iPhone 8: 03-17-2017: A new report from TrendForce has reiterated the idea that Apple will release three separate modules in its iPhone range in 2017. One of the devices will be branded the iPhone 8, with the other two possibly attracting the iPhone 7S moniker. Thus, we will likely see an iPhone 8 released alongside iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus devices.
TrendForce also suggested that iPhone sales will pick up significantly in 2017, and that the calendar year could be something of a landmark one for the Californian corporation. Apple hasn’t exactly struggled over the last 18 months, but its sales have slowed down slightly as the smartphone niche begins to recede somewhat.
It has been suggested by numerous publications that we may already have reached ‘peak smartphone’, and the big players in this niche must now demonstrate that they can reinvigorate the public imagination.
But the opinion of TrendForce has been backed up by a major investment bank Morgan Stanley. Kate Huberty, an analyst at the corporation, suggests that demand for the iPhone 8 has been grossly underestimated, predicting an upsurge in sales of approximately 20 per cent for 2018. This would be a massive improvement for the Cupertino-based company, and one which would undoubtedly see the iPhone get back on track.
“We do not think the super cycle is fully appreciated,” Huberty told CNBC PRO. “What we expect in September is a phone that has significant advancements in technology: OLED screens, 3-D sensors, wireless charging [and] likely some more advanced software in the area of artificial intelligence.”
100 million units
In order to meet this demand, TrendForce suggests that Apple will produce 100 million iPhone 8 units; a massive figure even by the prolific standards of Apple. However, this initial production run will account for less than 50 per cent of total iPhone sales during the fiscal year, with the analyst expecting Apple to shift in the region of 230 million iPhones throughout the fiscal period. This would represent a 6 per cent increase on 2016, and would almost certainly have a positive impact on the Apple stock price.
TrendForce also suggests that Apple will indeed embrace OLED technology with the iPhone 8, something that has become almost a cliché in tech circles. Clearly preparations have been made for the move from LCD to OLED at Apple, and the analyst report suggests that Apple will indeed include OLED in the iPhone 8 generation.
It is also suggested that the iPhone 8 display will be increased somewhat over previous releases, with a 5.8-inch screen linked with the device according to TrendForce. However, this screen will not result in a larger handset, as the slimming down of bezels and removal of the Home button on the iPhone 8 will allow a similar sized chassis to previous releases.
TrendForce also suggests that the display of the iPhone 8 will be based on 2K resolution, with a display ratio that is likely to exceed 2:1. The panel will also feature a slight curve, although TrendForce believes that this will not be as pronounced as in some of the Samsung handsets.
Samsung has practically made its reputation on curved screen displays in recent years, but analysts believe that Apple will not entirely follow suit with the iPhone 8, but will still go its own way while also introducing some form of curved technology for the first time. “The curve will be gentler than screens in Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge handsets. This is partly due to the challenges of making curved glass covers to match screens, according to the source,” Nikkei’s Debby Wu suggested. “While the curved screen will allow a view-able area of about 5.2 inches and make the iPhone even sleeker, it will not offer significant new functions”.
However, the inclusion of an OLED panel could have an impact on the price tag of the iPhone 8, as the technology costs significantly more than the LCD that the iPhone has been based on previously. Reports this week have suggested that the OLED panel will cost Apple significantly more than the display included in the iPhone 7, and that this expense will have to be passed on to the consumer.
And with other components also expected to increase the price tag of the device, the consensus of opinion among analysts is that consumers can expect to pay in excess of $1,000 for this next generation Apple handset.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, probably the most renowned analyst anywhere within the mobile sphere, has also opened up on the camera technology that he believes will form part of the iPhone 8 armory. Central to this will be a revolutionary front camera setup, which will incorporate a 3D sensor intended to deliver several new features.
The sensor will reportedly work in tandem with 2D images produced by the camera to create what are described as unique 3D selfies. What this precisely represents is not entirely clear, but there will obviously be a strong sharing aspect to this technology. Reports have previously suggested that Apple will particularly embrace augmented technology in the forthcoming Apple generation, but it seems to also have an eye on some unique 3D features.
Facial recognition System
It is believed that the technology will also play a major role in the facial recognition features included in the iPhone 8, which will only strengthen the rumors that Apple will replace and / or supplement the TouchID functionality included in the iPhone series. Facial recognition could be used in order to unlock the smartphone, deliver remote payments and make purchases via Apple Pay.
Apple already owns Israeli tech firm RealFace, meaning that the mega-corporation is well placed to deliver this technology in the iPhone 8 generation. Sensors utilized by the new camera will be able to perform depth of field calculations using a dedicated infrared transmitter and receiver, according to reports. Sony and Foxconn are both expected to get involved with this technology, and its inclusion could enable Apple to significantly update the dual-camera system included in the iPhone 7 Plus.
UPDATE: 03-10-2017: There is some stark new news about the iPhone 8…it might not even exist! Recent reports suggest that the next generation smartphone from Apple, likely to launch in September, may not feature the iPhone 8 moniker that has been widely anticipated.
New iPhone Edition
A new report from the highly regarded Japanese blog Mac Otakara suggests that Apple will instead brand the tenth generation of the iPhone as the iPhone Edition. This name would seemingly signify that the new smartphone is a top-of-the-range device, in accordance with the approach taken previously with the Apple Watch Edition.