“iPhone 8 Review,Specification, Features Launch Date 2017”,
Apple will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the iPhone’s launch in the fall of 2017, and is believed to be honoring the occasion by revealing a new premium model later this year, alongside an expected “iPhone 7s” refresh.
The “iPhone 8” is thought to be a considerably high-specification Smartphone, boasting an OLED display, wireless charging, and a curved glass back. Major changes are also rumored, such as advanced biometric security and the removal of the physical home button, alterations that could bring the iPhone back to the cutting edge of Smartphone design.
- 5.1″-5.2″ edge-to-edge OLED screen
- Stainless steel chassis
- Curved glass back, Wireless charging
- Curved screen
- Dual lens camera
- 10nm “A11” processor
- Fast cable charging
- Physical Home button replaced with software
- Touch ID, Face Time camera & speaker embedded into screen
The iPhone is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, so big changes to the iPhone lineup could be in store. Aside from a possible all-new design and switching out the traditional LCD panel for an OLED display, a key change for the “iPhone 8” could be the size of the screen itself, with early rumors suggesting it to be around 5.1 to 5.2 inches, fitting between the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus display.
A January rumor said there could be a third possible screen size for the “iPhone 8,” making it the largest at 5.8 inches. A later supply chain report in February lends weight to this rumor, adding that the handset will have a similar form factor to the current 4.7-inch iPhone 7, despite having a physically larger display.
One report from Nikkei in early March agrees with the 5.8-inch display rumor for the “iPhone 8,” going against its earlier report suggesting there to be a third 5-inch display option. The Japanese report does not mention how big the “usable” area of the screen will be, but the quoted size of display panel seems to match other rumors.
It is likely the “iPhone 8” will be released alongside the “iPhone 7s” models, which will probably retain their 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes. While thought to continue using LCD panels, the refreshed iPhones could upgrade to OLED, if Apple is able to secure a large supply of the panels from Samsung and other producers.
These rumors were confirmed in December 2016 when a pair of purported Apple manufacturing documents leaked to the web that show three models — designated D20, D21 and D22 — coming to the market in 2017, including a completely redesigned high-end variant codenamed “Ferrari.” “Ferrari” will sport a large AMOLED panel crammed into a handset form factor largely unchanged from current models, allowing for a near edge-to-edge experience, the documents suggest.
“Ferrari” is also expected to come with a substantial internal redesign that breaks the logic board into two discrete units connected by a flex cable, the report said. The first board will carry iPhone’s operating guts like the expected “A11” SoC and NAND flash storage, as a communications package with Wi-Fi and cellular components lives on a second board. Apple is also considering relocating the SIM card tray toward the bottom of the handset to make room for internal components, akin to current iPad Pro layouts.
Upstream iPhone suppliers are preparing to ramp up production to between 120 million and 150 million units in the second half of Apple’s fiscal year 2017. If these numbers actually pan out, they would beat the previous peak of between 110 million to 120 million that suppliers prepared for at the launch of the iPhone 6, which remains Apple’s best-selling handset ever. In fact, anaylsts have said Apple’s 2017 upgrades will lead to “unprecedented replacement demand.”
In anticipation of the “iPhone 8’s” production, it is also rumored that Apple has asked its suppliers to commence trial production and inspection, and start preparing their inventories earlier in the year than usual, with component shipments thought to start arriving at Apple late in the first quarter of 2017. Apple has also reportedly implemented stricter inspection requirements for this year’s iPhone releases, with the earlier start potentially being used to hammer out any issues with new technology added to the iPhones, before being sold to customers.
Some suppliers are also said to be increasing their production-related spending on flexible printed circuit boards (FPCBs), specifically for the ‘iPhone 8″. Samsung Electro-Mechanics is investing $88 million to expand its plant in Vietnam, while Inteflex will be making a similar investment to improve its own lines.
Orders for the FPCBs from Samsung and Inteflex, as well as third supplier BH, will reportedly be decided around the time production commences, supposedly in April or May.
One report claims that the manufacturing schedule may have changed, but pushing the release later. According to a report from DigiTimes in March, Apple’s development of a custom fingerprint sensor will push back production of the “iPhone 8” until September, long after the expected commencement of production for the “iPhone 7s” and “Plus” models.
As this would push the “iPhone 8” release back by a few months, possibly November, instead of allowing Apple to ship it alongside the other models, this report seems to be unlikely. A separate November launch is possible but improbable, as Apple has launched other products during the month, but not iPhones.
If there does turn out to be a delay in production for the “iPhone 8,” Apple could still officially unveil the device as expected in September. There are sometimes long delays between when Apple launches a major product and when it eventually ships, such as the September 2014 announcement and the April 2015 release of the first Apple Watch.
