Published On: Wed, Aug 29th, 2018

Apple To Embrace iPhone X Design With New Colors, Bigger Screens

The world’s most valuable company plans to launch three new phones soon that keep the edge-to-edge screen design of last year’s flagship, according to people familiar with the matter. The devices will boast a wider range of prices, features and sizes to increase their appeal, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unannounced products.

iPhone X

However, none of the three iPhones will be wholly new designs like the iPhone X was last year or the iPhone 6 in 2014, with some inside Apple labeling the launch as an “S year,” a designation the company has given to new handsets that retain the previous design but add new internal features. The company is planning more significant changes for next year, they added.

The iPhone X wasn’t as big a hit as some Wall Street analysts hoped for before it was released last November. However, it still sold strongly and helped Apple gain share in a smartphone market that has almost stopped growing.

The upcoming phones, planned to be unveiled in September, show the company is adjusting its strategy. Rather than luring millions of new iPhone users, Apple’s goal these days is to steadily raise average prices, while expanding the total number of active devices to support sales of accessories and digital services like streaming music and video.

“The iPhone is entering a period of 0-to-5 percent annual growth, and the things they’re doing this fall will keep them on that path,” said Gene Munster, a veteran Apple analyst and managing partner of Loup Ventures.

The lower-end device will be Apple’s second attempt at differentiating its phones partly by color. In 2013, Apple launched the iPhone 5c, which was essentially an iPhone 5 in plastic casing. The strategy flopped with iPhone users preferring Apple’s metal phones. This year’s lower-cost iPhone will use aluminum edges, retaining a premium feel.

“Colors always give Apple a little near-term bump, but it doesn’t change the iPhone’s trajectory,” Munster said.

Apple is planning dual-SIM card slots for the two larger phones in at least some regions, people with knowledge of the plans said. That feature would let travelers easily switch between a local carrier plan and a new country or coverage area.

The Watches will look similar to current models, but will include larger screens that go nearly edge-to-edge. Their overall size will remain similar, making them compatible with existing straps, people familiar with the product said.

The new iPad Pros will come in sizes around 11-inches and 12.9-inches and include slimmer bezels. They’ll remove the home button and fingerprint sensing in lieu of an iPhone X-like gesture interface and Face ID for unlocking the tablet, people familiar with the plans said.