What Apple plans to call its next-generation iPhone remains up for debate, but speculations are rife it will make a huge break from its usual naming traditions. Regardless, the upcoming device famously dubbed the iPhone 8 today is reportedly skipping the “S” version too, rather sticking to a single, high-end model.
From what we’ve gathered from an assortment of credible rumors, the tech giant’s 2017 iPhone lineup actually consists of three distinct models: an iPhone 7s, an iPhone 7s Plus, and the unnamed high-end iPhone. But since the latter is in celebration of Apple’s 10th anniversary, it seems unlikely to receive an “S” name.
Over the years, we’ve come to realize that any succeeding model with the moniker “s” is merely a plain upgrade over the predecessor. The iPhone 6, for instance, may have been the first ever to ditch the signature 4-inch screen and have a massive design overall. However, its “S” edition looked pretty much the same with only some incremental upgrades under the hood.
This is why all the hype has been on the so-called iPhone 8, despite reports that a 7s and 7s Plus are also underway. It could replicate the iPhone 7 and bring some upgrades that may seem worthy, but not meet the high expectations of fans and critics alike.
Now, since it’s an anniversary model, Apple will definitely introduce major changes to the premium iPhone. That said, it could also very well opt to skip directly to the next full number, simply naming it the iPhone 8 or whatever it decides to name the handset. To keep you updated, here’s a full list of how the tech giant named its smartphone line over the years, courtesy of Mac Rumors.
2007 – iPhone
2008 – iPhone 3G
2009 – iPhone 3GS
2010 – iPhone 4 (new design)
2011 – iPhone 4s
2012 – iPhone 5 (new design)
2013 – iPhone 5s
2014 – iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (new design)
2015 – iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
2016 – iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
2017 – iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, iPhone 8 (tentative)
Naming: What will the next-gen iPhone be called?
At this point, the most popular moniker of the iPhone 7 successor is, of course, iPhone 8—a reflection of the fact that the device will introduce a brand new form factor. However, if Apple releases it alongside two iPhone 7s models, the numerical naming scheme alone would immediately make the two brand new iPhone 7s models appear outdated. Sure they are new devices, but the two upgrades standing next to the iPhone 8 would seem like old news.
So, what would be a more logical name?
So far, there are two other suggestions that experts think are more likely to make it to the cut than “iPhone 8.”
iPhone Edition – It’s a clever name for Apple’s upcoming device as it designates the iPhone as a premium device without diminishing the appeal of the iPhone 7s. In effect, the iPhone 7s would be positioned as the MacBook to the iPhone Editon’s MacBook Pro.
iPhone Pro – The name has a similar effect as the moniker “Edition” but complements Apple’s other premium products like the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro. Since the next-gen iPhone is said to be a high-end device, calling it the “iPhone Pro” seems logical.
But there’s a catch.
Apple updates the iPhone every year, so numerical suffixes are essential for both consumer comprehension and Apple’s advertising efforts. Should the company decide to ditch the numbers, what happens when it releases out a new model the next year, or the year after that? Chances are the models will be distinguished through its year of launch similar to the MacBook and iPad line. But it would effectively be sacrificing long-term clarity for short-term simplicity.
What features are coming to the new iPhone?
Whatever the name is, we can expect the iPhone will have top-notch specs and massive changes if the rumors are anything to go by. We’ve rounded up the likely features coming to the device below:
- 5.8-inch screen
- 2800×1242 pixels
- Edge-to-edge OLED display
- iPhone 4S-esque glass body
- Touch ID sensor embedded on the screen
- USB-C support
- Wireless charging support
- AR support
- 3D, Vertical Dual Camera system
- Gigabit LTE
- A11 processors (matching the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835)
- Apple-manufactured GPU
- IP68 water resistance rating
- Advanced biometric features such as facial recognition or iris scanning
- Increased storage space, possibly in 64 and 256GB options
- 3GB RAM
- 2,700 mAh L-shaped two-cell battery
- Enhanced Siri functionality
- True Tone Technology for Mood Lighting
How much will it cost?
We can expect the OLED iPhone is going to be pricey. Analysts predict it could sell beyond $1,000 which is a good deal more expensive than previous models. But more recently, a UBS analyst theorized that the 64GB entry-level model would start at $850—similar to the new Samsung Galaxy S8+—and that the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus would cost $649 and $749, respectively.
What leaks & analysts say
Update: Patrons might not be happy about analysts’ latest iPhone 8 predictions. In contrast to previous rumors, 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 back of the handset instead which 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.
On a positive note, JPMorgan believes the tech giant may consider including AirPods in the same box as the iPhone 8. But with the high cost of the accessory, some patrons think it’s unlikely. Not to mention, the AirPods’ issue on supply.
AirPods have had long shipping estimates ever since their release. 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.
When will it hit the shelves?
Beyond the technical challenges, there have been severe key component shortages as well so rumors have been suggesting that Apple might depart from its traditional September release schedule. Instead, it could arrive a month or two after its introduction. However, there are separate reports claiming, too, that tech giant may roll it out in small numbers, with the majority of people unable to get their hands on it until the first quarter of 2018.
Note though that none of the these has been verified so far. Apple isn’t the type to reveal anything about its upcoming products prior to their official releases so take the aforementioned with a healthy grain of skepticism. But as we creep closer to September and start to see the first batch of leaks, we should have a much clearer picture of what to expect from the premium iPhone in the coming weeks at least.
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!