Edge-to-edge, curved, and OLED displays
The most radical claim so far is that the phone will use an edge-to-edge display, possibly concealing the normal “chin” and “forehead” found on most smartphones. In a step that makes this rumor even more likely, Apple was recently granted a patent detailing technology that allows for ear speakers, cameras and even a heads-up display to hide behind an edge-to-edge screen, a design rumored to debut in the “iPhone 8.”
Awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 9,543,364 for “Electronic devices having displays with openings” describes a method by which various components can be mounted behind perforations in a device screen that are so small as to be imperceptible to the human eye. This arrangement would allow engineers to design a smartphone or tablet with a true edge-to-edge, or “full face,” display.
The “iPhone 7s” upgrade and “iPhone 8” redesign received another rumored confirmation in January of a new jumbo-sized model featuring a 5.8-inch OLED “fixed flex,” “wraparound” screen coming in late 2017.
Rumors are also circulating that Apple has asked its suppliers to increase their output of organic light emitting displays, in anticipation of an OLED-equipped iPhone next year. In addition, Apple is also said to have asked suppliers to offer up screens with higher resolutions than Samsung handsets.
In all more than 10 prototypes are being considered for the launch, the report said.
One report puts into doubt rumors of the use of a curved or wrap-around display. Research firm TrendForce cited supply chain sources in a claim that suppliers are failing to adequately produce curved glass at a high enough yield, with drop-test results for the glass also said to be poor.
The production difficulties may force Apple into using “2.5D” glass similar to the iPhone 7, consisting of a largely flat display with rounded edges.
Another supply chain report from the Nikkei Asian Review seems to corroborate the rumored challenges of making curved glass, claiming that it will have a mild curvature to simplify construction. Again, the display is identified as an OLED panel, supplied by Samsung.
The current belief is that Apple plans to buy flexible OLED panels sized at 5.7 or 5.8 inches, but the actual active area on the flagship iPhone will be smaller, in the 5.1- to 5.2-inch range.
The use of the larger panels with a smaller usable area could lead to an extra feature below the main display. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the 5.8-inch display with a 5.15-inch usable area could sit above a separate “function area” that would remove the physical home button usually seen at the bottom edge of the iPhone.
This function area will display virtual buttons, providing access to system functions, with Kuo’s note mentioning a possible set of always-on, static system controls. While technically part of the display panel, it is unknown if this function area could be used as part of the main display for certain in-app activities, such as watching a video or playing games.
The OLED iPhone will feature “significant changes in form factor,” suggests Kuo, and will have “considerably better” specifications compared to the LCD models. This means that despite having a smaller screen than the 5.5-inch iPhone Plus model, the OLED version will be the most high-end model.
A key concern so far appears to be supply of OLED panels— numerous reports have indicated that the availability of OLED displays could limit production of the new flagship model in 2017.
One recent report claims Apple is already taking steps to increase its OLED panel supply for future iPhone iterations, by considering Chinese firm BOE as an additional supplier. Though a decision hasn’t been made, Apple is said to be already evaluating active-matrix OLED screens from the manufacturer.
The volume of OLED screens needed for the “iPhone 8” won’t be met by most display suppliers, too late in the production cycle to ramp up their output levels to match demand, according to Robert Cihra of Guggenheim Securities. The short-term supply for the launch is likely to be sourced from Samsung, one of the few OLED vendors capable of supplying panels in such high quantities, and one that Apple has reportedly signed a $4.3 billion deal with for 60 million 5-inch OLED panels in the same month.
Sharp may be another potential supplier of OLED panels for the “iPhone 8,” according to sources of the Wall Street Journal. In a March report, Sharp is said to be investing $878 million into OLED production at iPhone assembler Foxconn’s Zengzhou facility, strongly suggesting that Apple will be the primary customer for the panels.
DigiTimes wrote in March that General Interface Solution (GIS) and TPK Holding will be making considerable investment in touchscreen technology. GIS, known more for iPad Pro production, will be pumping $163 million into its production lines, while TPK will be dropping $152 million.
Foxconn is said to be testing wireless charging hardware that might see implementation in Apple’s 2017 smartphone. Reports suggest wireless charging could be limited to a high-end premium model. The rumors have been bolstered by a new report in early 2017, with supply chain sources claiming that Lite-On Semiconductor has received a sizable order to supply components for the forthcoming “iPhone 8.” The report said “half of the orders for GPP bridge rectifiers that will be used in the wireless charger for the upcoming iPhones.”
