The forthcoming iPhone 8 from Apple is expected to include a wide range of new features, as Apple seeks to build an outstanding smartphone to acknowledge the tenth anniversary of the iPhone range. The device will also have to compete with the Galaxy Note 8 from Samsung.

Apple iPhone 8 Concept
Image Source: Thiago M Duarte / Ran Avni / ConceptsiPhone / YouTube video (screenshot)

While the physical build and hardware of the device will undoubtedly deliver much of this functionality, one shouldn’t overlook iOS 11 as being a major weapon in the Apple armory. And we won’t have too much longer to wait to find out what Apple has in store for this operating system, as it will almost certainly be revealed at the imminent Worldwide Developers Conference.

This year the event gets underway on June 5 at 1pm ET. While the conference is always a major focus of the technology year, this will be particularly true in 2017 as analysts and developers attempt to gain insight into what Apple will deliver with the iPhone 8.

Although details of this operating system have been somewhat thin on the ground this year, it is believed that iOS 11 will support wireless charging, alongside augmented reality and virtual reality features. It is also suspected that the fingerprint sensor functionality expected to be included in the new Touch ID system will also be confirmed by early iOS 11 details.

Branding

While the general assumption is that the next-generation iPhone will be an iPhone 8, there have been other suggestions for the name of the handset as well. This is always difficult to predict, as most analysts believed that the first Apple smartwatch would be dubbed the iWatch, before the Californian corporation surprised the Apple-following community by revealing the Apple Watch.

Although iPhone 8 is the most likely name for this smartphone, other suggestions have included iPhone 10, iPhone X, iPhone Edition, or even iPhone Pro. While iPhone 8 may be the most logical suggestion, it wouldn’t be entirely surprisingly if Apple moved away from this branding.

Design

Apple is renowned for the quality of its design values, but no one is quite sure what to expect from the next-generation handset from the Cupertino-based company. However, French gadget leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer, more commonly known by the Twitter moniker @onleaks, has recently produced a video based on factory CAD drawings that he encountered. This probably provides us with the most valuable insight into the appearance of the iPhone 8 that we have experienced thus far.

And the @onleaks presentation suggests that the front of the display will be absolutely dominated by the screen, as was the case with the recent Samsung Galaxy S8. Wraparound displays are becoming increasingly popular, and the consensus of opinion is that Apple will opt for this design in the iPhone 8 generation.

Hemmerstoffer also believes that the rear of the device will feature dual-cameras in a vertical orientation, enabling superior depth sensing for the augmented reality linked with the handset. Apple CEO Tim Cook has already expressed his enthusiasm about augmented reality, and it is believed that Apple will begin to strongly push this technology when the iPhone 8 is released. In order to achieve this, the Touch ID sensors will be embedded within the front display.

Home button

If reports about the screen of the iPhone 8 are correct then it is also extremely likely that Apple will eliminate the physical Home button that has been a ubiquitous feature of the smartphone range. Samsung has already made this move with the Galaxy S8, and has also featured this design aspect strongly in the advertising campaigns for its flagship smartphone, as competition in the mobile niche hots up.

Resolution

There is still some debate over the resolution that will feature in the iPhone 8. Apple has resisted improving this aspect of the smartphone in recent releases, since the full HD Plus model of the iPhone was introduced back in 2014. But with the OLED screen of the iPhone 8 expected to be significantly larger than previous releases, there will be obvious pressure on Apple to finally improve the screen resolution to Quad HD.

Apple has previously resisted this trend in the smartphone industry, but if the screen of the iPhone 8 is as large as 5.8-inches then full HD would deliver a rather poor pixels per inch rating in comparison to some of its competitors.

Glass finish

It is also generally believed that Apple will opt for an all-glass design with the iPhone 8. This would be a departure from previous devices, yet this physical aspect of the smartphone has repeatedly featured in predictions regarding its appearance. So we can expect a sleek and gleaming visage to the iPhone 8 when it is released.

Three models?

Most media reports on the iPhone 8 suggest that Apple will release three models simultaneously for the first time in the company’s history. Whether these will all be branded in the same way, though, is debatable. Most reports have predicted that Apple will instead released two upgraded iPhone 7S variants, with a solitary model of the iPhone 8 accompanying them.

Supply chain murmurings, though, have suggested that the critical Foxconn Corporation has only received orders for two handsets. This would suggest that the Plus version of the iPhone 8 would receive the OLED screen, with the smartphone version sticking to LCD. However, although this is interesting information there has been some scepticism regarding its validity.

Price and release date

The iPhone 8 will almost certainly be the most expensive smartphone in the history of the Apple corporation, with numerous reports suggesting that the high-spec version of the range will retail at over $1,000. This is undoubtedly a hefty price tag, but it should also be remembered that the existing iPhone 7 Plus with 256GB of storage sells at only slightly less than this figure.

It is also expected that Apple will follow the release schedule from previous iPhone generations, which would mean that the iPhone 8 arrives in the stores in September. However, some reports have suggested that difficulties with sourcing OLED panels will mean that the iPhone 8 is delayed until November. This seems unlikely, though; expect a September release date.

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