There have been rumours circulating that Apple is set to release a limited-edition iPhone for the device’s 10th anniversary for a while, and now those rumours are gaining traction thanks to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The special feature of this anniversary iPhone? A curved OLED screen.
The WSJ is saying that Apple CEO Tim Cook will announce three new devices towards the end of the year. Two of these are likely to follow the company’s usual refresh cycle – let’s call them the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus. The 7S and 7S Plus will likely look the same as the current iPhone 7, but with bolstered insides and maybe some new fun improvements to Siri.
The third new iPhone will be the 10th Anniversary Edition (AE), that comes complete with the OLED display and a stonking great big $1,000 price tag. It could also, according to the paper’s anonymous sourcres, get rid of the iPhone’s traditional home button in favour of USB-C, and add a ‘touch zone’ at the bottom of the device. These "function area" claims have been made by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo for the last few weeks.
The iPhone AE’s screen would likely be produced by Samsung, as LG and JDI currently aren’t making OLED screens in the kind of quantities that Apple would want. It was reported late last year that those two firms wouldn’t have the production capacity until 2018.
Another area of speculation has been the iPhone AE’s front-facing camera, which some have said will have fancy 3D-tracking technology builty in. Apple previously had acquired original Kinect-maker PrimeSense, and after Cook’s prior comments on AR, this would not be a surprise.
Amongst all this excitement over the new technology in an iPhone AE, there has been some concern that creating an ultra-premium model will move the company too far away from its consistent release strategy. Consumers may become confused by having this new iPhone to contend with in addition to the expected 7S and 7S Plus, in addition to the pre-existing SE that is unlikely to change.
Should this speculation come to fruition, it will be interesting to gauge consumer reactions and see which device sees the most amount of love from users.