In February, another rumor confirmed the inclusion of wireless charging in the 2017 iPhone. In fact, the report said it would include inductive charging and a glass back, but buyers will have to use a separate accessory to juice up wirelessly. The accessory could be based on technology by Luxshare, a Chinese company previously thought to be supplying coils for the wireless charger bundled with the Apple Watch.
Evidence also suggests the company is working on powerful technology that could enable long-distance charging.
Beyond its own patents for inductive charging systems, the company recently hired two experts from uBeam, a firm developing technology that uses ultrasonic waves to charge devices from afar.
Reports in September implied Apple is on the hunt for manufacturers who can supply wireless charging capable of high energy applications like iPhone. In February, unidentified sources of Reuters claim there are at least five different groups working with Apple on implementing wireless charging in iPhones.
J.P. Morgan analyst Harlan Sur claims Apple has worked with Broadcom to develop a next-generation wireless charging system over the last two years. Despite the long incubation period, Sur thinks the “iPhone 8” may not make use of the technology, suggesting Apple wants to make sure the technology works without suffering a major power-related issue, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 battery fiasco.
A research note by Cowen and Company’s Timothy Arcuri provided to AppleInsider in February strongly suggests Apple will be using wireless charging in the “iPhone 8.” While bullish on the technology’s use in the device, it is unclear what specific solution will be used, noting the large number of chip sets and support for both Qi and Airfuel specifications.
Arcuri is seemingly confident that long-range wireless charging won’t make an appearance in the “iPhone 8.” Despite previous hints of a deal between Apple and Energous to use the technology, Arcuri notes that Energous’ product has not yet received FCC approval and is unlikely to do so in its current form, as the system probably violates FCC rules governing unlicensed transmitters and power regulations.
The official Wireless Power Consortium website added Apple to the list of organization members in mid-February. The addition could be seen as a sign the iPhone producer is moving towards using the Qi standard more in its products in the future, though Apple already uses a tweaked form of Qi in the Apple Watch charger.
The implementation of wireless charging and other new features such as a glass casing, however, will reportedly make Apple have to rethink how the “iPhone 8” handset is built, adding a thin graphite sheet to the handset’s internals to prevent overheating. Wireless charging adds heat, and glass handles that heat poorer than metal. Also, the switch to a new film sensor for 3D Touch in the new handset is more sensitive to heat as well.
Touch ID/Fingerprint Recognition
Rumors have circulated that Apple is developing a new class of bio-recognition technologies that play nice with “full-face,” or zero-bezel, displays. This technology could replace the existing Touch ID that uses fingerprints. This new technology could be implemented as early as this year, which means it could make its way into the “iPhone 8.”
A capacitive solution, Touch ID sends a small electrical charge through a user’s finger by way of a stainless steel metal ring. While the fingerprint sensing module is an “under glass” design, the ring must be accessible to the user at all times, making the solution unsuitable for inclusion in devices with full-face screens.
Recent patent fillings also show that Apple has been working on fingerprint sensors that work through displays, as well as gaining related patents through acquisitions. That means Apple could turn to optical type fingerprint sensing technology capable of accepting readings through OLED panels without need for capacitive charge components. These “under panel” systems allow for a completely uniform screen surface, an aesthetic toward which the smartphone industry is trending.
In one patent, transferred to Apple from its acquisition of LuxVue, there is also the possibility of turning the display panel itself into a fingerprint sensor, using a combination of infrared light emitters and sensors. While this presents other benefits, such as using the entire screen for fingerprint recognition instead of a defined region and completely replacing bulky capacitive sensor components, it is unlikely this specific method will be used in the next iPhone generation.
Another patent for an “Acoustic imaging system architecture” describes the use of transducers to generate acoustic waves through a surface, such as an iPhone’s coverglass. The same hardware can then be switched into a second detection mode that monitors reflections, attenuations, and diffractions caused by the foreign objects in contact with the surface, such as a finger, to generate an approximated two-dimensional map.
The filing claims the system can be used to map out the ridges of a finger pad, which can then be compared against a database of maps generated by the user registering their fingers beforehand. As the system isn’t limited to just the display, it can be mounted practically anywhere on the device’s chassis, and has the potential to saple a user’s entire handprint.
According to a March report from DigiTimes, Apple will be developing its own custom fingerprint sensor, using an algorithm from AuthenTec — acquired by Apple in 2012 — combined with glass identification technology from Privaris, and using TSMC’s 12-inch production line and a 65-nanometer process. Suggesting it would not use a capacitive Touch ID sensor, the report claims Apple will use other methods to read the fingerprint, such as with ultrasound.
Despite the multitude of rumors circulating around the home button’s removal, it is highly likely for Touch ID to remain on the rumored smartphone. Sources of Mac Otakara claim Apple is working on multiple next-generation prototypes, with versions including and excluding the Touch ID home button undergoing engineering verification testing (EVT).
