Yet another iPhone 8 concept? No, these are the renders based on “highly detailed CAD file” of the iPhone 8 chassis. The 10th anniversary iPhone is the most awaited smartphone of the year. The hype around the device continues to hit a new high with each passing day. Though we have seen dozens of concepts trying to imagine what the upcoming device might look like, they may not be as accurate as the renders based on CAD drawings.
iPhone 8: Glass back and wireless charging
Folks at Engadget have had a chance to see the iPhone 8 CAD file, thanks to a reliable source in the accessory industry. They created renders based on the CAD drawings. Keep in mind that these are not the official renders from Apple. The biggest highlight here is the vertical orientation of the dual-camera system. The dual camera was arranged horizontally on the iPhone 7 Plus.
The vertical setup is said to be used for augmented reality applications. Engadget said the microphone as well as the flash will be part of the rear camera bump. The renders show that the entire back panel of the iPhone 8 will be covered in glass. Past reports suggest that the phone will have a glass front and back supported by a stainless steel frame in the middle.
The rear glass panel allows for the integration of wireless charging. Though Engadget did not disclose the related images, it said there is an area on the underside of the chassis carved out for the wireless charging coil. The iPhone 8 has long been rumored to feature wireless charging. But it is unclear whether it would have the Qi charging standard that requires the handset to be put on a charging mat or Energous’ long-distance wireless charging technology.
Will Apple launch two models of the iPhone 8?
Notably, the publication said the renders are for the smaller of the two upcoming iPhones. It indicates that wireless charging and the dual camera will become a standard feature this year. Sources told Engadget that both the upcoming devices will get a screen size bump. The 4.7-inch model will go up to 5-inch and the Plus variant will go from 5.5-inch to 5.8 inches.
The rumor mill claims that Apple will launch three models this year. Two will be iterative upgrades to the current iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. They are likely to be called iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, respectively. The third one might be called iPhone 8, iPhone X or iPhone Air. The 10th anniversary iPhone 8 is said to have a 5.8-inch display, with the actual display area of 5.15 inches, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. It is unclear whether there will also be a smaller variant of the iPhone 8.
The CAD drawings do not reveal whether the display will be edge-to-edge. But the CAD file does point to the iPhone 8 being “slightly taller, wider, and thicker” than the iPhone 7. An edge-to-edge display means Apple will have to eliminate the physical home button, and embed the fingerprint sensor in the display or move it to the rear panel. The renders do not show the Touch ID on the back, which means it will likely be integrated into the display.
Another render based on leaked CAD drawings a few days ago also pointed to a similar design. That render, leaked by noted Twitter tipster Steve Hemmerstoffer aka @OnLeaks, also showed the edge-to-edge display. Apple has been testing multiple prototypes for the iPhone 8. It’s not clear whether the CAD files obtained by Engadget or Steve Hemmerstoffer belong to the final version.
3D sensor, AR key highlights of the 10th anniversary iPhone
The iPhone 8 is rumored to feature a faster processor and 3D facial recognition. Apple has reportedly signed a $177 million deal with LG Innotek for the supply of 3D camera modules that will support both facial recognition and augmented reality. LG, which already supplies dual lens camera modules for the iPhone 7 Plus, has invested $238.5 million in a new facility for 3D modules.
Gene Munster of Loup Ventures recently said that Apple was investing heavily in augmented reality applications. The tech giant knows that the smartphone in its current form won’t last long. So, its near-term focus will be to nail augmented reality on the iPhone over the next five years. The analyst said we would see the first generation of augmented reality with the iPhone 8 this year, and there is a good chance Apple would launch a wearable headset “maybe by 2020.”
256GB iPhone 8 to cost $1099
Gene Munster expects the 10th anniversary iPhone to cost $900. However, Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski told investors a few days ago that the iPhone 8 would retail above $1000. The top of the line 256GB model will set you back by $1099, predicted the analyst. The 256GB iPhone 7 Plus currently costs $969 in the United States. Jankowski has raised her FY2018/19 EPS estimate for Apple due to the iPhone 8’s high price tag.
Jankowski said in her research note that the iPhone 8 will have new features not available on other iPhone models. The analyst said the iPhone 8 would be available in two storage variants – 128GB and 256GB – that would cost $999 and $1099, respectively. The iPhone 7S and 7S Plus should be priced at $649 and $769, respectively. According to Goldman Sachs, the OLED screen will add $35 to the overall cost of the iPhone 8 and 3D sensors will add another $20.
Delay or no delay?
There have been numerous reports about the delay in iPhone 8 launch. Apple is facing implementation and production issues with new technologies such as 3D sensors and the in-display fingerprint sensor. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the iPhone 8 production won’t ramp up until October or November. Apple traditionally ramps up production on August or September.
However, Steve Hemmerstoffer has learned from his sources that Apple is on track to start mass production in August for September launch. It means there will be no potential delay in the iPhone 8 launch. But the device may face supply shortages at launch.