Apple To Launch Only ‘Limited Quantities’ Of iPhone 8 In September

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For the last few weeks, there have been consistent rumors that Apple could push back the launch of its 10th anniversary iPhone 8. Supply chain reports blamed the delay on two components: Apple’s in-house fingerprint sensor that would sit underneath the display, and 3D sensing modules from STMicroelectronics. Neither component would be ready for mass production until September, which means the phone could arrive only in October or November.

What are your chances of getting the iPhone 8 on launch day?

Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis and his colleagues recently took a trip to Asia. Curtis said in a research note (via MacRumors) that the iPhone 8 would still launch in September, but it will be available only in limited quantities. When Apple starts taking pre-orders, chances are the shipping estimates could go as far back as November within minutes.

The iPhone 8 might be called something entirely different. Names like iPhone Pro, iPhone Edition, and iPhone X have also been doing rounds, but the rumor mill is still sticking to the iPhone 8 moniker. It is widely expected to have the most radical design overhaul since the original iPhone. The handset is rumored to come with a 5.8-inch OLED display, a glass-sandwich design, wireless charging, in-display fingerprint sensor, and no physical home button.

Suppliers had all good things to say about the iPhone 8

Barclays analysts said Apple suppliers were optimistic about the iPhone 8 launch. New features in the device require more complex manufacturing processes. The research firm confirmed that all the three devices coming this September – the iPhone 7S, 7S Plus, and iPhone 8 – would feature wireless charging. The flagship iPhone 8 would launch in the “normal September timeframe,” but the majority of volumes may not be available until the fourth quarter.

Barclays analysts also reiterated many of the previously rumored features. The 10th anniversary iPhone will have a 5.8-inch display, but the usable screen will be limited to just 5.15 inches. The remaining area at the bottom would house a new ‘function area‘ that will provide dynamic controls similar to the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook. They said the device would come with wireless charging capabilities, but other reports indicate that the wireless charging accessory would be sold separately.

10th anniversary iPhone to pack 2700mAh battery

The iPhone 8 would sport a stacked logic board design to accommodate a bigger battery. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the 10th anniversary iPhone will have a huge 2,700mAh battery even though its form factor will be similar to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7. The new logic board design would make room for an L-shaped battery. By comparison, the iPhone 7 packs a 1950mAh battery.

Though the iPhone 8 is said to have a curved display, Japanese publication Nikkei Asian Review reports that the screen will be only “gently” curved on the sides. The edges won’t be as pronounced as the Galaxy S7 Edge. The curves will be there only for visual appeal. Supply chain sources told Nikkei that that curves wouldn’t offer any significant new functions.

Paying homage to the original iPhone

In another report, ETNews has learned from supply chain sources that the 10th anniversary iPhone would pay homage to the original one launched a decade ago. The first iPhone’s rear edges were heavily rounded. To replicate it, Apple will use 3D glass cases on the back that will make curves around the edges and corners. ETNews described it as a “water drop design.” Despite the curved edges, the rear panel would still be flat to facilitate wireless charging.

A recent patent filing by Apple has sparked speculations that the iPhone 8 would feature facial recognition capabilities. The tech giant has been refining and improving the same technology since 2011. It uses the iPhone’s front camera to detect the face and authorize it if it belongs to the owner. If the phone has been motionless for a set amount of time, it would automatically lock the device.

iPhone 8 to dive into AR

Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has said on several occasions that the upcoming iPhone would feature a 3D sensing module to support facial recognition and augmented reality (AR). Bloomberg reported earlier this week that the iPhone 8 would indeed feature tons of AR features. The company has a team of more than 1,000 engineers working on a bunch of AR products and games in Israel.

Bloomberg’s claim corroborates with an earlier report from The Wall Street Journal that the device would include specialized hardware components for AR. Apple’s upcoming iOS 11 mobile operating system is also rumored to support augmented reality. Tim Cook is betting big on AR. He has expressed confidence that AR presents as big an opportunity as smartphones.

With a major design overhaul and all these new features, the iPhone 8 is not going to compete with Chinese Android phones on price. It will be expensive. Inside sources told Fast Company that its price tag could be above $1,000. The 256GB iPhone 7 Plus costs users $969. Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has also supported Fast Company’s claim that the new device would cost upward of $1,000. Fortunately, the 4.7-inch iPhone 7S is said to be more competitively priced.

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