With 2017 already expected to be the year Apple breaks the old iPhone design mold, it’s also the handset’s tenth birthday. With that comes the expectation for an iPhone 8 that will break the tech barrier, placing it at the top for innovation. However, along with a redesign and new tech, there are rumors which suggest we could see not one, but three new iPhone 8 variants, come September 2017.
Three iPhone 8 models
One source of this three-handset rumor comes from none other than KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He suggests that the iPhone 8 will come in two sizes, 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, which is the same as Apple used with its iPhone 6 line and the more recent 7 models. However, he expects two different 5.5-inch variants and one 4.7-inch variant, with the difference being in the type of display (see below).
Who is Kuo? Ming-Chi Kuo has been around for some time and is often the source of many an iPhone rumor. However, unlike the vast majority of speculations you may see online, his information comes from years of working close to those who have insider knowledge of Apple’s plan, meaning he often gets his information 80+ percent accurate.
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Kuo on iPhone 8 display
For a few years now, there have been rumors of OLED technology making its way to the iPhone. However, and for whatever reason, Apple has failed to use it on its biggest selling device.
For 2017 and the iPhone 8, Kuo believes that Apple will use a mix of both LCD and OLED display tech. According to his version of the three-handset rumor, there will be LCD versions of both the next standard iPhone and also the iPhone 8 Plus. He believes the third iPhone variant will be an even more high-end 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Premium with an OLED display.
In a research note, Kuo wrote:
“We believe the OLED and 5.5-inch TFTLCD iPhones will feature dual-camera [sic]. Based on this prediction, our forecast of dual camera adoption rate in new 2017F iPhone models is revised up from 30-40% to 65-75%. We view this increase as favoring Largan’s sales and profit momentum as it is the exclusive supplier of wide-angle and telephoto lens. It also bodes well for Apple’s dual camera software ecosystem.”
Now that we’ve seen what Ming-Chi Kuo believes will happen with the iPhone 8, let’s have a look at other rumors.
It’s clear that the masses are hoping that 2017 will see an iPhone 8 with a radically different design, possibly one that features an edge-to-edge display which does away with the top and bottom bezels.
However, doing something as seemingly mundane as removing the bezel does lead to other problems. Doing so would mean the Home button, fingerprint sensor, and front-facing camera would have to be built directly into the display. This is exactly what the rumor mill is suggesting and apparently what Jony Ive has wanted for years. But what no one has touched upon is whether this means the display will grow to fit the iPhone or if the iPhone will shrink to fit the screen.
According to Nikkei, all three iPhone 8 variants will get glass backs supplied by China’s Biel Crystal. However, this report suggests that the three handsets will come in 4.7-inch, 5-inch, and 5.5-inch variations, which is not what Ming-Chi Kuo had suggested, but apparently Apple is currently undecided about whether to go ahead.
An unnamed source told Nikkei:
“Apple has tentatively decided that all the 5.5-inch, 5-inch and 4.7-inch iPhone 8’s will have glass backs, departing from metal casings adopted by current iPhones, and Biel and Lens are likely to be providing all the glass backs for the new iPhones next year.”
Apple knows that it has fallen behind Android manufacturers when it comes to battery technologies, and this includes wireless charging, with many flagship Android phones having had this for many years. However, according to one new rumor, Apple, with the help of its partners Foxconn and Energous, aims to correct this, and it plans to do so by creating a new wireless charging technology that doesn’t require a charging plate. The tech would also supposedly enable the iPhone 8 to be charged up to 15 feet away from a plugged-in transmitter.
Here’s how it would apparently work. A small chip will be incorporated into the iPhone 8 that will enable it to connect to a base station. This base station will wirelessly charge the handset, and there can be multiple base stations placed around the home or office.
Tightened biometric security
Ming-Chi Kuo has also been talking about biometrics, suggesting that the iPhone 8 could be the most security-conscious iPhone to date. While there’s no meat on the bones here, he does think we could see facial recognition and even iris scanning. If combined, these two biometric technologies would lead to an iPhone 8 with a double layer of serious security.
For many, the release date of the iPhone 8 is a forgone conclusion because Apple usually releases its handsets in September. However, it has been known to, on the odd occasion, move away from its self-imposed schedule.
The most recent device to deviate from the month of September was the iPhone SE. However, since the iPhone 5 launched in 2012, Apple has preferred to stick with a rigid schedule.
The headphone jack
Rumors about the headphone jack are also going around. Some people believe that Apple will reinstate it for the iPhone 8. We think this is nonsense; after all, it took a huge gamble when removing it from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, so much so that it would look foolish if it did a u-turn
Instead, we think Apple is planning for a future that is truly wireless; take a look at the AirPods, for instance. We think Apple is planning even more wireless innovation with the iPhone 8.
Could this rush the call Apple’s next handset the iPhone 8 be a little hasty? According to some who claim to know, Apple could name the handset the iPhone 10 to fall in line with the tenth anniversary of the iPhone. We doubt this will happen, but if you’re looking for a recent precedent, Samsung skipped the number 6 in its Note range, only to have the Note 7 explode and be recalled.
Let us know your thoughts on this or any other rumor featured in this article.