Alleged Foxconn insiders leaked details about Apple’s forthcoming devices in Reddit thread

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.

Glasses

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.

iPhone 8

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.

iPhone 7S

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.

Siri Speaker

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.

MacBook

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.

Comments

"The iMac will reportedly get an an SOC and incremental updates" – do they mean APU here? SoC like a phone isn’t applicable to the desktop yet, as major chips are still outside the CPU package.

A Zen APU iMac would be interesting, but rumour was also for a Xeon variant…

The iMac will reportedly get an an SOC

It means it might be getting a T1 / T2 chip to add touch functions to the device itself, loosely interpreted as a fingerprint scanner for TouchID on the bottom-right of the iMac’s display, for example.

Ah, that could be it. I wonder if it’ll be updated for deeper idle/power nap, though the macbooks would want that before the battery-less iMac.

Both a touchbar and an e-ink keyboard seems like a lot for something a touch typist just considers an extension of their fingers, but we’ll see.

Yea, the news isn’t surprising. Apple was always going to enable TouchID on the iMac somehow to maintain feature parity with MacBooks. The first option is to put it on the keyboard, but it would be expensive and would discourage upgrading to Apple’s new line-up. Plenty of people, myself included, would rather keep my older Macbook Pro / iMac because USB-A

They just refer to CPU as soc.

Meh. We will find out soon enough.

Odd and dangerous for the company to have folks leaking stuff, Apple really doesn’t like leaks & will do things that cost it money to spite those that flaunt its secrecy in open.

That said, why would lower level Foxconn employees even have access to info about things in the research stage (like the AR glasses)? Apple does that kind of stuff in house, walled off from the rest of Apple (much less the world) – in secret. Seems implausible, since we are far from production of such a thing. JMHO…

Well he doesn’t appear to be a low-level Foxconn employee. Sure, not an exec, but he doesn’t seem to be just a worker. They specifically mention seeing these devices in exploratory productions. As much as Apple likes to work in secret, they at some point need someone outside to try and build what they want and see if it’s possible at the scale they want. This is why supply analysts like Ming-Chi Kuo are often correct way ahead of time. Apple does exploratory productions and sourcing research to see if the thing they’re designing in secret will actually work at a scale they need. So it serves to assume that there are people within Foxconn that are working in a part of the company that would see at least parts of these exploratory productions, but aren’t high enough to risk losing their jobs by talking about it.

Grain of salt.

remember.. your salt may now also contain micro plastics.

remember.. your salt may now also contain micro plastics.

The grain should be bigger.

more like an iPhone 7 with glass and without the AuthenTec’s capacitive touch module

AuthenTec does not exist since 2012.

If this is correct, it’s surprising that Apple couldn’t crack the "TouchID under display" problem and is going for facial + iris recognition. I guess this is the end of being able to unlock your phone while it’s sitting on a flat surface.

So, aside from a design refresh (no bezels), wireless charging, and facial recognition, I haven’t heard about any new features really.

Those AR glasses sound really clever however.

If this is correct, it’s surprising that Apple couldn’t crack the "TouchID under display" problem and is going for facial + iris recognition

I’m not surprised. Various smaller companies is have been trying to tackle this for years. Throwing billions of dollars at the problem isn’t always going to create a solution.

I guess this is the end of being able to unlock your phone while it’s sitting on a flat surface.

Naw, just the end of the excuse for keeping the sensor and those huge bezels on the front.

From all reports it seems like an issue with yield rates though, and not so much about the maturity / viability of the tech itself. Keeping fingers crossed on that one – would loathe to see a rear fingerprint sensor

This article said not just yield rates weren’t good, but performance too.

Sounds like the sensor needs to improve a bit. Shame, I was looking forward to it. Maybe v2 or v3 will see Samsung and Apple usage.

Small company with billions to spends? Lol.

He said small companies haven’t had luck. So (Apple) throwing billions at it, doesn’t necessarily mean they will get results.

The leaker was very clear that the new phone will in fact have Touch-ID under the display, as well as facial recognition, presumably as an another unlock option.

No, from what i get is that they tried to implement it but wasnt performing well and yiled rates werent good either. They also tried it without capacitive unit but didnt succeed and he mentions that it WAS the original design and isnt now. So we will wait and see

That were issues like what you were describing, but they eventually sorted it out. By all recent reports, including this Foxconn leaker, they’re going ahead with Touch-ID embedded in the display. According to TSMC sources, the decision had apparently been made absolute by late May.

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/05/26/tsmc-iphone-8-touch-id-integrated-display/

So that’s the default wallpaper, right? And the user can’t change it, right?

10/10 Would preorder.

I want it for my current iphone!

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