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Report claims Apple’s first new iPhones of 2019 will be released this month

Published Feb 15th, 2019 8:21AM EST
iPhone XS Max Case

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Call a coincidence or whatever else you want, but it is certainly a bit odd that both of the world’s top two smartphone companies found themselves in the same troubling position last year. Samsung and Apple, the top two smartphone makers in the world by profit and revenue, each badly misjudged the smartphone market in 2018. Rather than continuing to push the envelope and introduce exciting new designs or features on their flagship phones, they released new handsets that looked exactly like their predecessors and features no new marquee features whatsoever. At the same exact time, they had the audacity to make these boring new phones their most expensive handsets ever, further pressuring consumers to look elsewhere or just hold off on upgrading.

Where Samsung is concerned, the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, and Galaxy Note 9 were each a spitting image of the company’s 2017 smartphones. They brought nothing new or exciting to the table, and sales plummeted as a result. Thankfully, the company will begin to right those wrongs as soon as next week, when the completely redesigned Galaxy S10 lineup is expected to debut. Apple, on the other hand, doesn’t launch next-generation iPhone models until the fall each year. That’s a long time to wait before Apple releases anything new in an effort to boost sales, so it’s understandable that the company would do anything it can to help give shipments a bump between now and then. With that in mind, a new report out of China suggests that Apple’s first updated iPhones of 2019 will launch much sooner than expected. In fact, the report claims that they’ll debut later this month.

Apple has a number of new products that were already expected to be released in the first half of 2019. Some of them are very eagerly anticipated, such as new Apple AirPods with a wireless charging case, and the release of the AirPower triple charging mat Apple first showed off all the way back in 2017. New iPads are also expected to be released in the coming months, though it’s still unclear when any of these devices will be made available for sale. Apple is rumored to have a launch event planned for late March, though reports claim it will focus on new services and there won’t be any new hardware on display.

As it turns out, however, Apple fans might not even have to wait that long for the first new products of 2019 to hit store shelves. A new report from Chinese media that was shared on Weibo (via iPhoneHacks) cites sources in Apple’s supply chain in claiming that Apple is about to release new versions of its iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. According to the report, both flagship iPhone models will finally be made available in Apple’s famous deep red hue.

Apple has been known to launch PRODUCT(RED) versions of its iPhones sometime after the initial launch, so it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see red models join Space Gray, Silver, and Gold in Apple’s lineup. A portion of proceeds from Apple’s PRODUCT(RED) devices sales support programs that benefit people with HIV/AIDS. There’s already a PRODUCT(RED) version of the iPhone XR that was made available on day 1, which makes sense since color choices are among the few things that set Apple’s XR model apart.

The report out of China doesn’t give a specific release date for the new red iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max release, though it does claim that the phones will hit store shelves by the end of this month. It also says the phones won’t carry PRODUCT(RED) branding in China, and will instead be called “China Red” in the region. This is the first we’re hearing of new red iPhone models, however, so the claims made in this report are obviously nowhere near being confirmed.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.