2018 iPhone XI: leaks, rumours and what we're expecting from the new iPhone

Here's what Apple is planning for the iPhone XI

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While the annual iPhone launch might still be several months away, it's always one of the biggest events of the tech year, with 2018's iPhone announcement likely to be no exception. We're already hearing a steady trickle of rumours about what we can expect next September from Apple's new iPhone range.

To make sure you're right up to date with everything we've heard about the successors to the iPhone X (which we're calling the iPhone XI for now) we've collected together all the gossip and tittle-tattle about the 2018 iPhone right here on this page. Check back regularly as we piece together the puzzle of the next batch of iPhones.

2018 iPhone XI price

One of the biggest factors when deciding whether you're going to buy the 2018 iPhone (or iPhone XI) is the price. Despite reports of sluggish sales for the premium iPhone X, it's unlikely Apple is going to go any lower than the £999/$999 starting price it's been demanding this year.

While Samsung has kept the prices of its flagship phones a touch lower this year, that's not really Apple's style. The good news is that we're expecting some cheaper variations to launch alongside the top-end iPhone XI – we've covered some of that speculation below.

 2018 iPhone XI release date

We're a lot more certain about the release date of the new 2018 iPhone (or rather iPhones). Apple always schedules an iPhone launch for September every year like clockwork, so it won't want to ruin its production plans now. So the new iPhone release date is almost certain to be in September 2018, if you want to keep your holidays free.

 2018 iPhone XI colours 

As for iPhone XI colours, the silver and space grey we saw on the 2017 models aren't likely to go anywhere any time soon, but the gold sheen found on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus is being tipped to make it to the iPhone XI as well this year. That hints at all the 2018 iPhone models being very similar in terms of design this time around.

2018 iPhone XI: the story so far

New 2018 iPhone

iPhone X

To make sense of what's coming down the pipe from Apple, we need to do a brief recap on the iPhones we have on sale right now. They're led, of course, by the iPhone X, the premium price flagship with the bezel-free front display and its distinctive notch.

That handset is the biggest iPhone innovation we've seen from Apple in a while, and it makes the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus look positively old-fashioned – even though they've got the same powerful guts inside them.

Given the way Apple has enthused about the iPhone X and its looks, and the way the rest of the smartphone market is going, it's a very safe bet that the iPhones of 2018 are going to follow the same design approach.

In other words, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be the last we'll see of that particular design, with the thick bezels and the Home button on the front. It might yet live on in the form of the iPhone SE 2, but it won't be used for flagship phones any longer.

By still selling the iPhone 6S, launched back in 2015, Apple really has dragged out that form factor for as long as it can. Expect Apple to put all its eggs in the iPhone X basket this coming September, although we've still got several different variations to look forward to.

With Apple going for a major redesign last year, don't hold your breath for too many external differences in 2018 – most of the upgrades are likely to be on the inside of the phone, though we'd love it if Apple found a way to add a fingerprint sensor under the display of the iPhone XI. The rumour is that Samsung might manage the trick with the Galaxy Note 9.

2018 iPhone XI: what we're expecting

New 2018 iPhone

iPhone 8

One of the certainties surrounding the 2018 iPhone is that we've got multiple iPhones to look forward to – and all with the iPhone X-style design, and the Face ID unlock method. The original iPhone X is going to stick around on sale as a cheaper alternative, according to The Investor.

Another Asian news outlet, DigiTimes, reckons there are going to be three new flagship iPhones in 2018, with a 5.7 to 5.8-inch LCD screen, a 6.0 to 6.1-inch LCD screen, and a 6.4 to 6.5-inch OLED screen respectively. OLED offers more vibrant colours and contrast, but LCD is cheaper, so it's likely that the biggest iPhone would be the most expensive.

That rumour of a large, top-end, 6.5-inch iPhone has been reported by Bloomberg too: and apparently it's coming in gold. Meanwhile, according to one of the more respected Apple analysts out there, the design of the phones will get a tweak with a stainless steel frame around the edges, in a bid to improve data transmission speeds and stability.

If there is going to be a bigger iPhone this year (the current one has a display size of 5.8 inches), then this might be the screen for it. Note the notch is still present – the talk is we're going to have to wait until 2019 before Apple can get the necessary face recognition technology hidden behind the display.

The usual internal upgrades have been mooted too, and Apple will no doubt unveil a faster, more power-efficient chip for the 2018 iPhones to run on, as it does every year. One of the rumours to hit the wires says all iPhone models will use the same brand of internal modem – not the most exciting rumour in the world, but it does mean you'll get the same data speeds no matter which iPhone you pick up.

Minor camera upgrades are also almost certain, though short of adding a third lens to the rear camera on the most expensive iPhone, there's not all that much room for improvement in this department. Samsung added a dual-aperture system to its Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus phones this year, so Apple could try some similar kind of lens trickery.

2018 iPhone XI: what we want to see

New 2018 iPhone

iPhone 8 Plus

Now that the iPhones have wireless charging, the other obvious area where Apple is lagging behind the Android manufacturers is in fast charging – something you see on almost every Google-powered phone these days.

The 2017 iPhones can actually charge faster than normal, but you need to buy a special cable and charging adapter. Would it be too much to ask for this to be included as standard next time around? And while Apple's at it, perhaps we could have battery life that goes for more than a day between charges?

While we'd love to see an innovation like a folding smartphone (which is something Apple has filed patents for), it's unlikely that this kind of advanced tech is going to be ready in time for 2018. Keep your eyes peeled for this in years to come.

Don't forget that any smartphone experience involves both hardware and software, and so the successor to iOS 11 is going to play a big part in how well the 2018 iPhones are received.

Some extra AR magic would be most welcome, and Apple might even get around to introducing a DayDream View-style headset for its phones too. Also on the software side, Siri will definitely learn a few new tricks this year too.

The word on the Apple street is that iOS 12 is going to focus on stability and bug fixing. Bad news if you were hoping for some major new improvements to the software, but good news for a rock-solid, reliable iPhone XI.

As for pricing, the early indications are that you'll be able to pick up a bezel-free iPhone for less money next year, even if it's the 2017 iPhone X. Apple has made its fortune through devices with premium prices attached, so the top-end 2018 iPhone will still cost a lot of money, but cheaper variations should be available too.

We should be hearing a lot more about the 2018 iPhones as September draws closer, and we'll bring you the best of the leaks and rumours right here. It looks like being another exciting year for fans of Apple's iconic handset.