The two big smartphone releases of 2017 will be the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8, and with the release date of the latter only a few months away, more information is beginning to circulate about the makeup of this handset. While the iPhone 8 will not appear until the latter portion of 2017, the important nature of this tenth anniversary release means that there is already a significant amount of speculation about this Apple device.
iPhone 8 Three models
The first bit of news that has broken recently, emanating from the Japanese news outlet Nikkei, is that Apple may release three separate models of the iPhone 8 in 2017, with a new five-inch contender among them. This report has already been diminished in importance in some quarters, with other analysts suggesting that Apple will instead stick to two iPhone 8 units. But in a diversifying smartphone marketplace, it could possibly make sense for Apple to produce three mainstream iPhone devices.
It is also being repeatedly reported that Apple will depart from the metal casing that has been prominent in recent releases, instead favouring a glass-based design. Whispers suggest that the glass front and back panels will be supplied by Chinese firms Biel Crystal Manufactory and Lens Technology, while Foxconn will manufacture an aluminum frame for the device.
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It has been suggested for some time that Apple will finally embrace OLED technology for at least one of the iPhone 8 models, although it is also believed that LCD will still play a part in the range. Apple could also decide to release its first ever curved screen iPhone when the iPhone 8 is unveiled, taking its lead from successful Samsung releases.
Reports are also circulating which suggest that Apple will place a particular emphasis on virtual reality when the iPhone 8 is released. VR is now becoming a mainstream technology, and Apple intends to get in on the ground floor by ensuring that the iPhone 8 has virtual reality components.
It has been noted that Apple has purchased a next generation 3D sensor from Primesense, and it is suggested that this could play a role in the iPhone 8.
When the next generation iPhone 8 ships, two new colors will apparently be included in its portfolio. A new blue option will be among these, and a glossier version of the existing grey, possibly referred to as space black, is also predicted.
Apple will surely seriously contemplate increasing the screen resolution of the iPhone 8, meaning that a quad HD phablet and a full HD smartphone are likely. Additionally, the iPhone 8 has already been linked with some spectacular camera technology, and this is likely to be a serious focus of the handset. Possibly we could see the DSLR or periscope technology that has been mooted for the iPhone range previously finally come to fruition in this tenth anniversary model.
Finally, Apple will attempt to ensure that the iPhone 8 is more user-friendly in 2017 by including wireless charging and bumping up the battery life of the device once more.
Samsung will be looking for the Galaxy S8 to restore the reputation of the company, after the disaster of its recent Galaxy Note release. Recent reports suggest that the Korean corporation will attempt to impress consumers by updating the design of the device and including a significantly improved camera. These predictions can be taken extremely seriously, as they were uttered by the mobile communications vice president of Samsung itself.
The executive also indicated that the device will feature an enhanced artificial intelligence service, suggesting that Samsung is attempting to rival Siri. So once again it seems that the Korean company is willing to take risks with its next smartphone release.
Samsung is also taking security extremely seriously according to reports on the Galaxy S8, with the manufacturer currently working hard to include an optical fingerprint scanner in its next generation flagship. It has even been suggested that this will make it possible for Samsung to produce a truly full screen mobile, eliminating the front keys from the device completely.
Of all aspects of the Galaxy S8, there is little doubt that the battery included in the handset will be the most important aspect. The explosions caused by the most recent Samsung phablet release mean that the corporation must concentrate diligently on delivering an extremely stable and reliable battery pack with the Galaxy S8.
And reports from Korea indicate that Samsung is willing to go to extreme lengths in order to achieve this, with media in its native country suggesting that Samsung will work closely with its main competitor. An unnamed Samsung executive was quoted as confirming that the company is “looking at diverse suppliers, including LG Chem”.
This would be a brave move from the corporation, but it could be necessary in order to produce the quality of product required.
Dual camera / iris scanner
Samsung has already announced that it intends to compensate part suppliers affected by the failure of the Galaxy Note 7. And a knock-on effect of this is that the Galaxy S8 will be equipped with a dual-camera setup and iris scanner.
The theory behind this is that dual-cameras will increase revenue for parts suppliers including Samsung Electro-Mechanics, a supplier of camera modules, Sekonix, which manufactures lenses for smartphone cameras, and Kolen, which is involved with iris scanners.
Samsung may also finally introduce its first ever 4K display when the Galaxy S8 is released. This has been anticipated for some time, and although the technology was expected to first see the light of day in the Galaxy Note series, the recent Galaxy Note 7 disaster could prompt Samsung to debut 4K in the S8. This would be logical for Samsung considering the almost inherent association that the company has with high-quality screen technology.