We hope the iPhone 8 will have an exciting design and user interface when it launches later this year. For now, the rumor mill and concept designers have been trying to give us an idea of what the device would look like. The 10th anniversary iPhone is said to have a 5.8-inch bezel-less OLED display. There will be no room for the physical home button. Recent leaks have shown that there will be a cutout at the top to house the speaker, front camera, and other sensors. A new iPhone 8 preview video imagines what the new UI would look like.

iPhone 8 Preview
Image Source: Andrea Cau / Chris Burns / YouTube video (screenshot)

How realistic is this iPhone 8 preview?

The iPhone 8 preview comes from designer Andrea Cau. The video shows how the home screen and apps would function. The rumor mill and Wall Street analysts are certain that the iPhone 8 would ditch the home button. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the home button would be replaced by a new “function area” at the bottom that would serve users dynamic controls based on whatever app is on the screen.

Cau imagines a virtual home button in the function area. When you are running apps, the home button turns into a pill-shaped “tap to home” button. At the top of the screen, there is WiFi, battery, signal strength, time, and Bluetooth indicator. The transition from the lock screen fingerprint sensor icon to the active home button looks interesting. The iPhone 8 preview video sticks to Apple’s minimalist design language.

iOS 11 has set the tone for iPhone 8 UI

iOS 11, the software that will run the iPhone 8, is already in beta testing phase. The new software brings improvements to the Control Center, lock screen, Apple Music, and App Store. It also offers some exciting new features such as Do Not Disturb While Driving, which mutes all the notifications when you are driving and lets the other person know that you’ll get in touch after reaching your destination.

The iOS 11 has also improved the Maps app and made Siri smarter. Apple is also introducing a new peer-to-peer payment service via Apple Pay with iOS 11. The most interesting feature to debut with the iPhone 8 will be augmented reality. It will change the way you interact with apps and your surroundings. Apple has made ARKit available to developers to let them build AR experiences into their apps.

iPhone 8 to have 3D sensor both on front and back

Earlier this week, sources familiar with the development told Fast Company that the iPhone 8 would also feature a 3D laser sensor on the back panel to enable augmented reality and enhance the photography experience. Analysts had already confirmed the presence of 3D laser sensor on the front for facial recognition. Sources told Fast Company that the rear-mounted 3D sensor would allow for better depth detection for AR and more accurate autofocus for photography.

The iPhone 8 would use vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) system in the rear camera. The Cupertino company will reportedly source the VCSEL components from Lumentum and Finisar. The VCSEL works by sending out beams of light and then calculating the distance the light traveled from the laser to objects and back to the sensor. The resultant Time of Flight (TOF) helps calculate the depth of field. The entire setup costs $2 per phone, said Fast Company.

iPhone 8 shipments to begin in October

Meanwhile, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch told investors after a tour to Apple’s Asian supply chain that the iPhone 8 shipments would be delayed by 3-4 weeks. The tech giant was facing “technology issues” with the 3D sensor and fingerprint scanner. The fingerprint sensor is likely to be integrated into the display, which has proved challenging. The research firm said the iPhone 8 would launch in October at the earliest.

Anticipating a delay in iPhone 8 launch, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts slashed their iPhone shipment estimates for the current fiscal year from 219.1 million to 208.1 million units. However, they expect shipments to skyrocket to 243 million units in 2018. The research firm still has a Buy rating on the stock.

Will it cost above $1200?

Noted Apple blogger John Gruber predicts that the iPhone 8 could cost as much as $1,200. That’s much higher than the nearly $1,000 price tag suggested by previous reports. The reason for such a ridiculously high price tag is massive demands and supply constraints. Gruber says Apple can’t produce 40 million iPhone 8 units per quarter, especially considering problems with the OLED supply.

The only way to alleviate the demand is to place a higher price tag on the device. Gruber, who has made several accurate predictions about Apple products in the past, says the 64GB iPhone 8 would cost $1,199 or $1,249. The 256GB model could be priced at $1,299 or $1,349. There will also be two other devices, the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, that would cost in the same range as the current iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

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