Apples next iPhone isnt supposed to arrive until much later in 2017, but that hasnt stopped legions of fans from fervently speculating about it. This year, things may be a little different as its the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Rumors suggest we may see three models the iPhone 7S, the 7S Plus, and the iPhone X (iPhone 8). The latter isexpected to be an expensive,technical showcase phone released as celebration model.Apple iPhone X
If you want to learn more about the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, head over here. A lot of this information isup in the air, but what were hearing about it keeps us interested. Very interested. Hereswhat weve learned so far about the iPhone X also referred to as the iPhone 8.
Bezel-less screen, no home button
For some time now, weve been hearing rumors the iPhone X will have an edge-to-edge or bezel-less screen, potentially with OLED technology.
A report from market research firm Cowen and Company suggests that the iPhone Xs earpiece, FaceTime camera, and Touch ID fingerprint sensor will be embedded into the screen, allowing for a seamless edge-to-edge front panel. It said Apple may switch to Synaptics optical-based fingerprint reader for the new Touch ID, citing it as currently the only workable solution for detecting a fingerprint through a smartphone screen.
But the prototypicaldesign is posing a challenge for Apples suppliers. According to Apple Insider, yields of the under-screen Touch IDsensor are low so low that Apple may consider alternative designs if the production problems cant be solved.
Other rumors and reports continue to spread and reiterate that the iPhone X will have a home button integrated into the screen. An image created by designer Benjamin Geskin on Twitter shows how the phone may look with this type of design and is based on sketchesapparently made by a factory employee with knowledge of the iPhone Xs design. The screen stretches all the way to the bottom of the phones front panel, and a bezel at the top contains several sensors and a dual-lens front camera. On the rear is another dual-lens camera, but this time its mounted vertically.
Before this,manyreports suggested Apple is still finalizing the design for the new iPhone, such as this one from Mac Otakarawhich states that while there was a prototype built without a home button, itmay not end up being a part of the final design.
A patent discovered by Apple Insider suggests that Apple has considered moving the front-facing sensors to underneath the display.For a closer look, you can check outU.S. patent No. 9,466,653, titled Electronic devices with display-integrated light sensors. These reports corroborate rumors brought to light byDaring FireballsJohn Gruber, who was among the first to say the iPhone X also may not have a single bezel that plays well with the idea of a single sheet of glass. The entire front of the device could be one giant display, and the Touch ID sensor would be embedded in the screen itself. This has been reiterated in The New York Times, which sourcedtwo anonymous Apple employees.
The Wall Street Journal corroborated other rumblings about the iPhone Xs display, home button, and more. The iPhone X will reportedly feature a curved OLED screen similar to those on Samsungs Galaxy S8 devices and it will also do away with the physical home button. And it will launch alongside two other smartphones.Analyst Ming-Chi Kouagreed, saying the iPhone X could see the elimination of the iconic home button and Touch ID sensor in favor of virtual buttons at the bottom of the screen.
The screen size of the new iPhone has been the subject of some debate,but it seems as though most reportsagree to the size of5.8 inches (like the Galaxy S8). Previously, Nikkei Asian Review suggested that the display would instead be 5 inches, however, the outlet, which is known for iPhone leaks,has since changed its tune in a revised report.
Kuo reports that the virtual buttons will take up part of the iPhone Xs screen, a rumored 5.8-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 2,800 x 1,242 pixels a figure now agreed upon by Nikkei. And he believes the phone will come with other biometric technologies that replace the current fingerprint recognition technology. Kuo notes the overall footprint would be comparable to the 4.7-inch TFT-LED iPhone, though with a measurably larger display size and battery life.
Although going back to glass may seem like an odd retro move for Apple, it would also open up possibilities like wireless charging, which is nearly impossible to achieve with an all-metal device. Moreover, Kuo suggests that higher-end models of future iPhones will likely use stainless steel in their cases so look out, world. Were about to getrealfancy.
OLED for the iPhone
One rumor that constantly crops up is the possible use of an Organic LED (OLED) screen on the iPhone X. OLED screens can offer deeper blacks and are often thinner than LCDs, and Apple hasused this technology before with the Apple Watch. AMOLED is a different type of OLED, and Samsung, as well asmany other manufacturers, have been using it on Android smartphones for years.
Using OLED on an iPhone is increasingly likely thanks to an April report fromNikkeiclaiming Apple placed an order for 70 million OLED panels from Samsung. According to the publication, the South Korean company will be the sole producer of screens for the device. Nikkei attributes the news to one of Apples suppliersand saidSamsung could produce as many as 95 million panelsfor the new iPhone before the end of 2017. Still, Apple isreportedto be testing both OLED and LCD panels, curved and flat, as recently as the beginning of March.
Not only could the display be OLED, but it couldalso be True Tone, according to a report from MacRumorsciting Barclays bank. The only Apple device with a True Tone display is the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. True Tone basically changes the white balanceof the display depending on the ambient light. If youre in a room with an orange light bulb, the screen will change a little to match the scene. Its very similar to Night Shift, which adjusts the color to cut out blue light at night. Apples Touch ID technology could also be revamped to complement the bezel-less device, in that it may be replaced by a facial recognition system. As there are a lot of technical challenges to the technology, the company may use a combination of fingerprint and facial recognition technology.
If the iPhoneX doescome with an OLED screen, itll likely be expensive, possibly beyond $1,000. TheWall Street Journalreports the displays are costly to produce. However, the same report notes that Apple could decide against the OLED model altogether. Theres precedent for such a 180: Last year, a global shortage ofsapphire glass forced Apple to abandon the material for the iPhone 7.
