Leaks and rumors about Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone are showing no signs of slowing down. On Monday, a set of leaked images posted on Chinese site Weibo showed the parts required to make the iPhone 8’s metal frame. Now a Reddit user has shared images showing the iPhone 8 design. The photos also suggest that the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus would feature wireless charging.
Is this the final iPhone 8 design?
Reddit user kamikasky said in a thread that they obtained pictures from “a friend in the industry.” The pictures reportedly come from an accessories manufacturer who received them from a Chinese glass supplier. The iPhone 8 design in these images corroborates with previous rumors and a recent concept created by iDropNews. All three phones are expected to arrive in September, though the iPhone 8 could face supply shortages at launch.
The first picture shows the front and back panel of the anniversary iPhone. The front panel has incredibly thin bezels on all sides. There is a small black bar near the top that will house the front-facing camera, earpiece, laser sensor, and infrared sensors that would offer support for iris scanner and facial recognition. There have been contradictory reports about how the selfie camera and sensors will be integrated into the front panel.
Some reports claim the front-facing camera would be placed under the display glass. Others indicate that the iPhone 8 would have a cutout near the top to house the selfie camera, ear speaker, and sensors. The latest leak also points to a cutout on the front panel for these components. As iDropNews’ concept highlights, the screen on either side of the cutout could be utilized to display icons for battery, signal strength, time, WiFi, etc.
No sign of fingerprint sensor on the rear glass panel
The rear panel includes a cutout for the vertical dual camera system. The camera component can be seen placed next to the rear panel. The dual camera system has the LED flash placed between the two cameras. According to Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the cameras are arranged vertically to facilitate augmented reality applications. Apple introduced the ARKit at WWDC last week to let developers build AR experiences on iOS 11. Apple will likely introduce augmented reality with the iPhone 8.
Surprisingly, these iPhone 8 design images lack any sign of a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. If the Reddit user turns out to be accurate, it would mean that Apple has successfully embedded the fingerprint scanner in the front display. The iPhone 8 rear panel is made out of a “composite glass material” to enable wireless charging, according to a Foxconn insider.
The iPhone 8 back panel also contains regulatory information. Some countries require smartphone vendors to provide the regulatory information on their devices. Last week, Korean site The Investor reported that Apple had approved the prototype OLED panels for the iPhone 8, and Samsung was gearing up to start mass production of OLED screens “later this month.” Apple will reportedly be sourcing at least 70 million OLED screens from Samsung Display this year, which means roughly 10 million units per month.
iPhone 7S, 7S Plus to have a glass back for wireless charging
The second image shows the iPhone 8 parts placed next to the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus, which will be iterative upgrades over the current flagship models. The Redditor claimed that, just like iPhone 8, the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus back panels are made out of glass to support wireless charging. KGI Securities had predicted earlier this year that all three iPhones coming this year would feature wireless charging.
The iPhone 7S has a single camera lens on the back while its bigger sibling sports a horizontally placed dual camera system. The iPhone 7S and 7S Plus are expected to have the same design as the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, except for the glass back. A Foxconn insider claimed earlier this month that the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus would stick to the unibody aluminum design.
iPhone 8 LTE modem speed to be lower than Galaxy S8
Inside sources told Bloomberg that Apple would restrict the LTE modem speed on the iPhone 8, which means the 10th anniversary iPhone would lag behind the Galaxy S8 in LTE speed. Apple is currently locked in a legal battle with Qualcomm, so the Cupertino company doesn’t want to rely entirely on Qualcomm for modems. Apple will also be sourcing LTE modems from Intel.
Qualcomm has LTE modems that offer speeds of up to 1GB/second. Intel is still working on modems with such high speeds. Apple wants all its iPhones to offer the same LTE speeds. So, it would limit the speed of Qualcomm’s ridiculously fast modems to bring down their speed to Intel levels.
Mizuho downgrades Apple stock
On Sunday, Mizuho Securities analyst Abhay Lamba downgraded the Apple stock from Buy to Neutral. Lamba told investors that Apple stock has rallied nearly 24% this year due to the hype around the iPhone 8 design overhaul and new features. The Wall Street expectations are already high, and there is little room for Apple to exceed expectations. “Expectations might have gotten ahead of reality,” said the analyst. The iPhone 8 hype is “baked into the stock at current levels.”
The Wall Street expects the 10th anniversary iPhone 8 to drive an “upgrade supercycle” that would be even bigger than the iPhone 6 cycle when Apple introduced larger screen models. Lamba says the iPhone 8 might not perform as well as the Wall Street expects. The phone is likely to face a delay in launch due to technical problems with new features. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts the iPhone 8 would not arrive until October/November, and may face supply shortages during the first few weeks of launch.