There is still some debate about when we get the chance to actually buy an iPhone 8 but we are growing ever closer to an iPhone 8 September launch event. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, stirred up rumors on a recent earnings call when he predicted a pretty major bump in quarterly revenue from July through the end of September. This is a pretty good indication that something is coming from Apple in September. A lot of analysts are expecting an iPhone 7S and 7S Plus to be announced alongside the iPhone 8 which could account for Apple’s increased earnings if the iPhone 8 is delayed until later in the fall, as many analysts are speculating.
These iPhone 8 September launch event rumors all come in a week that has arguably been the biggest week of Apple leaks since the iPhone 4 got left in a bar and exposed online before its official announcement. The HomePod’s firmware, which was made available for developers, revealed some previously unconfirmed details about the iPhone 8. Developers have been digging through the code all week to discover more and more upcoming features. Since HomePod will be running on iOS 11 it has a lot of code that references features in upcoming iPhones.
So, what can we expect at an iPhone 8 September launch event? Let’s dive in.
Brand New Design
We have seen countless renders over the last few weeks and the HomePod confirmed what we all expected: the iPhone 8 will be a radically new design for the iPhone lineup. The new OLED display will stretch from edge to edge in a nearly bezel-less design. The home button is dead and gone. TouchID has reportedly been moved to be a part of the lock/power button on the right-hand side but that is yet to be confirmed. There was some talk that Apple wanted to embed TouchID underneath the display. Barring more leaks prior to the unveiling, we likely won’t know where TouchID has gone until Tim Cook tells us. The OLED display is the star of the show in the iPhone 8 design. It even stretches around the small cutout for the front-facing sensors and earpiece at the top of the device. A lot of analysts speculate that top portion of the screen will be used to display battery life and cellular/WiFi connection.
AR-Ready Dual Camera Sensor
On the back of the iPhone 8 you will find a vertically aligned dual camera sensor. The significance of the vertical alignment is important for augmented reality applications. AR works best in a landscape environment so when the iPhone 8 is turned on its side, the cameras will align horizontally for the best AR performance. It’s clear Apple is going to making a big play to be the top brand in AR. iOS 11 includes an ARKit and Tim Cook has talked about AR quite a bit over the last few months. In fact, he lead his recent earnings call by discussing AR. Clearly the technology is a big part of Apple’s future and the iPhone 8 camera will be their best opportunity to show off what they can do. Speaking of cameras…
Another HomePod leak was information about a new SmartCamera. Within the code there were details about how the SmartCamera might work. It appears that the iPhone 8 will be able to tell what kind of photo you are trying to take and adjust its settings accordingly to ensure you get the best quality photo. For example, if you are taking a picture of a snowy landscape then the iPhone 8 would adjust lighting settings to ensure you don’t get a blurry, white mess. In addition, it also appears that the iPhone 8 will be able to know when a fast moving person or object is in frame and focus on that. This should be incredibly helpful for action shots. Of course, this is all great on paper but we need to see how it works in the real world before passing judgement.
Thanks to the HomePod leak, we finally have a name for the long-rumored 3D face scanning feature that will be included in the iPhone 8. PearlID is coming and it promises to do everything you can do with TouchID, just using your face, obviously. A mention of an infrared camera in the HomePod firmware gives us an idea of how PearlID will work. It sounds like the infrared camera will scan a user’s face, map the various points, and then use that information to unlock the device, authorize Apple Pay purchases, and access secure apps. Many smartphone manufacturers have tried things like iris scanning with mixed results. It will be interesting to see this feature in action at the iPhone 8 September launch event.
There have been a lot of rumors about wireless charging in the iPhone 8. One of Apple’s manufacturing partners confirmed that they were working on a wireless charging dock for the iPhone 8 but, again, nothing is for sure until Tim Cook says it is. One leak from the HomePod firmware seems to indicate that wireless charging may be coming to the iPhone 8. There was code for a unique D22 battery icon. D22 is the code name for the iPhone 8. This unique battery icon could be used to differentiate between wireless charging and regular cable charging or it could simply be a new design for the battery icon. Perhaps we will get a better look at this during the iPhone 8 September launch event. However, some rumors are suggesting that wireless charging may not be enabled at launch. Instead, Apple may hold off on enabling the feature through a software update until a later date. It all depends on if the rumors of wireless charging dock delays are true or not.
Is price a feature? In any case, a lot of people who want to get their hands on the iPhone 8 will want to know how many nickels they need to save. The answer: a lot. Save a lot of nickels. Industry analysts are expecting the iPhone 8 to cost upwards of $1,100 at launch. This is partially due to the increased cost of manufacturing OLED screens and the perceived demand that the iPhone 8 will have. It’s a bold move for Apple when the Galaxy Note 8 and Google Pixel XL 2 will also be launching this fall at a lower price. With that said, I expect the iPhone 8 will sell very well among the legions of dedicated Apple fans.
Launch Event Surprises
The iPhone 8 has been very leak prone but that’s not to say Apple doesn’t have something up their sleeve for the iPhone 8 September launch event. Considering this year will be the 10th anniversary of the iconic smartphone, Apple will surely be pulling out all the stops to make this event one of the biggest yet. What are your thoughts? Are you looking forward to the event or will you be sitting on the sidelines waiting for another smartphone to launch this fall?