I’m not an expert in Apple’s HR policies but I think someone might be getting a write up this week. Through the HomePod firmware, a lot of information was gleaned about the upcoming, still unannounced iPhone 8. The new iPhone 8 leaks are especially interesting because they come straight from Apple. Not since the infamous lost iPhone 4 incident have we seen Apple inadvertently leak such solid information about one of their upcoming devices. So, what is confirmed by these new iPhone 8 leaks?
Developer Guilherme Rambo has been Tweeting about the juicy tidbits of information he has found in the code for the HomePod speaker that reveal previously unconfirmed details about the new iPhone 8. Obviously Apple won’t be happy that this information has leaked and the release of the HomePod firmware with such sensitive details inside was a major mistake. But, we can’t worry about how Apple executives feel about the mistakes made at their company so let’s dive into what was discovered.
First, the design of the new iPhone 8 appears to have been confirmed. We have seen numerous rendered images of the iPhone 8 but, obviously, nothing is ever for sure until we see it on stage at an Apple conference… Or until Apple accidentally leaks an illustration of the design in their own firmware. The design is definitely in-line with what we have seen from the renders over the past few weeks. Obviously a small illustration doesn’t give a very detailed look but it does confirm what we have expected for quite some time: a nearly bezel-less design and the death of the home button. Take a look for yourself:
The internal name for the new iPhone 8 is “D22.” I think iPhone 8 has a nicer ring to it, personally. As you can see, the new OLED screen that will supposedly be included in the iPhone 8 will wrap around the small cutout that appears at the top of the screen. That cutout is the only bezel-like feature to speak of. That’s where the earpiece can be found as well as the front-facing camera and some sensors. Speaking of sensors…
Apple seems to have confirmed one of the most exciting new iPhone 8 features: the 3D face scanning that has been rumored for months. It has been speculated that Apple has been working on a method for unlocking the iPhone 8 that uses the shape of the user’s face. Other than those rumors, not much was known about the feature or if it even existed. Now, we can confidently say that Apple has something up its sleeve. There is some code that suggests D22 will have a front-facing infrared camera. That gives us an idea about how the 3D face scanning will work. It appears that infrared will be involved in the process in some way. This makes sense as it would ensure that unwanted users can use something like a photo or 3D build to access the device. The infrared would scan the face and use heat to help create an image that can be used to unlock the device, authorize Apple Pay purchases, and access secure apps.
Another interesting piece of code says, “batteryglyphs-D22” suggesting that there will be a unique battery symbol included with the D22/iPhone 8. If the rumors of wireless charging in the new iPhone 8 are true then it would make sense that there would be a unique symbol that differentiates between iPhone 8 charging and charging through the lightning port. The other reason for a unique battery symbol could be because of the shape of the screen. There may be less room for all the symbols that need to be incorporated at the top of the display so a smaller battery symbol in just the iPhone 8 would make sense. So, to summarize this rumor; this is either a confirmation or wireless charging or something not important at all.
A user on Reddit also dug into the code to pull out some other details. The code appears to suggest that the iPhone 8 will sport a 6.5-inch screen with a 3x Retina display. That’s much larger than the previously rumored 5.8-inch screen. The resolution, if correct, would mean the new iPhone 8 carries a pixel density of 412 ppi. That would be more dense than than the iPhone 7 Plus.
All of that is a lot to take in and it’s easily the most exciting iPhone 8 leak we have had so far this year. We already knew a lot of these details but it’s completely different when Apple basically goes ahead and confirms the details themselves; whether they meant to or not.
Some of the other rumors we have about the iPhone 8 include the movement of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Obviously, with the loss of the home button, Touch ID has to move somewhere. There were some rumors that Touch ID would be embedded underneath the new OLED screen but more recent rumors have indicated that Touch ID will be a part of the lock/power button on the right-hand side of the device.
There has also been a lot of speculation from industry analysts about the pricing of the new iPhone 8. Some industry watchers are suggesting the iPhone 8 could start at $1,100 for the base model. That would be several hundred dollars more than the pricing of competitors like the Galaxy Note 8 and the Google Pixel XL 2. Apple is clearly hoping that their new features like 3D face scanning and a bezel-less display will convince customers to reach deep into their wallets this fall.
Of course, even if you have the money you may not be able to get an iPhone 8. It’s suspected that the iPhone 8 may launch in late-October or early-November which is several weeks later than a usual iPhone launch. Not only will the device be delayed but there is also some thinking that the iPhone 8 will be available in very limited quantities initially. So, even if you have $1,100 for an iPhone 8 – you might have to wait to be able to buy one.
These new leaks give us a lot to chew on this week as the iPhone 8 announcement gets closer and closer. What do you think of these prematurely announced features? Do they increase the chance you might consider buying the iPhone 8?