As anticipation grows for the release of the iPhone 8, a new bombshell suggests that Apple fans could end up being very disappointed. The tenth anniversary device has largely being expected to offer significant improvements over previous releases in the series. But now sources close to the Apple supply chain suggest that there may not be an iPhone 8 after all.

iPhone 8 Apple iPhone 7S
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No iPhone 8?

Reports from sources within the critical Foxconn corporation suggest that Apple will only place orders for the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus. these two updated versions of the existing iPhone 7 were expected to launch alongside a brand new iPhone 8, complete with considerable new bells and whistles.

The source close to Foxconn suggests that the packaging materials for the new iPhone will begin arriving in the last week of June, meaning that at least the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus can be released in September. Once these materials arrive at Apple headquarters, reports should provide further indication of the potential iPhone releases.

Despite the reports, the majority of Apple observers still believe that the company will do something outstanding in order to mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone range. This has been particularly anticipated considering that recent iPhone releases have been considered somewhat conservative. There is a clear market need for Apple to produce an outstanding device in 2017, and this would seem to pave the way for an iPhone 8 to accompany the two incremental iPhone 7S updates.

Leaked images

In accordance with this probability, some leaked images of the purported iPhone 8 have also emerged this week. Tipster Benjamin Geskin shared the photographs of what is believed to be a dummy version of the iPhone 8, which also emanated from the supplier Foxconn. If this leak turns out to be accurate then the iPhone 8 will deliver several features that have been expected for some time.

Most notably, the concept images depict an iPhone 8 unit without a Home button. It has been suggested by many sources that Apple will indeed do away with this traditional aspect of the iPhone when the iPhone 8 is released. Samsung has, of course, ditched the Home button for the Galaxy S8, and the Galaxy Note 8 is expected to follow suit later this year.

Ridding the iPhone 8 of the Home button will enable the display to extend to the outer limits of the body of the device. This is another design parameter that is becoming fashionable in 2017, with the Galaxy S8 characterised by its wraparound screen. LG has also released a handset with seriously slimmed down bezels. This would enable Apple to produce an iPhone 8 with a much larger display, while retaining the physical size of the iPhone 7.

Elsewhere, it is suggested that the dual-camera setup that was included in the iPhone range for the first time in the iPhone 7 generation will be retained and upgraded, but with an interesting design innovation. Geskin suggests that the camera will be rotated 90-degrees in order for vertical stacking to be utilized. While the reasons for this may not be immediately apparent, there is an obvious motivation for Apple.

Augmented reality tipped

It is suggested that this will enable advanced augmented reality features to be included within the camera, something that the CEO Tim Cook has spoken glowingly on in the recent past. Cook suggests that Apple is very much committed to augmented reality, and it seems unlikely that the CEO of the company would have let this cat out of the bag if it was not to be imminently reflected in the Apple product range. Thus, the iPhone 8 could benefit from augmented reality technology, and it will be interesting to see precisely what the consumer electronics giant comes up with.

Other physical aspects of the device notable from the leaked images are the placement of the volume controls and mute switch on the left hand-side of the alleged iPhone 8, while a sleep / wake control is placed on the right.

Wireless charging

In addition to this supposed image of the iPhone 8, further news has also emerged regarding one of the key features to be included in the device. Powermat CEO Elad Dubzinski called wireless charging “a standard feature in the next iPhone”. This is particularly significant, as Powermat is involved in wireless charging technology, and thus is considered to have insider knowledge.

“With the recent announcement by Apple that wireless charging will become a standard feature in the next iPhone, we are finally at the threshold of mainstream adoption,” Dubzinski continued. Apple also entered into the Wireless Power Consortium recently, which certainly set tongues wagging, and the expectation is that wireless charging will finally feature in the iPhone 8; marking a first in the device range’s history.

However, this news it should be tempered by the fact that Powermat has also released a statement indicating that it will support “whatever wireless charging protocol” Apple uses. This suggests that the company is not necessarily in possession of any specific inside information, and in fact speculating based on knowledge already in the public domain.

Nonetheless, this is still another indication that Apple will include wireless charging in the iPhone 8, following the suggestion from the legendary Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities. Kuo suggested that Apple will arm both the iPhone 7S generation and the new iPhone 8 with wireless charging, as it attempts to mirror the technology already included in the Samsung Galaxy range.

In addition, analysts from the massive investment bank JP Morgan have suggested that Apple is currently working with Broadcom on wireless transporting for new iPhone units. However, this particular research also suggested that due to time constraints the technology maybe delayed until next year.

The speculation regarding the iPhone 8 will continue until Apple confirms its existence, even though some sources are sceptical that it will be released this year, or possibly ever.