It may only be a week since the release of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but we are already hearing rumors about the iPhone 8.
It is thought that the 2017 Apple smartphone will be called the iPhone 8, and commentators believe that Apple will introduce a raft of new features. Here is a roundup of the latest rumors.
Wireless charging and all-glass case
First off is the idea that Apple will introduce wireless charging that works over long distances. Given that the company removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, it is thought that wireless charging will be introduced in order to allow users to listen to music via the Lightning port while charging their smartphone wirelessly at the same time.
Some Android smartphones from Samsung, Sony and Google already have wireless charging capabilities, which use mats. However Apple wants to make sure that its new iPhone can recharge remotely. In 2010 the company filed a patent related to a system that would use the iMac as a hub for wireless charging. The system would use near-field magnetic resonance (NFMR) technology, which can charge devices over a distance of 1 meter.
It looks as though the iPhone 8 will have an all-glass case. This could mean a hollow glass tube is used to make the full glass enclosure, or two glass pieces could be bonded together. Either way this will result in a waterproof iPhone.
Faster processor and design overhaul
There are also rumors that Apple is working on a ceramic version of the iPhone 8. The company recently released a ceramic Apple Watch 2. The material is four times harder than steel, and is cheaper to use. Another advantage is that the material does not scratch or tarnish, and it can also be pigmented to produce any color.
Under the hood it is rumored that the iPhone 8 will have an A11 processor, which is even faster than the A10 Fusion chip used in the iPhone 7. This new chip would support long-distance wireless charging and some biometric security features like iris or facial scans.
The overall design of the iPhone 7 is very similar to that of its predecessor, the iPhone 6s. However it is predicted that Apple is working on a major revamp for the iPhone 8. This could see the physical Home button taken away to allow for the introduction of an edge-to-edge display.
OLED technology for the first time on the iPhone 8
This display is also reportedly set to be OLED. Various reports have said that Apple has signed a contract with suppliers for a flexible OLED display. Arch rival Samsung will supply 40 million AMOLED displays to Apple from 2017.
OLED technology is already found in the Apple Watch, and its introduction to the iPhone would allow Apple to get rid of the backlighting panel used in LCD displays. This would allow for a thinner and lighter iPhone 8, and perhaps even a curved display.
Another rumor relates to the introduction of a digital crown, as seen on the Apple Watch. The technology could reportedly be introduced on the next generation iPhone, as well as the iPad. A patent filing from Apple shows a digital crown in use on a device that looks like an iPad. If the Home button really is going to disappear, using a digital crown as a Touch ID fingerprint scanner could be a good solution.
Alongside the new hardware it seems likely that Apple will introduce a new version of its iOS operating system. It would be the perfect accompaniment for the tenth anniversary edition of the iPhone.
iPhone 8 to battle it out with rival Samsung handsets
Other reports raise the possibility that there will be three versions of the iPhone 8, one of which will be a premium handset. This could be one way that Apple can introduce a curved display to one part of the product range, while the two standard models have flat displays.
The Apple iPhone 7 came into retail stores last Friday following the opening of pre-orders on September 9. There has been no word yet on how many handsets Apple has sold. Some commentators had worried that the changes to the new smartphone would not be sufficient to encourage people to upgrade from the existing iPhone 6s.
However the company has been handed a boost due to safety concerns over the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, a major rival in the high-end smartphone market. Some Samsung devices have been catching fire due to a fault that has seen a global recall. Apple and Samsung are locking horns to see who will dominate the smartphone market, and the iPhone 8 could mark a major departure for the U.S. company.