A plethora of leaks and rumors over the last several months have claimed that the 10th anniversary iPhone 8 would switch to an OLED display that would be curved on all sides. The other two handsets – the 4.7-inch iPhone 7S and 5.5-inch iPhone 7S Plus – are rumored to retain LCD panels. A new report from the often reliable Japanese blog Mac Otakara suggests that Apple hasn’t yet finalized OLED display for the iPhone 8.
The ‘iPhone Edition’ moniker hints at a high price tag
The Japanese publication notes that the 10th-anniversary flagship iPhone is still in development and testing phase, and it could be called ‘iPhone Edition.” The ‘Edition’ moniker points to a premium device with a ridiculously high price tag, on the lines of the Apple Watch Edition. Previous reports claim that the iPhone 8 (or iPhone Edition) would cost users more than $1,000.
The iPhone 8 is widely expected to sport a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED display that houses the fingerprint scanner. The physical home button would reportedly be replaced by a new ‘function area’ that would be similar to the Touch Bar on Apple’s latest MacBook Pro. Sources privy to the matter told Mac Otakara that this model is just one of the several prototypes undergoing the engineering verification testing (EVT) phase. The publication adds that Apple may still choose not to manufacture that model in 2017.
Several features yet to be finalized
Some of the other prototypes have a Touch ID home button while others have no home button. Apple is also testing different prototypes with IPS TFT and AMOLED screens. The various iterations have chassis designs made of aluminum, glass, white ceramic, and other materials. Back in November last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was testing almost a dozen prototypes for the 10th anniversary iPhone.
Apple evaluates which technologies and materials could be procured at a mass scale before deciding which features would go into the next iPhone. At this point, the only features that have been settled are a 5-inch display, wireless charging, and dual-camera array. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the 5.8-inch OLED iPhone 8 would have an actual display of 5.15-inch, with the remaining space occupied by the ‘function area.’
iPhone 8 might not arrive until November
The publication says recent rumors and analyst predictions are based merely on Apple’s requests for material samples. The inquiries for samples don’t always reflect the company’s intent. It means analysts’ predictions could be based on prototypes that won’t enter mass production, adds Apple Insider.
Mac Otakara claims that the ‘iPhone Edition’ would be announced alongside the 4.7-inch iPhone 7S and 5.5-inch iPhone 7S Plus in September. But it would hit the store shelves much later. Just a few days ago, DigiTimes had also reported that the iPhone 8 might not enter mass production until September due to delay in the production of Apple’s custom fingerprint sensor modules. A September production schedule implies that the first customers might not get their hands on the iPhone 8 until November.