With several other big smartphone releases due in the next couple of months, the iPhone 8 is beginning to take shape behind the scenes. Apple is developing its flagship smartphone diligently, with the Californian company expected to produce a revolutionary mobile in order to mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone series. Reports are now accumulating on some of the new features that will be included in this significant handset, with the iPhone 8 set to look significantly different from its current generation cousin.Image Source: iphonedigital/flickr.com
Storage options reduced
However, an intriguing report this week from TrendForce suggests that Apple will not make too many changes to the storage options included with the iPhone 8. TrendForce believes that the largest storage quantity available in the iPhone 8 generation will be 256GB, with only a 64GB alternative available. This information apparently comes from close to the Apple supply chain, with the same sources also revealing that the iPhone 8 will benefit from 3GB of RAM.
The latter of these two suggestions seems quite likely, with Apple tending to increase the memory of its smartphone by 1GB every year recently. But the previous iPhone generation offered consumers three different storage choices, so it would perhaps be somewhat surprising were Apple to cut down on these options. Conversely, perhaps the consumer electronics giant has concluded that the 128GB version of the iPhone 7 performed poorly, and with Apple likely to offer iPhone buyers other different options when the iPhone 8 is released, they may see it as practical to reduce the storage quantity quotients.
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The inclusion of OLED technology in at least one model of the iPhone 8 now seems to be a certainty, with the consequences of this being reported on regularly. It has been highly anticipated that Apple will move away from LCD technology in the iPhone 8, with the OLED screens that have been so successful for Samsung expected instead. This technology offers several advantages, but perhaps particularly attractive to Apple will be the power efficiency of OLED compared to LCD.
However, with Apple still haggling over the supply of OLED, it is believed that the expensive technology required could push the cost of the iPhone 8 above $1,000 in the United States. This figure is for the premium version of the smartphone, but it is nonetheless a hefty amount to pay out for a mobile. Nonetheless, Apple enjoys the sort of market penetration and brand loyalty which would mean that it could afford to significantly hike its prices while retaining unit sales.
It is not certain whether OLED will appear in every iPhone 8 device, as it is increasingly believed that Apple is working on three separate iPhone 8 models. The largest of these will be a new 5.8-inch variant, which will compete alongside the traditional 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch devices.
Previous reports have focused on the intention of Apple to ditch the aluminum back cover that was a feature of the iPhone 7, with a return to what is described as the glass sandwich design. This all-glass visage will be a significant departure from recent handsets, and will physically set the iPhone 8 apart from his predecessors. In other design changes, Apple is expected to significantly slim down the bezels in the iPhone 8, with all models of this generation expected to focus on edge-to-edge screens.
Reports this week have also centered on a research note from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty which predicts that the iPhone 8 will encompass a larger battery with an improved lifecycle over previous generations. Huberty suggests that a stacked logic board within the smartphone will ensure that there is more space for a large cell, and coupled with the less greedy OLED screen and software evolution, this will translate into significant improvements.
Huberty cites the Chinese marketplace as a major motivation for new technology and form factor changes, also pointing to advanced AI software capabilities in the iPhone 8, alongside wireless charging. There is still some debate over whether Apple will indeed include the latter technology, with some reports having suggested that the Cupertino-based company is struggling to perfect the system intended for the iPhone 8. However, if Apple is able to include wireless charging, it promises to be the most advanced form of the technology ever seen in the smartphone market, with the iPhone 8 apparently capable of charging at a distance of 15 feet.
3D selfie sensor
The Morgan Stanley analyst also mentioned another feature that the infamous KGI Securities soothsayer Ming-Chi Kuo has also predicted. Kuo believes that the iPhone 8 will include a revolutionary selfie camera. This technology will utilize infrared sensors in order to detect the location and depth of objects within its field of vision, effectively producing 3D images.
Kuo believes that this technology could be used in order to achieve facial and iris recognition, with 3D selfies also becoming possible. There is also virtual and augmented reality potential for the technology, with Kuo suggesting that the new camera system could be used to accurately replace a character’s head with that of the user.
The iPhone 7 Plus already has the capability of conducting rudimentary forms of such detection, utilizing the two rear cameras included in the unit to determine the distance of objects. This would seem to be a precursor to a more advanced iris system being included in the iPhone 8, with the dedicated infrared transmitter and receiver in the next generation smartphone ensuring that the 3D sensor system is considerably more accurate.
Although this is not anticipated for the next generation, Kuo believes that in the future Apple could include this 3D sensing technology in the rear-facing cameras of the phone, ensuring that the large dual-camera iris system is redundant.
With Apple also expected to produce its first ever curved smartphone when the iPhone 8 is released, and screen resolution across all models expected to be bumped up in order to accompany the OLED technology, what we have in prospect is a very exciting iPhone generation.