Apple introduced its 10th anniversary handset this year, and it is expected to continue the line by launching an iPhone X successor that’s believed to go by the moniker of “iPhone 11” in 2018. Due to the delayed release of the iPhone X however, Apple is still preoccupied with manufacturing more units of the handset. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that the Cupertino giant isn’t already thinking of what specs and features it would like to introduce with the iPhone 11. Below is a roundup of all the things that’s rumored for the upcoming iOS smartphone. 

Performance

 

Year after year, Samsung’s biggest rival upgrades the processor powering its iPhones. This year, the company introduced the A11 Bionic chip, which is a hexa-core 2.39 GHz SoC comprising 2 Monsoon (high-performance) cores and 4 Mistral (high-efficiency) cores. As an upgrade to the A10 Fusion that powered the iPhone 7, Apple included two more cores to come up with the A11 Bionic chip. It’s possible that Apple could either retain the six-core configuration for next year’s SoC, or add more cores to make it more powerful. 

In mid-November, Chinese website MyDrivers learned from supply chain sources that Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is working on an octa-core processor that’s built on the company’s 7nm process. The upcoming chip is tentatively named A11X Bionic chip, and sources leaked that the eight-core configuration of this processor will be made possible by the addition of one Monsoon core and another Mistral core. This means there will be three Monsoon cores and five Mistral cores powering the A11X Bionic chip. 

Meanwhile, Patently Apple reported days after the release of the iPhone X that TSMC is already preparing processors for iDevices that are slated for release from 2018 to 2021. The website indicated that the 2018 SoC will not only be built on 7nm process, but it will also be designed to support more advanced AI applications. Therefore, Apple fans should expect the iPhone 11 to be significantly faster than the iPhone X and more capable of handling more advanced AI processes. 

Late last month, Japanese publication Nikkei reported that while Apple is planning to make its own power chips for future iPhones, it would still rely on TSMC for the bigger bulk of chips needed for its upcoming handsets. The outlet also disclosed at the time that the processors for the 2018 models would be the “most advanced in the industry” by packing processing capabilities that would allow better monitoring and control of power consumption. This suggests that the iPhone 11 would be more power efficient than its predecessor.

Display & Design

 

When Apple introduced the iPhone X this past September, the device stunned a lot of fans with its novel design. The handset features a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display that has a unique 19:5:9 aspect ratio and 1125 x 2436 screen resolution. The iPhone X’s display is also scratch-resistant, Dolby Vision/HDR10 compliant, True-tone and it features 3D Touch and a wide color gamut. 

For its next-generation iPhone, Apple is rumored to be using the same OLED display. Macrumors learned from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo last month that the next flagship iPhone could debut with a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED screen that has 458 PPI pixel density. The latter suggests that like the iPhone X, the iPhone 11 could also have a resolution of 1125 x 2436. It’s worth mentioning that Kuo also predicted that Apple could launch a 6.5-inch OLED model and a 6.1-inch LCD model with 480 to 500 PPI and 320 to 330 PPI, respectively. 

Design-wise, fans can very likely expect the iPhone 11 to look just like the iPhone X. The upcoming flagship handset could still come with a notch atop its edge-to-edge display, and the notch will most certainly contain the different components of the TrueDepth camera system. After all, it wouldn’t make sense that many iOS apps are being updated to make use of the space surrounding the notch. 

It’s worth pointing out however that Apple has patented some interesting inventions that could debut with the iPhone 11. For instance, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent for an almost invisible speaker grille and an augmented reality window. The speaker grille that Apple patented uses membranes that can be integrated into the display. Meanwhile, the AR window could be implemented by creating transparent window regions on both the front and back of the handset. This way users could view external objects simultaneously with AR objects displayed on the window. Apple isn’t so keen on materializing patents though, so it’s understandable if these two features wouldn’t make the final cut.

Miscellaneous

Apple is also rumored to be developing enhanced stainless steel frames for the upcoming 2018 iPhones. As what 9to5Mac reported early last month, Apple is looking to improve data transmission quality with its new lineup of iPhones. The iPhone X has four parts of stainless steel bands on its casing, and Apple is believed to be increasing the number of bands for the iPhone 11 and other variants. 

Kuo has also said that the Cupertino giant wants to upgrade the antenna design of its new smartphones to ensure that they are capable of ultra-fast LTE transmission speeds. Kuo disclosed to investors last month (via MacRumors) that Apple will likely use two liquid crystal polymer antenna modules for its upcoming handsets. The notorious leaker and analyst then added that the tech giant is improving the antenna design so the new models could support 4x4 MIMO standards that maximize the potential of 4G LTE. 

Finally, the latest rumor about the 2018 iPhones is that they could sport more powerful batteries than the ones powering the current lineup. Kuo recently revealed that the OLED models — the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch variants — will house L-shaped batteries. The different structure of the batteries is what’s going to make them provide extended life to the handsets. The iPhone 11 could have a battery capacity somewhere between 2,900mAh and 3,000mAh. For reference, the iPhone X has a 2,716mAh battery. 

Pricing for the iPhone X successor is believed to be the same as the current flagship offering. The iPhone X starts at $999 for the 64GB version and it goes up to $1,149 for the 256GB version. As for its release date, the iPhone 11 is reportedly launching alongside the other iPhone models in September. It can be noted that Apple had to delay the release of the iPhone X to early November of this year due to some production issues related to the Face ID facial recognition technology that debuted with the handset.