The rumor: The new iPhone will come with wireless charging. A note by JPMorgan that was published on CNBC revealed that the next iPhone will include a wireless chip by Broadcom. The note did not specify which wireless charging standard will be supported by the iPhone, although Broadcom makes chips that support both Qi and PMA.
Furthermore, JPMorgan did not reveal which iPhone model will have wireless charging. But an earlier report by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that Apple was expected to add wireless charging to all of its 2017 iPhones, including the special anniversary iPhone 8, as well as the next-generation 7s and 7s Plus.
Plausible? Yes. The addition of wireless charging was one of the first reliable rumors we heard about the forthcoming iPhone 8. In February, Apple joined the Wireless Power Consortium behind the Qi system, but the iPhone’s wireless charging could support PMA as well. Samsung, a fellow consortium member, includes both Qi and PMA capabilities in its Galaxy phones.
The addition of wireless charging would also explain Apple’s move to using all-glass casing, another previously rumored feature. Even though some metal and plastic smartphones have wireless charging, using glass is faster and there are fewer frequency disruptions. Apple could decide to limit the feature to the iPhone 8, but with the 7s and 7s Plus expected to be remade with all-glass casing, the addition of wireless charging might encourage more people to upgrade. While the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus models might lack OLED due to production constraints, putting wireless charging would go a long way toward making the next iPhone a must-buy.
Touch ID on the front?
The rumor: Renderings revealed in April show the version of iPhone 8 that everyone seems to want: edge-to-edge OLED display with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor hidden underneath the display, not placed on the back. In addition, the renderings show the rear cameras in a vertical alignment.
These iPhone 8 renderings seem to be inspired by internal schematics that surfaced on SlashLeaks. Those schematics also included a facial recognition front-facing camera, an infrared sensor, a stacked mainboard design, and two battery units.
Plausible? Certainly! The iPhone 8 is rumored to have an extensive feature list, so even if not all of them are true, a stacked mainboard design would not only be plausible but necessary. We’re crossing our fingers for a Touch ID sensor that’s not on the back of the device, so these schematics make us happy for that reason, as well.
Touch ID on the back?
The rumor: Apple might move one of its essential features, Touch ID, to the back of the iPhone 8. According to Pacific Crest Securities analyst Andy Hargreaves, Apple is having technical issues integrating the Touch ID sensor right on the display of the new virtual Home button. Apple might forced to delay the production of the iPhone 8 in order to fix the issue. Another possibility, according to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri, is that Apple will resort to placing the Touch ID sensors on the back, similar to the new Galaxy S8 and the Pixel phones by Google. According to Bloomberg, Apple has prototyped a version with Touch ID on the back of the device, which leaker Sonny Dickson shared a photo of on Twitter.
Plausible? Although we previously have heard rumblings about a delay, it’s very unlikely for Apple not to have all the features set at this point. Touch ID is such an important part for enabling Apple Pay that it’s hard to imagine a highly-anticipated iPhone 8 without it. And moving Touch ID to the back of the device is not very intuitive if you want to unlock your iPhone with your thumb or while it’s laying down flat. It’s a design flaw we hope Apple doesn’t succumb to, but if we have to choose between Touch ID on the back or no Touch ID at all...we’ll begrudgingly accept the former.
Another potential reason for a fingertip-sized cut-out on the back of the iPhone casing is wireless charging, which is a rumor we’ve been hearing over and over again. But if Samsung couldn’t manage to put a fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy S8 due to technical issues, Apple might have a serious problem.
An overhauled camera?
The rumor: We thought the iPhone 7 Plus had a killer camera, but the iPhone 8 could change the entire game. According to Bloomberg, Apple is testing overhauled cameras on both the front and back of the 10th anniversary iPhone. Unlike the 7 Plus, the iPhone 8’s dual cameras will be stacked on top of of each other instead of side by side. That should make for better photos. But more importantly, the front-facing camera may also include two lenses with augmented reality features and a Portrait mode for selfies.
Plausible? Bloomberg’s track record for iPhone rumors is pretty solid, although Apple is clearly testing a slew of features and not all of them will make it into the 10th anniversary model. However, given CEO Tim Cook’s recent comments about augmented reality and the success of the iPhone 7 Plus and its standout camera, it seems likely that Apple will make the iPhone 8’s photography features even better.
100 million OLED displays ordered from Samsung?
The rumor: According to Bloomberg, Apple has placed an order for 100 million OLED displays from Samsung. Furthermore, Samsung is rumored to be the sole supplier of OLED displays for the new iPhone 8, because other manufacturers don’t have the capacity to make mass quantities.
Plausible? The rumor that Apple is moving to OLED for the iPhone 8 is pretty solid, with recurring reports that continue to to corroborate that information. The only thing we’re still uncertain about is whether these OLED displays will be flat or curved. Originally, it seemed like Apple had come across a few roadblocks finding a supplier that could produce enough curved OLEDs for the iPhone 8, but more recent reports make it sound like Samsung has stepped up to the challenge.
