A number of reports suggest that the new iPhone will be called the iPhone 8 (rather than the expected iPhone 7s) and that it’ll feature an OLED screen and a bezel-less design.
There are also a great many rumours surrounding the new design, the chipset and even the charging mechanism. Here’s everything we’ve heard:
Design: A bezel-less iPhone
A number of rumours are pointing to three new iPhones in 2017. These rumours suggest that there will be a regular iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and a special edition, premium iPhone 8 model.
The phones are expected to be redesigned completely, featuring a metal frame to house the components. This frame will apparently be embedded in an all-glass body.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that the frames will be made of stainless steel and aluminium, and that only the premium model will have the stainless steel frame. Kuo also expects to see a bezel-less design for the iPhone 8.
An all-glass iPhone is intriguing, and considering the popularity of the JetBlack iPhone 7 (40-50 percent of pre-orders so far), the idea isn’t so far-fetched.
A source in Israel also spoke of the new iPhone as the iPhone 8 rather than the iPhone 7s. He also suggested that the new iPhone would be “different.”
Display: Enter OLED
The most fascinating rumour surrounding the new iPhone is the one that suggests Apple will use an edge-to-edge, curved, flexible OLED panel for the iPhone 8. Though Kuo does say that he expects the OLED panel to be available only on the premium iPhone.
Apple has reportedly signed an agreement with Samsung for the delivery of an estimated 40 million OLED panels, which will be supplemented by panels from the likes of LG and Sharp.
Vague rumours suggest that Apple is investing in a secretive Taiwanese lab that develops OLED panels and the company could be investing in an AMOLED panel manufacturer.
OLED is a great choice for a smartphone display because it offers almost perfect contrast ratios, is extremely thin (it doesn’t need a backlight) and can be flexible. It is also very energy-efficient (black pixels don’t consume power).
The downsides to OLED include a shorter lifespan and weakness to water damage. Considering that Apple is already using these panels in the Apple Watch and the fact that the Watch Series 2 is completely water resistant, this is not much of a concern.
Apple has reportedly been working on an integrated touch and display driver unit that is also expected to house all requisite sensors, including Touch ID.
Camera: OIS for all
With the iPhone 7, Apple introduced optical image stabilization (OIS) for the regular iPhone. It was a much needed feature that took it’s time getting to the smaller iPhone. The Plus model introduced a dual-camera system with a wide-angle and normal lens (Apple calls it telephoto, but it’s only a 56mm equivalent lens), but the latter lacks OIS.
While a new and “improved” camera is expected, no one is expecting much from the system other than OIS for the normal lens, says MacRumours.
Wireless charging, A11 SoC and more
Since Apple uses a sequential numbering scheme for its SoCs, the new iPhones will use an A11 chip. Some suggest that the chip will be built on 10nm manufacturing technology, which should further improve the efficiency of the chip. This should yield improved battery life as well as performance.
Apple has also shown a great deal of interest in wireless charging, particularly in WiTricity. The company is also apparently more interested in long-range wireless charging rather than the pad-based wireless charging that is currently popular.
With long-range charging, you’ll be able to use your phone in the vicinity of the wireless charger, without having to place it down on a wireless charging pad. This should also ameliorate that the lack of a headphone jack brings up. You’ll be able to charge your phone and listen to music simultaneously.
Since the iPhone 8 is expected to be an all-glass iPhone, there will be no place for Touch ID. In this scenario, Apple might place the Touch ID sensor and other sensors under the front glass panel, much like Xiaomi is doing in their Mi 5s.
Some rumours are also hinting at Apple’s interest in Xintac, a company that specialises in biometric security, iris scanning and related technology. While we don’t expect to see this technology in the iPhone 8, Kuo does suggest that it tech might make its way into the 2018 iPhone.