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Keep reading for all the rumors!
What will the next iPhone be called?
If Apple sticks to the same pattern the company has been using since 2010, the 2016 iPhone 7 will be followed by the 2017 iPhone 7s.
- iPhone: 2007
- iPhone 3G: 2008
- iPhone 3GS: 2009
- iPhone 4: 2010
- iPhone 4s: 2011
- iPhone 5: 2012
- iPhone 5s: 2013
- iPhone 6: 2014
- iPhone 6s: 2015
- iPhone 7s: 2016
Because it’ll be 10 years since the first iPhone was introduced, Apple could also call it iPhone X.
When will the iPhone 8 be released?
Since the iPhone 5, Apple has announced every new iPhone during a special event held the first or second Tuesday or Wednesday of September.
- iPhone 5: September 12, 2012
- iPhone 5s: September 10, 2013
- iPhone 6: September 9, 2014
- iPhone 6s: September 9, 2015
- iPhone 7: September 7, 2016
So, September is the month!! Well, yeah! Set a reminder, guys!
The iPhone 8 design
According to a famous tech blog, the iPhone 8 will be about the same size as the 4.7-inch iPhone 7, though the display is still expected to be somewhere in the 5.5-inch range. Additionally, there are claims that the iPhone 8 will feature a significantly larger battery than the iPhone 7.
Since Apple is known for its out of the box unexpected audacity, be it the recent removal of the earplug point, iPhone 8 will be a phone of expectations. What eventually ships depends on what can reliably be produced given the limits of technology and economics.
Since 2008 Apple has also followed a “tick-tock” cycle for iPhones. On the “tick” year the company unveils a new design and on the “tock” year the company takes that same design to its limits. In 2016, though, Apple broke from that pattern and released a second tock — iPhone 7.
- iPhone 3G: 2008 — Plastic shell.
- iPhone 4: 2010 — Antenna band and glass back.
- iPhone 5: 2012 — 16:9 aspect ratio, chamfered edges.
- iPhone 6: 2014 — Bigger screens, rounded edges.
Rumor has it the next big iPhone redesign will be more dramatic one, with less bezel around the sides and at the top and bottom and virtualized buttons. Other reports also say that the iPhone 8 will feature a glass front and back, with either aluminum or stainless steel around the edges of the phone. Stainless steel is said to be reserved for the more expensive models
What colors will the iPhone 8 be offered in?
Update: According to a new report from Macotakara, Apple may be planning to add a new “jet white” color to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus lineup. It’s possible that this color could make its way to the iPhone 8 as well.
So far Apple has saved the new iPhone finishes for the years absent big redesigns.
- iPhone 5s: 2013 — Gold.
- iPhone 6s: 2015 — Rose gold.
- iPhone 7: 2016 — Black and jet black.
Again, Apple can do anything the company wants, any time the company wants, including introducing new colors with new designs.
What specs will the iPhone 8 have?
- According to Fast Company, the iPhone 8 may feature new three-dimensional sensing technology, though how this technology may be applied isn’t clear.
Since Apple introduced the company’s first branded system-on-a-chip (SoC) in 2010, every new iPhone has come with a new A-series chipset. If Apple sticks to that pattern, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will ship with Apple A11 processors. New SoC typically take advantage of better processes that let them be faster and more powerful but also more energy efficient.
- Apple has also been adding coprocessors to handle motion voice activation, and now big.LITTLE fusion. A11 could further build on those capabilities as well, including implementing artificial intelligence and machine learning at the silicon level.
- Apple typically introduces a technology in one device and then rolls it out across the lineup. Retina was like that with iPhone 4 and Touch ID with iPhone 5s. The Smart Connector, which debuted with the iPad Pro in the fall of 2015, attaches via a magnet and runs power, data, and ground directly from the device. It currently powers Apple’s Smart Keyboard and a similar keyboard from Logitech, with more expected to follow.
Apple could certainly engineer a Smart Connector for iPhone 8, but what it would be used for is a more interesting question. Apple made a smaller Smart Keyboard for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but would the company make an even smaller one for iPhone 8 Plus? For iPhone 8 standard?
If not a keyboard, then what else would benefit from a not-Lightning, non-Bluetooth connection on an iPhone 8-sized device? A speaker pack? A much better camera system? Would Apple enter the modular phone business?
- According to a new report from Digitimes, Apple will use 5.8-inch AMOLED display panels provided by Samsung for an iPhone model in 2017, while two other models will utilize 4.7 and 5.5-inch LCD panels.
- Apple hasn’t updated the resolution on iPhone or iPhone Plus since 2014. It makes them less than desirable for application like VR, and less than competitive when it comes to spec comparisons. It does make them more energy efficient, though, given they still use LCD rather than OLED panels.
- There have been rumors that we could see a bump to 1920 x 1080 for the 4.7-inch model and 2560 x 1440 for the 5.5-inch model.
- There have also been rumors about OLED, but right now the LED component of the LCD system is used to implement the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch system, so would Apple re-engineer that? Or would they simply skip ahead again to something like quantum dot?
- According to The Korea Herald, any and all OLED versions will be curved and made of plastic, rather than the glass typically used on flat panels.
Also, while iPhone 7 got the DCI-P3 wide gamut color system of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, it didn’t get the True Tone system. True Tone employs two ambient light sensors, with four channels each, to measure the color temperate of the surrounding area and then match the display to that temperature.
If you’ve ever seen a picture of an iPhone or iPad where the case looks white but the screen looks yellow or blue, that’s what True Tone fixes. And once you get used to it, you want it everywhere.
Again, Apple typically pilots a new technology in a new device, but eventually rolls it out across the line. Here’s hoping the same holds true with True Tone and we get the incredible calibration and dynamic compensation on iPhone 8 as well.
Will the iPhone 8 be waterproof?
A new report from The Korea Herald claims that the iPhone 8 will feature an IP68 rating for dust and waterproofing.
iPhone 7 is water resistant but not water proof. Rated IP67, it can survive accidental splashes, dunks, and floods, but isn’t rated as highly as some competing phones from Samsung and others.
Although swimming with an iPhone may not be on everyone’s wish-list, those whose jobs or pastimes expose them to the elements, and even those who want to do underwater photography at shallow depths would be thrilled by IP68.
Will the iPhone 8 have wireless charging?
A research note from KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo (via 9to5Mac) claims that all three of this year’s rumored iPhones will feature wireless charging. The iPhone 8 will also apparently have a thin sheet of graphite to protect its new 3D Touch sensor from the heat generated by wireless charging.
Up until mid-2015, it hadn’t been possible to do wireless charging—also known as inductive charging—on a phone with a metal back. Since Apple switched from the glass of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s to the aluminum of the iPhone 5 and later models, that effectively meant the company couldn’t offer wireless charging as well.
Now methods for induction through metal are being introduced, which means it’s possible Apple could keep the aluminum back and offer wireless charging.
Recent rumors have also suggested Apple is working on resonant inductive coupling, which would let devices charge even at a distance. (The greater the distance, the lower the efficiency.) Such technology is likely a year or more away, though.
Ceramics, though, right?
Apple Watch Series 2 being released in white ceramics sent the internet atwitter with thoughts of iPhone 8 being made out of the same material. Tougher than stainless steel, it still remains to be seen if it would hold up in a device as big as an iPhone or iPhone Plus.
Okay, what do we know for sure?
Only that nothing is confirmed until an Apple executive holds an iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus up on stage!