Ten years after Steve Jobs announced the original iPhone to a gushing San Francisco crowd, Apple is planning its most extensive iPhone lineup to date.
A new report from Bloomberg claims that Apple is preparing three iPhones for launch as soon as this fall, including upgraded versions of the current two iPhone models and a new top-of-the-line handset with an overhauled look. For the redesigned phone, Apple is testing a new type of screen, curved glass and stainless steel materials, and more advanced cameras, the report said. However, the launch of this model may be delayed a couple of months, due to supply constrains.
For the premium model, Apple is testing a screen that covers almost the entire front of the device. That results in a display slightly larger than that of the iPhone 7 Plus but an overall size closer to the iPhone 7, Bloomberg's source say. Apple is also aiming to reduce the overall size of the handset by integrating the home button into the screen itself via software in a similar manner to Samsung's S8.
The overhauled iPhone will use an organic light-emitting diode display that more accurately shows colors, while the other two phones will continue to use liquid crystal display technology and come in the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes as last year's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Because of its early lead in the mobile OLED display space, Samsung will enjoy a rare upper hand in this year's high-end smartphone contest. At launch, Apple will exclusively use Samsung Display.
Apple has also experimented with integrating the iPhone's fingerprint scanner into the screen of the OLED version, although this challenging approach was abandoned even by Samsung for the S8.
Significant camera changes are also in testing for Apple's overhauled iPhone. For the back of the phone, Apple is testing versions of the phone with the dual-camera system positioned vertically, instead of horizontally like on the iPhone 7 Plus, which could result in improved photos.
For the front-camera, Apple is testing dual-lenses. The current iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have single front cameras. As it has done in the past, Apple is using camera components from Sony.
All the new iPhones will run iOS 11, a mobile operating system that will include a refreshed user-interface and will be announced in June at the company's annual conference for developers.
Apple has been testing using faster processors based on a smaller 10-nanometer production process for all three new models. That's down from 16 nanometers for existing iPhones.