In a thread on Reddit, three alleged Foxconn employees have posted information about some of Apple’s upcoming products, such as the iPhone 7S and iPhone 8, the rumored Siri Speaker, smart glasses, and more, just days before the company is set to start WWDC on Monday.
According to the subreddit’s moderators, the identities of the posters have been verified with proper documentation and evidence, but it’s not clear how trustworthy the information is. AppleInsider notes that there’s some basis to take this information with a grain of salt, and the mods noted that they’re only able to verify that the users in question would have access to this information.
Here’s an overview of what they revealed, and we’ll see tomorrow how accurate it is.
One of the more interesting sets of details was about Apple’s rumored augmented reality Glasses. Reports of the devices surfaced last fall, and Apple CEO Tim Cook recently noted that the company has invested in AR.
According to Foxconninsider, the project is called Project Mirrorshades (a reference to a 1980s Cyberpunk anthology?), which would be designed to bring AR to a larger audience.
The glasses consist of a “Kopin NED Acetate frame, Polarisized or prescription lens with Zeiss smart optics, Bone induction modules Microphones (noise cancellation), Light sensor Accelerometer for step tracking and head movement, app navigation Magnetometer for navigation, Capacitive Pavel Ceramic battery, Apple chipset, [and] Charging circuit BL5 Induction module.” They also reportedly came in crystal, champagne, and black colors.
Movement would play some role in the function of the glasses: Foxconninsider noted that for an app like Tinder, a user could shake their head for no, or nod for yes. A “small capacitive strip on” the arm would allow users to accept calls and control the volume, while Siri could also be used to make calls. The device would use a prism that “conveys NED display image to lens,” and would have 428 x 240 resolution.
The insiders noted that they only saw a “transparent reader lens but I understand they can procure polarised or prescription lenses,” that the frames were “Cellulose acetate Injection mold frames into an aluminum mold,” that they came in two sizes (men’s and women’s), and that they had a P3 frame design. There was also the possibility that there would be seasonal design updates. The materials cost for the devices would be around $150, which Foxconninsider noted would likely place the retail price in the $600.
It’s not clear if Mirrorshades will go forward, however. Foxconninsider explained that while they were a “unique design,” there was a 65 percent chance that the entire project would be canceled because the batteries are difficult to produce.
Foxconninsider referred to the overhauled iPhone as the iPhone X, and that production has been delayed, which is in line with some rumors that have surfaced recently. The user noted that some of the leaked designs weren’t accurate, and explained that the new version looked “more like an iPhone 7 with glass and without the AuthenTec's capacitive touch module.” When asked which leaked image it looked like the most, they said that the middle one was the most accurate. The rear camera has been reoriented, and the bezel on the phone will be thinner on the Y-axis.
They also reported that they saw some “test units with fingerprint scanners mounted below the glass, but performance and yield rates were not good.” They explained that they haven’t seen a rumored rear fingerprint scanner, speculating that it might have been misinformation. The phone will apparently also use facial detection and a retina scanner, which will be “included in the front facing camera modules.”
They detailed some other tidbits about the overhauled model: it would come with 3GB RAM, and it won’t have an aluminum unibody, but instead will have a “composite glass to allow wireless charging,” with a rear panel. They also noted that the new iPhone will be “water resistant” (a feature already shared by the iPhone 7), and that they won’t use USB-C.
The user spoke a bit about an previously rumored iPhone 7 refresh: noting that it’ll have an aluminum unibody instead of a glass chassis, and that it won’t have wireless charging.
Apple is thought to be revealing its Siri-powered home device tomorrow, and Foxconninsider had some details about the device. They described the device as having a similar shape to that of the Mac Pro, but smaller, but also cautioned that they hadn’t seen it in a while. They did note that they tested three designs: “one design without camera, without screen.” (The third presumably has both.) The device would also come with a “modified A9 chip.”
They predicted that it would be announced soon, but that it wouldn’t come out until later this year.
Apple is reportedly updating its entire MacBook lineup this year, with a new MacBook Pro, a more powerful version of the 12-inch MacBook, and an updated 13-inch MacBook Air. (Foxconninsider noted in the thread that the MacBook Air was being discontinued, so we’ll see.) They noted that they tested some updated MacBook designs, which included “more glass and dark black body,” as well as a reintroduction of white apple light that was discontinued in 2015. When asked if it would be similar to the Thunderbolt Display, they agreed: “Somewhat; similar to the black iPhone 7 and the iPhone X finish (like iPhone 4).”
They also said that the discontinued MagSafe would return in “12-18 months.” When asked if the MacBook Pros would get 3D / Force Touch, they noted that aside from the Touch Bar, no laptops in the 18-month range will have any sort of touch display.
iMac, Smart keyboard, iPad
The iMac will reportedly get an SOC and incremental updates, and a full redesign (with smart keys, which will join the Touch Bar, rather than replace it). It is being delayed until next year.
When asked about the keyboards, they noted that they tested “two e-paper technologies; E-ink in black and white and color, other a color Qualcomm display (cancelled due to IP dispute).” They also noted that the keys would be low profile.
They also noted that they don’t have access to the iPads, but did confirm a rumored third iPad size.
Random Tidbits and Canceled projects
Foxconninsider noted that contrary to rumors, Apple is sticking with its lightning cable. When asked about TV panels, they also said that there’ll be some information coming later this year about the Apple TV.
They also spoke a little about some of the projects that have been canceled over the years, listing several: “IoT devices like fitness band, headphone designs, larger keyboard with backlighting etc.”
The thread details a number of specific updates and details about Apple’s next line of products, some of which fit with the rumors that have come in recent months. However, it’s worth noting that it’s not clear how accurate all of these leaks will be, given that the users themselves noted that they haven’t seen some of the devices in a while. We’ll find out tomorrow.