Even months ahead of the release of iPhone 8 and iPhone 7S, it is generally accepted that the next generation handset from Apple will feature a significant redesign. The consumer electronics giant has been widely anticipated to be tinkering with a brand new iPhone concept in order to mark the tenth anniversary of the iconic smartphone series. And an emerging news item this week provides us with a real insight into this process.

iPhone 7S iPhone 8 Leaked
Image: Reddit

leaked images of iPhone 8 and iPhone 7S

Reddit user Kamikasky has shared several high-quality images of what are purported to be the front and back panels of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7S. Kamikasky has apparently purloined the shots from a friend in the industry, and it is interesting to note that the design is very much consistent with previous murmurings on the topic.

The iPhone 8 design in question is almost completely bereft of bezels, aside from a small cutout near the top of the visage intended for the front-facing camera and sensors. As has been widely predicted, the design also features a vertically aligned rear-camera, intended to ensure that augmented reality functionality can be satisfactorily delivered.

And alongside this design are new panels for the upgraded iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus units that have also been widely predicted. It is generally anticipated that Apple will release three smartphones during the 2017 calendar year, with the next generation iPhone 8 being accompanied by two updated models.

The images for these devices suggest that both the iPhone 7S handsets will switch from their previous aluminum chassis to a glass-based design. It is thought that this will enable Apple to deliver wireless charging, which is perhaps a little surprising as it was generally assumed that this would be exclusive to the iPhone 8.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 7S
Image: Reddit

Production underway

Kamikasky claims that the Chinese manufacturers received these parts last week, indicating that Apple is ready to begin scaling production ahead of the release of the smartphone. While there has been considerable debate regarding the likely schedule for the iPhone 8, it is still probable that Apple will stick to the approach of previous years, meaning that the iconic flagship will appear in September.

Indeed, a new research note, reported on by Barron’s BlueFin Research Partners, suggests that Apple is on target for the release of the iPhone 8, although it could conceivably be branded as the iPhone X to acknowledge its tenth anniversary status. However, consumers would be advised to get hold of a pre-order as quickly as possible, as information from this note suggests that the initial launch will be relatively limited in terms of units.

“Our ongoing reads reinforce our earlier view that Apple will offer only minimal units of the iPhone X at launch with improved availability in October,” BlueFin notes, asserting that only 13 million handsets will be available worldwide when the iPhone 8 launches in September. The relatively paltry availability is likely to be due to the problems that Apple has reportedly been experiencing in sourcing OLED panels.

Elsewhere, it is notable that other manufacturers with perhaps less prestige than Apple are taking their lead from the hugely successful Californian corporation. Users online have noted that the OnePlus 5 will strongly resemble the iPhone 7 Plus, indicating the influence of Apple design.

It is this unparalleled brand recognition which will once again motivate Apple to update the external appearance of the iPhone 8, with the intention of effectively rebooting the series. Not that anything needs to change to radically in terms of sales, with the iPhone still responsible for around 60 per cent of Apple revenue, despite the success of other brands such as the Apple Watch.

Price

Indeed, Apple feels emboldened enough by its position in the consumer electronics marketplace that the iPhone 8 is likely to retail at a price point in excess of $1,000. Even if this exalted price is not met, it is still believed that this year’s iPhone will be significantly more expensive than previous releases.

Display

Aside from the wraparound screen, Apple is also increasingly expected to make numerous changes to the display included in the device. Top of the list in this department will be the inclusion of OLED technology for the first time, which has become an increasingly poorly kept secret over the last few months.

While there have been numerous reports regarding the inclusion of OLED in the iPhone 8, a recent story from ET News suggested that Apple has already ordered 80 billion flexible OLED displays from Samsung. The screen will cover the entire front of body of the device, according to this publication, although ET News also suggests that the curved display of the Galaxy S8 will not appear in this iPhone generation, despite the likes of the Google Pixel 2 incorporating this design.

Apple will also bump up the size of the display in the iPhone 8 to 5.8-inches, making this the largest’s smartphone that the company has ever produced. However, this will not be reflected in the size of the device itself, with Apple utilizing a presumed curved wraparound display with the intention of ensuring that this remains a sleek device.

The latest evidence also suggests that Apple will indeed improve the resolution of this smartphone to Quad HD, while innovative 2.5D technology will also be included. This technology enables images and videos with depth and perception to be produced, effectively simulating 3D.

As mentioned previously, it is also anticipated that Apple will include augmented reality technology with this smartphone. This will be used for both security and gaming purposes in all probability.

Camera and Siri upgrade

Another clue to the makeup of the iPhone 8 was effectively announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference, when Apple revealed iOS 11. One interesting aspect of this new operating system is the replacement of the JPEG file format with HEIF. This suggests that the camera included in the iPhone 8 will be significantly more powerful, while Apple also announced more contextual awareness to the Siri personal assistant system.

It is fair to say that the iPhone 8 will not be the incremental upgrade of recent generations, and will instead offer a pretty radically updated experience.