A post on the Chinese social network Weibo (via MacRumors) claims Apple could release red versions of the iPhone XS and XS Max by the end of the month.
The Weibo post claims this phone is intended for China, as iPhone sales are down in the country recently, but it's unclear if Apple would release these phones in other regions as well, at the same time or after China gets its red iPhones.
Like every rumor, this one should be taken with a grain of salt.
A post on the Chinese social network Weibo claims Apple could launch red versions of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max as early as this month.
The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are only available in three colors right now: space gray, silver, and gold.
Recent iPhones have received a red color variant, usually somewhere in the middle of their first year of sales.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus got red versions in March 2017 — roughly seven months after the phones first went on sale — and the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus got red variants released in April 2018.
Apple's iPhone XR has had a red color variant since launch. So, it wouldn't be surprising to see Apple release red versions of the iPhone XS and XS Max, to drum up sales.
The current iPhone lineup hasn't clicked with customers. On January 2, Apple said it expected to miss its revenue targets for the all-important holiday quarter. CEO Tim Cook put most of the blame on sluggish iPhone sales, particularly in China.
Releasing red versions of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max could help with sales in that region.
The Weibo post also claimed Apple would not label these red iPhones with the (PRODUCT)RED branding you'd see on other red iPhones, which are made through a partnership with the (RED) Global Fund. Apple makes a contribution to HIV/AIDS research for every (RED) product sold.
There is precedent for Apple dropping the (RED) branding in China. When Apple released red versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in China, those did not have the charity branding on the back; they were simply red variants of the original phone, as these alleged iPhone XS and XS Max models would be.
Of course, it's important to take any and all rumors with a grain of salt. Apple is famously secretive about its products, so news about upcoming devices are not always accurate.
Still, it wouldn't be a big surprise to see more red iPhones release in the middle of their first years, as Apple has done with past iPhones. Given how iPhone sales are down this year, Apple would need all the help it can get to market these expensive smartphones.