10 iPhone X secrets spilled by Apple's superleak

Will Apple have any surprises left?

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
5 min read

It's the biggest leak since Apple left an iPhone in a bar. Heck, it might be even bigger.

This weekend, journalists and developers got their hands on a leaked version of Apple's latest iOS 11 operating system... and found it chock full of details about Apple's next iPhone, Apple Watch and even a new Apple TV. 

Combined with the huge HomePod leak last month, it could paint a pretty complete picture of what Apple could reveal at Tuesday's event.

Mind you, we haven't independently verified any of this info, and it's always possible these details aren't final -- or are even intentionally leaked to throw us off the scent.

But now, so close to Apple's reveal, we're inclined to believe they're legit.

Update, September 12: The leak was almost entirely accurate. Here's the iPhone X, the iPhone 8, the Apple TV 4K and the Apple Watch Series 3. We're still waiting to confirm some of the other details.

Enlarge Image

A mockup of what the iPhone X could look like. 


1. Three iPhones: iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus

One block of code. That's all it took to inject a massive dose of credibility into the biggest rumor around Apple's Tuesday reveal.

Which rumor, you ask? The rumor where Apple will announce *three* new iPhones instead of two -- including an ultra-high-end iPhone with a brand new tall-and-narrow design, a huge OLED screen that covers almost the entire front of the phone, a face-recognizing infrared camera and a price north of $1,000.  


It also sounds like that tweet answers our other question. You know, the one about what those phones might be called.

2. Face ID is coming

The HomePod leak in August all but confirmed that the iPhone X would have a face-recognizing camera sophisticated enough to detect facial expressions, and let you log in to your phone. Internally, it's known as Pearl.

But tomorrow, it'll probably be called Face ID. How do we know? (Press the play button below to play the video.)

3. Face ID will let you pay

Last month, developers couldn't find a single shred of evidence to indicate that you'd use the new face camera to pay for purchases. That would be a little worrying if it's also true -- as rumored -- the new iPhone X will ditch the fingerprint sensor entirely.

But now, iOS developer Jeffrey Grossman has discovered the evidence we've been waiting for: "Unlock iPhone and use Apple Pay with your face instead of a passcode."

How's that for a smoking gun?

4. Animojis  

But Apple's new Face ID camera isn't just about security. According to the leak, you'll be able to create "custom animated messages that use your voice and reflect your facial expressions." 

And they're called animojis.

9to5Mac journalist Benjamin Mayo discovered how they work:

And yes, there's a poop animoji. Sir Patrick Stewart will be thrilled.

5. Apple Watch LTE

Two of the most reliable Apple leaksters told us it was coming. Now, a cellular Apple Watch that doesn't require a nearby phone is all but certain -- because iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith found pictures in the code of not only the watch itself, but also a status screen showing a cellular strength gauge. (It doesn't technically say LTE, you might note.)

Want more? 9to5Mac's Benjamin Mayo discovered the Apple Watch will probably share a phone number with your iPhone -- so you should be able to take calls on the Watch even if you're away from home.

And three tweets from Brazilian journalist Filipe Esposito suggest the new Apple Watch will support file sharing with AirDrop, let you send your location to trusted family members with Find My Friends, and might sometimes suggest that you turn off cellular data to conserve battery life. (That last one sounds like a bummer.)

6. Apple is chopping the status bar in half

If it's true that Apple's iPhone X will have a giant front-facing camera module hanging over the top of its all-screen front -- see a mockup at the top of this post -- Apple would need to split the iPhone's status bar right down the center.

Maybe it would look something like this? (Click the images to enlarge.)

Note the new charging indicator... and see that little dot at the upper right, above the cellular signal bars? It moves when your phone's busy loading a video.

7. Apple TV 4K

If you've been waiting for an Apple TV powerful enough to send full-resolution 4K video to your 4K TV, it sounds like you'll be in luck:

But you may need quite the internet connection if you want to stream 4K video from Apple.

Sounds like the new Apple TV will come with a new remote as well -- one with haptic force feedback. We'll have to wait and see what that's for.

8. New AirPods

As far as we can tell, the only difference is a charging indicator on the outside of the case. (The case, in case you weren't aware, doubles as a battery to charge AirPods on the go.)

9. Apple goes hexacore with monster A11 processor

For the iPhone 7, Apple released its first totally homegrown processor, with four cores it designed itself. Now, it appears the iPhone X will have six new cores. Benchmarks better watch out.

10. Apple could ditch the Lightning port for USB-C

If true, this could be the single biggest coup of the entire leak: Apple swapping from its own proprietary Lightning jack to the increasingly popular USB-C port. (iPhone accessory companies would have to scramble to survive.) 

We'd like to see a lot more evidence before jumping to that conclusion. But if it happens, don't be surprised.

Our first trip to Apple's spaceship campus

See all photos

Bonus round: HD super-slo-mo, wireless charging and more

But those aren't the only things we may have just learned from Apple's giant leak. Here are a few more tidbits that might be of interest to you:

Join us tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. PT, noon ET, 5 p.m. UK, for our live blog and live show -- and we'll all find out together which of these rumors come true.