APPLE IPHONE 8 OR IPHONE X: HAS THE ANNIVERSARY IPHONE PRODUCTION BEEN DELAYED?

APPLE IPHONE 8 OR IPHONE X: HAS THE ANNIVERSARY IPHONE PRODUCTION BEEN DELAYED?


The unveiling is just around the corner, and leaks are still arriving daily. Apple is likely to be revealing three new iPhones, and we're particularly excited about the anniversary model. There's new confusion as rumors swirl about the name, displayand possible arrival delays of the new smartphones. Plus, you can check out a hands on video of the anniversary edition phone and read the details on leaks of the new iOS 11 features.

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Apple iPhone 8: price and variants

Let's talk about the price. The Apple iPhone 8 will cost a pretty penny. The model created for the tenth anniversary of the Cupertino firm phone leaves the "normal" iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus as alternatives. While the two "normal" iPhones are expected to follow the current pattern of prices, it is expected that the iPhone 8 approaches the threshold of $1000. Here is what the price distribution may look like:

  • Apple iPhone 7S: from $750
  • Apple iPhone 7S Plus: from $900
  • Apple iPhone 8: probably over $1000

There's some confusion around the name of the new iPhone. What appears to be sales packaging of the anniversary iPhone calls it iPhone X rather than iPhone 8. Since X is the roman numeral for 10, this makes sense for the tenth anniversary device. The image was later taken down, which is just more evidence pointing to it being real. So, it's possible that the devices we thought would be the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus will actually take the names iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. 

Apple iPhone 8: release date in September

In recent years Apple has presented its new iPhone in September, placing them on the market shortly after. The iPhone 8, or iPhone X, will be presented on September 12. This time, the wait to have it in your hands may be a bit longer than usual.

There are contradictory statements about the future availability of the iPhone 8. Some rumors say that the anniversary iPhone won't be sold until 2018, Digitimes from Asia announces that there are no problems with the suppliers and the new iPhone will go on sale just after its debut. Recently, analysts say Apple may be seeking a different supplier for its display panels due to the high costs of Samsung's. That would push delivery times behind schedule. The release date and availability of the iPhone 8 is an open ended question.

Apple iPhone 8: technical specs

There's no truly reliable information out there about the iPhone 8's technical specs. It is assumed that the new Apple smartphone will be equipped with a more powerful processor, probably called the A11. The anniversary model should also have more internal memory, up to 256GB or more.

The iPhone 8 may come with three levels of storage capacity, starting with 64 GB, according to a Weibo post. According to this leak, the origins of which are unknown, all models will come with 3 GB of RAM. From the lowest internal memory tier, 64 GB, there will be a large jump to 256 GB and 512 GB options. The poster, a user called GeekBar, attached an image of what is said to be a 64 GB memory module made by SanDisk. SanDisk will also provide the 256 GB modules, but Toshiba, Samsung and SK Hynix are also mentioned as suppliers of the various tiers. While previous rumors have suggested 64 and 256 GB storage options and 3 GB of RAM, we've thus far not heard any other rumors of 512 GB, so it's not certain that this rumor or the unknown source is reliable.

Apple iPhone 8: camera

Apple might also be experimenting a bit with its camera setup. The dual camera orientation might be switched from horizontal to vertical on the iPhone 8 to improve the image quality. In addition, Apple's latest smartphone might also feature a dual-lens dual camera on the front of the phone. If you want to learn about the advantages of a dual camera, check out this article.

Apple iPhone 8: display

Rumors about the iPhone 8's display are rapidly multiplying. Although it still hasn't been confirmed whether the display will be an AMOLED panel or not, other elements have begun to show face. If a leaked image is to be believed, the iPhone 8 could come with an iris scanner for the first time ever (on the front, of course). This technology, you may already know, will allow you to unlock your phone using your eyes and would thus be used instead of a fingerprint scanner.

The iPhone 8 could come with an iris scanner. © Macotakara

Although it seems that the iris scanner is on the phone, we could ask ourselves whether the fingerprint scanner will still be present or not. According to this leak, it seems it won't be. 

 

All the experts agree, the screen of the iPhone 8 will be the strong point of the new Apple smartphone. Just like the Samsung Galaxy S8, Apple will also greatly reduce bezels around the screen for the iPhone anniversary. While the display resolution is still unknown, it is almost certain that Apple will equip the iPhone 8 with an OLED panel, while the 7S model will keep the LCD display. Fingerprint reader, speaker, camera and sensors might be integrated behind the glass.

The OLED display would be largely responsible for the high price of a new iPhone 8 or iPhone X. Samsung is the current supplier for Apple, and it costs about $120 per display, which is over $70 more than the iPhone 7 Plus' display cost. So, Apple may seek another manufacturer since the price is so high.

 

No bezels and a fingerprint scanner behind the glass of the display? / © KK Sneak Leaks

Apple iPhone 8: design

Steve Hemmerstoffer, better known on Twitter as @OnLeaks, has gotten a hold of alleged CAD schematics for the new iPhone 8. So, together with TigerMobiles, a dummy device and hands on video was produced.Take a look:

There are a lot of details visible. The camera module protrudes prominently, which may be a compromise from the nice screen to body ratio. The home button is missing, and the fingerprint scanner is nowhere to be found. Perhaps Apple is taking a page from Samsung's book and putting an invisible home button on the display.  

