There's no rumour mill in tech quite like the Apple rumour mill, and every week – if not nearly every day – there's something new that Apple is totally making.
We've heard a lot of absurd speculation over the years, but the moles have gotten chattier over time, and a rumour will often build and build until Apple finally makes something official. It happened with the iPhone X, HomePod, and Touch Bar-equipped MacBooks, and so many other recent devices before those. In many cases, we know nearly every key detail before something is properly announced.
So what is Apple possibly working on right now? We've compiled 15 recent and not-yet-ruled-out rumours about Apple products and features, uncovered via reports or patent applications, which range from an electric car to an AR headset, multiple new iPhones, and even an Apple Ring.
Apple is definitely going to make all of these things, right? Well, hopefully not the iRing.
1) A bigger iPhone X
The iPhone X (shown) is Apple's current top dog, but of course, there's already plenty of talk about how it'll soon be outmoded. According to various reports, Apple may be working on a larger version of the revamped iPhone to release in late 2018.
The report claims that we'll get an updated version of the standard 5.8in model, of course, but that Apple may also release a larger version with a 6.5in OLED display. The iPhone XI Plus? Or iPhone X2 Plus, if we want to throw all naming logic out the window?
Sounds appealing… but also massive. But that sizing approach is pretty similar to what Samsung has done with the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, too. In any case, we think it's very likely that Apple ends up offering size options for year two of this new approach.
2) A cheaper, LCD model too
And that won't be the only one, according to analysts. They also believe that Apple will release a cheaper take on the iPhone X that uses a lower-resolution LCD panel instead of the brilliant OLED display used in the current model.
Here's where the report gets a bit wonky, though: Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities expects that this cheaper version will bridge the gap in size between the iPhone X and the purported Plus model, coming in at 6.1in but with a lower resolution than either of them – likely 320-330 pixels per inch (ppi), which is right where the standard iPhone 8 falls today (326ppi).
It could come at a nice discount, though: Kuo pegs the price at between US$550-650, which would actually undercut the iPhone 8. We find the pricing bit hard to swallow as of now, but there's building momentum for this rumour of a lower-end mid-sized version.
3) An AR headset
Last year's iOS 11 update made a big push into augmented reality with Apple's ARKit software, but analysts believe the company is just dipping its toe into the market before truly diving in with dedicated hardware.
The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Apple supplier Quanta is working on an augmented reality headset for a client that they expect to be out by 2019, and analysts the outlet spoke to believe that the project really is for Apple. It sounds similar to Microsoft's HoloLens, with a transparent lens that you can look through to see digital items projected on to your view of the real world.
It sounds like a big leap for Apple, but if the company thinks the world is ready for it – and willing to pay a heap of cash for another device – then maybe they'll help usher wearable AR into the mainstream.
4) Noise-cancelling AirPods
Apple's bet on truly wireless earbuds has clearly panned out: AirPods are everywhere these days. And soon, it seems, we'll see an even more advanced version of them.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple is working on a higher-end version of the AirPods that will feature noise-cancelling technology and also water resistance. They're not built for swimming, but they'll be better equipped to withstand sweat and the elements.
Bloomberg also claims that Apple is working to make the AirPods work from further away from your iPhone, as well. The higher-end AirPods should release in 2019 and cost more than the current version, which Bloomberg suggests will see its own refresh later this year with a more powerful chip and hands-free Siri requests.
5) And over-ear headphones too
Apple owns Beats these days, of course, but it sounds like Apple plans to make its own over-ear headphones as well.
Bloomberg's report about the higher-end AirPods also mentions that Apple has been hard at work on over-ear headphones for some time. They'll reportedly contend with offerings from Bose and Sennheiser, which means they won't be cheap – and they're slated to hit the market as a premium alternative to Beats.
According to the report, we should also see these headphones in 2019. They were planned to release earlier, but Apple hit "development challenges" along the way, Bloomberg suggests.
6) An electric (and self-driving?) car
An Apple car is probably the most audacious and unexpected thing on this list, and yet surprisingly, it's been widely reported on. What's more, CEO Tim Cook isn't even denying it. Rumours caught fire in early 2015, claiming that Apple had hundreds of people working on an electric car known as Project Titan, and the hits kept coming.
Uncovered emails suggested that Apple was looking for a facility to test self-driving cars – potentially a later goal after launching an initial electric car – and a report said that Apple had "committed" to the project and aimed to finalise it by 2019. In 2016, the project lead reportedly left, but Apple supposedly has more and more people working on Titan, and potentially loads of cash invested. The rumour mill has been very quiet recently, however.
Will we be driving Apple cars in a few years? Quite possibly. Well, at least those of us who can afford it. Be sure to read our Apple Car preview for the latest rumours and reports on the subject.
7) Apple Watch Series 4
Another year, another Apple Watch? Yeah, it's starting to feel that way – but each version (Series 3 shown) has brought some solid enhancements, and the Series 4 might finally shake up the look a bit too.
Bloomberg reports that the Apple Watch Series 4 will keep the same dimensions as current models and work with the same bands, but suggests that the Series 4 versions will bring in a larger, edge-to-edge display. It could be a slight difference in the end, but after a few years of the same thing, that'll be appreciated.
The watchOS 5-packing smartwatch is expected to ship later this year, quite likely alongside the reported iPhone XI models.
8) An iPhone SE 2
Apple's smartphones keep getting bigger and bigger, and the biggest yet could come later this year – but the iPhone SE (shown) remains a welcome respite in the lineup. It's a properly compact phone, and downright tiny compared to the other iPhones.
But it's been more than two years since the iPhone SE released, and it's still running the same tech from some time ago. When will we see an update? Rumours started surging earlier this year, suggesting a revision with a similar overall approach albeit with glass backing, more power, and a better camera.
However, when WWDC came and went in June without an announcement, the growing hype certainly deflated a bit. We still think that Apple will keep the iPhone SE in the lineup and refresh it at some point, but we don't think they'll announce it at the same time as the three purported larger phones launching this September.