The iPhone 8 will undoubtedly be one of the technology highlights of this or any other year, particularly as many analysts are expecting an outstanding unit from Apple. This smartphone release will mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone range, and the consumer electronics giant is expected to pull out all of the stops in order to deliver an outstanding unit.

Considering the importance of the iPhone 8 to Apple, it is perhaps not surprising that the rumor mill has been grinding even more relentlessly than usual. Of course, there is never any shortage of speculation regarding Apple devices, but the iPhone 8 has attracted so much rumor and counter-rumor that the ultimate outcome of this handset has become somewhat confusing.

Headphone adapter iPhone 8 concept design rear dual camera
Image Source: Muhsin M. Belaal Auckburaully / DBS Design (screenshot)

iPhone 8 release dates

Firstly, there is considerable debate over precisely when we can expect to see the iPhone 8 emerge on the market. The usual release schedule for Apple smartphones has seen the iPhone released in September, although this has only been a precedent over the last few years. Originally, the iPhone was intended for the summer months, with June preferred for its seminal release.

But several reports have suggested that the iPhone 8 may not appear in September this year. Most of these have inidcated that it will appear later rather than earlier, while some have even suggested that we may not witness an iPhone 8 release in 2017 whatsoever. Several different morsels of information have been cited in relation to this prediction, but the lack of OLED displays could be a particularly critical factor.

Certainly if Apple wishes to stick to its previous policy, this calendar year would witness iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus releases. But most Apple observers believe that the Corporation will release an all-singing, all-dancing iPhone 8 alongside two upgrades in 2017. Nonetheless, the smart money would still be on the iPhone 8 emerging in September, as a company as powerful as Apple would be unlikely to delay a major device release without extremely good reason.

Branding confusion

There has also been some disagreement over whether or not the next generation iPhone will even be branded as the iPhone 8. It is possible that Apple could acknowledge the tenth anniversary of the iPhone series by naming this smartphone the iPhone X; the X signifying the Roman numeral for 10.

Other reports have indicated that Apple will resist the temptation to release a revolutionary iPhone 8, and will instead follow its usual release schedule with two iPhone 7S units. This goes against the grain of many reports on the matter, which generally suggest that we should expect to see an iPhone 8 before the year is out.

Design differences

The potential design of the iPhone 8 has also led to numerous different interpretations. There is a general consensus that Apple will slim down the bezels included in the iPhone 8, in order to increase the screen real estate. But there are many differing opinions on precisely how the design of this smartphone will ultimately turn out.

Many reports have suggested that Apple will produce a curved screen iPhone for the first time when the iPhone 8 is released, but this has not been the case with all leaks. For example, a new leaked video suggests that the next gen iPhone will be very much a flatscreen device, and that Apple will eschew the temptation to follow Samsung in producing curved screen units.

There has also been discord over whether Apple will increase the screen size of the iPhone 8 relative to previous releases. Some suggest that the smartphone will be a compact unit, but that it will only feature a 5.5-inch display, identical in size to that of the existing iPhone 7 Plus. But other reports have indicated that the iPhone 8 will feature a 5.8-inch screen that will be the largest ever included in an Apple release.

Resolution

There is undoubtedly pressure on Apple to increase the resolution included in the iPhone 8, particularly if it intends to increase the display size. Samsung is also rumored to be considering including 4K resolution in the forthcoming Galaxy Note 8, and this would rather leave the iPhone series behind, should the consumer electronics behemoth stick to merely full HD.

Thus, some reports have suggested that Apple will deliver quad HD resolution with the iPhone 8, even if it chooses to freeze the screen resolution in both the accompanying iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus releases. But with Apple reluctant to cram excessive specs into these devices unless it deems it to be absolutely necessary, it has been suggested elsewhere that this will simply be a full HD smartphone.

It would be disappointing if Apple were not to increase the resolution included in the iPhone 8, but we know from previous device releases that the Cupertino-based company will never follow the trends of the industry blindly. So don’t be surprised if the iPhone 8 does not deliver quad HD resolution.

Apple secrecy

The confusion over the iPhone 8 is exacerbated by the fact that Apple is particularly secretive when it comes to its device releases. This tends to provoke a climate of speculation, and this has already been rather rampant with the iPhone 8.

Additionally, Apple is releasing the iPhone 8 – if indeed it does choose to do so – into an increasingly complex and challenging technology climate. The reality is that smartphones are delivering diminishing returns in terms of functionality, and thus there is now a requirement for the biggest players in the industry to diligently consider what should and should not be included in any particular release.

The days of completely blowing away consumers with amazing new features are probably over, at least until virtual reality and augmented reality become mainstream. This means that there will be room for considerable speculation regarding the iPhone 8 in the coming weeks, and the confusion is not likely to lift until Apple finally unveils the device.