Apple’s latest iPhone will be called the iPhone X, according to a leak on Saturday.
The name of the phone – rumored to be priced at close to $1,000 and set to be launched on Tuesday at the company’s multibillion-dollar new headquarters – was first reported by the Apple news website 9to5Mac. The site reported that two other new phones would be called the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
The launch marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, Apple’s most successful product. With the company’s self-driving car project Titan reportedly taking a back seat, the new phones may offer an indication of Apple’s next direction.
The model names were discovered and tweeted by a game developer, Steven Troughton-Smith, from a release of software code.
According to 9to5Mac, the 8 and 8 Plus will be basic upgrades on the 7 and 7 Plus models that will feature glass back panels, a new micro-processing chip and wireless inductive charging.
The iPhone X is the model that has Apple fans excited. Apple is expected to do away with the traditional home button on the front – Bloomberg reported that a series of gestures will control the phone – and to introduce a high-definition 5.8in OLED display featuring accommodations for the front camera, earpiece and 3D sensors and extending to the edges at the top, bottom and sides of the device.
The operating system is also reported to include a new biometric authentication mechanism, Face ID, that uses sensors that can recognize a user looking at the display. Another innovation is reportedly a messaging app, Animoji, that uses the 3D technology to create emojis reflecting the user’s expression.
The leak may embarrass Apple, which prides itself on guarding new products and capabilities. Soon after becoming chief executive in 2012, Tim Cook said he planned to make secrecy a priority.
In June, the Outline news site revealed that the company had hired former employees at the National Security Agency to help catch leakers.
Details of the new iPhone line-up had already been revealed inadvertently, as in August when Apple published code for its HomePod speakers. In the case of the iPhone X, Apple-watchers said they were almost certain the leak was deliberate.
“Someone within Apple leaked the list of URLs to 9to5Mac and MacRumors,” wrote John Gruber of Daring Fireball. “I’m nearly certain this wasn’t a mistake, but rather a deliberate malicious act by a rogue Apple employee. Whoever did this is the least-popular person in Cupertino. More surprises were spoiled by this leak than any leak in Apple history.”
The company, with a market value of $815bn and a $250bn cash stockpile, is also likely to announce a new generation of Apple Watch with standalone cell phone capability and a 4K Apple TV.
The biggest launch of all though will be the Norman Foster-designed Apple Park, the company’s giant campus in Cupertino, California that is regarded as co-founder Steve Jobs’ last design creation.
The product presentation will be in the Steve Jobs Theater, a glass-walled auditorium that seats 1,000. Apple’s chief designer, Sir Jony Ive, recently told the Wall Street Journal the headquarters project evoked the same set of feelings as a new consumer product.
“That feels, I don’t know, encouragingly healthy, because I would be concerned if we lost that sense of anxiety,” he said. “I think that would suggest that we were not as self-critical, not as curious, not as inquisitive as we have to be to be able to be effective and do good work.”
Despite some anxiety that Apple’s close-knit creative spirit might be stressed by the move, Cook said the new HQ was designed to inspire collaborative innovation.
“We didn’t plan our growth, and then when we saw our growth, we were so engrossed in trying to push things forward that we didn’t spend time to really develop the workplace,” says Cook.
“We’ve done a really good job of working around it, but it’s not the way we want to be working, nor does it represent our culture well.”
Read more at theguardian.com