It’s still unclear just how curved the screen will be. According to Bloomberg, the latest iPhone 8 prototype features a flat OLED screen with a slightly curved glass front meeting a steel frame with an aluminum back. But Apple is still testing iPhones with glass backs and more dramatic curves, so anything is possible.
A $1,000 iPhone?
The rumor: According to Fast Company, this very-special 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone could cost more than $1,000. The higher price tag is due to the fact that this new iPhone 8 will boast an OLED display that will cost Apple twice as much to manufacture. A UBS analyst has added to the price speculation, stating that the entry-level iPhone 8 will be about $850 to $900.
Plausible? The iPhone 8 will certainly be more expensive, so you should start saving up, but will it cost over a grand? That depends on which storage size you choose. A top-of-the-line $1,000 iPhone is actually not so ridiculous—the 256GB version of the iPhone 7 Plus is already $969. As for an entry-level 64GB version? Apple might want to remain competitive, and pricing it under $900 would still preserve the company’s notoriously high margins.
True Tone in all models?
The rumor: All new iPhone models this year will feature Apple’s True Tone display technology, according to an investor note from Barclays obtained by 9to5Mac. True Tone debuted in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro last year, and the technology uses ambient light sensors so that the display can adopt the surrounding light and color temperature, making it less harsh on the eyes. According to 9to5Mac, True Tone will be incorporated in the premium iPhone 8, as well as in forthcoming iPhone 7s and 7s Plus, which are all expected to be unveiled later this year.
Plausible? Yes, Apple has a tendency to launch new features in one device before expanding it to other products. However, we keep hearing that Apple really wants to make the iPhone 8 standout, so it’s interesting to learn that True Tone is expected in all the forthcoming models.
AR is the next big thing?
The rumor: Apple is going all-in on augmented reality, as the company ramps up developments that could be introduced in the forthcoming iPhone camera. Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is looking at AR as its “next big thing.” Although AR hardware like glasses could be a few years off, an iPhone equipped with these capabilities may be coming sooner than we think. According to Bloomberg, hundreds of Apple engineers are now dedicated to developing AR, including members of the iPhone camera team.
What could AR on the iPhone look like? Bloomberg reports that iPhone users may be able to change the depth of a photo in post-editing or rotate the subject of the photo in 180-degrees. Furthermore, the iPhone camera could be able to overlay visual effects similar to Snapchat selfie filters.
Plausible? No one can deny Apple seems very interested in becoming a major player in popularizing augmented reality. Tim Cook has said so himself several times. However, it is not conclusive how Apple might integrate this emerging technology into the iPhone, or by creating new products for that matter.
It makes sense that Apple would use the iPhone as a vehicle to introduce AR. Snapchat and Pokémon Go have given us successful implementations of mobile AR, so something similar could be expected. But although Bloomberg is a reliable source, we also know that Apple is testing several iPhone models, so not all these features are guaranteed to come to fruition. Even Bloomberg makes it clear that Apple could decide to shelve the technology if it’s not ready.
More expensive 3D Touch sensor?
The rumor: The 3D Touch module on the forthcoming iPhone 8 with OLED display will cost $15 to manufacture, at least if you believe Digitimes, a 60 percent increase in cost. Previously, the 3D Touch sensor on the iPhone 7 cost closer to $9 to manufacture. This implies that Apple will have to mark up the price of the iPhone 8 in order to keep its typically high margins. The more-expensive 3D Touch module consists of a thin film touch sensor that will be overlaid onto the new AMOLED display. However, the report also mentions that TPK Holdings, the AMOLED display supplier, won’t supply the displays until the fourth quarter, corroborating earlier rumors that the iPhone 8 will be launched later than September.
Plausible? Digitimes is not the most reliable sources when it comes to new iPhones, but even if the details are a little shaky, the implication that the iPhone 8 will be more expensive is spot-on. Besides the new 3D Touch module, the iPhone 8’s rumored OLED display, virtual Home button, and 3D camera all point to a higher price tag. Could it cost over $1,000? Certainly the 256GB model might—especially considering the fact that the iPhone 7 Plus with 256GB went on sale for $979.
Is this what it could look like?
The rumor: We’ve all heard the rumors of an edge-to-edge OLED display (scroll down if you need to catch up), and now it’s easier to imagine what that would look like. Working off a report from Nikkei Asian Review, Benjamin Geskin created new renders for iDrop News. Click through to see more, showing what the phone would look like if the most popular rumors all come true. You’ll notice the top “forehead” is shorter, the bottom “chin” is nearly gone, the Home button’s fingerprint sensor is now embedded into the screen, and the screen stretches to the very side edges.
Plausible? Renders can be hit or miss, but this seems like a very plausible design, if the edge-to-edge rumor is true. Still, the final look reminds us a little bit of the Samsung Galaxy lineup! What we really can’t wait to find out is if Apple uses special materials for a high-end iPhone Edition, like it did with the Apple Watch Edition, and also what colors the new iPhone will sport.