The latest reports on the iPhone range suggest that Apple will release three separate models of the flagship smartphone in 2017, and that the iPhone 8 will be only one of these. Alongside the iPhone 8 will be iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus releases, meaning that Apple will offer iPhone consumers three different versions of a smartphone simultaneously for the first time.

iPhone 8
Photo by olleeriksson

iPhone 8 codenamed Ferrari

Reports from close to the Apple supply chain indicate that the iPhone 8 will be particularly powerful, and that it has already been codenamed Ferrari. Sources from Apple’s East Asia supply chain have leaked company documents onto the Internet, later spotted by the Apple-following publication Apple Insider. The documents refer to three handsets, namely D20, D21 and D22. This strongly implies that all three versions will be released alongside one another.

According to text contained within the document, the powerful Ferrari smartphone will feature wireless charging, what is described as an invisible Home button, and an edge-to-edge AMOLED screen, with Apple eliminating all bezels from the display area. This is entirely consistent with rumors related to the iPhone 8 device, and thus the rumors must be given considerable credence.

Aside from the aesthetic and component alterations included in iPhone 8, Apple Insider also notes that the Ferrari version of the smartphone features substantial internal tweaks. The publication reports that Apple will split the logic board in the device into two discrete units connected by a flex cable. “The first board will carry iPhone’s operating guts like the expected “A11” SoC and NAND flash storage, as a communications package with Wi-Fi and cellular components lives on a second board,” Apple Insider suggests.

Display quandary

There has been no indication of the dimensions of the iPhone 8 Ferrari as of yet, and it is difficult to speculate precisely what screen size Apple will opt for. It seems likely that the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus will retain the device sizes from this year’s iPhone 7 release, but the iPhone 8 Ferrari is effectively an entirely new model. Previous suggestions that Apple would produce a premium phablet have always linked such a device with a 5.5-inch display, in common with the Plus variants, but there is no guarantee that Apple will actually follow this blueprint.

However, it is believed that Apple will not reverse the decision made with the iPhone 7 regarding the headphone jack, and thus this will not feature in the iPhone 8. This will mean that consumers opting to purchase an iPhone 8 smartphone, and presumably the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus as well, will have to rely on Apple’s Lightning connector or opt for wireless Bluetooth headphones.

Plastic exterior

Meanwhile, other reports this week indicate that Apple could consider releasing a forthcoming handset with a radical plastic exterior. This is consistent with the Chinese leaks, as the report suggests that the OLED display included in the iPhone 8 will effectively curve all over the device. Whether this would be a standard design element, or part of another iPhone model remains to be seen. It does, though, seem unlikely that Apple would ditch the aluminum and glass design which has proved so popular in recent releases.

3D camera

The iPhone 8 is also being linked with several other radical design elements. The first of these is a dual-lens 3D camera, with considerably improved megapixel rating. Apple has concentrated far more on photography in the iPhone series over the last few releases, and the corporation is expected to enhance the photographic capabilities of the iPhone 8 still further.

And the 3D camera will be particularly useful in another mooted feature of the iPhone 8, namely augmented reality. It is expected that this will be included in the iPhone 8, with the intention of enabling users to generate real-time views of their surroundings. Augmented and virtual reality are becoming more important in the technology marketplace, with Sony having recently released a virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4 console.

Curved display

It is also expected that the iPhone 8 will feature a curved display in some capacity. This aspect of technology has been hugely successful for Samsung with its Galaxy range of devices, with the screen feature having been adapted from its range of television sets. Apple is expected to follow suit sooner rather than later with a curved display in the iPhone, and this is increasingly being tipped for the iPhone 8 release.

Clamshell design

Rumors have suggested that the iPhone could feature folding elements, in common with the clamshell design that was trendy at one time in the mobile niche. This has particularly emanated from two patents for folding technology, which were approved earlier this month. Apple applied for the two patents some months ago, and the text included in the application suggests that the Californian corporation will be influenced by the flip phones that were popularized by Motorola in the 1990s.

It is evident in the patent application that there is a hinge in the centre of the display of the handsets, enabling it to effectively bend in half. This would be a hugely radical move by Apple were it to include this technology in the iPhone page, but it is worth remembering that many patents already secured by the Cupertino-based company have yet to see the light of day, and indeed may never do so. It seems likely that this will not be included in the iPhone 8, as Apple is actually rather cautious about new technological inclusions it is flagship mobile, instead preferring to hold back such innovations until they are perfected internally.

With Apple forced to compete in a diversifying and increasingly competitive smartphone marketplace, it seems certain that the iPhone 8 will be a high-spec device. This could see the Californian corporation increase the resolution of the display included in the smartphone, while ramping up other aspects of its performance, in particular the battery life of the device. It seems increasingly likely that the tenth anniversary of the iPhone next year will be acknowledged with an exciting and original iPhone 8 release.