In the latest leak of the iPhone 8's design, we also get a look at the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus and their glass backs. These three are all rumored to be in volume production and revealed together at a special event coming up in September. The leak shows dummy units, which don't work, but nevertheless supposedly show the final design of the phones. The iPhone 7S Plus appears to be the largest of the three, followed by the iPhone 8 and the 7S. You can see from the photos that the dual camera module on the iPhone 8 is vertically aligned, and protrudes from the back of the device, just like on the 7S Plus. There's no fingerprint scanner on the back of any of the devices, in case you were worrying. Take a look at the image below, and see the new glass-backed iPhones for yourself.

Check out the design of the new lineup. / © 9to5Mac

With leaks so far pointing to the iPhone 8 ditching the classic home button and adding a cutout at the top of the front of the device for sensors and the selfie camera, a designer, Max Rudberg, has decided to explore how this new shape will affect the UI. Taking inspiration from the large navbars of iOS 11, his designs show a virtual home button alongside bottom-oriented navigation. That means users wouldn't have to reach all the way to the top of the screen, or use two hands, just to hit the back button. Check out his visualizations below, to the right of the iPhone 7:

This is what the iPhone 8's UI may look like. / © Max Rudberg

Gordon Kelly, working with case maker Nodus, has contributed a new report to Forbes that details what he believes to be the final hardware design of the iPhone 8. The renders posted, based on Apple supply chain leaks, show a 5.8-inch display, 4 mm bezels on each side and a larger power button (possibly for Touch ID, if it isn't possible to integrate it under the display).

The iPhone 8's final hardware design, based on supply chain leaks. / © Nodus and Gordon Kelly

What won't be present is a headphone jack or a USB Type-C port, as there will only be a Lightning port. The tenth anniversary iPhone will have stereo speakers (in the form of a bottom speaker and an amplified call speaker). For the front camera and sensors, there will be a cutout at the top of the display, around which there will be status icons.

The power button for the iPhone 9 will be larger, possibly to accommodate Touch ID. / © Nodus and Gordon Kelly

There will be a vertically-aligned dual rear camera, but the exact details of the configuration are unknown. The author of the report says that the iPhone 8 will have an 'L'-shaped battery, which will give it longer battery life than the iPhone 7 Plus without adding too much bulk.

 

Status icons will surround the cutout for the front camera and sensors. / © Nodus and Gordon Kelly

Steve Hemmerstoffer, better known as @OnLeaks on Twitter, was given CAD data of the iPhone 8 a few months ago. Based on these factory schematics, he has made a dummy of the upcoming iPhone 8. Together with TigerMobiles, he produced with this a video:

There are many details of the iPhone 8 shown here. Noticeably, the camera module, thanks to the high screen-to-body ratio. The home button is missing, and the fingerprint scanner is too. Most likely, it will be hidden under the AMOLED display. Qualcomm recently presented such a technology, 

To be seen here are many details of the iPhone 8. Noticeable is the high module. Maybe Apple had to pay tribute to the high screen-to-body ratio. A home button is missing and the fingerprint sensor has also disappeared. Most likely, the latter will disappear behind the AMOLED display on the iPhone 8. Qualcomm had recently presented such a technology, but it won't be ready before summer 2018 for consumer devices. The virtual home button will probably be displayed in the middle bottom of the screen, perhaps sometimes invisibly, like on the Samsung Galaxy S8.

The production of the next iPhone generation has already begun in China. Two photos have been leaked, showing the backs of three different iPhones as well as a front glass panel. The three backs differ in size as well as camera configuration.

iPhone 7S / 7S Plus / 8: Three different backs  / © Reddit User kamikasky

The two left backs are supposed to belong to the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, while the front glass and the right back are part of the iPhone 8. The latter can be seen in greater detail in a separate image.

The front, back and camera module of the iPhone 8?  / © Reddit-User kamikasky

The iPhone 8, the tenth anniversary edition of the cult smartphone from Cupertino, seems much different from previous models, technically speaking. As a leak shows, it will have a nearly bezel-less display and ditch the classic home button. The bezels around the screen should only be around 2.6 mm thin. While the other two new iPhones, presumably dubbed the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, continue to rely on the classic tall bezels and homebutton design, the iPhone 8 seems to be a complete departure from that.

 

With this design, however, the Apple engineers are setting themselves up for an extremely difficult task. Not only do they appear to be planning to build a fingerprint sensor into the display (a first for Apple), the rumored additional 3D camera and sensors will also need to be integrated into the glass and display panel as well. There are already several interesting aspects to the design for the speaker, which would use cantilever piezoelectric ceramic acoustic technology. This would allow sound to come right out of the screen's glass panel. All these issues will most likely ensure that Apple will delay getting the phone into users' hands.

