Last year, Apple fans were outraged when the company dropped the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Apple called it a bold move, but people around the world were still actively using the headphone jack. To soothe the angry customers, the company bundled a 3.5mm to Lighting adapter with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. But users were still unable to charge their devices and listen to the music via wired headphones at the same time. The only way they could do it was by purchasing the ridiculously expensive AirPods that cost $159 and are sold separately. But you may not have to worry about that with the iPhone 8.

iPhone 8 Charge Music
Image Credit: MySmartPrice.com / OnLeaks / YouTube video (screenshot)

Is Apple bringing back the headphone jack?

No, the 3.5mm headphone jack is not going to make a grand comeback with the iPhone 8. Recent leaks suggest that the Lightning port will still be the only port at the bottom. Fortunately, you’ll not have to use the Lightning port for charging, which means you can connect the headphones even when the device is charging. The 10th anniversary iPhone is widely expected to feature wireless charging. Supply chain leaks and rumors have confirmed this feature again and again.

It is unclear whether the device would feature the conventional wireless charging where the phone needs to be placed on a charging pad or a long-distance wireless charging technology. Apple owns multiple patents related to wireless charging. The tech giant and its manufacturing partner Foxconn have been collaborating with Energous, whose WattUp technology allows you to charge your device from a distance of up to 18 feet.

A few days ago, Engadget published the iPhone 8 renders that it claimed were based on CAD drawings provided by a reliable source. The CAD file suggested that the smartphone would feature a glass back panel to facilitate wireless charging. Engadget added that Apple had carved out an area on the underside of the chassis for wireless charging coil.

As if that wasn’t enough, an analyst claims that Apple would offer free AirPods with the 10th anniversary iPhone. If it turns out to be true, buyers won’t have to worry about legacy headphones. JPMorgan analyst Gokul Hariharan predicted earlier this month that the iPhone 8 box would include free AirPods rather than EarPods. However, it makes little sense for Apple to give away a highly profitable $159 product for free, which is still in high demand.

Patents reveal key changes coming to the iPhone 8

Earlier this week, Apple was granted a total of 56 patents, of which at least two could make it to the iPhone 8. One patent is related to the curved display while another one is about embedding the fingerprint sensor into the display. Both these features have long been rumored for the iPhone 8. The curved display patent covers the use of a flexible material to make the display panel as well as the touch sensors curve around the edges.

The second patent describes a complex method to place the Touch ID sensor under the display. However, recent reports suggest that Apple and its partners were facing technical difficulties with the in-display fingerprint scanner. If it fails to resolve the technical and yield issues, Apple may choose to relocate the Touch ID on the rear panel, in or above the Apple logo.

Will iPhone 8 have a higher screen-to-body ratio than Galaxy S8?

The dual camera system will be arranged vertically on the 10th anniversary iPhone, according to leaked CAD drawings and mockups. The LED flash will be part of the rear camera bump. The vertical arrangement will facilitate augmented reality applications that Apple is expected to announce in September. On the front, the device is said to have a 3D camera sensor for facial recognition and AR. The 3D sensing modules will be supplied by LG Innotek, which has received a $177 million initial order from Apple.

The upcoming flagship iPhone will feature a 2.5D 5.8-inch curved OLED display. According to BGR, the iPhone 8’s screen-to-body ratio will be even greater than the Galaxy S8’s 83% ratio. Apple will reportedly achieve it by getting rid of the physical home button and shifting around some of the internal components. All the iPhones releasing this year will be powered by Apple’s custom A11 chip, which has already entered mass production at TSMC.

iPhone 8 price and release date

Given the design overhaul and exciting new features, the iPhone 8 is set to cost more than any other iPhone ever. Previously, there were speculations that it would cost more than $1,000. A few days ago, Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski predicted that the 10th anniversary iPhone would be available in 128GB and 256GB storage variants. The 128GB version would cost $999 and the 256GB model would be priced at $1,099, said Jankowski.

A recent survey conducted by Morgan Stanley revealed that the phone’s price tag is unlikely to deter the current iPhone users from upgrading to the iPhone 8. The survey found that 92% of iPhone owners were planning to upgrade to the 2017 models over the next 12 months. By comparison, only 77% Samsung users said they were planning to upgrade.

The iPhone 8 launch may be delayed by a month or two due to production issues, predicts KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The analyst recently told investors that Apple suppliers are unlikely to ramp up production before October rather than the usual ramp up schedule of August/September. Anyway, the analyst is confident that the device would be available in time for the holiday shopping season.