The report claims Apple may not have actually settled on the specification of the “iPhone 8,” with the choice of using IPS TFT or AMOLED displays, different chassis designs, and other elements still yet to be finalized.
Alternative Biometric Security
As far as alternative bio-recognition tech, Apple could be looking to completely replace fingerprint sensors with facial or iris recognition systems. Analysts believe facial recognition will be first due to a growing number of patent fillings for such solutions (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). However, Apple supposedly also has eye scanning technology in development.
There are, however, barriers that stand in the way of implementation, such as software design, hardware component development and the creation of a verification database, among other back end bottlenecks.
Even so, analyst Rod Hall of investment firm J.P. Morgan suggests there to be a 3D laser scanning module in the “iPhone 8,” which could be used for facial recognition. Hall believes Apple partner Primesense has managed to combine a light emitter, light filter, image sensor, and signal processor into a relatively inexpensive package, which may make up 3 percent of the cost to build an iPhone.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo writes in February that the “iPhone 8’s” FaceTime camera will be accompanied by an infrared transmitter and an infrared recieving module, which could be used for 3D sensing and modeling. This could be used to drive a facial recognition system, with Kuo also suggesting it could be employed for iris recognition.
Kuo believes Apple is far ahead of its Android-based competition in terms of facial recognition algorithms, with rivals expected to catch up over the next two years.
While facial recognition may have a slim chance of appearing in the “iPhone 8,” it hasn’t stopped Apple from investing in the technology. Apple has reportedly acquired RealFace, the developer behind software that uses machine learning to perform “frictionless face recognition,” as well as creating an app to mathematically determine a user’s best photographs.
In March, it was claimed by a source of iGeneration that ST Microelectronics is producing the 3D imaging sensors in a factory in France with the Crolles facility close by to Apple’s Grenoble research center, one dedicated to imaging technology.
This claim seems to correlates with reports that ST Microelectronics is doubling its annual investment to $1 billion for “new products and specialized technologies.” CEO Carlo Bozotti has publicized a contract that is expected to generate “substantial” revenues in the second half of 2017 from an unnamed client, further helping the production rumor’s cause.
The same report also plays into rumors of a delayed release for the “iPhone 8,” with the claim that ST Micro electronics might not have enough components produced in time for Apple’s usual September launch window.
3D Touch sensor price increase
The New 3D Touch sensor in the “iPhone 8” is expected to cost between 30 and 50 percent more than the one currently found in the iPhone 7 series. The assorted cost increases could explain why rumors suggest the “iPhone X” will carry a starting price tag of more than $1,000. A $1,000-plus price tag would be the most expensive iPhone Apple has ever produced. The company’s current top-of-the-line model, a 256-gigabyte iPhone 7 Plus, runs $969.
However, analysts believe the phone’s new sensor will offer a better 3D Touch experience for users, though they haven’t indicated in what ways performance or capabilities might improve.
The same reports indicated “a memory upgrade from the current iPhone 7 line” is in store. Yet, whether that means faster memory or a new high-end 512-gigabyte capacity was not indicated.
One report from Digitimes, concerning investments by display producers in their OLED production lines, hints at why the cost could increase. It is claimed the glass panel-based touch screen solution used in LCD displays would have to be switched out for a thin film solution for the OLED panels, with the manufacturers spending heavily on the production lines to maintain Apple’s desired levels of precision.
For current LCD panels, the glass-based 3D Touch sensor is estimated to cost around $9 per unit. Producing a thin film version for OLED panels is said to bring this per-component cost closer to $15, somewhat correlating with earlier price increase rumors.
Plus-sized, fast-charging battery
By shrinking components inside of “iPhone 8,” Apple apparently plans to squeeze a Plus-sized battery into a smaller form factor. Specifically, plans call for a 2,700 mAh battery, which would put the battery capacity on par with the current iPhone 7 Plus, despite having the smaller form factor.
In fact, with a 5.1- to 5.2-inch edge-to-edge OLED display, the “iPhone 8” or “iPhone X” will carry dimensions similar to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7. Apple plans to accomplish this with a stacked logic board, called a substrate-like PCB mainboard. Shrinking the components themselves is necessary because battery technology is not expected to improve in the next 3 to 5 years.
In addition, thanks to the use of a low-power OLED panel, the battery life of the “iPhone 8” could be even better than a 5.5-inch LCD iPhone.If Apple were to include a “dark mode” option in a future version of iOS, it could offer even greater battery savings with an OLED display.
While there are rumors of wireless charging being included in the “iPhone 8,” there may be another power-related change included. A note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests the 2-cell L-shaped battery pack design, combined with “Type-C Power Delivery,” will give the “iPhone 8” fast-charging capabilities.
