New iPhone 8 Leak Reveals Radical Design Changes

Huge iPhone 8 Leak Reveals 5 New Features

New iPhone 8 Leak Reveals Radical Design Changes

Ming-Chi Kuo is at it again and the famed analyst has delivered the most exciting news yet about Apple AAPL +0.26%s radically reinvented iPhone 8.Huge iPhone 8 Leak

In a new note to investors obtained by 9to5Mac, Kuo makes major claims regarding the iPhone 8s design, display size, usable screen area, core navigation and new security technologies. Let’s break them down.

The headline news is Kuo says Apple will remove the home button completely and replace it on the iPhone 8 with a function area akin to the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro line. The function area will be contextual, adapting to whatever users need depending on what they are doing.

iPhone 8 render with virtual 'function area' based on Kuo's new leaks. Image credit: iDrop News, Benjamin Geskin

iPhone 8 render with virtual ‘function area’ based on Kuo’s new leaks. Image credit: iDrop News, Benjamin Geskin

Interestingly Kuo says the end result is the iPhone 8 will be almost bezel-less with a mammoth 5.8-inch display squeezed into a chassis no larger than the 4.7-inch iPhone 7. Exclude the function area, however, and the actual usable size of the display will be 5.15-inches – which is roughly in line with upcoming rivals like the Galaxy S8 (also tipped for a 5.8-inch display and onscreen controls).

Kuo says the side effect of this major design overhaul is Touch ID has also reached the end of the line. It was thought Touch ID would be built into the display itself, but Kuo believes it will instead be replaced by new biometric technologies of which facial recognition and/or iris scanning must be the hot contenders.

The 'function area' on the iPhone 8 is very similar to the Touch Bar on the new MacBook range. Image credit: Kuo, KGI Research

The ‘function area’ on the iPhone 8 is very similar to the Touch Bar on the new MacBook range. Image credit: Kuo, KGI Research

But does this all add up?

What To Think

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Perhaps the main point to make here is if Kuo is right (and his track record is certainly strong), then Apple is making far bigger changes to the 2017 iPhone than even the most optimistic of fans would have believed just a few months ago.

Moving to a curved 5.8-inch OLED display, an all glass chassis, quick charging, wireless charging and now ending both Touch ID and the home button in a single generation feels very un-Apple. But does also come with the caveat that it will be the most expensive iPhone ever made.

It is fast becoming clear the iPhone 8 (some call it the iPhone X) will be the biggest upgrade and therefore the biggest gamble in Apples smartphone history. But it appears Apple is ready to ditch the past and start again, perhaps a fitting way to celebrate the ranges 10th anniversary.

The Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro. Image credit: Apple

The Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro. Image credit: Apple

That said Kuos report also raises as many questions as it answers. What biometric technologies? Iris and facial scanners can be highly accurate but require more a deliberate, multi-stage unlocking process than a fingerprint sensor and can be erratic in low light, when wearing glasses, trying to align when walking, etc. And the technology exists to simply build a fingerprint sensor into the display these days which wouldve been the safer step.

Still if Apple can pull off all these changes and deliver great usability then it will break new ground just as critics were beginning to round on the company for a lack of innovation. Based on everything we are learning about the iPhone 8, it would be a stunning riposte…