Apple's next iPhone will reportedly be the iPhone 8 instead of iPhone 7S, and according to a number of rumours and leaks from 'insiders', Apple will be introducing a number of new features to ensure continued popularity of the brand and to sustain sales over the coming few years.

While not much is known about Apple making the handset VR-capable or making VR accessories to go with it, it is working on bringing other advanced features to ensure the product remains fresh and in sync with the changing needs of customers.

New update: OLED display on iPhone 8 to feature advanced 3D Touch sensors

Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-known analyst at KGI Securities, recently revealed that iPhone 8 will feature an advanced 3D Touch system in its OLED curved display since the display may not be compatible with Apple's existing 3D Touch pressure sensors.

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The new film sensors in Apple's upcoming 3D Touch system will not only be compatible with the OLED display, but will also offer enhanced pressure sensitivity. This means that users of iPhone 8 will be able to perform more functions and access more features in apps by applying varying levels of pressure through their fingers.

According to Kuo, Apple will also reinforce the fragile OLED panel on iPhone 8 with a metal structural part to make it more durable and resistant to pressure and external contacts. The OLED display panel is said to be integrated on only a premium variant of iPhone 8 so it naturally follows that the new 3D Touch system may be present only on the premium variant, with other variants featuring existing 3D Touch controls. 

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Premium iPhone 8 variant to feature facial and gesture recognition

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Apple may introduce facial and gesture recognition technologies with the new iPhone 8, but the feature may only be limited to the premium 5.8-inch OLED variant.

According to the Business Insider, Timothy Arcuri, an analyst, believes that the 5.8-inch premium variant of iPhone 8 which may also feature a curved OLED display, will come with “some form of facial/gesture recognition supported by a new laser sensor and an infrared sensor mounted near the front-facing camera.”

Arcuri believes that the new technology could be a result of Apple acquiring Primesense, an infrared sensor firm in 2012 and that it could help Apple add augmented reality features in the new handsets. If the new feature does make it to the iPhone 8 concept, then it may be used as an additional form of biometric authentication along with the fingerprint sensor. A previous leak had mentioned that the premium variant may be code-named Ferrari and will feature 'substantial internal redesign' with it's SIM card slot placed on the bottom instead of on it's side.

The handset's iconic home button would be absent and the technology would instead be embedded inside the display, thus affording the display a greater surface area and screen-to-body ratio than any existing iPhone. Ferrari would also feature glass casing on the front and back and the display would be mounted over plastic which would enable it to remain curved.

Detailed renders show iPhone 8 in all its glory

Apple iPhone 8 has so far been subjected to various renders based on existing leaks and rumours but we recently came across a render which describes the upcoming iPhone in more detail and clarity than any other render.

The renders, which mimic how Apple would showcase the iPhone 8 in its website once the handset is launched, tease various upcoming features in iPhone 8 like lack of a home button, a bezel-free curved display, smooth metal linings joining the glass screens on the front and back, wireless charging, an Iris scanner, an embedded fingerprint sensor on the LED display and a third variant of iPhone 8 named iPhone 8 Pro which will work with a stylus named Apple Pencil.

The website also claims something which we haven't heard about so far. It claims that iPhone 8 will feature a USB Type-C port instead of the Lightning port which has been around since iPhone 5. The images also show that while the display would stretch across the front panel of the iPhone, it won't cover the face of the iPhone entirely as the bottom area would still be reserved for the embedded fingerprint sensor, the phone app and a shortcut to WhatsApp ( or your favourite app).

The site also teases the iPhone 8 Pro which will feature a highly sensitive display using which you will be able to create a wide range of artistic effects. It will work with a new accessory named Apple Pencil which will be compatible with all apps on the App Store. The site also gives us a glimpse of a wireless charging pod which isn't circular like Samsung's but is of the same size and which will enable fast charging from a distance of up to 3 metres.

iPhone 8 to feature front and rear glass panels forged together by stainless steel lining

Apple's upcoming iPhone 8 is expected to be very similar to the iPhone 4s, featuring glass panels on the front and back and stainless steel linings on its sides, says a new report from the Korean Digitimes.

As per the report, production of iPhone 8 chassis will be shouldered by Foxconn and US-based Jabil, and will involve a stainless steel forging process whereby two glass panels will be joined together through a stainless steel lining which will run on the sides and edges of iPhone 8, just like in the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s.

"The next-generation iPhone is expected to abandon its conventional aluminium back cover design and will adopt a new design using two reinforced glass panes and a metal frame in the middle. The metal bezel will be made of stainless steel using a forging process to enhance its sturdiness and reduce costs and manufacturing time. Apple's iPhone 4 used a stainless steel frame also supplied by Foxconn and Jabil," said the report.

Apple's iPhone 7 currently features an Aluminium unibody which is durable enough but it is being said that not only will the new design concept ensure added quality control but will also save 30-50% in production cost to Apple. Component supply and production of Apple's iPhone 8 will be shouldered by the likes of Foxconn, Jabil, Pegatron Technology, Wistron, Catcher Technology and Casetek. It will be interesting to see if Apple will pass on the savings to its customers and thereby subject the iPhone 8 to price cuts.

