'iPhone X Plus' should lead Apple's new product charge in 2018

More iPhones X-like phones are coming from Apple in 2018, in addition to the HomePod, new MacBooks, and new app strategy.  

Apple’s new-fangled iPhone X is an unqualified hit. So, expect bigger and better versions in 2018, according to reports.

Apple will double down on things that make the iPhone X special, according to a report from MacRumors Thursday, citing KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple will reportedly roll out three iPhones sporting its TrueDepth camera, which enables Apple’s much-touted Face ID, the report said.

The TrueDepth camera creates a 3D map of your face, which is used to unlock the phone and authorize purchases via the iTunes Store and Apple Pay.  

iPhone X Plus

In addition to an update of the current 5.8-inch iPhone X in 2018, expect a larger 6.5-inch model -- which some have been calling the “iPhone X Plus” -- according to the report. 

APPLE BEING SUED OVER SLOWING DOWN OLDER IPHONES

The key takeaway here is, the big 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus  -- or thereabouts as Apple could always tweak the size -- will use organic light-emitting diode (OLED) edge-to-edge display tech similar to that used on the iPhone X and be Apple’s largest phone in terms of display size ever.

It’s probably a safe bet to say that Apple is eying rivals like Samsung’s big – and pricey – 6.3-inch Galaxy Note 8, probably the most feature-packed Android phone out there right now, with its big, bright, vibrant OLED display.

Apple is also expected to release a new 6.1-inch “mid-range” iPhone, the report said. That will likely use a more conventional liquid crystal display (LCD) tech but also get Face ID, according to the report.

Also expect new battery tech and longer battery life on all the new phones.

MacBooks

One thing that’s a virtual certainty for MacBooks in 2018 is the jump to Intel’s new low-power quad-core processors. The new chips would likely land inside the popular 13-inch MacBook Pro.

BUYER BEWARE: THINK TWICE ABOUT PRICEY IPHONE X, MACBOOK PRO MODELS

PC rivals such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell have moved quickly to integrate Intel’s new 8th- generation quad-core processor into their sleekest and lightest laptops. That’s an industry first to get this kind of processing power into smaller laptops. Apple is still using Intel’s 7th gen dual-core processors in its 13-inch MacBook Pros.

iPhone, iPad, and Mac meld

Apple will combine iPhone, iPad and Mac Apps for “one user experience,” according to a report this week from Bloomberg.

“Starting as early as next year, software developers will be able to design a single application” that works on both iOS and the Mac, the report said, citing “people familiar with the matter.”

Google's Android and its Chrome OS are doing this – kind of – already. On Google Chromebooks you can now run the same apps used on Android phones. Though the apps aren’t always perfectly tuned for the Chromebook, they usually work pretty well.

Airpods

New Airpods should arrive in the second half of the year too, according to reports. But few details are available. The $159 wireless Airpods have been a hit and Apple has constantly been trying to catch up to demand.

HomePod

This is Apple's answer to Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. The HomePod was expected late this year but never saw the light of day and Apple has said to expect the device early in 2018. The pricey $350 speaker is Music-centric with Siri-based commands.  

Apple Watch

Expect more advanced health-monitoring features for the 2018 version of the Apple Watch. Apple is developing an “advanced heart-monitoring feature for future versions of its smartwatch,” according to another Bloomberg report.

“Part of a broader push by the company to turn what was once a luxury fashion accessory into a serious medical device,” the report said, citing “people familiar with the plan.”

Apple did not respond to a request for comment about future products.

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