Apple’s iPhone is celebrating its 10th birthday this year and Apple is said to be planning something special to celebrate the occasion. The launch of the iPhone 8 is still a few months away, but because we’re talking about Apple and it’s flagship device, there are already an a plethora of rumors hinting at the extensive features coming to the 2017 iPhone 8.
Apple is rumored to be testing more than 10 prototype iPhone 8 models, so it’s not entirely clear what we’re going to actually see when it launches.
Rumors are pointing toward the iPhone 8 featuring a very radical redesign, with an edge-to-edge display that ends the top and bottom bezels where features like the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and the front-facing camera live.
Most rumors these days suggest that the Touch ID will be built directly into the display, meaning there will be no actual physical Home button. It’s been rumored that Apple was having trouble implementing Touch ID under the display, and that they were choosing to place it on the back of the iPhone, similar to some android phones, but it seems that they have overcome those issues.
With an edge-to-edge design, the iPhone 8 may be similar in size to the 4.7-inch iPhone, but with a display the size of the 5.5-inch iPhone. Rumors are floating around that it will feature a 5.8-inch display with 5.15 inches of usable area, with the remainder of phone real estate being dedicated to virtual buttons that will replace the existing Home button.
The display itself is said to be flexible plastic OLED rather than an the current LCD, allowing Apple to introduce a thinner device that will consume less power and offer a better display with higher contrast ratio and more true to life colors. Early rumors suggested it could feature edges that are curved on both sides like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, but it’s looking more like it will have the same slightly curved 2.5D display that’s similar to the display used in the iPhone 7 because Apple suppliers still have difficulty producing more curved displays.
As for the body, rumors suggest Apple is finally going to move away from the aluminum used in the iPhone 5, 5s, 6, 6s, 7, and SE, instead re-adopting a glass body that’s similar to the body that was used in the iPhone 4. At least one iPhone model coming in 2017 will use a glass body, according to Apple supplier Catcher Technology, and according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the glass will be built around a polished stainless steel frame that’s similar in design to the Apple Watch.
Like the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 is expected to be water resistant, but it may have an improved IP68 water resistance rating. It will continue to be able to hold up to rain, splashes, and brief submersion in water, and that water resistance has been confirmed by an Apple supplier and may extend to all iPhone models being released in 2017.
Inside, the iPhone 8 is expected to have a 10-nanometer A11 chip that will be both faster and more efficient, plus rumors suggest it could also include features like wireless charging and biometric additions like iris, facial, or gesture recognition. In higher-end models with a dual-lens camera, both lenses are expected to feature optical image stabilization.
The iPhone 8’s front-facing camera may include 3D sensing capabilities that use technology by PrimeSense, allowing it to find the location and depth of objects in front of it, perhaps enabling facial and iris recognition. Rumors suggest Apple is exploring both a vertical rear camera for improved pictures and a dual-camera setup for the front-facing FaceTime camera.
Apple is said to be planning to position the OLED iPhone 8 as a ~5-inch “premium” model that will be sold alongside standard 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone models with traditional LCD screens.
All three models may include faster A11 processors, glass bodies and wireless charging, but it is unclear if the two LCD models will feature the same edge-to-edge display rumored for the higher-end device and what differentiating features will be included. Rumors suggest the OLED iPhone is going to be pricy, with multiple rumors referring to it as “premium” and one rumor suggesting it could sell for upwards of $1,000, which is a good deal more expensive than previous iPhones. Other rumors don’t quite agree, though, so it could be closer in price to the iPhone 7 Plus.
Given the radical design changes Apple plans to introduce in the OLED iPhone, rumors have been suggesting there may be serious supply constraints. Apple may introduce the ~5-inch OLED iPhone at a September event alongside the standard 4.7 and 5.5-inch devices, but there’s a chance it won’t be released until one or two months after its introduction. Alternatively, it may be available in small numbers, with the majority of people unable to get their hands on it until the first quarter of 2018. This may actually play into Apple’s business model as a whole. Nothing says “BUY NOW” like a shortage of supply of the next great version of the iPhone! We’ll let you know when we hear more updates about the upcoming iPhone 8.