Apple iPhone 8 to feature stainless steel chassis instead of Aluminium one

Apple's upcoming iPhone 8 will be the first iPhone since the iPhone 4s to feature a stainless steel chassis instead of an Aluminium one, reports South Korean DigiTimes. Instead of Foxconn, forged stainless steel cases for iPhone 8 handsets will be manufactured by Jabil, yet another partner of Apple's.

Apple has been using Aluminium casings in iPhone 5 and later iPhones till data thanks to its lightweight as well as durable nature. Aluminium cases have served Apple well so far save for the infamous 'bendgate' episode in which the iPhone 6 Plus was involved. What is more interesting is why Apple has suddenly decided to go back to stainless steel instead of Aluminium and what will it mean for future generations of iPhones? We'll probably have to wait a little longer to find out.

Apple's iPhone 8 casings will be developed using a forging process which will offer enhanced structural rigidity to the casings, this making the iPhone 8 more durable compared to the iPhone 7 or previous generations. Some reports have also stated that the iPhone 8 may feature an glass casings with metal frames which will give the iPhone a premium look and boost its sales.

"Apple is expected to redesign the iPhone, including giving it a glass chassis, in 2017 to boost weakening demand and to see off stiff competition from rivals, including South Korea's Samsung Electronics and China's Huawei Technology, whose phones use Android platforms," said a report from Nikkei. "Market watchers suggested that Apple's new iPhones would adopt glass casings with metal frames and advanced organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels, a design Samsung already uses for its premium handsets. This will give iPhones developed in 2017 a sleeker look and a brighter, more energy-efficient display," the report added.

iPhone 8 will outperform iPhone 6 in terms of sales, say analysts

Apple's upcoming iPhone 8 could turn out to be much more popular than the revolutionary iPhone 6 and may create a "supercycle" after it is launched, said analysts at Namura.

According to The Business Insider, the analysts noted that the iPhone 6 was a major hit because it was Apple's answer to the industry's growing demand for larger screens and it subsequently increased Apple's user base by about 35 per cent. The analysts now believe that those who purchased the iPhone 6 will now go for the iPhone 8, thus creating a new supercycle and increasing Apple's user base even further.

"Consensus calls for 80 million iPhones in F1Q18 (Dec '17) ... only modestly above the iPhone 6 supercycle (75 million). However, we estimate the iPhone 8 will launch into an iOS subscriber base 45-50% larger than the iPhone 6 did and model 86 million iPhones in F1Q18 (from 83 million)," they said.

Apple is expected to launch iPhone 8 with new features like an OLED display, wireless charging, a new quick charging technology, fingerprint sensor embedded in the bezel-free display and a powerful battery. The combination of fresh technologies should drive up iPhone sales and should attract existing iPhone users who didn't go for the iPhone 6s or the iPhone 7 because of incremental updates which didn't justify their price tags.

Apple to introduce fast charging in iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

While Apple has never used fast charging technologies so far in its iPhones, it has used alternative means like introducing power-efficient cores in the A10 Fusion Chip or offering enhanced battery saving options in settings to ensure iPhones do not run out of juice before your day is over.

However, a fresh leak coming from @SonnyDickson now says that Apple will finally introduce fast charging in iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus handsets. We would have loved to know if the fast charging process would function as fast as Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 but no further details about the technology are available so far. Apple may also introduce a new 'tap to wake' feature with iPhone 8 which will let a user activate his iPhone's display by tapping on it. The feature is already available in several Android phones and won't be something we haven't seen before, but that fact that these technologies are coming to iPhones is a welcome move.

Apple may introduce a 5-inch iPhone with vertically-arranged rear cameras in 2017

Apple's iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus launches could see the introduction of a number of fresh features but according to a trusted source of Apple-related feeds, an new 5-inch iPhone 8 variant may arrive in September next year which will feature vertically-arranged twin rear cameras.

It is unclear as of now if the vertically-arranged rear cameras in the proposed iPhone 8 variant will offer better image or video output or will it be just a diversion from the traditional design factor. Macotakara, the source of the leak, states that the iPhone variant will be similar to the iPhone 8 in terms of specifications, so it seems the variant will be for those who would like to own iPhones with different looks than traditional ones.

The 5-inch form factor also suggests that it will be slightly taller than existing iPhones which feature 4.7-inch displays. Will the usual iPhone 8 also be 5-inch tall or whether the taller form in the variant will be only to accommodate the vertically-arranged cameras will be interesting to see once Apple launches its next range of iPhones in 2017.

Apple may launch a premium iPhone code-named 'Ferrari' in 2017

A fresh leak coming out of Chinese social media platform Weibo suggests that Apple may be working on a premium iPhone model which the company will launch in 2017. The premium iPhone in question is code-named 'Ferrari' and may feature the long-rumoured OLED display panel, instead of iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus.

The leaked report on Weibo also suggests that Ferrari will be completely bezel-free as the OLED panel would cover the entirety of the iPhone's face. The iconic home button would be absent and the technology would instead be embedded inside the display, thus affording the display a greater surface area and screen-to-body ratio than any existing iPhone. Ferrari would also feature glass casing on the front and back and the display would be mounted over plastic which would enable it to remain curved.

