2018 iPhone could be cheaper than iPhone X, and will USB-C replace Lightning? | Tech News

This week we’ve got more rumors about future iPhones — the 2018 lineup could have a cheaper option and the iPhone’s last port might get the boot. Also, President Trump’s making promises to Apple CEO Tim Cook (but not about immigration). And there’s even an iOS 12 update that could save your life. Here’s your weekly dose of iPhone news.

Rumor: Cheaper iPhones for 2018

Tired of 2018 iPhone rumors? I didn’t think so. Apple is rumored to be releasing two iPhones with OLED screens — like the iPhone X — alongside an iPhone with an LCD screen. But is the quality of an OLED display worth the price? Considering that the expensive OLED iPhone X had lower sales than expected, Apple is expected to sell more of the less costly LCD model than the OLED versions (at least that’s what The Wall Street Journal reports).


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Say goodbye to another port?

Looking past 2018, Bloomberg projects that Apple will remove the Lightning port from the iPhone X. Considering that it already killed the headphone jack (RIP), removing the Lightning port would make for the first truly cord-free phone. Earlier rumors contradict this, suggesting that Apple will merely exchange the Lightning port for a USB-C. Truthfully, I’m hoping for the latter.


The iPhone 7 Plus’ Lightning port (top) vs. Google’s Pixel USB-C port (bottom).

Sarah Tew/CNET

Trump’s in cahoots with Apple

Political drama is everywhere, even in tech. President Donald Trump’s new trade tariffs on Chinese technologies will have a major effect on tech companies. Specifically for Apple, since iPhones are assembled in China, the tariffs would negatively affect Apple consumers.

But according to the New York Times, President Trump promised Apple CEO Tim Cook that phones (and TVs) won’t have to contend with tariffs from the US government. Reassuring this promise, the Office of the US Trade Representative said the tariffs excluded “goods commonly purchased by American consumers such as cellular telephones or televisions” — aka iPhones.

911 emergency? iOS 12’s on it

One more useful feature to come with the iOS 12 update: Anyone who calls 911 on an iPhone can automatically share location data with first responders. This has the obvious benefit of locating iPhone users in emergency situations, making it easier for 911 operators to find you. The only downside, you’ve got to be extra careful with butt dials.

What else is happening with the iPhone:

Last week’s iPhone news: Apple could keep hackers out of your iPhone, and there’s new hope for Steam Link

This week in iPhone news, developers with access to the iOS 12 preview found major security improvements that’ll come to iPhones everywhere. Are they meant to keep out government officials, hackers or both? And gamers are one step closer to streaming video games to their iPhones and iPads, now that Valve’s made a change to its Steam Link app, in an ongoing saga. Here are the latest stories on all things iPhone.

iOS 12 shuts down hackers and keeps devs from your data

If you know what you’re doing (aka are either a hacker or part of law enforcement), you can apparently crack an iPhone’s passcode using the USB port.

With iOS 12, Apple puts this flaw to the test with a new option that will disable USB accessories — it’s called the USB Restricted Mode. Now stick with me for this part. If you haven’t unlocked your iPhone in the past hour, anyone who tries to grab any data from your iPhone through the iPhone’s Lightning port gets DE-nied.

Hackers can access iPhone data using your USB port.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Apple claims that this extra security isn’t meant to hold back law enforcement efforts, but it sounds like the FBI isn’t getting any closer to unlocking your iPhone.

Apple’s changes will keep app developers from profiting on your data, too.

A new set of App Store Review Guidelines restricts app makers from taking information from your contacts without permission from those people. Previously, developers could ask users for access to their phone contacts, take information for marketing and sometimes even sell or share data from your contact list. Shudder.


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A step closer to streaming games on your iPhone

Apple broke the hearts of gamers around the world when it rejected Valve’s Steam Link app which would let you stream video games to your iPhones.

The reason? Apple’s new ban on “remote application mirroring” apps that include a store, like Steam Link. Instead of lashing out, Valve seems to be playing nice. It pulled the plug on the Steam Store, making it impossible for gamers to buy Steam games through their iOS devices, but also wiping away Apple’s problem with its app.

Major TBT: The iPhone 3GS is back!

“I really miss my iPhone from nine years ago,” said no one ever. And yet, the iPhone 3GS is making a comeback nine years after it originally went on sale. South Korean wireless carrier SK Telink will start selling the iPhone 3GS, running on iOS 6, by the end of June. Almost as legendary as when Gandalf came back to life in Lord of the Rings, minus the badass wizardry.

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