Rumors regarding Apple’s 2017 flagship smartphone – likely to be called iPhone 8 – have been heating up over the last few months. The device is expected to come with an entirely new design and many other improvements to mark the 10th anniversary of Apple’s iconic product. Even though the phone is still several months away, concept designers have started imagining what the device could look like.
All-glass iPhone 8 with iris scanner
Folks at iDropNews have come up with a dazzling iPhone 8 concept with all-glass design and no physical home button. Apple will reportedly ditch the home button and embed the fingerprint sensor in the display itself. The concept iPhone 8 boasts of a bezel-less OLED display and a new white color option. It also features an iris scanner for enhanced security.
An all-glass design certainly looks exciting. But there are so many technical challenges involved in designing such a device that it is unlikely to happen in 2017. Apple already owns patents related to all-glass display technology, but refining these technologies, adding them into a device, and then managing the supply chain is a whole different story.
Only one model of iPhone 8 to have OLED display
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a research note earlier this week that Apple would launch three different models of the iPhone 8. The 4.7-inch version will have an LCD screen and a single-lens camera. The 5.5-inch Plus model will also have an LCD display, but with a dual-camera setup. Only the third version, likely with a 5.8-inch display, will get an OLED screen with the dual-camera system on the back.
Apple was planning to use OLED displays in all variants of the iPhone 8. But most of its suppliers are not ready to ship OLED screens in large volumes by late 2017. So, the company is said to use it only in the most expensive variant. Supply constraints may continue well into 2018. Samsung is said to be the sole supplier of OLED displays for the iPhone 8, but it could not make enough units due to increasing iPhone demand and low yield rates.
50-50 split between OLED and LCD?
Japan Display and Sharp are still working on test procedures for OLED displays. They are unlikely to achieve full potential until 2018. Japan Display president Shuji Aruga recently said that there could be a 50-50 split between OLED and LCD displays for 2017 iPhones.
This is not the first time Apple has run into supply problems. The Cupertino company was once planning to use sapphire display in its 2014 iPhone 6. Apple financed GT Advanced Technologies to boost production of sapphire displays. But GT Advanced Technologies failed to deliver high-quality sapphire glass in volumes. So, Apple had to abandon the plan.