iPhone 8: Release date, price, specs, rumours and news about Apple’s flagship phone for 2017 – Mirror.co.uk


Apple is expected to release its iPhone 8 later this year, in what is expected to be the company's biggest smartphone launch in years.

2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone , which was first announced by Steve Jobs on 9 January 2007, and released later that year on June 29.

Given the momentous occasion, rumour has it that Apple has been holding back some of its most groundbreaking features for this year's model.

We've rounded up all the latest rumours and leaks, so if you're still undecided about your next phone, you'll have a good idea what Apple has in store.

Latest news

Apple's next iPhone could come in a striking "copper gold" colour, if new leaked photos are to be believed.

The pictures, shared on popular Chinese microblogging site Weibo, show what appears to be Apple's forthcoming iPhone 8 in three colours – white, jet black, and a new colour described as a "champagne gold".

The gold option is "closer to copper" in colour, according to Chinese website MyDrivers , which first shared the images. It also bears a close resemblance to Apple's rose gold iPhone 7 .

The pictures, which have not been verified, show the widely-rumoured vertical dual-lens rear camera, as well as a slightly elongated power button on the side of the device.

It is not clear whether the devices pictured are taken directly from the supply chain, or if they are dummy models made by non-Apple suppliers based on recent rumours.

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iPhone 8

Three sizes

Apple is rumoured to be working on three versions of its next iPhone, including a 4.7-inch iPhone 7s, a 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus and a 5.8-inch iPhone 8.

While early reports suggested that all three models would boast identical specifications, it's looking increasingly likely that the larger iPhone 8 model will be significantly more advanced than the 7s and 7s Plus – which are expected to closely resemble the iPhone 7.

The iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone SE

Meanwhile, a recent report in the Wall Street Journal claimed that Apple is currently testing more than 10 different prototypes for its next smartphone.

Name

Based on Apple's well-established "tick-tock" cycle, the 2017 model would be called the iPhone 7s.

These photos taken in China and obtained by the blog site Apple Insider allegedly show an iPhone with a very different design.

The tick-tock cycle refers to Apple releasing a new design every two years, and new features within the same casing on alternate years (which are usually known as "s" models).

However, rumour has it that Apple is moving to a three-year cycle on major iPhone refreshes.

This, combined with the fact that next year is the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, suggests that Apple's flagship 2017 model will be a fairly major upgrade.

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Apple iPhone 7

It seems unlikely, in that case, that Apple will opt for the name iPhone 7s – as that would downplay the upgrade. It's more likely that it will be called the iPhone 8.

Apple may even decide to go for something completely different – the iPhone 10 or iPhone X, to mark the anniversary, perhaps, or even the iPhone Air, iPhone Pro or iPhone Edition, to reflect the iPad and Apple watch lineups.

As mentioned, Apple may choose to launch lower-spec iPhone 7s and 7s Plus devices alongside its flagship device.

Release date

The iPhone 8 release date is rumoured to be the week of September 4 or September 11, 2017.

Apple traditionally releases its latest iPhones during the first two weeks of September, in good time for the start of the Christmas shopping season.

However, one report hints that Apple may break with tradition this year and launch its next flagship smartphone earlier than expected.

According to information gathered by BlueFin Research Partners and shared by Barron's Tech Trader Daily , there is "some indication" that Apple will start production of the iPhone 8 in June.

The iPhone 8 could be Apple's most exciting launch in years

If Apple is feeling particularly nostalgic, it may opt for June 29 – the same day the first iPhone was released.

Meanwhile, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a track record of leaking accurate information on Apple products, has previously claimed the iPhone 8 could be delayed until October or November, due to "significant hardware upgrades".

Apparently, Apple is struggling to integrate its Touch ID sensor into new iPhone's the display.

So while the iPhone 8 could be unveiled in September, it may not go on sale immediately, according to Kuo.

However Carphone Warehouse have already opened their pre-registration, so if you are looking to pick up the new iPhone as soon as it's released, you can sign up for free here.

Price

Apple products are not exactly known for being cheap. When the company launched its 'budget' iPhone 5c in 2013, it still cost an eye-watering £469.

But the latest reports suggest that Apple's next device will be its most expensive yet, exceeding the $1,000 (£795) mark for the first time.

The price was reportedly leaked to The Fast Company by "a source with knowledge of Apple's plans".

The source said that Apple will be launching three devices this year – a massive 5.8-inch model (likely called the iPhone 8), a 5.5-inch model (called iPhone 7s Plus), and a 4.7-inch model (called iPhone 7s).

The iPhone 8 will reportedly have a new OLED display that will stretch across the whole front of the phone.

This is part of the reason for the high price tag, according to the source, as the OLED display will cost Apple roughly twice as much as the LCD display used in current iPhones.

The new phone is also likely to get a memory upgrade from the current iPhone 7 line, which will add to the cost of manufacturing the device.

All-glass design

Apple is allegedly planning a major design overhaul for the iPhone 8. The company is said to be working on an all-glass version of its iconic iPhone , for release in 2017.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo published a report in May claiming the American tech firm will completely redesign the iPhone in 2017.

