UPDATE 06-01-2017: The latest news on the forthcoming iPhone 8 focuses on internal components to be utilized in the next-generation smartphone, with reports indicating that Apple intends to use Intel products more widely in 2017.
Apple has been involved in an ongoing legal dispute with Qualcomm for some time, and reports have indicated that the Californian corporation is thus considering switching much of the order for iPhone 8 parts to its competitor Intel.
This could be considered slightly worrying, as Intel components have underperformed in the past. But Apple has already signalled its intention to involve Intel more heavily in the iPhone production process.
The chip manufacturer supplied around 30 per cent of the components utilized in the iPhone 7 in 2017, but the latest figures indicate that this will rise to 50 per cent in the current calendar year. DigiTimes even suggests that the ratio will exceed 70 per cent next year, with Apple and Qualcomm still locked in what must be considered a damaging legal wrangle for the chip maker.
Interestingly, the usage of Intel chips by Apple in recent iPhone models has posed the company some technical difficulties. Apple only began using Intel chips just last year, and at the time the components were found only in GSM-based iPhone versions for AT&T and T-Mobile.
This was due to the fact that Intel had yet to acquire CDMA-compatible technology for carriers such as Sprint and Verizon. Apple even took the measure of limiting the performance of Qualcomm chips in previous iPhone devices due to the inferior peak bandwidth offered by Intel competitors.
Apple followers could be concerned about this last morsel of information, but Intel is now moving in the right direction with its technology. The corporation has already launched the XMM 7560 LTE modem, which fully supports the CDMA standard. This unit also offers a significant speed boost over previous releases, and is expected to appear in not only the iPhone 8, but also the upgraded iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus.
Qualcomm has been accused by Apple of abusing its monopoly power to demand high royalties and force the purchasers of chips to license patents. But the most serious accusation made by the consumer electronics giant is that the company has systematically withheld approximately $1 billion in rebates. This was supposedly a retaliation for Apple assisting a South Korean anti-trust investigation previously.
A countersuit has been launched in response to the Apple lawsuit, with Qualcomm requesting the judiciary to force Apple’s suppliers to pay royalties. Such suppliers had stopped paying the chip manufacturer earlier this year, and there seems to be no end in sight to the court case at present.
Apple is already dealing with supply challenges for the next generation iPhone, with the company supposedly entering into dialogue with Samsung to request the Korean corporation to supply OLED screens for the iPhone 8.
Indeed, media reports suggested back in April that Apple has already ordered 70 million OLED displays from Samsung. This is obviously a potentially prickly issue considering that Apple and Samsung battle it out at the apex of the smartphone marketplace. It would be fair to say that Samsung remains Apple’s most recognizable rival by a considerable distance, although the forthcoming Google Pixel 2 and OnePlus 5 will offer interesting alternatives to consumers.
There is no doubt that Apple will want to get all of the details perfect with regard to the iPhone 8 for two particularly compelling reasons. Firstly, as has been well-documented, the iPhone 8 will mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone series, and the consumer electronics giant is expected to produce something outstanding to acknowledge this landmark.
Secondly, it seems increasingly likely that the iPhone 8 will retail at a price tag in excess of $1,000. If any company is in a strong position to do this it is surely Apple, with the Californian corporation benefiting from more consumer loyalty than probably any other manufacturer in any electronics niche.
But at that sort of price point, it is clear that Apple must release a device that really resonates with the consumer electronics community. Failure to do so will surely cost Apple ground in its ongoing battle with the Korean manufacturer Samsung.
Reports this week have also suggested that Apple is pressing on with the implementation of wireless charging, with the intention of introducing it in the iPhone 8 generation. It has been reported by many publications that the Cupertino-based company has been tinkering with a revolutionary technology that will enable the iPhone to be charged wirelessly at a distance of 15 feet if included in the smartphone. This has now been green-lighted according to sources close to the Apple supply chain, which will be an exciting prospect for Apple fans.
With Apple expected to implement a wraparound display, include a dual-camera, and provide new augmented reality functionality, the iPhone 8 is shaping up to be an exciting smartphone contender.
UPDATE: 05/25/2017 at 16:05 AM EST: The release of the iPhone 8 is still probably several months away, but as the day draws closer more information is emerging regarding this critical smartphone. Apple is expected to deliver something outstanding when the iPhone 8 is released, in order to acknowledge the tenth anniversary of the iPhone range. And this means that we can expect a handset that redefines the entire iPhone concept.
iPhone 8 release date
Firstly, the actual release date of the iPhone 8 is already a bone of contention, with multiple sources providing different information on this matter. The usual release schedule for the iPhone series would indicate that the iPhone 8 is likely to hit the stores in September, but this has been contradicted by numerous reports.
It has even been suggested that Apple will delay the iPhone 8 until 2018, with shortages of the OLED screen technology expected to be included blamed for this eventuality. ValueWalk broke the story some weeks ago, with Deutsche Bank among other organizations also picking up on this news. Other reports have instead asserted that this will result in a delay of the iPhone 8, with November a possible date for release ahead of the key Christmas market.
However, it is still likely that a mega-corporation such as Apple will ultimately get what it wants, and manage to source enough OLED panels in order to release the device in September, despite the clear challenges that it currently faces.
Thus, one of the biggest innovations likely to see the light of day in the iPhone 8 generation is the inclusion of OLED technology. This has already proved popular in the Samsung Galaxy range, and therefore Apple is likely to embrace OLED in 2017. It is rumored that Apple has indeed had already struck a deal with Samsung for both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 9 releases, meaning that the consumer electronics giants will ditch the LCD technology