We're in the run up to Apple's annual iPhone refresh, and while we don't have direct confirmation on when the announcement will be made we know it's going to be pretty soon. Up until now all the rumours and leaks have pointed to Apple releasing three new phones this year: an iPhone X successor, a Plus variant of said successor, and a 6.1-inch phone with cheaper components. But code has been uncovered that references an entirely different model.
The code was uncovered by 9to5Mac contributor and iOS/Mac developer Guilherme Rambo, and elaborated on by developer Steve Troughton-Smith. Evidentally a brand new iPhone model popped up in the Xcode development tools, labelled 'iPhone xx'. From the sounds of things it's the kind of phone Apple might launch as a successor to the iPhone SE.
An interesting device appeared in Xcode 10's thinning options: "iPhone xx". Model identifier iPhone9,7. My guess is this will be the "low cost iPhone" (internally called LCP, model N84). Definitely not the marketing name tho. Thanks Max pic.twitter.com/URPXTNdk79
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) August 22, 2018
(This model isn't going to have an iPhone X-style design, from the references in Xcode; it's likely either a '7c' or just a cheaper-to-manufacture variant of the 7)
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) August 22, 2018
As you may remember the iPhone SE was released in April 2016, and was effectively an iPhone 6S crammed inside the body of an iPhone 5 - meeting the demand for a cheaper iPhone that also kept the smaller form factor. A successor has also been rumoured ever since, but so far we've only had some tantalising glimpses of what it might be. Most people seem to have given up hope that it would arrive anytime soon, especially with that 'budget' 6.1-inch devices supposedly coming next month.
If the details are correct, and this device will have the iPhone 7 hardware, then it sounds like the ideal replacement for anyone who wants an iPhone but doesn't want to have to pay close to £1,000 for the flagship. That said the iPhone 7 is about two years old, so the hardware is just a little bit dated. Would it not have made more sense to throw in the iPhone 8 guts instead? There must be a good reason why that hasn't been done.
Whatever happens, we don't have long until Apple throws Tim Cook on stage to do the usual schtick. Pre-orders are said to open on 14th September, and considering Apple's tendency to launch new products in the second week of September we likely only have to wait another three weeks to find out for sure. [CultofMac]