Instead of the aluminium casing used in the iPhone 7 , Apple will move to an all-glass enclosure.

iPhone concept image via Twitter / @GlobalFlare

This wouldn't be the first time Apple has used glass in its iPhones. The iPhone 4 and 4s had glass front and back panels, with a stainless steel band sandwiched between the two.

However, these phones were plagued by durability issues, with many customers claiming their phones cracked too easily when dropped .

Kuo noted that some investors are concerned that glass casing would be too heavy or fail a drop test, but said he believes that a return to glass casing will not be problematic for Apple.

The phone screen break is the fear of all avid smartphone users

"Apple already uses glass casing for iPhone 4/ 4S, and non-Apple brands have also been using glass casings. We therefore think a drop test will not be problematic for glass casing," he wrote in his report, according to MacRumours .

"A glass casing may be slightly heavier than an aluminum one of the same thickness, but the difference is so small that the use of the thinner and lighter AMOLED panel will compensate for that."

The rumour has been backed up by a couple of other leaks. A source reportedly told Japanese website Nikkei that "Foxconn has been trying glass chassis' since last year."

The arguments to be made for a glass smartphone include better antenna reception and more options for wireless charging.

Curved OLED display

At least one of the iPhone 8 prototypes is said to feature a new cutting-edge curved OLED display with practically no bezels – similar to that used on Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge.

Although there is no functional reason to have a curved screen, Samsung has been seeing significantly higher sales of the curved versions of its Galaxy smartphones.

Concept image of an iPhone with curved OLED display

In March 2016, Nikkei reported that Apple was planning to ditch LCD displays in favour of OLED screens, with the first OLED iPhone arriving in 2017.

Then in April 2017, DigiTimes reported that Apple had signed a two-year deal with Samsung to supply the OLED panels.

The deal, which is rumoured to be worth $9 billion, will see Samsung shipping 70-92 million OLED panels to Apple this year, representing 30% of all iPhone devices expected to be sold in 2017.

OLED displays are superior to the LCD panels currently used in Apple’s iPhones because, rather than requiring a backlight, an OLED-based screen lights up individual pixels when necessary.

This translates to blacker blacks and brighter whites, lower power consumption and faster response times compared to LED displays.

Like the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8, the iPhone 8's display could have a new longer aspect ratio, IHS Markit analyst Wayne Lam told MacRumors.

It could also have a 4K resolution – which would make it more suitable for virtual reality applications.

End of the Home button

Rumours have been swirling for some time that Apple is planning to get rid of the traditional physical Home button and replace it with a touch-sensitive digital button.

This was originally rumoured for the iPhone 7, but it's now looking likely that it will be one of the major changes coming with the iPhone 8.

Weidlich has turned the entire front of the futuristic smartphone into a screen

A Chinese website called Storm reports that the virtual home button will have the same haptic feedback motors used in the iPhone 7 to create the illusion of a Home button, even if it's really just a flat capacitive surface.

The biggest challenge appears to be integrating the Touch ID sensor into the display, with some rumours suggesting it will get around the problem by moving the fingerprint reader to the back of the phone.

In June, mobile technology firm Qualcomm unveiled a new "ultrasonic" fingerprint technology that is capable of scanning through thick glass, metal and – crucially – OLED smartphone displays.

The technology works by emitting ultrasonic sound waves, which penetrate the skin of your finger and capture a precise, 3D image of your fingerprint, according to Mashable.

Qualcomm already provides many of the internal components of Apple's iPhones, but the relationship between the two companies has soured in recently month, due to an ongoing lawsuit.

Mashable claims that Apple is unlikely to use Qualcomm's solution, but could use it as the basis for similar technology developed in-house.

However, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 8 could ship without a TouchID fingerprint scanner at all.

Kuo doesn't go into any more detail about how Apple will replace TouchID, but notes that "3D sensing for facial recognition" will be a part of the iPhone 8, suggesting that Apple could replace fingerprint scanning with facial recognition or eye-scanning tech.

There's one upside to Kuo's prediction; he says that because Apple won't need to bother with scanning your digits, there'll be no delay in production.

Leaked renders

Designers around the world have been speculating about what Apple has planned, and one artist, Marek Weidlich , has created an intriguing concept video.

Weidlich has turned the entire front of the iPhone into a screen – leaving no home button or any visible bezel.

Video Loading Click to play Tap to play The video will start in 8Cancel Play now

Meanwhile, new renders and drawings leaked by Weibo user KK appear to show an iPhone 8 with a curved screen that covers the entire front of the device.

An accompanying dimensional drawing shows that the bezel around the edge of the display is only 4mm thick, with the curved glass on either side of the screen accounting for 2.577mm of that width.

The device itself measures 137.54 x 67.54 mm, which is roughly the same size as the iPhone 7 , but the screen is 5.768 inches diagonally – almost identical to the Galaxy S8.

The drawing shows a narrow earpiece at the top of the screen, with the selfie camera, microphone and other sensors on either side.