To help maintain stable data transmissions while fast charging is underway, as well as to keep the process safe, Kuo believes Apple will take advantage of power management processes from Texas Instruments and power delivery chips from Cypress.
Stainless steel chassis
There are also rumors that the “iPhone 8” will switch from an aluminum chassis to feature a Jabil-made stainless steel chassis. The move could expand Apple’s comparatively .
The alleged switch to Jabil may be coming at the expense of Taiwanese firms Catcher and Casetek, who currently handle Apple chassis work. This depends, however, on whether 2017 iPhone rumors pan out.
Apple’s last iPhone to rely on stainless steel was the iPhone 4s, which wrapped two CNC-machined bands made from a bespoke steel alloy around a “glass-sandwich” body. Since the iPhone 5 series, however, Apple has favored aluminum as the metal of choice for iPhone. The lightweight yet durable alloy is a Cupertino favorite used to manufacture everything from iPhone 7 and 7s to Apple Watch to Mac.
Rumored and new naming conventions
There isn’t an official name of the new iPhone that’s expected to launch in 2017, but there hasn’t been a lack of creativity when it comes to predictions for the phone’s moniker.
Leaked documents in December had the new phone nicknamed “Ferrari,” while a range of analysts are calling it “iPhone 8.”
The iPhone 7 successors are also colloquially, but unofficially, being called the “7s.”
Meanwhile, the media has picked up on calling the 10th anniversary model the “iPhone X.” It’d be a change from the conventional use of number/number “s” tick/tock strategy we’ve seen from Apple since the iPhone’s inception. Maybe Apple is ready to take their naming convention in a new direction with the phone’s anniversary and rumored major changes.
Typically, Apple sticks to a numeric increase during even years for external changes and an “s” during odd years for internal updates only. That means this year would be a “7s” year, but with all of the drastic predicated changes, it’s more likely Apple will skip to the next number — 8.
A later report’s said it has also added another suggestion to the list, with the “iPhone Edition” borrowing the suffix from the most-expensive version of the Apple Watch. This does make some sense, as the OLED iPhone will be a special release alongside the expected “7s”, with it also keeping “8” available for next year’s refresh.
Wistron to help produce iPhone 8
Rumors have confirmed that Apple has picked Wistron to be its first iPhone manufacturer in India, with plans to get the company working on the 2017 phones launching later this year. It’s been said that Wistron has expanded not just in India but in Kunshan, China in preparation.
Apple representatives are expected to meet with various government officials to talk about concessions the company wants before committing to Indian manufacturing. Manufacturing for any of the new phones will have to start two to three months in advance, making June or July the likely deadline for Apple securing a deal in India.
Return to glass
Another possibility for the “iPhone 8” is a return to a glass back, something Apple veered away from beginning with the iPhone 5. That might potentially make iPhone’s more fragile again, though improved methods could reduce the chance of fractures. Apple supplier Catcher “confirmed” next year’s iPhone will move to a mostly glass enclosure while a report said that the Apple’s position on glass is “tentative.” However, the phone should still make some use of metal, namely a frame holding both sides together.
Rumors have also circulated that Apple is expected to include the dual-lens camera with universal optical image stabilization in both the “iPhone 8” and the 5.5-inch model.
Factors possibly impacting adoption of optical image stabilization in both lenses are the need to increase the image circle in the telephoto, and a possible need to completely redesign the telephoto lens to accommodate the stabilizing technology.
The front FaceTime camera may receive some improvements, in light of the rumors surrounding the “iPhone 8’s” 3D facial recogition capabilities. Ming-Chi Kuo expects a customized 1.4-megapixel image sensor to be used to detech changes in light signals, in conjunction with an infrared transmitter and receiver, allowing the iPhone to detect depth and positions of key areas of the user’s face.
While the 3D sensing and modeling has more apparent security applications, it could also be used in different ways. Kuo suggests the technology could be used to take a 3D self portrait, or in games, replacing the head of a character model with that of the user.
Water- and dust-proofing
Apple is reportedly planning to make their Product water and dust resistance of the “iPhone 8” even better than the iPhone 7, upgrading it to an IP68 rating.
When it launches later this year, Apple is reportedly planning to make the water and dust resistance of the “iPhone 8” even better than the iPhone 7, upgrading it to an IP68 rating. The change should allow the device to stay submerged at 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) for 30 minutes. The iPhone 7 and most other Smartphone carry an IP67 rating, which limits them to 1 meter (3.28 feet) for the same duration.
