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
We're only a couple weeks past the release of the iPhone X (shown), and already there's talk about how it'll soon be outmoded. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, 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 S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, too. In any case, we think it's very likely that Apple ends up offering size options after this first year.
2) A CHEAPER, LCD MODEL TOO
And that won't be the only one, according to the KGI analyst. He also believes 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: he 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$649-749, which would keep it in line with the iPhone 8, which sells for US$699 (or ₹64,000).
3) AN IPAD PRO X
The iPhone X represents a radical redesign for Apple's smartphone, and the company might take it to tablets next. According to a report from Chinese site MyDrivers (via MacRumors), the 2018 versions of the iPad Pro could take after the iPhone X in a couple of key ways.
First, they're expected to have the same TrueDepth front-facing camera system that enables Face ID security, Animoji, and facial tracking. And secondly, they could feature a similar design with no Touch ID button and very minimal bezel.
However, the report suggests that the 10.5in (current model shown) and 12.9in tablets will stick with LCD displays due to higher yield rates than OLED. The tablets should also have an eight-core A11X Bionic chip that'll even outperform the benchmark-slaying A11 Bionic chip in the current iPhones.
4) AN AR HEADSET
This autumn's iOS 11 update makes 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.
5) A 3D SENSOR FOR IPHONES
Now here's an Apple augmented reality move that seems a lot more sensible. According to Bloomberg, Apple plans to outfit iPhones with a new 3D sensor that'll help improve mobile AR experiences. The report pegs 2019 as the year Apple rolls out this feature with new iPhones.
What's the plan? Well, supposedly Apple is working on a laser-centric approach, with the sensor firing off loads of lasers and then building a 3D picture of your surroundings based on how long it takes for the lasers to bounce off of objects. You won't see these lasers, though… and they won't destroy everything around you (presumably).
It's actually not far off from how the True Depth camera system works on the iPhone X, and with both equipped, these new iPhones will be AR masters from the front and back. Neat.
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. Last year, the project lead reportedly left, but Apple supposedly has more and more people working on Titan, and potentially loads of cash invested.
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.