Apple iPhone 8 to launch on 12 September: Here is all we know so far

Whatever, it may turn out to be. Apple's iPhone 8 is expected to raise the bar for premium smartphones this year.

If rumours are to be believed we already know what the upcoming 10th anniversary iPhone will look like when it is announced on 12 September. We also know a few bits about its new features; thanks to the numerous leaks, analyst speculation and also thanks to some hints from iOS 11, the software that is set to make its debut with Apple’s first full-screen iPhone, called the iPhone 8.

Apple iPhone 8 render. iDrop News, Benjamin Geskin

Apple iPhone 8 render. iDrop News, Benjamin Geskin

But there’s more. According to recent rumours, Apple could showcase some other products as well. This would include an LTE-enabled Apple Watch smartwatch and even a 4K UHD video supporting new Apple TV.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the new Watch should pack in eSIM (or embedded Apple SIM) functionality that would let it function independently. This would reduce the need to carry a smartphone around, making the device more useful for those into fitness, treks and more. The eSIM would also save space, reducing the need for too many modifications, bringing down costs as well. Kuo did add that the LTE radios would only be used for the built-in features, mainly for app data connectivity as opposed to placing calls using a smartwatch.

Moving to the Apple TV, a recent Wall Street Journal report points out that Apple is currently in talks with Hollywood studios to offer a 4K movie collection to its iTunes customers. The talks seem to be stuck with the studios not agreeing with Apple's $19.99 price tag (per movie), asking for something higher. The good news is that a 4K Apple TV may be on its way and could be unveiled at the upcoming Apple iPhone special event.

Coming to the highlight of the event, the iPhone. Recent rumours point to a new storage option, with Apple raising the bar for internal storage on smartphones. Apple is expected to roll out the new iPhone models with up to 512 GB of internal storage. Expect the new base models to start from 64 GB with 256 GB being second in line, both of which will be a much-welcomed move.

Next comes the three rather interesting features that have been talked about for long, wireless charging, the bezel-less display and Touch ID (or its absence).

Apple iPhone 8 render. iDrop News, Benjamin Geskin

Apple iPhone 8 render. iDrop News, Benjamin Geskin

Wireless charging is set to arrive on all the new iPhone models, this would include the iPhone 7s, the iPhone 7s Plus and the iPhone 8. Recently leaked components from the factory floor indicate that the all iPhones will comes with wireless charging capabilities, just that they won't be as special as most would expect. This is because Apple is expected to follow the low-end Qi wireless charging standards, meaning charging your iPhone wirelessly, from a distance, is not going to be possible this year.

As for the bezel-less edge to edge display, it is coming and the iPhone 8 is expected to be Apple's debut in world or widescreen smartphone displays; one that is the current fad among Android smartphone manufacturers lately. The new iPhone is expected to pack in a 5.8-inch OLED display with a 3D Touch layer. But this could be the very reason why it will arrive in stores a lot later than the 7s models.

According to a CNBC report, 3D sensors (needed for the augmented reality experience) along with the shortage of OLED displays will be one of the key reasons for the iPhone 8's limited availability or the delayed roll out. In short, Apple will showcase the iPhone 8 at its announcement, but will ship it a lot later.

Apple iPhone 8 render. iDrop News, Benjamin Geskin

Apple iPhone 8 render. iDrop News, Benjamin Geskin

Lastly, there is also plenty of talk about the Touch ID. The rumour mill went from an in-display Touch ID sensor to the one on the back and is now hovering around the possibility of Apple getting rid of it completely. Yes, there is a possibility that Apple may not include a Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 8 for two reasons.

Firstly, there's the much talked about facial recognition technology that Apple is said to move to, that would be useful for other cool features like those AR masks everyone else is into as well.

Secondly, there's that never-ending complaint about the lack of space. Apple first removed the headphone jack because it was too thick, now it is after the Touch ID fingerprint reader because it takes up space on the front bezel. With a full screen display, Apple would either have to place it on the back, under the display, or on the power button, like the Sony Xperia devices. For now, lets leave it up to Apple to decide on this.

Whatever, it may turn out to be, Apple's iPhone 8 is expected to set another benchmark. That would be its price tag. While earlier rumours pointed to a $870 starting price, a recent report from The New York Times claims that the iPhone 8 would be priced around $999 (roughly Rs 66,000). It may not sound like a big deal to customers in the US, but add our local taxes and import duties in India, and customers in India may need to shell out upwards of Rs 80,000 for the base model.

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