Skip to navigationSkip to content
AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File
Another one.
2 + 1 = 8

It looks like there’s going to be three iPhone models released in 2017

Mike Murphy
By Mike Murphy

Technology editor

After a pretty mixed 2016, Apple might be shaping up for a big 2017.

According to rumor blog AppleInsider, the Chinese publication cnBeta is reporting that corporate documents leaked to the Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo suggest Apple plans to introduce three distinct models of the iPhone. The documents allegedly come from somewhere inside Apple’s East Asian supply chain.

The alleged leak lends credence to other recent rumors that Apple plans to launch two iPhone 7s—a 7s and 7s Plus model—along with a new flagship iPhone 8, all in the same year. The 7s models will likely look and feel very similar to the existing 7 models, with a few minor internal upgrades, while the 8 will probably boast whatever new designs, features, and innovations Apple comes up with. (Apple wasn’t immediately available to confirm these reports.)

The iPhone 8 has been reported to be a return to a glass front-and-back design—like the iPhone 4—with a massive OLED screen (even larger than the screen on the iPhone 7 Plus), no home button, and wireless charging. According to AppleInsider, the new model is being referred to internally within Apple as “Ferrari.”

Technically, Apple released three iPhones in 2016 as well, with the launch of the iPhone SE, which was intended for customers smaller hands or more modest budgets. There’s no indication yet as to whether Apple will unveil what would be a fourth model—an upgraded version of the SE—or if the smallest-sized 2017 iPhone will be the 7s, which, like the 7, would be 5.5 inches tall .

Next year will be the 10th anniversary of the launch of the iPhone, and it’s been reported that Apple plans to massively overhaul its flagship device—both in celebration, and to keep its profits rising. The iPhone accounts for the vast majority of Apple’s revenue in any given quarter, but in 2016, Apple saw its first annual drop in revenue and profit in 15 years, in part due to a weakness in iPhone sales. The company also hasn’t dramatically overhauled the design in three years, so it’s entirely possible that a brand-new iPhone could woo back customers that may have been considering jumping from the Apple ship to Android smartphones.

Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.