How all those iPhone 8 dummy models get out there—and why you should ignore them

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Tech Guide

How all those iPhone 8 dummy models get out there—and why you should ignore them

CNBC Tech: iPhone 8 dummy 3
Yesgo
  • There are plenty of iPhone 8 dummy units floating around
  • One in particular is made by a case-maker trying to sell its products ahead of the iPhone 8 launch
  • They're far from legitimate, however, and aren't created by Apple

There are a lot of iPhone 8 dummy models flooding YouTube videos and websites around the internet.

You should ignore any prediction that's based on these dummy models. They're guesses. They're not created or circulated by Apple, and a lot of times the companies making them aren't even in touch with Apple.

The story of how those units start to get circulated is pretty interesting.

A guessing game

CNBC Tech: iPhone 8 dummy 2
Yesgo

When Apple launches a new iPhone, case makers around the world, particularly in China, try to get their products launched as soon as possible from retailers such as Amazon.

In order to do this, they usually try to get their hands on leaked schematics of Apple's new phones, or guess the dimensions as best they can. Sometimes these guesses are correct. Sometimes they're not.

Years ago, a company named Case Mate made a pretty wild blunder when it published images of what it said were pictures of its cases on the iPhone 5:

Turned out the iPhone 5 didn't look like this at all
Case-Mate
Turned out the iPhone 5 didn't look like this at all

It turned out the dimensions were completely incorrect, as was the iPhone 5 pictured in its images. That's the risk these case-makers take when they aren't a close partner of Apple and don't know the dimensions ahead of time.

This year, iPhone case makers are continuing to market their cases ahead of the iPhone 8's launch.

In order to do this, they're sending around dummy models of what they believe the iPhone 8 will look like, along with a few case samples.

A company named Yesgo, for example, has been shopping around iPhone 8 dummy units that it hopes the press will show off with its new line of cases, which it plans to sell in the fall.

I reached out to Yesgo to try to get the inside scoop and maybe score a dummy for myself.

I found out that the company offers these toy units in exchange for a review of its cases, a mention of the brand name and a link to the firm's site.

A YouTube content creator shared a different email they got from YesGo. That email included the promise of free cases after mass production starts. It also has several images of the iPhone 8 dummy unit, which I've included in this story.

CNBC Tech: iPhone 8 dummy
Yesgo

The iPhone 8 may very well look like this dummy unit. Or, it may not. We don't know. It's just a demo model meant to build hype around an iPhone case brand you've probably never heard of.

What we actually know

So what do we know about the next iPhone?

Apple seldom talks about future products, except to give very vague hints, so the next iPhone will probably contain at least a few surprises.

But thanks to work from historically credible reporters and analysts, many of whom are in touch with sources in Apple's supply chain, we do have some pretty good ideas of what to expect.

The iPhone 8, Apple's most high-end iPhone, will probably feature a new colorful OLED display that takes up almost the entire front face of the phone.

The iPhone 8 is also expected to offer 3D sensor capable of recognizing a user's face, which could allow a user to unlock the iPhone simply by looking at it. This isn't far-fetched. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ already offers this option, for example.

Wireless charging is also expected in all of Apple's new iPhones.

In other words, don't ignore every iPhone 8 report out there. A lot are pretty accurate and come from sources who have been dead-on in previous years. But stories based on dummy units from case makers don't mean much.