPhone XS pre-order date and time. In the US, this means 3am Eastern, because Apple launches pre-orders at midnight Pacific, its home time zone.
Keep in mind, the iPhone X came out on November 3. This is going to cause some people, especially in the US, a problem when trying to upgrade on a year-long plan. However, Apple and carriers may have a solution on September 12, with incentivized iPhone trade-in options.
iPhone XS price
- iPhone XS price estimate: $1,000 (£1,000, AU$1,579)
- iPhone XS Plus price estimate $1,199 (£1,199, AU$1,714)
- Cheapest iPhone 2018 may cost $699 (£699, AU$1,079)
The iPhone XS price may be $999 (£999, AU$1,579), inheriting the iPhone X 64GB price, while the iPhone XS Plus will undoubtedly be higher. Apple likes to tack on $100, so this could be the first iPhone that costs $1,199 (£1,199, AU$1,714) or more. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 goes all the way up to $1,250 (£1,099 / AU$1,799 / AED 4,599) for the 512GB version, so Apple may see this and think think ‘why not?’
There have been rumors that not all iPhone 2018 models will ship in September. The cheaper LCD 6.1-inch iPhone may slip to October, say some reports. The price of this LCD iPhone is said to be around the price of the iPhone 8, $699 (£699, AU$1,079).
New iPhone XS color: gold
- iPhone XS and XS Plus in gold (new), black and white
- 6.1-inch iPhone LCD in white, black, red, blue and orange
The iPhone XS photo depicts two phones, and both appear to be in the new gold color that’s been rumored for several weeks. We’re expected the new iPhones to have three color options: gold, white, and black.
We’ve actually seen a gold iPhone in 2018, only it was an iPhone X that Apple is said to have canceled at one point prior to the iPhone launch last year. It showed up in some government regulatory filings, so we have a good idea of what gold iPhone XS will look like.
Besides the Plus size and the fresh color choice, you won’t notice other differences between the iPhone XS and the current iPhone X. It’s expected to have an identical stainless steel frame, while the cheaper iPhone for 2018 may have a aluminum frame, like the current iPhone 8, and it may come it as many as five colors: white, black, red, blue and orange.
iPhone XS size and design
- iPhone XS may be the same width and height as the iPhone X
- iPhone XS Plus may match (or be smaller than) the iPhone 8 Plus
- Both phones may be thicker due to camera upgrades
Get ready to use your iPhone with two hands again, because the iPhone XS Plus is going to be a monster phone with a 6.5-inch screen. But it won’t be too big.
Apple has wiped away the needless bezel at the top and bottom (and axed the home button) in the upgrade to the iPhone X. So the screen size is a bit misleading if you’re moving from the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 8 Plus. It’s not a full inch bigger.
In fact, the dimensions we’ve seen rumored point to an iPhone XS Plus size that’s either matching or smaller than the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus. One schematic (above) suggests dimensions of 157.2 x 77.1mm.
An older rumor puts the iPhone XS Plus at 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.7mm, only 0.2 inches thicker than the iPhone 8 Plus.
The same rumor claims the smaller iPhone XS will be the same size as the iPhone X, except again that it will be slightly thicker, too. This is thought to be because of a larger rear camera sensor and lens. Anticipate camera improvements.
iPhone XS specs
- Apple A12 chipset likely to provide a speed boost
- 512GB of storage may be the new max size (and a maxed out price)
- Some models may see 4GB of RAM, others may stay at 3GB of RAM
All three new iPhone are thought to have the A12 chip, a natural upgrade to the A11 Bionic chip that appeared in all three of last year’s iPhone models. See the pattern?
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that the iPhone XI might support faster mobile data speeds and come with a dual-SIM card slot, and 4GB of RAM.
The dual-SIM support has been further supported by lines of code found in the upcoming iOS 12 software update – which means iPhone users could finally be able to benefit from two SIMs in one phone.
And he’s said separately that Apple will probably exclusively use Intel modems for 2018’s models, rather than splitting the order between Intel and Qualcomm.
We’ve also had other hints at the iPhone XI’s power from a benchmark, which shows an unnamed iPhone as having 4GB of RAM and a 2.49GHz hexa-core chipset.
Apple never details the RAM, but we could see an upgrade here, too, from 3GB in last year’s iPhone, to 4GB in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Plus. The company historically leaves one model behind, so we expect 3GB of RAM on the cheapest iPhone. We won’t know this information until someone does a teardown on the release date.
Apple may add to the existing internal storage sizes, giving us 64GB, 256GB, and the new 512GB for the iPhone XS. That’s bigger than most laptop solid-state hard drives. The cheaper 6.1-inch iPhone may stop short of that, with 64GB and 256GB sizes.
iPhone XS camera
The iPhone XS camera may be a big highlight, but we don’t know much about it. Kou predicts that both sizes will have a dual-lens rear camera, while the cheaper iPhone (the one with an LCD screen) will be the one with a single-lens rear camera.
Photos from the dual-lens camera are expected to be 12MP, with one telephoto lens and one normal lens, both with optical image stabilization (no change here). The difference may come from the backend software. Samsung, Google, and other Android phone makers have enhanced photos with machine learning, and Apple’s iPhone X camera has fallen behind in our tests, especially in low-light situations.
On the front, all of the iPhones are undoubtedly going to sport a TrueDepth camera, and that’s obvious because none of them will have a Touch ID home button. The last iPhone to use Touch ID will be the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
We could see more depth-sensing features from the front-facing selfie camera, with a recent Apple patent pointing to a single-lens camera system that has dual-lens-like features. The question is: will this tech be ready for the iPhone 2018 or iPhone 2019?
iPhone XS and iOS 12
- iPhone XS to launch with iOS 12 out of the box
- iOS 12 may launch on older iPhones on Tuesday, September 18
- Expect features exclusive to the larger iPhone XS
On September 12, in addition to see the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Plus, we’re due to find out the official iOS 12 release date. Both phones will run this software.
We know all about iOS 12 thanks to WWDC 2018, but Apple almost always holds onto software surprises – usually ones that have to new with hardware and sensors that would tip off new iPhone models in the works (see: Animoji was a secret until the iPhone X launch event).
With the introduction of the iPhone XS Plus, we could see some exclusive changes that give the larger 6.5-inch phone tablet-like powers. There are some large-screen app interfaces reserved for the iPad, namely Mail and Messages, that give you more information on the screen (like messages threads).
iPhone XS battery
- Analysts predict a 10% and 25% larger battery
- iPhone XS Plus could go to 3,300mAh or 3,400mAh
- Faster charger may finally be included in the box
Your next iPhone may have longer battery life, especially if you opt for the larger 6.5-inch iPhone XS Plus. Ming-Chi Kuo says it’ll be 25% bigger than the iPhone X.
That puts the 6.5-inch iPhone XS battery capacity at 3,300mAh or 3,400mAh, a sizable increase over the iPhone X (which sits at just 2,716mAh). The 5.8-inch iPhone XS may see a much smaller increase of 10%.
Charging your iPhone may be easier, too, as iPhone XS leaks suggest that Apple will include a fast charger in the box. Right now, this is a separate purchase (and we’ve been using our MacBook Pro charger with a Lightning-to-USB-C cable for it).