As usual the phone is expected to have a superior processor, currently referred to as the “A11.” One report has suggested that two-thirds of chips will be manufactured by TSMC, using a 10-nanometer FinFET process, shrinking things even further than the 14- and 16-nanometer designs used in 2015 iPhones. Apple and TSMC are reportedly in the earliest steps of preparing for A11 production. If TSMC shares orders, its fellow supplier will likely be Samsung.
A report in late February claims TSMC is in a position to start commercial shipments of the 10-nanometer processors before the end of March, in time for the production of the “iPhone 8,” “iPhone 7s,” and “7s Plus,” strongly suggesting the condensed process will be used for the A11 processor.
The A11 should be both faster and more efficient than its predecessor. Rumors are also circulating that they will include features like long-range wireless charging and biometric additions like iris or facial scanning.
Other internal tweaks are likely to go unnoticed by casual consumers. For example, rumors suggest a new and improved Taptic Engine will support more complex vibration patterns.
Memory and storage
A report from analyst firm Trend-Force claims the “iPhone 8” will ship with 3 gigabytes of DRAM, similar to the iPhone 7 Plus.
Only two storage options will reportedly be provided in the “iPhone 8,” with the choice of either the 64 gigabtye model or the larger 256 gigabyte version. While lower capacity iPhones will be available, with both the “iPhone 7s” and “iPhone 7s Plus” expected to offer 32 gigabyte options, Apple is thought not to want to offer a low amount of storage on what is perceived to be a premium device.
Better version of Siri
Apple’s 2017 iPhone models will likely ship with an enhanced version of Siri, reflecting growing competition in the AI assistant space.
Exact details are unknown at this time, but the company has bought machine learning startups like Turi and Perceptio that could aide Siri.
Any Siri improvements would presumably be tied to iOS 11, which should be announced at June’s Worldwide Developers Conference and launched in the fall, if Apple follows traditional schedules.
For the “iPhone 7” and “iPhone 7 Plus,” Apple dropped the analog headphone jack, nudging users into using either wireless headphones using Bluetooth or Lightning-equipped versions. As a compromise, Apple includes a Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter in the box, allowing existing audio accessories to connect to the iPhone.
While it is highly unlikely Apple will revert to including a headphone jack in the “iPhone 8,” one rumor suggests the company may continue to push its customers away from the connectivity option. According to Mac Otakara, Apple may decide to leave the adapter out of the box for future iPhone’s, giving customers the choice of either acquiring the accessory separately or completing the switch over to Bluetooth or Lightning headphones.
Lightning or USB-C
One report in late February from the Wall Street Journal suggests that Apple will be switching from the Lightning connector the company has used with its iPhones and iPads to USB-C for the iPhone 8. The wording of the report is slightly confusing.
iPhone 8 release date, specs, rumours, and price
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE IPHONE 8
The iPhone 8 will mark the 10th anniversary of Apple smartphones, so it’s going to be huge. In this article, I’ll cover:
- What’s the latest iPhone 8 news?
- What is the iPhone 8 release date?
- What’s new about the iPhone 8 design and specs?
- What’s the iPhone 8 price?
- Should you wait for the iPhone 8?
Update (13 March 2017): The most expensive iPhone 8 model won’t actually feature a curved screen, as had previously been rumoured. That’s according to prominent Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (of KGI Securities).
Apple released the very first iPhone way back in 2007, re-shaping the landscape of mobile phones forevermore. Now 10 years on, Apple is reportedly planning a major revamp of the iPhone line-up – and it’s tipped to be called the iPhone 8.
We weren’t exactly thrilled by the iPhone 7, seeing it as an incremental upgrade that failed to deliver on battery life. But the hope is that Apple is pulling out all the stops for the iPhone 8, a theory which recent rumours and leaks appear to back up.
Read on to find out all about the iPhone 8. Or alternatively, if you’re just looking for a brief overview of the iPhone 8, scroll down to the summary at the bottom of this page.
IPHONE 8 NEWS: THE LATEST NEWS AND RUMOURS
Here’s a breakdown of the most recent iPhone 8 news, as it happened.
January 10, 2017 – Stainless steel chassis, glass design: Rumour has it that we’ll see a metal iPhone 8 frame, with one model getting an all-glass design to allow for wireless charging.
January 16, 2017 – IP68 certification: Apple could make the iPhone 7 IP68-certified water-resistant, meaning it could be submerged for 30 minutes at a depth of 150cm.
February 9, 2017 – iPhone destined for wireless charging: Apple rumoured to add wireless charging to just one iPhone 8 model.
February 16, 2017 – Function area coming to iPhone: Apple could get a dedicated “function area” on the bottom of the screen, emulating the MacBook Pro Touch Bar.
