The rumored features of Apple’s next-generation iPhone have just gotten more sparse. The latest batch of iPhone 8 leaks reveals an all-glass build with a vertical edge-to-edge OLED display. While this has been the design most predictions have claimed, it is at odds with what analysts think the handset will look like.
Notorious leaker OnLeaks and tech blog GearIndia uploaded a series of high-quality renders on Tuesday, claiming to be based on leaked factory CAD images of the tech giant’s upcoming premium iPhone. It shows perhaps the clearest idea yet of the iPhone’s first major redesign in three years. As seen below, the handset has an edge-to-edge display with a stainless steel-edged, all-glass build. The renders are reportedly based on the expectation that the iPhone 8 will be 144mm x 71mm x 7.7mm. This makes it slightly bigger than the iPhone 7, smaller than the iPhone 7 Plus, and slightly thicker than both.
The only visible bezels are those housing the microphone hole and a dual-lens front-facing camera. This will likely feature 3D sensing capabilities for facial/iris recognition or future augmented reality functionality. The Touch ID which has been the subject of most debates recently wasn’t explicitly shown. However, many expect the tech to be embedded on the OLED screen.
— Steve H. (@OnLeaks) May 9, 2017
While source OnLeaks has a proven track record in providing accurate renders of yet-to-launch smartphones, its latest claim contradicts that of the analysts’ predictions.
What Analysts Say
In contrast to the leaks, JPMorgan claims the premium device’s display may not truly be edge-to-edge after all.
The financial firm details on a lengthy report that the 5.8-inch OLED display will only be edge-to-edge horizontally, not all across the device. This means the smartphone will be more like the Samsung Galaxy S8 with discernible bezels located on both the top and bottom of the handset. This, of course, contradicts several leaked schematics and speculations which point to a sleek iPhone design with minimal 4mm bezels surrounding the entirety of the display.
Check out the diagrams it published to illustrate this below:
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, Apple may also end up placing the Touch ID sensor on the handset’s back. This just so happens to be the approach that everybody hates.
As mentioned earlier, the tech giant is tipped to embed the technology on the screen. Unfortunately, Hong Kong-based equity research firm CLSA says the nascent technology may not be ready in time for this year’s flagship iPhone 8.
“iPhone to ditch fingerprint sensor? We don’t think so,” CLSA analysts Sebastian Hou and Brian Chen wrote in a note to investors seen by MacRumors. “Both Samsung and Apple tried to enable in-display fingerprint sensing on full-screen OLED phones in 2017, but their optical tech seems immature and the major iPhone 8 bottleneck.”
CLSA created a diagram of the iPhone 8, as seen below.
Free AirPods with iPhone 8?
On a positive note, JPMorgan believes the tech giant may consider including the AirPods in the same box as the iPhone 8. The current iPhone boxes only include wired EarPods with Lightning connector. That should be good news for all iPhone enthusiasts. However, some say it is very unlikely that the company would give away a highly profitable accessory for free.
Not to mention, the product’s problem in supply. Although it garnered negative reviews initially, the AirPods have ultimately become a surprise hit. Even with its hefty price tag, Apple is still trying to catch up with the massive consumer demand. Ever since their release in December, the product has had long shipping estimates. Even until now, buyers are still told to expect a six-week shipping delay. The company would not want to bottleneck iPhone 8 supply because of that.
Plus that would just increase the already hefty price further.
How much will it cost?
The iPhone 8 is expected to go on sale for at least $1000. In fact, sources ranging from Morgan Stanley to Fast Company are even saying it could cost more than that. If Apple indeed bundles the AirPods with iPhone 8, that will likely be the case. However, a UBS analyst theorizes that the price of the 64GB entry-level model should start at $850, matching the Samsung Galaxy S8+.
When will it hit the shelves?
Reports have been suggesting that Apple might depart from its traditional September release schedule. Instead, it could arrive a month or two after its introduction.
KGI Securities told investors that there was apparently a “rising probability of worst-case scenario” for the device’s shipments. Beyond the technical challenges, Ming-Chi Kuo particularly claims it is also due to severe key component shortages brought about by major component upgrades. However, there are separate reports claiming, too, it could hit the shelves on time in small numbers, to be widely released sometime in the first quarter of 2018.
With the expected delay, Ming-Chi Kuo has reduced his iPhone 8 shipment forecast from 100-110 million units to 80-90 million units during the second half of this year.
As usual, none of these has been verified so far. Apple has never revealed anything about its pre-released products ahead of their official launch so take the aforementioned with a healthy grain of skepticism. But as we creep closer to September and start to see more batch of leaks, we should have a much clearer picture of what to expect from the premium iPhone in the coming weeks.
We’ll be sure to update you here at The BitBag, though, should there be fresh news about the device. In the meantime, let us know what you think of the current iPhone rumors. What would you like to see in Apple’s 10th-anniversary iPhone? Sound off in the comments section below!