Eagerly anticipated, the new iPhone 8 coming this fall is Apple’s 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone.
For its 10th edition of the iPhone first, Apple is expected to have a dramatic redesign. Since 2012, Apple has unveiled new iPhone editions in the first or second week of September consistently. Expectations remain that Apple will follow this schedule, announcing its new iPhone 8 in roughly 80 days from now.
WWDC earlier this month offered a preview of iOS 11 as well as new options for augmented reality (AR) providing rich graphics, interaction and massive opportunities for gaming and virtual reality scenarios. Here you can see a quick demo of a AR game developed by Wingnut AR, a new game production company founded by film director Peter Jackson. This demo and others revealed that there will be new apps coming with imagery and animation that can be superimposed over real world environments and what you can see directly through a camera.
While rumors continue to float abut the extent of the iPhone redesign planned for this fall 2017, here are some of the expected features:
The new iPhone 8 is expected to have a dramatic redesign with a full display from edge to edge, removing the top and bottom bezels currently that hold the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and front-facing camera.
By building the Touch ID right into the display, there is no need for a Home button. The new iPhone 8 can also have a smaller size like the 4.7 inch iPhone but a full display of a 5.5 inch iPhone because of the seamless edge to edge design. The final size is not yet known but expected to be a 5.8 inch display with up to 5.15 inches of usable area and the remaining area occupied by virtual buttons.
Thinner, Flexible Display with True to Life Colors By using a flexible plastic OLED, Apple is able to offer a thinner, lighter iPhone that uses less power and provides a better display for rich, true to life colors. A slight curve is expected like the 2.5D display in the iPhone 7. Apple is expected to have 3 models - the OLED “premium model” and 2 more LCD models.
Apple is expected to step away from the aluminum models used in the iPhone 5-7 and SE and instead return to the glass body used in the iPhone 4. The glass body will be built around a stainless steel frame similar to the Apple Watch. The plan to use a glass body hints at using inductive charging because glass is needed to charge through a magnetic coil. Aluminum would not be a good choice for wireless inductive charging.
The iPhone 8 is expected to ship with a fast, efficient 10-nanometer A11 chip and also offer features like wireless charging and biometric additions. Biometric additions include iris, facial and gesture recognition. Optical image stabilization is expected for higher-end models with a dual-lens camera.
The expected front-facing camera may also include 3D sensing capabilities using technology developed by PrimeSense to help the iPhone 8 figure out the location and depth of objects in front of it. This can be used for both facial and iris recognition, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, known for accurately predicting Apple’s plans, as well as for AR apps. These biometric additions can offer additional protection and security for the iPhone owner. There are rumors that Apple will have both a vertical rear camera and a front-facing camera to use with FaceTime in higher-end models.
Kuo has also suggested the development of new Touch ID technology under the glass display to help with transaction security and that Apple will use an optical system and new fingerprint recognition technology developed at Apple.
The iPhone 8 is expected to have more storage with 64GB and 256GB models and memory options matching the iPhone 7’s 3 GB RAM.
The iPhone 8 is expected to have a longer battery life.
The iPhone 8 is also expected to be water resistant where it holds up to rain, brief submersion in water and some splashes.
The new iPhone 8 is expected to offer mood lighting, using Apple’s True Tone technology first introduced with the 9.7 inch iPad Pro that helps displays adjust to ambient lighting conditions.
Rumors have been circulating on the Japanese site Nikkei that the iPhone 8 may have an enhanced Taptic engine to create tactile vibrations that are more complex. This high performance engine would be necessary if Apple eliminates the Home button. Haptic feedback gathered using the Taptic engine could help in security features such as iPhone unlocking with vibrations to indicate triggers or for payments made using Touch ID.
Apple may also include its AirPods free along with the new iPhone 8 models according to some rumors by JP Morgan.
While pricing remains unknown, estimates bring in the iPhone 8 models at $850-$1,000 for the 64GB models for the premium 10th anniversary OLED models and $650-$750 models similar to the iPhone 7 for the other 2 models to be released as well.