February 28, 2017 – OLED screen and USB-C: A report claims Apple will introduce OLED displays to the iPhone for the first time, as well as support for USB-C connections.
March 9, 2017 – Component shortage affects release: Apple is reportedly struggling to procure 3D camera for the iPhone 8, which could affect release by “months”.
March 12, 2017 – No curve after all: The iPhone 8 will use a flat display on all models, rather than the curved screen we’d been expecting to feature on the top-end iPhone 8 variant. That’s according to KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo, a prominent Apple analyst with a good track record for iPhone leaks.
IPHONE 8 RELEASE DATE: WHEN DOES IT COME OUT?
Rumours about an exact iPhone 8 release date are light, but Apple is fairly predictable. That’s why we can take a ruddy good guess at when the iPhone 8 will launch.
First off, here’s a recap of recent iPhone launches:
- iPhone 7:Wednesday, September 7 (reveal) | Friday, September 16 (release)
- iPhone 6S:Wednesday, September 9 (reveal) | Saturday, September 19 (release)
- iPhone 6:Tuesday, September 9 (reveal) | Friday, September 19 (release)
- iPhone 5S:Tuesday, September 10 (reveal) | Friday, September 20 (release)
- iPhone 5:Wednesday, September 12 (reveal), Friday, September 21 (release)
Based on those dates, we’d expect the iPhone 8 reveal date to be either Tuesday, September 12, or Wednesday, September 13.
And we think that the iPhone 8 release date will be either Friday, September 22, or Saturday, September 23.
Of course, we’ll probably see some accurate release date leaks emerging in the summer, as Apple begins making preparations for the event.
IPHONE 8 DESIGN: WHAT’S NEW?
The biggest change we’re expecting to see from the iPhone 8 is a massive ramping-up of the handset’s screen-to-body ratio. That ratio describes how much of the phone’s front is occupied by display, and having an all-screen front is the next big trend in smartphones. LG already debuted such a design for the LG G6, and the Samsung Galaxy S8 is almost certainly going to follow suit.
The thinking is that you’ll be able to fit a 5.5-inch screen (á la the iPhone 7 Plus) in the form factor of a 4.7-inch iPhone (á la the iPhone 7). This will almost certainly require the removal of the Home button from the front of phone, to slim down the handset’s bezel. There are some rumours that suggest we’ll see a curved screen on the most premium iPhone 8 model, but there’s no clear consensus among leakers and analysts that this’ll be the case.
In August 2016, a report from Bloomberg written by long-time Apple leaker Mark Gurman reads: “Apple is already at work on a major redesign of the iPhone for 2017 that focuses more heavily on the display by removing the Home button.”
Then in September 2016, the New York Times wrote: “Next year’s iPhone will have a full-screen face with the virtual button built directly into the screen.”
According to prominent KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will be using a glass body (like the one seen in the iPhone 4), and will built this around an aluminium or stainless steel frame. However, some sources (MacOtakara, Digitimes) believe that only the biggest of the three rumoured iPhone 8 variants will feature the new glass design.
The handset is also tipped to retain the water-resistant design that we saw introduced with the iPhone 7. However, this may be increased to a more water-tight IP68 rating, to fall in line with rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S7.
IPHONE 8 SPECS: WHAT’S NEW?
Screen: The big news this year is that Apple is expected to finally introduce OLED displays on the iPhone. It’s a widely accepted theory, having been reported by the likes of The Korea Herald, Nikkei, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and even Tai Jeng-wu, President of Sharp.
Unlike conventional LCD displays, the pixels on an OLED screen produce their own light. That means the screen doesn’t need a backlight, saving power. But it also means that individual pixels can be turned off, allowing for truer blacks – thus improving dynamic range and widening the colour gamut.
Despite rivals like Samsung having adopted OLED screens long ago, Apple has steered clear of the tech – possibly due to the fact that Samsung controls the lion’s share of phone-sized OLED screen manufacturing.
Apple is reportedly plotting three display sizes for the iPhone 8: 4.7-inches, 5.5-inches, and 5.8-inches. It’s believed that only the latter of the three will get the OLED upgrade.
Also, by virtue of the fact that the Home button may be disappearing, analysts at KGI Research believe that the bottom of the iPhone 8’s screen may be portioned off for functions. This new display function area at the bottom could potentially provide custom controls depending on the app you’re using, a little bit like the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro.
Performance: Apple is also highly likely to introduce a new system-on-a-chip (SoC) for the iPhone 8, as is always the case with major iPhone releases. The iPhone 7 runs on the new A10 Fusion chip, but the iPhone 8 will utilise a newer SoC – probably the unannounced A11 processor.
