Last year, we saw the iPhone 7. And although many were looking forward to a new design and impressive new features, Apple released a phone with a nearly identical two-year-old design, an OS that still looked the same, and airpods in lieu of the 3.5mm headphone jack. It seemed like a minor “S” upgrade; many were disappointed, while some brand loyalists, rejoiced. This year, we’re looking at the release of Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone. With just months of the expected release, there’s plenty to speculate about, and a lot to actually look forward to. Here, we have a rumor roundup.
A Radical Design
Year after year, numerous designs are leaked prior to the actual release. Many hints come from leaked cases that give a clue on how the new phone might look. Some come from supposedly leaked schematics straight from Apple, while others come from supposed supply chain leaks. However, it’s important to note that Apple tests numerous prototype models before the actual release, and after the scandalous leak of the lost iPhone 4 prototype back in 2010, Apple has taken extra steps in ensuring that these type of leaks are avoided. With this, it’s best to take all rumors with a grain of salt.
Dubbed the “iPhone 8”, the phone is rumored to have a radical design with an impressive screen-to-body ratio. Following the 2017 tech trend of “more screen, less phone”, Apple is rumored to join in, with an edge-to-edge display up front, similar to Sharp’s flagship FS8016 and FS8010 phones. At the back is a rumored dual camera with a similar look to the iPhone 7 Plus, except that it’d be placed vertically.
An all new mirror-like finish is also rumored to be released. In terms of the size, the 8’s is said to be in between the current iPhone’s 7 Plus and 7’s size. So yes, we might see a fourth addition to the current iPhone size offering.
An Improved and Alternative Security System
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, and TSMC has reported that, along with a redesign, is a new and improved security system. All predict a better screen-to-body ratio, although their reports differ in speculations on home button alternatives. Here are two of their most discussed predictions:
Embedded Fingerprint Scanner
The design decision of ditching the top and bottom bezels in the iPhone’s front will have implications that are bound to affect the user experience. According to TSMC, one of Apple’s chip manufacturers, in place of the home button will be an embedded fingerprint scanner beneath the screen. The implementation will be a step towards a more seamless experience with one less button to click. If you’re wondering if this would be a first, then the answer is no. Chinese cellphone manufacturer, Vivo, has beat Apple in this game; they’ve managed to equip Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensor beneath its phone. Still, it’s nice to see Apple going in this direction. If Vivo did it, why can’t Apple?
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, however, shared that the fingerprint scanner may not materialize, and instead insists on a facial recognition solution. With the absence of the the physical home button and the demand for better security solutions, Kuo says that Apple will include a facial recognition feature to provide an option of a quick yet secure unlock.
Mark Gurnam, reiterates the same, but doesn’t provide explicit hints on the absence of the embedded fingerprint scanner. According to his report, Apple’s new security system will feature a new 3-D sensor and iris scanning in order in order fortify its security solutions offering. He adds that this technology will not be used solely for mere iPhone unlocks alone, but will also be used to authenticate payments, as well provide additional individual app security. There are many videos lurking on the net of how easy it is to bypass facial scanning, yet we hope that Apple, as secure as its past products are, maintains its security legacy.
This is almost certain. Supply chain leaks dictate so. For this year, we might finally see an iPhone equipped with an AMOLED display. Without a doubt more superior to IPS screens, the new display is definitely one of the best things to look forward to. With added benefits of more balanced contrasts, clearer and more vibrant colors, and individually lit pixels that translate to better battery life, it’s nice to see that Apple is finally catching up with its long due upgrade.
Water and Dust Proofing.
Last year’s release only featured iPhones with an IP67 rating. This year, we hope to finally see actual water and dust proofing for emergencies, and for added protection. Large in number, and to be used by many, the new generation iPhones equipped with this feature may finally enable future users to access their phone even in the most harshest of conditions.
The flaw with wireless charging is that it hasn’t been yet put into full potential. Yes, placing your phone on a charging platform is one less step from plugging the lightning cable in, yet the difference seem like insignificant seconds. Apple is rumored to support wireless charging for its 10th anniversary iPhone, as well as for the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus models. Although we hope that Apple would be the key game changer in wireless charging technology, they’re rumored to stick with the platform setup, which, Kuo also says, will be sold separately.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE August 2017 issue.
Words by Gerry Gaviola