The last iterations of the iPhone, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X have only been out for a few months but rumours of what the next iPhone will bring are already swirling. While iOS 11.4 was released this morning, bringing AirPlay 2 and Messages on iCloud, those were all expected and clear the way for a bunch of new features. So, what is expected and what are we hoping for?
#1 OLED displays
Apple has reportedly told it's LCD screen partner, Japan Display, that they won't be using LCD displays in their new models later this year, preferring to move their range over to OLED (organic light-emitting diode). The news resulted in a 20% drop in share value for Apple's LCD supplier Japan Display, a company that was created a few years ago through the combining of the display businesses of Hitachi Ltd, Toshiba Corp and Sony Corp abut six years ago.
#2 FaceID becomes standard
The fingerprint scanner that drove TouchID is destined for scrap heap as FaceID takes over as Apple preferred device authentication method.
After a few months of using FaceID, I have to say it's great for logging onto my locked iPhone, but it's a pain in the butt for Apple Pay and authenticating iTunes and App Store purchases. Rather than just putting my phone on payment terminal, I now need to double press the power button, let FaceID do its thing and then make the payment. With TouchID, i hope they take that double-press step away somehow as they've actually made payments worse in my view.
#3 The iPhone SE2
Apple doesn't usually announce major new hardware at WWDC but an update to their entry-level handset would hardly qualify as a major release. The iPhone SE has effectively retained the older, 4-inch form factor of the iPhone 5 but adds a more recent processor and some more memory.
The recent discovery by the French Mac site Consomac points to a bunch of new model numbers being listed by Apple. And while all refer to models running iOS 11, none of the models numbers are attributable to current hardware.
The first iPhone SE was released in March 2016 and then updated about a year later so we're overdue for an upgrade. Given this is not a flagship device and the timing, an update next week is a definite possibility.
#4 More cameras
Apple won't be the first phone to add a third camera to the back of their handsets but it looks like the next iPhone X will get a third camera. That will further enhance the handset's depth perception capability and further enhance its augmented reality capability.
Given the experience Apple has had getting the camera array on the front of the iPhone X right, we can hope they'll get production volumes up faster.
But the extra cameras and new iPhones won't hit the market till September this year, based on the last few years' release cycles. That will give the company enough time to get any wrinkles with iOS 12 straightened out when it's revealed next week.
#5 New Colours
It's been a while since Apple did anything fancy with colours other than some Product (RED) special. For the most part, we've had white, black, silver, gold and the terrible (in my opinion) rose gold for most models over the last few years. The iPhone 5c tried to change that up but the phone was not a success and dropped after just a year or so, when the iPhone 6 line was revealed.
But a tweet from TechnoCodex claims to reveal a new iPhone prototype from a plant in India.
— TechnoCodex (@techno_codex) May 29, 2018
I'm not certain about this one. These could just be engineering samples coming from a factory. The two colours revealed by TechnoCodex just don't look very Apple-like to me. Green and purple would be a massive departure from the minimalist, industrial design that we've seen coming from Apple, under Jony Ive's design leadership.