When it launched in 2017, the iPhone X was the premier iPhone for professionals, boasting a variety of top-shelf features, and the next-generation iPhone XS is shaping up to follow suit. Projected to be announced on September 12 at a special event in Cupertino, the iPhone XS could set the stage for productivity gains among Apple fans.
Rumored features like an edge-to-edge OLED display and A12 processor are being touted as key aspects of the device. According to 9to5Mac, the phone will come in two form factors, and will be available in a new gold color option. One of the screen sizes (6.5 inches) could even be the "largest iPhone ever," according to Bloomberg.
The iPhone XS will likely feature stronger performance than its predecessor, but there are a few features and updates that could make it an even better tool for professionals. Here are seven things that pros need in the new iPhone XS.
SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)
1. Dual-SIM capabilities
As reported by Bloomberg, the iPhone XS could have the ability to support two SIM cards. A dual-SIM phone would allow professionals to maintain two phone numbers on a given iPhone, which could allow the use of a business and personal line on the same device. It could also be very useful for international business travelers, who often must use a local SIM card when traveling abroad.
Ken Kocienda, the author of Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs and a former principal engineer of iPhone software at Apple, also noted that the SIM swapping process could be easier. "Actually making a card switch is a fiddly process that requires a special needle-like tool." Kocienda said. "This could be much easier."
2. Apple Pencil support
If Apple wants to further compete with enterprise-focused phablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, it must include support for the Apple Pencil with the iPhone XS. This is especially true for the larger of the two form factors, as a stylus makes it easier to navigate a large screen, take notes, annotate reports, and draw up plans.
3. Improved Wallet
The Wallet app could be improved to support on-the-go business travelers. "Apple Pay is flexible, secure, and convenient, but it doesn't make it easy to gather all purchase information for multiple cards in one place," Kocienda said. "The only options for old tickets and airline boarding passes is to keep them stacked up in the card view or to delete them. A better Wallet could keep track of where we've gone, when, and what we bought along the way."
4. More storage
The iPhone X was offered as a 64GB or 256GB phone. However, as noted by Forrester Research analyst Andrew Hewitt, "there are rumors this will be the first iPhone with 512 GB of storage." The Galaxy Note 9 is expandable up to 1TB, so Apple will need to bring additional storage to compete.
5. Enhanced battery
Everyone wants a bigger battery for their phone, but this has deeper implications than just less frequent charging. "This is important for obvious reasons, but also because it can start to enable more frequent use cases surrounding AR/VR," Hewitt said.
Raul Castanon-Martinez, a senior analyst at 451 Research, echoed the importance of battery life. "This would require Apple to redefine and make compromises in terms of how they balance the bells and whistles that tend to suck up battery and overall performance," Castanon-Martinez said. "Snazzy features might work for the consumer segment but 451 Research's has shown over the years that battery life trumps other attributes when it comes to using these devices for work purposes."
6. More RAM
To further support future mobile work, the iPhone XS must have more RAM. The current iPhone X only has 3GB of RAM, which is less than half of what many other flagship devices have.
7. App as home screen
Being able to use an app as a home screen on the iPhone XS is another feature that could benefit professionals. "A writer might want the Notes app to be visible and usable by waking the screen, without swiping the lock/notification screen out of the way," Kocienda said. "A busy traveler might want a multi-city Weather view up front. If an app could be set as the default 'device wake up' screen, more efficient out-of-pocket uses could be possible."
- Apple iOS 12: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- New 2018 iPhone, iPhone XS, iPhone X Plus, iPhone 9: Rumors, leaks, launch date, and everything we know so far (ZDNet)
- iPhone XS: A cheat sheet for professionals (TechRepublic)
- iPhone XS: Ten S, Excess or Xtra Small? Welcome to iPhone's 2018 naming problem (CNET)
- How to watch Apple's September 12 event on any device (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.