Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said that there has been a ‘pause’ in purchases of the current iPhone models, owing to the “earlier and much more frequent leaks about future iPhones.” And why not? This year, as the iPhone turns 10, it is expected that Apple will bring a radically designed anniversary edition smartphone, which will also be the most expensive deal yet. If Apple’s usual product cycle is to continue, we are likely to see the ‘iPhone 8’ special edition sometime in September. From shipment delays to the inclusion of wireless charging, here’s a roundup of all the leaks and rumors about the Apple iPhone 8.
What’s there in the name?
Traditionally, Apple has launched upgrades on a yearly basis with chronological names. So after the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, what followed was the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. It was only after a gap of one year that the iPhone 7 lineup was launched in late 2016. For this year, while many believe Apple won’t move away from its norm; it is widely speculated that other than the upgrades to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, there will be a special edition model celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Apple iPhone.
In addition to the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, it is expected that there will be an iPhone 8. If announced with the same moniker, it is also likely to change Apple’s future lineup which would have been ideally labeled as iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8s, iPhone 8s Plus, and so on. This year, we saw Apple announce the iPhone 7 Product RED – essentially a different name given to a Red color model of the smartphone. There are reports indicating how the said special edition iPhone could also be named iPhone X, iPhone Pro or iPhone Edition. While popular notion sides the ‘iPhone 8’ moniker, Apple might decide to completely change the equation before the d-day.
Design from the 2010s
Still aesthetically pleasing, but perhaps still fragile; Apple is expected to move back to its glass and sandwich design for the ‘newly designed’ iPhone 8. When Apple launched the iPhone 4 back in 2010, the smartphone soon grew out of consumer liking owing to its crack prone glass sandwich design, which compelled the company to switch to an aluminium-based design. In what appears to be a move towards taking up its design game, Apple is expected to bring back the glass sandwich design with its iPhone 8 design this year.
Despite an iPhone 4-like design, there will be some changes which would set the iPhone 8 apart from the older model. To begin with, it is expected that Apple will opt for OLED display with a fingerprint sensor or Touch ID that will be embedded under the front panel. This will essentially give the phone a more edge-to-edge display appearance and also help thin down on the bezels. Some reports suggest that there will be almost negligible bezels on the upcoming iPhone 8 as Apple aims to take on the new-found wide-screen fad. ALSO READ: New Apple iPhone 8 render visualizes the potential ‘function area
While embedding the Touch ID beneath the display will give the iPhone 8 a much more enhanced appearance, it is the very feature which is likely spelling trouble for Apple. An analyst from Cowen and Co. notes that the revealed that Apple is facing trouble in embedding the under-glass fingerprint sensor on the 5.8-inch OLED iPhone 8. This has been attributed to the low yield rate of Apple’s in-house AuthenTec solution. If Apple is unable to do so, there is also a possibility of the company ditching the idea completely and focus on face recognition (more on that to follow).
In times when manufacturers are pumping in more memory to boost performance, it is expected that Apple will restrict itself to 3GB of RAM for the iPhone 8. This is attributed to the price surge in the mobile DRAM market. Now, this is likely to in turn impact the shipments of iPhone 8. As for the chipset, it is expected that Apple will use the newer A11 processor which will be built using the 10nm fabrication process. While there will be lesser RAM, it is speculated that the iPhone 8 will be available in 64GB and 256GB variants only. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 8 unlikely to have more than 3GB of RAM: Report
One of the key features of the upcoming iPhone 8 is expected to be its advanced camera functionality. It has been long-rumored that the company is working on a 3D-sensing camera for facial recognition. In his research note, Morgan Stanley analyst Charlie Chan explains that Himax Technologies — a company believed to be providing 3D components to Apple for the iPhone 8 has seen a rise in its share price this year owing to the deal struck with the Cupertino-based company. Possible applications of such a technology would include 3D selfies, AR gaming, other than biometric authentication.
As for the rear camera, it is expected that the iPhone 8 will continue using the dual camera module as the current iPhone 7 Plus model. However, this year, the placement of the camera will be vertical instead of horizontal. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 8 detailed schematic leak yet again hints at vertical dual-camera setup, wireless charging
Additionally, it is also reported in the past that the company is testing dual-camera lens module for the front with AR capabilities. This falls in line with CEO Tim Cook’s interview last year when he had been quite vocal about the company’s interest in exploring the technology.
Nifty new, but old features
There are a handful of other features rumoured to make it to the anniversary edition iPhone 8. These include an enhanced Siri, wireless charging, and a better IP certification for water and dust resistance. The year 2017 is believed to be all about AI-based smarter digital assistants. In a bid to better compete with the existing voice-controlled assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, and the Google Assistant, Apple is aiming to revamp Siri with contextual learning along with integrating it with iMessage and iCloud. Essentially, with the rollout of the iOS 11, Siri will be able to handle your questions better with machine learning.
For the longest time, iPhone fans have asked for wireless charging – a feature rival Samsung already offers. If rumors are to be held true, all the prayers are likely to be answered this year as Apple finally introduces the feature with its iPhone 8. It is speculated that the iPhone 8 will support wireless charging through the Smart Connector which already powers the iPad Pro. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 8 detailed schematic leak yet again hints at vertical dual-camera setup, wireless charging
In addition to powering the iPhone 8, the smart connector is also said to support augmented reality / virtual reality peripherals. It might seem a little far-fetched but Apple is reportedly also testing a ‘truly wireless’ charging feature which will allow users to charge their device from a distance. However impressive the feature may appear, we don’t think if it will make it to the upcoming iPhone 8.
With the iPhone 7 lineup, Apple heavily promoted the ‘splash-resistance’ qualities. It is rumoured that the iPhone 8 will boast better resistance qualities as compared to the previous models. With the rumoured IP68 certification, the iPhone 8 should ideally allow the device to stay submerged at 1.5 meters for 30 minutes, unscathed. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 8 to launch in September, but in limited quantities: Report
With some exciting new features lined up, the iPhone 8 is indeed set to make fans wait for a while to make an upgrade instead of buying the iPhone 7. However, as it is believed to be the most premium iPhone ever built, mass conversion is highly unlikely. In addition to that, with OLED display technology in scarcity, the shipments are also expected to be delayed. Nonetheless, it will be worth the wait to see how the mega release of the year competes against the comeback Samsung Galaxy S8, the affordable Xiaomi Mi 6, and the yet-to-be-released OnePlus 5.