It’s important to note, that Apple has not released any details about the iPhone 8, and that any information we have is based on leaks, rumors, and educated speculation. With that in mind, here is some of what we might see at some point in 2017 when the newest iPhones are released to the public.
The BasicsThe first question that many ask about the newest iPhones is “When will we see it?” Traditionally, iPhones have released in September, but the iPhone 8 might appear sooner to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the first handset, which was released in June 2007.
Regardless of when it’s released, the iPhone 8 may create a branding gap for Apple. In the past, models have been released on the so-called “tick-tock” schedule, with the newest models (i.e., iPhone 7 and 7 Plus) released in September, and the improved S models released the following year. With the planned upgrade to the iPhone 8, the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus may appear earlier in 2017, moving the current 7 and 7S models into the lower priced market.
This will be important, because the projected price tag on the iPhone 8 might give some consumers some sticker shock. Th iPhone 8 may be priced at about $800 for a handset without the SIM card. That price is for the base iPhone 8; there is also a chance that Apple will release three models of this handset rather than the traditional two.
In addition to the expected iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models, we may see an additional model, the iPhone 8 pro, which could feature a larger screen, more powerful camera, and additional software. All of this news is exciting for mobile app developers, who would be able to take full advantage of these new features.
The Most Talked-About FeaturesWhen the iPhone 7 appeared in September 2016, many users were underwhelmed by the upgrades from the iPhone 6. That hopefully won’t be the case with the iPhone 8 release, which is expected to include a number of significant upgrades, including:
A change to OLED screens. One of the most notable upgrades that’s showing up in prototypes is the switch from an LCD display to an OLED display. The OLED display is not backlit, but instead, the individual pixels light up on the screen when necessary. This not only allows for the screen to curve around the edges for a thinner device, but also uses less power, and provides a greater depth of color than the LCD displays.
Iris scanning technology. Apple’s chief competitor, Samsung, has already incorporated iris scanning technology, which allows a user to turn on the phone simply by looking at it, and the iPhone 8 is expected to follow suit.
Wireless charging. Another highly anticipated feature is the ability to charge the device without being tethered to a cord. Rumors are that the new phones will be able to be charged via a wireless transmitter from up to 15 feet away.
No more home button. While it may be controversial to some, it’s expected that the newer phones will not feature the home button, but rather a touch-sensitive digital button. The button may look and feel similar to what most users are familiar with, but it is not going to be a home button in the traditional sense.
New materials. Several of the leaked prototypes have featured different materials for the phone. In one prototype, Apple has returned to the glass enclosures used in the iPhone 4 and 4S models. However, customers complained that those enclosures cracked too easily, and Apple moved to a lightweight aluminum enclosure. The models in development are using a stronger glass that is less prone to breakage in drop tests, and engineers note that the glass enclosures allow for better antenna reception and improved wireless charging.
That being said, there have also been prototypes seen with an aluminum casing, so it’s possible that the iPhone 8 could go either way.
In addition to these changes, many of the features from the iPhone 7 will remain, including water resistance. However, the dual cameras that have been a popular feature on the iPhone 7 Plus will continue to only be available on the Plus models, as they are cost prohibitive to put into the lower priced models.
As we get closer to the release date for the new iPhone 8, there will most likely be a great deal more speculation and rumors. However, one thing is for certain: Apple is most definitely going to release something exciting and new for their tenth anniversary, and do everything possible to continue the success of its iPhone line.