Apple’s 10th-anniversary smartphone, likely to be called iPhone 8 or iPhone X, is anticipated to bring major design changes. A series of leaks and rumors over the last few weeks have confirmed that the phone would ditch the physical home button. A new report claims that the 10th anniversary iPhone would have an even more radical design than the rumor mill expected.
Physical buttons will be replaced by touch-sensitive inlays
Sources familiar with Apple’s plans told Fast Company that the tech giant might remove all the physical buttons from the iPhone 8. The volume, power, and mute switch are all on their way out. The physical buttons will be replaced by “touch-sensitive inlays” in the metal. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering Apple has always focused on minimalist design. Removing the physical buttons fits Jony Ive’s design philosophy.
The iPhone 8 is said to have a glass-sandwich design. The front and back glass panels would be supported by a stainless steel frame in the middle. Without physical buttons, the device would be closer to becoming a single sheet of glass. Apple laid the groundwork for a button-less future when it replaced the TouchID button on the iPhone 7 with a virtual one via a taptic engine. It doesn’t physically click, but it gives the feel of a click with haptic feedback.
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iPhone 8 to have a 3D sensing technology
Getting rid of the physical buttons would allow Apple to make the iPhone 8 more waterproof. The upcoming smartphone is said to have IP68 level waterproofing capabilities. In the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the Cupertino company uses rubber gaskets around the inside of physical buttons to prevent the entry of water. Fast Company added that Apple would also launch iPhone 7S and 7S Plus alongside the iPhone 8.
It is too early to say whether consumers would be comfortable with an iPhone without any buttons. The report added that Apple was working with Lumentum to bring a new 3D sensing technology to the 10th anniversary iPhone. The 3D sensing technology could be used for facial recognition, augmented reality (AR) applications, and to improve Portrait Mode on the rear camera.
Can Apple justify the iPhone 8’s $1,000 price tag?
The 5.8-inch iPhone 8/X may cost upward of $1,000, sources told Fast Company. While the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus are said to stick to LCD panels, the iPhone 8 would feature an edge-to-edge OLED display. Apple is reportedly paying twice as much for OLED panels, which would push up the cost. It is also expected to have more RAM and greater storage capacity.
Currently, the 256GB iPhone 7 Plus costs $969. So, a $1,000 price tag for iPhone 8 wouldn’t be out of the world. However, Apple needs to add more features such as long-distance wireless charging to justify the extra-premium pricing. The strong performance of the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus has proved that customers are willing to pay more for cool features.