The forthcoming iPhone 8 is arguably the most anticipated smartphone in several years. Apple is expected to release a revolutionary device in order to mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone range, and this has naturally excited Apple fans across the globe. But even though it will be several months before Apple confirms anything about this mobile contender, we now have a very clear notion of how the iPhone 8 may appear when it is released.

iPhone 8 rumor roundup
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iPhone 8 Prototype leaked

BGR has obtained photos of an iPhone 8 prototype that the publication believes to be the final design for the forthcoming phone. It is suggested that this design features finalized schematics that will ultimately form part of the final iPhone 8 unit. Indeed, the schematics in question were reportedly leaked from supply chain factories involved in the construction of the next-generation iPhone 8.

One interesting aspect of these new images is that they do not feature a fingerprint scanner on the rear of the smartphone. This is something that has been widely predicted in rumors regarding the forthcoming iPhone 8. However, it is notable that not all markings are present on this dummy image, so this could be an indication that the Touch ID sensor will be embedded within the display of the iPhone 8.

Glass panelling is prominent on the front of this device, with curved edges featuring at the front and back of the handset. A polished steel mainframe also features in the leaked images, creating a pleasing combination with the slope of the glass included. It seems from this early impression of the iPhone 8 that it will fit very very neatly in the palm of the hands of users.

Camera bulge change

Interestingly, Apple has also altered the way that the camera is positioned in the iPhone 8, with the notorious bump noticeably vertical as opposed to horizontal. This doesn’t seem like a huge difference, but clearly Apple is at least somewhat responding to criticism which has suggested that this unfortunate feature is somewhat unsightly.

But the rear of the phone is also expected to house is a new dual-lens camera, with an LED Flash included as well. The microphone in the iPhone 8 will also be placed on the reverse panel of the device. It remains to be seen precisely how Apple will improve the camera included in the iPhone 8, but the headline news could well be new augmented reality features that Apple has already touted in explicit statements.

Headphone jack defunct

And those hoping for a return of the 3.5mm headphone jack are set to be disappointed, as there is no evidence that Apple has decided to reverse its decision based on these images. This is pretty unsurprising, as there was clearly a reason that the consumer electronics giant chose to eliminate the headphone jack in the first place, and it is not likely to go back on that decision now.

Meanwhile, a report this week suggested once more that Apple enjoys far weightier brand loyalty from its customers than any other smartphone manufacturer. This is hardly a new phenomenon; previous surveys have indicated that Apple fans are extremely loyal towards the company’s products.

Brand loyalty

But a new survey conducted by AlphaWise discovered that 92% of surveyed iPhone owners are ”somewhat or extremely likely” to upgrade in the next 12 months, thus sticking with the Apple brand. The Californian corporation can therefore count on many existing iPhone users buying into the iPhone 8 when it is released.

And although Samsung performed reasonably well in the same survey, it is clear that the iPhone remains the most loved of all smartphones. Samsung (77%), LG (59%), Motorola (56%), and Nokia (42%) all came well behind Apple for brand loyalty, and this cachet that Apple products continue to possess has yet to be truly rivalled by any other manufacturer.

Morgan Stanley raises target

The information was quoted in an investment note raised by the investment bank Morgan Stanley, with the major corporation raising its prediction on Apple stock as a consequence. Currently trading at just over $150, Morgan Stanley had previously set a price target for the shares of the Cupertino-based company of $161. But the financial institution has now raised this figure 10 per cent to $177, strengthening the bullish view of the corporation that Morgan Stanley already hold.s

“We model FY18 revenue and EPS 10-11% above consensus and see positive estimate revisions over the next two quarters driving shares higher. The upside implied by the new survey data makes even our above consensus estimates look conservative,” Morgan Stanley equity analyst Katy Hubert commented.

Apple stock has recently fallen 3 per cent on news that the corporation missed Wall Street expectations for iPhone sales in the most recent financial quarter. But the CEO Tim Cook asserted that anticipation about the forthcoming iPhone 8 can be blamed for this unsavory news. “We’re seeing what we believe to be a pause in purchases of iPhone, which we believe is due to the earlier and much more frequent reports about future iPhones,” Cook opined during the company’s second-quarter earnings call.

Free AirPods

Meanwhile, it seems that the iPhone 8 will come with a rather valuable accessory as part of its standard package. A J.P. Morgan report indicates that the iPhone 8 will come bundled with a free pair of AirPods. These are worth approximately $200 in the United States market, and it would certainly represent a good deal if Apple did bundle the next iPhone with this peripheral.

Reports have suggested that this may apply to only the premium version of the iPhone, which suggests that the expected iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus updates may not benefit from the inclusion of AirPods. However, with there still being some debate over the number of iPhone models that will be released in 2017, this is far from decided.

Certainly, though, the indications are that Apple will produce a major upgrade to the iPhone range later this year, and despite some debate over subject, this is ultimately likely to be branded as the iPhone 8.