Marvelous Misunderstanding: Ignoring the truth about the iPhone X Plus

11 June 2018


Apple is rumored to be announcing a 6.5-inch “iPhone X Plus” this September. The ever-running rumor mill generally leaks schematics for the new iPhones months in advance, and this year is no exception. Except this time, the leaker gets a key detail wrong about the device he’s bringing into the light.

Writing for Forbes, Gordon Kelly proves that there’s a big step between seeing an iPhone and knowing what it is.

“iPhone Exclusive: Apple’s Radical Design ‘Confirmed’”

As Darth Sidious would say, it’s ironic that Kelly puts “Confirmed” in quotation marks because this “radical design” really isn’t confirmed at all. Not the one detail Kelly thinks he’s seeing, anyway.

In May my exclusive story confirmed Apple’s new iPhone line-up and one cancellation . Now, I can reveal the designs of the most exciting models and the radical move Apple will make…

What is this radical move? Let’s look at the schematics.

Working in collaboration with popular accessories maker Ghostek , a partnership which previously saw me leak Samsung’s final Galaxy S9 design in December, I have obtained schematics for both the so-called ‘budget iPhone X’ and the super-sized iPhone X Plus.

Uluroo is going to assume for the sake of argument that these schematics are legit for a couple of reasons. First, there’s no reason to believe otherwise. Second, and more importantly, Kelly’s take on said schematics is a real gem.

iPhone X Plus - A Triple Threat

Wait… is Kelly implying that…

The headline news is the schematics show iPhone X Plus will introduce triple rear camera.

Uluroo is going to take a moment to quote one of the best lines from WWDC 2018:

NO.

If you want, you can look at the schematics yourself. They’re in the Forbes article Uluroo linked to up at the top.

These sketches show a phone that could easily be the iPhone X if not for the size difference. There are three holes in the upper left of the device, but those are not all cameras. The one in the middle is the flash—

Note: I’ve been asked if one lens is the flash, it isn’t. You’ll see on iPhone X schematics , the flash is substantially smaller than the cameras. This isn’t the case here. While not pictured, the flash is expected to be on the right side of the three cameras.

So an accessory maker gave Kelly these schematics, which just happen to omit the totally real flash that Apple plans to put off to the side. Seems like a very smart move for an accessory maker. Let's hope Ghostek's iPhone X Plus cases don't cover up the flash. "Sorry, we had incomplete schematics..."

In addition, Kelly included schematics of the iPhone X to show the difference between the camera module on it and the X Plus. Uluroo clicked on that link and nearly died of internal laughter. Look at them yourself. The schematics were posted by leaker Ben Geskin on Twitter, and Kelly himself went on a rant in response because Geskin didn’t post a source. According to Kelly, these schematics of the iPhone X aren’t reliable. They were posted on 26 April 2017, months before the announcement of the iPhone X. Geskin referred to the device as the iPhone 8.

Look at any image of the iPhone X’s rear cameras on the Apple website. No, the flash is not substantially smaller. Kelly could have looked at a real picture of the real device, but somehow he decided it would make more sense to dig through Twitter to find an old, inaccurate schematic he himself called unreliable.

Kelly added this note about the iPhone X after a few sane Twitter users told him the “triple camera” setup was actually a dual camera setup, so Uluroo wonders whether Kelly was simply scrambling to find any image he could use to prove his point after some tweets destroyed his article.

The iPhone X Plus schematics match the iPhone X’s camera module. Kelly used a false schematic to make it look as if there had been a change from iPhone X to iPhone X Plus. Does that sound downright dishonest to you? It does to Uluroo. Uluroo doesn't think Kelly's use of false schematics was accidental. This went from simply reporting what a source told him to going to ridiculous lengths to prove it.

Kelly’s precious radical design change is not happening; at least, his schematics don’t prove it. He claims that all three holes are cameras but doesn’t have real proof that there’s any difference between the iPhone X Plus’ camera module and the current one on the iPhone X.

Next time, Kelly shouldn’t provide ridiculously dated evidence just to salvage a point. He should admit that he was wrong and move on.

Or, you know, just keep using pre-release schematics when he could simply look at the real thing.

Update: 13 June 2018 — Since the publishing of this article and Uluroo's response to Gordon Kelly on Twitter, Kelly has removed the link to the pre-release rumored schematics of the iPhone X. Good for him, but now he's simply saying:

Note: I've been asked if one lens is the flash, it isn't. You'll see on iPhone X schematics, the flash is substantially smaller than the cameras. This isn't the case here.

And that is a total fabrication. If Kelly bothered to do any research that wasn't a mad dash to salvage his article, he would see that the cameras and flash on the iPhone X are the same size. Kelly was doing whatever he could to justify running an article with such a clickbait-y title.

There's another thing Uluroo would like to clear up. For some reason, after Uluroo voiced his complaints to Kelly on Twitter, Kelly muted Uluroo. All Uluroo did was ask why Kelly deliberately used these false schematics, and Kelly said:

I did try logic, but eventually had to mute his ranting and raving.

As for that "logic" Kelly refers to? He offered no actual defense for his own article, instead resorting to ad hominem attacks. So no, Kelly's muting of Uluroo was not because of his logic in the face of "ranting and raving," it was because Kelly didn't want to own up to the fact he was wrong. Kelly's only real response was that "prototypes change," which is fine but doesn't justify Kelly's misleading use of obviously inaccurate schematics.