Apple’s annual WWDC event is just around the corner. It kicks off Monday, June 5 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. The WWDC has traditionally been a software-focused event. Apple is expected to show off the latest versions of its operating systems for mobiles, Apple Watch, and Macs. The rumor mill also expects Apple to also unveil hardware products such as a new MacBook Pro, iPad Pro 2, and Siri Speaker. One analyst claims Apple will also preview the 10th anniversary iPhone 8 at the WWDC on Monday.
Analyst predicts iPhone 8 preview at WWDC
JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall said in a research note Thursday there was “some possibility” that Apple would preview the iPhone 8 at WWDC. It’s not the first time Hall has made this outrageous claim. In the first week of May, the analyst told investors that we would get a first look at the 10th anniversary iPhone at WWDC. The analyst says the iPhone 8 will have a Galaxy S8-like “infinity screen,” which may be true. Recent leaks have indicated that the device would have a bezel-less OLED display.
JPMorgan’s prediction contradicts all the leaks and supply chain rumors that have hit the Internet in the last few months. Supply chain leaks suggest that technical difficulties with new features such as in-display fingerprint scanner and 3D sensing module could force Apple to push back the iPhone 8 launch. Even Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the most respected Apple analyst on the planet, believes that its production won’t ramp up until October/November.
Rod Hall reiterates that Apple will preview the device at WWDC and launch it in September along with the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus. It means there will be no delay in the iPhone 8 launch. Announcing the feature-rich 10th anniversary iPhone at WWDC could help Apple attract some buyers away from Samsung’s recently launched Galaxy S8, which has been flying off the shelves.
Why show it off at WWDC?
Apple has traditionally unveiled the iPhones in September/October, which helps it boost the holiday season sales. The last iPhone to be announced at WWDC was the iPhone 4 in 2010. The JPMorgan analyst argues that exciting new features such as a 3D sensing module and the massive design makeover are the reasons Apple is keen to show off the device in June itself.
Hall added that Apple would unveil a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro 2 at the event. Other devices expected to debut at the WWDC include a new Apple TV and a Siri Speaker that would take on the Amazon Echo. Siri Speaker is already under mass production. If JPMorgan’s and other reports are to be believed, Apple would be refreshing almost its entire hardware lineup next week, which is unlikely.
iPhone 8 launch: delay or no delay?
The iPhone 8 release date is still a mystery. If not at WWDC, Apple will likely announce it with the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus in September. While the other two handsets would go on sale in September itself, the 10th-anniversary device may be difficult to find until October/November, says Ming-Chi Kuo. In the best case scenario, the iPhone 8 would launch in September itself, but will be available only in limited quantities.
However, reliable Twitter tipster @OnLeaks has learned from his sources in Asia that there will be no delay in iPhone 8 launch. Apple suppliers have started preparing for the mass production. @OnLeaks claims the device would enter production in August ahead of its September debut. Both Ming-Chi Kuo and @OnLeaks have a proven track record, so it’s hard to say who would eventually turn out to be correct.
According to my sources: DVT started last month. PVT will start between June and July. Final mass production in August for September launch. https://t.co/2M2YyMjyi8
— OnLeaks (@OnLeaks) May 11, 2017
iPhone 8 to be smaller than iPhone 7 Plus
In the last few weeks, we have seen the leaked schematics, CAD drawings, and dimensions of the iPhone 8. The leaks reveal that the device would be only slightly taller and thicker than the 4.7-inch iPhone 7, even though it would feature a huge 5.8-inch OLED display. Side-by-side comparisons show that it will be significantly smaller than the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus.
The 10th anniversary handset will have a bezel-less OLED display with no physical home button. That’s why it managed to pack a 5.8-inch display in an iPhone 7-like form factor. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor will likely be integrated into the display. Other rumored features include inductive wireless charging, augmented reality, waterproofing, and facial recognition.
iPhone 8 price
Thanks to the new features and design changes, the iPhone 8 will be the most expensive iPhone till date. Some reports claim that it could even cost more than $1,000. Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski estimates that the anniversary iPhone’s bill of materials will be at least $70 higher than that of the iPhone 7 Plus. The 256GB iPhone 7 Plus has a price tag of $969. So, breaking the $1,000 barrier won’t be a big deal for the iPhone 8.
Jankowski predicts that the 128GB iPhone 8 would be priced at $999 and the 256GB model would cost users $1,099. There will be no 32GB or 64GB storage options. But Steven Milunovich of UBS Securities predicts that the base model would be priced at $870 and the highest storage model would cost $1,070.