The iPhone 7 hasn’t even been announced by Apple yet and already we are hearing about the iPhone 8, which may or may not be curved.
Excitement is building over the potential arrival of a curved iPhone in Apple’s 2017 lineup. While the 2016 iPhone is scheduled to arrive this fall, analysts do not believe that Apple is planning any major changes to the handset.
Rumors already swirling about 2017 iPhone
Apple just announced the release of its cheaper iPhone SE handset, and commentators are speculating about the arrival of the iPhone 7. While there are some wild rumors out there involving dual-camera systems and edge-to-edge screens, it seems more likely that Apple will save any major design overhauls until 2017.
MacRumors cites reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who says that Apple is set to release an iPhone with a curved 5.8-inch AMOLED display in 2017. In addition the iPhone 8 will move away from the metal casing designs that have been copied by rivals.
“We expect the 2017 new iPhone model to adopt a structural design similar to that of iPhone 4/ 4s, meaning it will be equipped with glass on both the front and back sides, and a metal frame surrounded the edges,” writes Kuo.
“The difference is that the new model will likely come with a curved screen and curved glass casing, with other important features including a 5.8-inch AMOLED display, wireless charging, and more biometric recognitions (facial or iris). Given the curved design, the new model may look smaller than an existing 5.5-inch iPhone,” he continued.
Analyst Kuo paints two different scenarios
According to Kuo, Apple’s 2017 lineup depends on the availability of AMOLED displays. Should the units be readily available, he says that Apple will release a 4.7-inch LCD-based iPhone alongside the 5.8-inch AMOLED iPhone. However if insufficient AMOLED units are available Kuo says there will be 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch LCD iPhones, with a 5.8-inch AMOLED as a high-end option.
Making such a big change in 2017 would mark a move away from the tradition pattern at Apple. The company tends to keep the same body style for two years before implementing major changes.
However existing leaks and rumors regarding the iPhone 7, which is predicted to be released this fall, point to fairly minor design changes. One of the only big departures is the rumored removal of the 3.5mm audio jack,which will allow for a slimmer iPhone than ever before.
Curved iPhone could arrive in 2017 or 2018
Other rumors state that the curved iPhone will not be released until 2018, with AMOLED screens provided by a number of different display manufacturers. According to reports Samsung will be the major source of the displays, with supplies augmented by units from LG and Japan Display.
Samsung is reportedly about to invest $7 billion to be able to supply the displays for these future iPhones. However opinion is split on whether the official shift will come in 2017 or 2018. Regarding supply chain issues, DigiTimes estimates that 50 million AMOLED-equipped smartphones could be sold in the first year of availability.
As always with the iPhone we are dealing with pure speculation until Apple makes an announcement. Not only are we attempting to guess Apple’s next move for this year, but as far as two years ahead. Needless to say a lot could change between now and then, and probably will.