Apple’s highly-anticipated 10th anniversary iPhone is rumored to get a bold design makeover. Different concept designers have been trying to imagine what the iPhone 8 – or whatever Apple calls it – could look like. An edge-to-edge OLED display is almost a certainty. Now concept designer Martin Hajek (via Computer Bild) has come up with a stunning concept that pays homage to the original iPhone launched in 2007.
iPhone 8 to borrow water drop design from the original iPhone
The concept is based on a report from Korean publication ETNews that the 10th anniversary iPhone would pay homage to the original one. Martin Hajek shows that going retro could make the iPhone 8 look more beautiful than ever before. Sources told ETNews Apple would use a 3D glass case on the back to give it a “water drop design.” The first iPhone had rounded edges on the rear panel. Apple has minimized the curves or eliminated them since the iPhone 4.
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The iPhone 8 will sport a giant 5.8-inch OLED screen rather than the 3.5-inch LCD of the first one. But its rear panel is said to be curved around the top, bottom, left, and right edges to mimic the original iPhone. If you remember the 2007 iPhone, it had a black plastic area at the rear bottom for antennas. At the time, the plastic area was there due to technological limitations. Martin Hajek’s concept retains that black area on the back panel.
The retro iPhone 8 concept has a huge screen with almost no bezels. If you don’t like the decade-old two-tone look, Hajek also imagines the “iPhone X” in gold, rose gold, and black color options. The concept phone has a flush dual-camera setup on the back. Hajek has removed the physical home button with a virtual Touch ID sensor embedded in the display. KGI Securities has reported previously that the 10th anniversary iPhone would replace the physical home button with a “function area” that would be similar to the Touch Bar on the latest MacBooks.
You may have to wait a bit longer for the iPhone 8
Meanwhile, reports coming out of Asia claim the 10th anniversary iPhone release could be pushed back by 1-2 months. Citing the Economic Daily News, DigiTimes reports that Apple suppliers are facing difficulties with the lamination process of curved OLED panels. Interestingly, the OLED panels intended for the iPhone 8 would be similar to the curved OLED screens used on Samsung’s latest Galaxy S8 flagship.
DigiTimes added that the implementation of a 3D sensing module is also contributing to the delay. It’s still possible that the Cupertino company will announce the 10th anniversary iPhone in September, and bring it to the market sometime in October or November. Apple will try its best to ensure the phone’s availability before the crucial holiday shopping season.
It’s not the first time the rumors about the iPhone 8 delay have popped up. Last month, Barclays analysts told investors that technical issues with the implementation of 3D sensors and in-display fingerprint scanner would force Apple to launch only “limited quantities” of the iPhone 8 in September. The full-fledged rollout would kick off only in October or November.
According to Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz, the custom 3D sensing setup would be located both on the front and back of the smartphone. The system would enable facial recognition and augmented reality features. Apple CEO Tim Cook is betting big on AR. Apple has acquired many startups in the areas of AR, VR, and 3D gaming. It has assembled a team of more than 1,000 engineers to develop augmented reality software and hardware components.
Apple expects huge demand for the 10th anniversary iPhone
Confirming past rumors, Nikkei Asia Review reported earlier this week that Apple had placed orders for 70 million OLED panels with Samsung Display. These panels are said to be delivered by the end of 2017. Such a huge order indicates that Apple is anticipating strong demand for the iPhone 8 in the fourth quarter, even though it would also be launching two other phones – iPhone 7S and 7S Plus – this September.
Samsung Display is preparing to manufacture up to 95 million OLED units for its US client, just in case the consumer demand turns out to be higher than anticipated. The Korean company is investing nearly $9 billion this year to ramp up its OLED production capacity. Previous reports suggested Apple and Samsung Display had signed two different agreements for a total of 160 million OLED screens.
iPhone 8 to feature True Tone display
Barclays analysts have learned from supply chain sources that the 10th anniversary iPhone would sport a True Tone display, just like the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. The True Tone display can change its color and intensity based on the surrounding environment to reduce the eye strain and enhance text legibility. Sources told Barclays the iPhone 8 would feature “full spectral sensing” ambient light sensor from AMS for the True Tone technology.
Among other things, the iPhone 8 is said to feature a faster and more energy-efficient A11 processor built by TSMC, 3GB RAM, and wireless charging.