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2018 iPhone refresh more than a spec bump, may not be called 'S' or 'plus'

As the Apple event grows closer, another report has bolstered the rumors surrounding the incoming iPhone refresh, with the iPhone X's edge-to-edge screen plus notch in a wider variety of sizes and price points continuing to be the things to watch for during September's "S year" launch.

Reiterating previous rumors about Apple's upcoming mobile devices, the Bloomberg report cites people who "asked to not to be identified discussing unannounced products" in claiming there will be three smartphones launched, retaining the same general design as the current iPhone X.

While in 2017, two different designs of iPhone were revealed, keeping the appearance of the iPhone X in all three models has allegedly led to some within Apple to call the event an "S year" launch. In previous iPhone models, the S suffix refers to updated releases with mostly internal changes, rather than models with major redesigns.

More significant changes are planned for 2019, the sources claim.

As for what to expect, the three models will consist of the high-end 6.5-inch model, codenamed D33, along with an upgraded iPhone X with a 5.8-inch OLED screen, codenamed D32, with a faster processor and better camera.

The third, codenamed N84, refers to the model equipped with a 6.1-inch LCD screen, a value proposition to consumers. While it will share the same basic appearance, it will have aluminum edges instead of a stainless steel casing, and while it will have a colored glass back, the edges may not have the same coloring, reportedly to help simplify production.

Nothing published by Bloomberg regarding the 2018 iPhone is a revelation, with most of the report a rehash of older rumors about the devices. Rumors, nearly identical to Monday's report, have been circulating since January.

The report also touches on a new Apple Watch, roughly the same size as the existing design to allow for watch band compatibility, and new iPad Pro models with screen sizes "around 11 inches and 12.9 inches."

The three iPhone models currently speculated to arrive this fall include two models with OLED screens measuring 6.5 inches and 5.8 inches, while a third is equipped with a 6.1-inch TFT LCD. Most sources now claim that all three will have the TrueDepth camera array and use Face ID, but the LCD model will be positioned in the product line-up as a cost-effective model, while the OLED versions will have more premium pricing and specifications.

Foxconn will continue to be the main iPhone assembler this year, with it said to handle all 5.8-inch OLED units and 80 to 90 percent of the 6.5-inch OLED version, as well as 30 percent of LCD model orders. Pegatron is said to be taking 60 percent of the LCD orders and between 10 and 15 percent of the 6.5-inch OLED model orders, while Wistron makes up the remainder.