The renderings suggest that these components will all be concealed below the glass, although it is unclear how this would work in reality.

One of the renderings shows the back of the phone with a new vertical dual camera setup.

The veracity of the new images can not be confirmed, but KK has on several occasions shared accurate details about previous devices, according to MacRumours .

Camera

The iPhone 8 is expected the feature the same dual-lens rear camera featured on the iPhone 7 Plus. Given that Apple only unveiled its dual-lens technology in 2016, it is unlikely to make any major changes to it in 2017.

However, if you were hoping that the 4.7-inch iPhone 7s was going to feature a dual-lens camera, you may be disappointed.

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple's dual-camera system will remain exclusive to the larger "Plus" model.

Dual-lens camera on the iPhone 7 Plus

"While an attractive addition for avid picture takers and professional photographers, the iPhone 7 Plus dual-camera is not a mass-market killer application yet," Kuo says in the note seen by Apple Insider and 9to5Mac .

"Along with its high cost (estimated at over US$30-40) and the necessity for Apple to enhance the added value of high-end iPhone models, we expect only high-end new iPhone models (30-40% of them) to have a dual-camera next year."

However, Kuo thinks that Apple's next iPhone could come with a "revolutionary" new selfie camera that uses infrared technology to detect the location and depth of objects in its field of vision.

The 3D camera system could be used for facial recognition, iris recognition and 3D selfies. It could also be used in augmented reality mobile games, to accurately replace a character's head with that of the user, Kuo wrote in a research report seen by 9to5mac .

Smiling teenage girl taking a selfie with smartphone

The 3D system works by sending invisible infrared light signals outwards from the phone and then detecting the signals that bounce back off of objects using the 1.4 megapixel infrared receiver.

Kuo said that, in the future, Apple could add 3D sensing technology to its rear cameras as well, removing the need for large dual camera iris systems.

Specs

iPhone concept

The iPhone 8 will, more than likely, feature an A11 chip, built on ARM's highly-efficient 10nm manufacturing process, and run the next version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 11.

It will come in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options.

Wireless charging

Wireless charging has become a common feature of some Android smartphones – including Samsung's latest family of devices – although it is still a lot slower than wired charging methods.

Some of Samsung's devices can already be charged wirelessly

A report in Bloomberg in January claimed that Apple was working on "cutting edge" wireless technology that would allow future iPhones and iPads to be placed further away from charging mats than current smartphones.

The unnamed sources said Apple was working on overcoming "technical barriers including loss of power over distance," and that the technology will feature in iPhones coming out in 2017.

Now pictures have been leaked on Chinese social networking site Weibo by a Foxconn employee, providing a look at the inside of Apple's OLED iPhone.

The pictures show a large, central black spot, which represents the device's wireless charging coil, according to MacRumours.

Facial recognition

One of the stand-out features of Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, is facial recognition technology, allowing users to unlock their phone by simply looking at it.

Eye scanning on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Now eagle-eyed software engineers have found evidence that the same feature could be included in Apple's iPhone 8, by scouring through the code for one of Apple's other gadgets .

The HomePod speaker is Apple's version of the Amazon Echo or Google Home and is set to be launched in December 2017.

As the speaker needs to work seamlessly with Apple's new phones, the firmware code contains references to some upcoming features that Apple fans can expect to see.

Revealed on Twitter by developer Steve Troughton-Smith it appears the next iPhone will include an infrared camera that could be used to scan your face, even in the dark.

It's likely this technology will be included so users can unlock the phone just by looking at it – in a similar way to Samsung's Galaxy S8 smartphone.

Meanwhile, an earlier report from Chinese-language website MoneyDJ.com , picked up by Digitimes , suggests that Apple may be planning to introduce iris recognition technology with the iPhone 8.

According to the report, a Taiwan-based company called Xintec is to start mass producing iris-recognition chips, some of which will be embedded in the 2017 series of iPhones.

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Water-resistant

Apple's iPhone 7 is water-resistant to a depth of one metre for up to 30 minutes – a rating known as IP67, which is the same as the Apple Watch .

It therefore makes sense that Apple would carry this through to the iPhone 8.

IP67 means it will survive a dip in the sink or down the loo, and it won't break if you pour a drink over it, but you probably don't want to take it swimming.

AirPods

Apple's next top-of-the-range iPhone could come with an accessory worth £160 in the box.

According to a new report from analysts at JPMorgan, seen by 9to5Mac, the iPhone 8 may come bundled with a free pair of AirPods.

The wireless earphones were announced along with the iPhone 7 and went on sale just before Christmas. They currently cost £159 to buy in the Apple Store.

The AirPods link up to your iPhone or Apple Watch via Bluetooth. They use sensors to automatically detect when they are in your ears, and play or pause your music accordingly.

They contain a pair of microphones, so you can control your music, change the volume and check your battery life using Siri.

The AirPods deliver up to 5 hours of listening time on one charge, and come in a special case that doubles as a charger, offering more than 24 hours of listening time in total.

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