One thing is clear even now: the bloody battle to grab the crown of the smartphone market begins with the iPhone 8. If Apple manages to develop its new design without irritating the fans, the iPhone anniversary will be a huge hit.
 

There's another new leak of the design, which differs from the others. In this one, the mockup drawings show a fingerprint scanner on the back, with a vertically oriented dual camera. The rendering shows that on the front, there's a recess in the display to make room for the call speaker, front camera and sensors. The gap in the display is much larger than that of the Essential phone, for example.

The iPhone 8 could have a fingerprint scanner on the back. / © CSLA / Benjamin Geskin

In an unofficial concept video, The 90s Robot shows how the iPhone 8 with fingerprint sensor might look behind the display glass instead of on the back. Apple will have to depend on Synaptics to deliver the technology fast enough, functionally and in large enough quantities.

Apple iPhone 8: special features

iOS 11 Gold Master leaks

The new version of iOS due to be launched with the next iPhones was leaked, revealing a ton of information about the features of the next iPhones.

  • Design changes: icons and graphics reveal the notch at the top of the bezel-less display, which will have a redesigned status bar
  • New resolution for the longer display: 18.5:9 ratio with 2,436 x 1,125 resolution
  • Home button disappears: a virtual bar will replace the home button
  • Power button gets new functions: double press to launch Apple Pay, hold down to launch Siri
  • Better color accuracy: the new iPhone will use the same True Tone Display technology as the iPad Pro
  • Wireless charging: Qi standard based, but only offers 7.5 watts and will require an Apple charger
  • 3D sensors: facial recognition will be more accurate thanks to a combination of sensors on the front
  • Face ID: you'll be able to pay with Face ID and Apple Pay
  • Animoji: animated emoji that show your facial expressions and use your voice

See how Face ID will work in the video below:

Apple iPhone 8: accessories

For a special occasion like the iPhone's tenth anniversary, Apple should be coming up with something special in terms of accessories. It's very likely that the iPhone 8 will come with AirPods, rather than the usual EarPods with a lightning cable and connector. It's also expected that a docking station like Samsung's DeX could be available for the iPhone 8.

  • USB Type-C vs Lightning: which is the best connector?

Apple iPhone 8: fingerprint scanner

The fingerprint scanner could be a unique aspect of the iPhone 8, because it would be the first time a manufacturer will hide this sensor under the display glass.

Apple iPhone 8: 3D facial recognition camera

The Korea Economic Daily reports that LG may be supplying Apple the facial recognition cameras for the iPhone 8. LG Innotek, the parts manufacturing unit of LG, is investing in a new manufacturing facility worth about $240 million, and according to this report, it's going to be dedicated to making these components for Apple. LG Innotek supplied the rear camera lenses for the iPhone 7 and LG G6, so including their lenses in Apple's new flagship isn't a far-fetched theory. The Samsung Galaxy S8 also features facial recognition, but it's 2D rather than 3D.

The firmware of the new Apple HomePod, which has a lot of code in common with iPhones, appears to indicate that an upcoming iPhone will have a face unlock feature. According to developers who have been combing through the code, the upcoming iPhone will have infra-red face unlock in BiometricKit and elsewhere.

A number of lines of code referencing "BKFaceDetect" were found, in addition to references to an infrared camera which would be capable of detecting faces, even in low light where a normal camera could not. In addition, an image was found which indicates that the new iPhone will be bezel-less, with a cutout at the top of the display for the front sensors and camera.

Apple iPhone 8: wireless charging and waterproofing

The Cupertino firm prefers simplicity over wires, and so wireless charging may be added to the upcoming iPhone 8. In fact, the classic charging cable may even disappear because of it! Vendors like Powermat confirm these rumors.

According to Mac Otakara, a Japanese fan site known for citing sources with first-hand info, the iPhone 8 may support just half of the power levels the Qi 1.2 wireless charging standard offers. The Qi 1.2 standard allows 15 watts of power, but the iPhone 8 will go at half the speed: 7.5W (5V/1.5A). As was the case with the Apple Watch, it's also possible that wireless charging for the device may be limited with the MFi chip to only Apple approved chargers, rather than Qi pads from other providers.

In addition to wireless charging, the CEO of Wistron, Robert Hwang, spilled that while the manufacturing process for iPhones hasn't changed much, their company is having to make adjustments in the quality control phase to accommodate the new wireless charging and waterproofing. That could apply to both the new iPhone 7S Plus and the iPhone 8 to follow.

Apple iPhone 8: rear-facing 3D laser

A report from Fast Company says that the upcoming iPhone 8 may feature a rear-facing 3D laser, which can be used not just for autofocus, but also for augmented reality. With Apple's recent announcement of ARKit, its new platform for AR on iOS 11, it's a good bet that we'll see some new AR-focused components on the new iPhone, or on a 2018 iPhone. A laser like this one would provide better depth detection using Time-of-Flight measurement for AR apps, making the experience better for users.

With the release of the Samsung Galaxy S8, it should be clear to everyone that, in order for it to remain competitive, Apple will need to step up its game. If the engineers in Cupertino do succeed in creating an iPhone with all these rumored display specs and features, it will definitely be an innovative push within the market.


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