A Digitimes report on July 18, 2016 suggested that Taiwan’s TSMC had won the contract for the new chip: “The Taiwan-based foundry will continue to be the sole supplier of Apple’s next-generation A11 processor that will be built on a 10nm FinFET process.
For the unaware, “10nm” describes the manufacturing process used to create the chip. The lower the number, the more densely transistors can be packed in. Transistors are what allow computing to get done, so the more transistors you have, the more processes can be completed simultaneously. This means you can increase power efficiency, or offer boosted performance.
Apple has never used a 10nm chip; the iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion was created using a less efficient 16nm process. So we should see some serious power gains (or battery life improvements) from the iPhone 8.
Photography: As far as the camera goes, KGI Securities believes that Apple will carry over the dual-lens camera from the iPhone 7 Plus, although it’s not clear whether this will be available on select models. The only specific change mentioned is that both lenses (wide-angle and telephoto) will feature optical image stabilisation; currently, only the wide-angle lens features OIS.
The analysts also believe that the iPhone 8 will use a “revolutionary” front camera that features 3D-sensing capabilities. This could be used to determine depth and location of objects in a 3D space, allowing for interesting augmented reality applications in the future.
Power: There’s also plenty of speculation that Apple will finally add wireless charging with the iPhone 8. For a start, Apple joined the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) back in February. The WPC is in charge of developing the Qi wireless charging standard, which is the one used for Samsung’s Galaxy S7. Pair that with the fact that there’s a glass body rumoured for the iPhone 8, and suddenly wireless charging looks very likely. Unfortunately, the fact that the glass body may only appear on select iPhone 8 models may mean wireless charging won’t be available on all devices.
The other big rumour circulating is that Apple may ditch the Lightning port for USB-C. However, Ming-Chi Kuo believes that won’t actually happen; instead, he thinks the USB-A portion of the charging cable will be replaced by USB-C, while the other end will remain as a Lightning connector. This means you wouldn’t need fancy new dongles to charge your phone, but you’d still benefit from the advantages of USB Type C:
“We believe all three new iPhones launching in 2H17 will support fast-charging by the adoption of Type-C Power Delivery technology (while still retaining the Lightning port),” wrote Kuo. “A key technical challenge lies with ensuring product safety and stable data transmission during a fast charge.”
IPHONE 8 PRICE: HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Apple’s iPhone 8 will definitely be expensive, because that’s just how Apple operates. But how expensive? Well, here’s a brief rundown of historical iPhone pricing, for a start:
- iPhone 7 – £599
- iPhone 6S – £539
- iPhone 6 – £539
- iPhone 5S – £549
- iPhone 5 – £529
As you’ll no doubt remember, the iPhone 7 broke the trend of low-£500 Apple smartphones, pricing at a pound shy of £600. The general thinking is that the UK’s post-referendum currency woes caused Apple to jack up the price, mitigating the lowered value of Sterling when traded against the dollar. Unfortunately, unless there’s a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of Britain’s economy, it’s likely that the iPhone 8 will be similarly (if not more) expensive.
SHOULD YOU WAIT FOR THE IPHONE 8?
There are plenty of reasons to wait for the iPhone 8, so here’s our advice:
If you’re using the iPhone 6S (or something older) then you’ll definitely want to wait for the iPhone 8. Apple’s next handset will usher in a major redesign, and so if you’re coming to the end of a two-year contract, it’s absolutely worth waiting until September to see what’s in store.
If you’ve got the iPhone 7, you probably won’t need to upgrade. Unless you’re a die-hard Apple fan who needs to be at the bleeding edge of Cupertino tech, it’s probably not going to be worth the leap. Even considering the fact that the iPhone 8 will certainly offer big changes, the iPhone 7 is still a capable handset by modern standards. We’d recommended hanging around for whatever 2018 brings.
Consider the alternatives, including Android devices. Just because there’s a new iPhone coming out doesn’t mean the smartphone industry shuts down. There are plenty of great phones out there, including the Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G6, Huawei P10, and Google Pixel. That’s not to mention upcoming (but unreleased) phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, OnePlus 4, and HTC 11. Consider all alternatives before settling on a long wait for the iPhone 8.
IPHONE 8: SUMMARY
In summary, here’s what you should expect:
iPhone 8 release date: We reckon the iPhone 8 will debut on September 12 or 13, while the release date is more likely to occur on September 22 or 23.
iPhone 8 specs: There’s plenty rumoured, but the major additions tipped to be added include: OLED screens, powerful 10nm A11 chip, wireless charging, a 3D-sensing front camera, and an “all-screen front” design.
iPhone 8 price: The entry-level iPhone 8 is probably going to retail for at least £599, and could rise close to (or even beyond) £1,000 for the top-end model.