In Depth

iPhone XS: Apple accidentally leaks XS, XS Max and XR hours before reveal

Tech giant will begin streaming its product keynote at 6pm UK time

Apple has inadvertently leaked the names of its new iPhones, hours before officially unveiling them at its product keynote later today.

The tech blog Allthingshow has spotted web addresses inside the website code of Apple’s online store that refer to iPhones called the XS and XS Max.  

The tech giant’s web code was later picked apart by The Verge, which located several references to a third device called the iPhone XR. The names of the new iPhones were found alongside lines of code for accessories, including leather cases and warranty packages.

While no technical details have been unearthed in the fresh leaks, The Independent claims that Apple will now offer a new range-topping model with 512GB worth of storage – double that of the current iPhones. 

The news site also says that the XR model, believed to be a cheaper alternative to the XS and larger XS Max, can be specced in several colours: black, white, red, yellow, coral and blue.

The livestream of Apple’s product keynote kicks off today at 6pm UK time at the firm’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. This means that fans only have a few hours to wait until the wraps come off the much-rumoured handsets.   

In the meantime, here are the most recent claims about the upcoming iPhones:

Will there be a cheaper version?

We’ll have to wait a few more hours to get the official word from Apple.

On Monday, however, an image posted on social media that reportedly came from a Chinese carrier’s marketing presentation for the iPhone launch hinted at the existence of a cheaper version called the XC. 

Recent rumours, however, suggest the XC could be called the XR instead. 

The smaller handset is tipped to feature an LCD panel, like the current iPhone 8, rather than the hi-tech OLED screens that are expected to appear on its two siblings, says BGR, the tech news site. 

Shortly after the image emerged on the Chinese social media app Weibo, concept designer Ben Geskin posted a series of pictures on Twitter purporting to show prototype versions of the iPhone XR.

If the images are the real deal, the XR appears to have a design similar to that of the iPhone X, although the current handset’s dual-lens camera has been replaced by a simpler single-lens system. The budget phones also come in several colours, including red and navy blue. 

Will it spell the end of Touch ID? 

It seems so. According to MacRumors, the trillion dollar company isn’t expected to resurrect the beloved fingerprint scanner that first appeared on the iPhone 5S in 2013. The fingerprint security feature was ditched on the iPhone X but is still available on the iPhone 8, which launched at the same time.

The rumour site says that Apple is expected to use a combination of its Face ID and the traditional four- to six-digit pin code for its entire 2018 line-up. 

That claim chimes with reports from Trusted Reviews last October that hinted that Apple was planning to omit the fingerprint scanner from its latest batch of smartphones. 

What will they look like?

An image reportedly showing two new iPhones was leaked at the end of August.

Apple news and rumour site 9to5Mac claim to have uncovered the official snap of the company’s new smartphones. The smaller version is dubbed the XS and the larger version the XS Max, they say.

Featuring the same OLED displays as the iPhone X, standard XS models are expected to have 5.8in panels. The more expensive Max variant will sport a 6.5in screen, according to the site.  

The leaked image suggests the handsets will have a new gold colour scheme, which will join the grey and white designs available on the current iPhone line-up, says The Daily Telegraph

Will they support dual-SIM cards? 

Quite possibly. The dual-Sim cards are popular with people who travel frequently as they allow users to switch between network providers without having to open their mobiles to swap SIM cards over. 

Apple has never built an iPhone with dual-SIM support before, but 9to5Mac claims to have found “evidence” (in the most recent pre-release version of the iOS 12 mobile software) that the next batch of smartphones could support the coveted feature. 

According to the Apple blog, the section of iOS 12 responsible for diagnostics reports refers to “second SIM status” and “second SIM tray status”. Another section of the troubleshooting system mentions a “dual SIM device”.

Is the camera getting an upgrade?

To an extent, yes. The cameras in the new range of iPhones are not expected to be significantly different to the iPhone X’s current dual-lens system, says Expert Reviews.   

However, the smartphone could adopt the same dual-aperture system as its rival, the Samsung Galaxy S9. This would make it more capable of shooting “excellent quality pictures in all sorts of lighting conditions”, the website says. 

There are also rumours that the upcoming iPhones will be equipped with triple-lens systems, according to Taiwanese news site Economic News Daily. The lenses are thought to have 3D sensing features designed to improve the phone’s augment reality (AR) functions. These allow computer graphics to be layered over real-world images in real-time.

Will the new handsets support the Apple Pencil? 

The US-based investment firm Rosenblatt Securities claims there will be some form of Pencil inclusion in the new handsets, reports CNet

Rumours that Apple was planning to add Pencil compatibility to iPhones have been circulating since the stylus was first introduced in 2015, the tech site says. The Pencil was recently made available on Apple’s latest batch of iPads.

What about the battery?

As iPhones are continually shrinking in size, Apple has to find creative ways to install compact batteries that can carry enough charge to power the device for a suitable amount of time.

Sources have revealed to MacRumors that the upcoming iPhones could feature redesigned batteries with a 10% power boost.

Apple and the Korean electronics giant LG are thought to be working on a one-cell pack designed to replace the L-shaped two-cell battery in the flagship iPhone X, the website says.

This could significantly boost battery life, upping the device’s capacity from 2716mAh to “somewhere between 2900 and 3000mAh.”

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