Every year, Apple upgrades the processor in its new iPhone. The iPhone X, like the 7S and 7S Plus, will likely get the new A11 chip. DigiTimes reports the chip will use a 10-nanometer manufacturing process, like Qualcomms Snapdragon 835 and Samsungs Exynos 8895. The chip should be even faster than the A10 Fusion processor, which has been heralded by critics as the best mobile phone processor.
New reports indicate that the new A11 chipis set to soon enter production, according toEconomic Daily News,which notes that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will begin production of the new A11 chip in April, and will aim to produce 50 million chips before July. Not only that, but the firm will reportedly produce 100 million chips before the end of 2017. According to Chinese research firm Trendforce, the upcoming iPhones willhave plenty of internal storage as they may come in 64GB and256GB configurations.
Apple is also looking to build its own graphics processor for the iPhone, though we may not see this technology until later models.
Apple has long been rumored to be working on wireless charging for a future version of the iPhone, and rumors suggest it will use its own self-built tech but that doesnt mean third-parties wont develop their ownwireless charging accessories for the phone.
In fact, after Apple joined the Wireless Power Consortium,popular wireless charger manufacturer Powermat saidit will work to support whatever wireless charging standard the new iPhone uses. Some reports have indicated that the device will support Qi charging, however, others indicate that the device may use a modified version of Qi that wont work with standard Qi chargers, like the Apple Watch.Reutersreports thatApple has at least five different groups working on wireless charging technology.
TheWall Street Journalsaid in February that Apple will ditch the iPhones Lightning port in favor of USB Type-C, the industry standard connector for smartphones, laptops, and chargers. It isnt clear from the report if Apple means to replace the iPhones Lightning port with a Type-C port or if it will simply adopt Type-C for the phones wall charger, and retain the Lightning porton the iPhone Xitself.
A separate report by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed the iPhoneX will have a more expensive logic board design, allowingfor longer battery life, according to MacRumors. The new logic-board design would allow for the OLED iPhone to have dimensions similar to a 4.7-inch iPhone, but it could offer comparable battery life to a 5.5-inch iPhone.
Kuo expects the iPhone Xto have a 2,700mAh L-shaped two-cell battery pack. The OLED display could also allow the device to be more energy-efficient, meaning the device could have better battery life than previous 5.5-inch iPhones.
Rear dual camera setup and revolutionary 3D front camera
Rumors suggest theiPhone X has a thing or two in common with Microsofts depth-sensing Kinect sensor. According to areport published by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the upcoming iPhones front camera boasts a revolutionary infrared sensor that can sense the three-dimensional space in front of it.
Its saidto be aimed at takingselfies. According to Kuo, the front sensor merges depth information with 2D images for featureslike facial recognition intandem with Touch ID.It could be used to replace a video game characters head with that of the user or to generate a 3D selfie that would integrate seamlessly with virtual reality applications.The technology is beingdeveloped by PrimeSense, the company behind Microsofts Kinect; and Apple is likely to open these 3D scanning capabilities to third-party developers.
This front-camera may also be used to power iris-sensor technology, like SamsungsGalaxy S8.
The iPhones front camera isnt the handsets only highlight. Itll boast dual vertical cameras, according to Mac Otakara, likely with functionality similar to the cameras on the existing iPhone 7 Plus.
According to a report fromThe Korea Economic Daily, Apple is collaborating with LG to create a dual-camera module that would allow for 3D photography. While Apple previously patented 3D-object and gesture recognition, its unclear whether the upcoming iPhone will bring these patents to life.
Better water resistance, andglass, ceramic, steel?
iPhone 7 Plus
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that Apple may experiment with either glass, ceramic, or plastic backs onthe iPhone X. But newrumors suggest that Applemay go witha stainless steel frame instead. If thereport from DigiTimesis true, it would mark a return to the material for Apple it was last used in the iPhone 4S.
The iPhone 7 was the first device in the iPhone family that could be submerged up to a meter underwater for 30 minutes. Naturally, rumor has it that Apples going to take it a step further with the next iPhones, ramping up the IP rating from IP67 to IP68 and putting it on par with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy S8.Thatrumor comes from the Korea Herald, which cites multiple sources. Most people will hardly notice a difference, to be fair. The IP68-rating allows submersion up to about 1.5meters for 30 minutes, a minor improvement over the1-meter depth forIP67-certified devices.
Naming, release date and price
Despite being known as the iPhone 8 in many rumors, the phone may comealongside the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus in late 2017. This may confuse things for 2018, when an iPhone 8 would be more logical if we follow Apples usual naming traditions.
An alternative name that is reportedly being considered is the iPhone X. Cool, right? This comes from anonymous sources speaking to Fast Company, who also claim the device will have a 5.8-inch OLED screen, nobezels, and abody made of stainless steel. The glass back from older iPhone models may make a return, and the familiar home button may disappear under the screen. Even the volume and sleep/wake keys may be replaced with touch-sensitive panels instead. All of these new featuresmay come at a steep price, with a tag in excess of $1,000.
Apple traditionally launches a new iPhone every year in September, but the latest reports indicate things may be a little different this year. According to an analysts research note for investment banking firm Drexel Hamilton, obtained by MacRumors, the iPhone X may be delayed several weeks after the September reveal due to challenges around its 3D-sensing technology though it will still be available in time for the December holidays.
Since it is only April, this situation could improve, the analyst said, according toMacRumors. Essentially, our contact believes customers will be able to pre-order the new 5.8-inch iPhone X along with the new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones in September; however, the 5.8-inch iPhone X will not be available for delivery until several weeks later.
This lines up with previous reports from Economic Daily News, which said the new iPhone X wont be delivered until October or November.
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