The latest news on the iPhone is that Apple will produce an entirely new model of the smartphone that is already being dubbed the iPhone X. Analysts believe that this new variant of the classic iPhone will feature an entirely new display. Not only will this be larger than previous iPhone models, but it will also incorporate OLED technology and feature a wraparound design.

iPhone 8 Concept
Image source: Apple designer – YouTube

Research note predictions

Each of these ideas have been proposed by Apple experts previously, but there is a new solidity to the latest rumors considering that they have been suggested by a major analyst in a research note. Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company believes that there will be a “feature-rich launch” of three iPhone variants later this year, with two iPhone 7S handsets supplementing this new iPhone X design.

However, Cowen and Company also states that Apple will face technical challenges in delivering the 5.8-inch version of the smartphone, with the analysis of the company pointing to low part yields and availability for vital components.

OLED expected for iPhone 8

The two iPhone 7S models will essentially supplement the existing iPhone 7, meaning that 4.7 and and 5.5-inch handsets should be expected. However, Cowen and Company also believes that Apple could be about to include OLED technology in the smaller version of the next generation iPhone as well. This will be dependent on the ability of Samsung to supply a sufficient quantity of the technology, as well as the consumption of Apple’s existing LCD inventory.

In order to deliver these new design elements, the iPhone 8, or iPhone X, will utilize the “fixed flex” screen. This was previously used in the now sadly defunct Galaxy Note 7, and has been a common aspect of recent Samsung releases.

If the OLED display is delivered as anticipated then it had previously been expected that numerous key components will be embedded into the display of the device. This would enable an edge-to-edge front panel in the iPhone 8 to eliminate bezels completely. Thus, such features as the iPhone 8 earpiece, FaceTime camera and Touch ID fingerprint sensor could be moved in the next generation.

However, Arcuri rejected this notion, suggesting instead that Apple could decide to switch to Synaptec’s optical-based fingerprint reader for the new Touch ID sensor. Arcuri believes this to be the only workable solution for detecting a fingerprint through the screen of a smartphone at present.

One technical difficulty for Apple with implementing this technology, though, is the fact that it is not currently being sampled to device manufacturers at this time. This would call into question whether or not it would be possible to deliver the technology in sufficient quantity for the iPhone 8. This will certainly be a major consideration for the consumer electronics giant, as it is notable that it does not currently hold a patent for such technology.

Intel and Qualcomm cited

Meanwhile, as Apple makes preparations for its next generation smartphone, it is believed that the corporation will continue to source iPhone cellular modems through Intel and Qualcomm. However, there have been media reports that Intel units have experienced difficulties, meaning that Apple may lean more heavily on Qualcomm this time out. This could be complicated by the ongoing lawsuit being carried out by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, alleging that the company has acted with impropriety when selling modems previously.

Arcuri also anticipates that Apple will embrace facial and gesture recognition in the iPhone X at least, with a laser sensor being utilized in order to deliver this technology. Arcuri believes this will also require an infrared sensor near the front-facing camera, while wireless charging will also debut in the iPhone range this time round. The report did not go into details on any of these aspects of the Apple mobile, but they are all expected to materialize nonetheless.

Morgan Stanley sees sales dip

Ultimately, the analyst predicts a feature-rich launch with three iPhone models, which will be entirely necessary if the latest sales information is to be taken into consideration. Respected financial services company Morgan Stanley believes that sales of both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be significantly lower in 2017 than was previously expected. However, it is not all bad news for Apple, as Morgan Stanley believes that this can largely be attributed to the release of the forthcoming iPhone 8.

The financial sector analyst suggests that the next generation iPhone 8 will reduce Apple’s anticipated iPhone 7 sales, but that this will have minimal impact on the overall position of Apple in the marketplace. Morgan Stanley indicates its assessment that the tenth anniversary iPhone will be so mouth-watering for consumers that this will attract outstanding sales for Apple.

Overall, the financial picture for Apple in 2017 is one of challenging first and second quarters, with the release of the iPhone 8 improving the situation of the company towards the end of the year. Apple will heed this message with interest, no doubt, and this could influence the strategy of the company in the coming 12 months. In particular, it will be intriguing to see what the Cupertino-based company has in store for the Apple Watch range in 2017.

Spec upgrades and VR

In order to attract people to the iPhone 8, Apple is also expected to upgrade the specs of the device, aside from its fancy new display. Early rumors have particularly focused on the potential virtual reality capabilities of the smartphone, with VR becoming increasingly important in the contemporary technology climate. Sales of the PlayStation VR unit have been encouraging for Sony, and it seems that virtual reality could finally be ready to make the market breakthrough that has been anticipated for decades.

With Apple wishing to manufacture an iPhone that delivers virtual reality compatibility, there will be pressure on the Californian corporation to upgrade the resolution of the display. This would seem to make perfect sense if Apple is also to embrace OLED, and could lead to the first ever quad HD mobile from the market leader.

It all adds up to an exciting Apple iPhone 8 launch later this year.