Between analysts, supply chain leaks and informed speculation, we have a pretty good idea of what we can expect from the iPhone 8 when it is revealed later this year.
Delays, fancy new screens, sensors that can detect our faces, problems securing new components — all of these topics and more have been discussed in various forms recently. But what will the iPhone 8 offer? And when is it going to arrive?
We're now about two months shy of when Apple typically unveils its new iPhones, so lets compile everything together.
The iPhone 8 is expected to be Apple's most high-end iPhone, ahead of two other devices, including the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, which might not offer all of the new and advanced features. You can expect the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus to be small upgrades to this year's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Apple will include a new OLED display according to multiple reports. This is the same type of screen Samsung has been using in its Galaxy smartphones. It's brighter, more colorful and can help save battery life. It should be substantially better than the screens on Apple's iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus.
The iPhone 8 is supposed to feature a screen that takes up almost the entire front of the phone. You can imagine why this is difficult for Apple to do. Currently, the display takes up just a part of the phone while the FaceTime camera, earpiece and Home Button exist in the top and bottom bezels, respectively. Apple has had to either relocate or embed those to create the changes.
That same display may be part of the reason the iPhone 8 is delayed. Reports have suggested a variety of reasons as to why. Some have said Apple can't get enough screens. Others have said Apple has tried to embed a fingerprint reader inside of the screen and hasn't had success in doing so. If anything is apparent, it's that there's some sort of delay still expected.
The aforementioned troubles, if they exist, have delayed the iPhone 8 launch to anywhere from October to December, depending on whom you ask. KGI's Ming Chi Kuo says October or November, and that time frame has been cited often by Wall Street analysts. Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty says there's no evidence of a delay at all, while a recent report out of Apple's supply chain suggests it might not launch until December.
Reports from Nikkei, among others, have suggested Apple's iPhone 8 will recognize your face using a fancy new 3-D sensor. Again, other phones such as the Galaxy S8 can already do this, but it's the first time we'll see it in an iPhone. The components are largely believed to have been sourced from Largan Precision, which makes these sorts of sensors and is already an Apple supplier.
The iPhone 8 is expected to, for the very first time, support wireless charging. This doesn't typically work well on phones with metal bodies, which means Apple is also expected to return to a glass back panel to support this feature. Wireless charging will allow users to drop their iPhones on charging pads to juice them up without requiring a physical cable.
Apple always launches its new iPhones with a fresh version of iOS. This September, Apple will release iOS 11 for existing iPhones and include it on new ones. Expect a bunch of new changes, including support for apps that run on ARKit — a whole new set of developer tools that enables augmented reality applications. Imagine, for example, pointing your phone at a restaurant and seeing the menu pop up on your screen. Augmented reality might enable that.
Reports first suggested that the iPhone 8 will cost at least $1,000. Then a well-known Apple developer said he expects the iPhone 8 will start at around $1,200 at the low end. That's expensive, and might drive folks to buy the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus instead. It could also help Apple reduce demand for the iPhone 8 while it irons out aforementioned manufacturing issues. Don't be afraid of the price, though. Carriers are already adept at breaking it down into 12-month, 24-month and 30-month payments to ease the sting.