For quite a while now, credible reports from the media as well as from analysts have claimed that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) intends to launch an iPhone with a 6.46-inch organic light emitting diode (OLED) display in 2018. The device would effectively serve as a larger version of the expected update to the iPhone X, catering to the sizable portion of the smartphone-buying population that desires as much screen real estate as possible.
Bloomberg, in a new article, published two additional details about this rumored upcoming iPhone -- a device that I'll henceforth refer to as the iPhone X Plus.
Let's go over them.
Display resolution and pixel density
Citing unnamed people "familiar with the products," Bloomberg says that "at least some prototypes [of the iPhone X Plus] include a screen resolution of 1242 x 2688," a resolution that "would make the screen about as sharp as the one on the 5.8-inch iPhone X."
In fact, according to my calculations, a 1242 x 2688 resolution display that measures 6.46 inches along the diagonal would have a pixel density of 458 pixels per inch -- exactly that of the display on the current iPhone X. This contradicts previous rumors that the iPhone X Plus would have a sharper display than the one on the current iPhone X.
This would represent a departure from Apple's previous product strategy (seen on the iPhone 6-series through the iPhone 8-series) wherein the larger-screen iPhone would also have a sharper display.
In effect, what this would mean is that consumers wouldn't be forced to choose between a sharper display or a smaller display -- they could pick the size that they want and be guaranteed the same image clarity.
The Bloomberg report also says that for the upcoming iPhone X-series smartphones, Apple "is considering a gold color option."
The addition of a gold option, the article explained, would be "especially appealing to consumers in Asia and may help boost sales in the region." Rumor has it Apple tried to develop a gold option for the iPhone X, but wasn't able to make it work.
Many details remain a mystery
At this point, we know quite a bit about Apple's 2018 iPhone lineup, largely thanks to information published by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo with KGI Securities, but there are still plenty of specifications that remain a mystery.
For example, we don't yet know how Apple intends to price the devices, nor do we know what kinds of improvements Apple will bring to the displays, cameras, and processor.
It's also not clear what kind of exclusive software features Apple will include with the iPhone X Plus. Bloomberg says that the device will be designed to "appeal to the growing number of consumers who crave the multitasking attributes of so-called phablets." As the article points out, however, the current iPhone Plus models already offer split-screen capabilities "for certain apps." But I think the open question is this: Will Apple enable more extensive, iPhone X Plus-specific multitasking capabilities on the device, or will it simply offer the same features that currently exist on the iPhone 8 Plus?
We'll probably find out more closer to the launch of the new devices, which is likely to happen in September.
Ashraf Eassa has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.