The leak also adds that the premium iPhone will feature 'substantial internal redesign' and it's SIM card slot will be placed on the bottom instead of on it's side. With the Lightning Port set to continue in future iPhone models, this does raise a question on whether the SIM slot at the bottom would leave little space for stereo speakers or if Apple will mode the speakers to another location in the handset. We'll let you know once we know more on this.

Source: Apple Insider

iPhone 8 may feature wireless charging from up to 15-feet away

A well-known Apple supplier Dialog Semiconductor has inked a deal with wireless charging major Energous thanks to which all Energous technologies will be sold under the Dialog branding. Dialog Semiconductor sells power management chips to Apple and over 70% of it's overall sales go to Apple. Energous have developed a wireless charging technology named WattUp using which devices can be charged wire-free from as much as 15 feet away.

"WattUp RF-based charging can be integrated to provide wire-free charging to a wide variety of electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, wearables, cameras, wireless keyboards and mice, headsets, sensors, LED lights, remote controls and toys," said the company.

"A Radio Frequency (RF) system, similar to a Wi-Fi system, delivers safe wire-free charging energy at a distances of up to approximately 15ft from a transmitter to a receiver device, such as a mobile phone, and maintains charging while the receiver is in motion.  Up to 12 receiver devices can be managed by the system simultaneously, depending on system specifications," it added.

It has previously been reported that Apple has been testing wireless charging technologies for future iPhones but it is trying to overcome a few challenges like loss of power over distance. Nikkei also reported that  Foxconn Technology Group, a seasoned contract manufacturer of Apple's iPhones, has won the deal to produce wireless charging modules for the iPhone 8. If Apple has already made up its mind about including wireless charging in the iPhone 8, then it must have exhaustively tested the technology before signing a contract with Foxconn. However, Dialog's new deal with Energous suggests that Apple way want to try out alternative technologies before making up it's mind but we can't say that for sure yet.

iPhone 8 to feature OLED displays but not in large numbers

Apple is reportedly in talks with four OLED manufacturers- Samsung Display, LG Display, Sharp and Japan Display to produce display panels for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. According to the Bloomberg, Samsung Display may end up being the sole supplier of panels for next year's iPhones but will not be able to produce the panels in required numbers, which could go up to around a 100 million. The report adds that this may force Apple to introduce OLED displays in only one variant of next year's iPhones.

"Apple has already figured in there will be high demand for the OLED model and they’ve also figured out there will be constraints to these panels. The combination of Apple’s stringent quality requirements and the difficulty of producing OLED panels will likely lead to supply constraints," said Dan Panzica, a supply chain analyst at IHS Markit to Bloomberg. It is possible that OLED displays may arrive with a new edition of iPhone 8 Plus which may cost higher than its fellow iPhones.

The report from Bloomberg can be taken with a pinch of salt considering that Sharp CEO Tai Jeng-wu recently revealed that the Foxconn-owned enterprise will be manufacturing OLED displays for the iPhone 8 and are building a new OLED manufacturing facility in Japan for this purpose. He also said that Foxconn may build a similar manufacturing facility in the United States too if Apple asked them to. "The iPhone has been evolving and now it is switching from LTPS [low-temperature poly-silicon] to OLED panels. We don't know whether Apple's OLED iPhones will be a hit, but if Apple doesn't walk down this path and transform itself, there will be no innovation. It is a crisis but it is also an opportunity," he said.

iPhone 8 to be bezel-free and may lack the home button as well

According to Barclays supply chain analysts, Apple's iPhone 8 and 8 Plus may turn out to be truly 'bezel-free' with their display screens covering the entirety of their faces. The lack of bezels would mean that Apple is willing to finally bid adieu to the iconic home button, a feature which has hardly changed in all these years ever since the first iPhone was released, except that it now has a fingerprint sensor embedded within and isn't clickable in the latest iPhones. The home button is expected to be embedded inside the upcoming iPhones' display screens and the front FaceTime camera may also find itself behind the glass screen but analysts believe the design of the upcoming iPhones are yet to be finalised. It is also being reported that iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will feature 5-inch and 5.8-inch displays instead of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch ones in the last three years' models.

Aside from the bezel-free display, the upcoming iPhones will, for the first time since the iPhone 4S, feature glass casing both on the front and back. "Apple is expected to redesign the iPhone, including giving it a glass chassis, in 2017 to boost weakening demand and to see off stiff competition from rivals, including South Korea's Samsung Electronics and China's Huawei Technology, whose phones use Android platforms," said a report from Nikkei. "Market watchers suggested that Apple's new iPhones would adopt glass casings with metal frames and advanced organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels, a design Samsung already uses for its premium handsets. This will give iPhones developed in 2017 a sleeker look and a brighter, more energy-efficient display," the report added.

Wireless charging modules are coming to the iPhone 8

A recent report by Nikkei suggests Foxconn Technology Group, a seasoned contract manufacturer of Apple's iPhones, has won the deal to produce wireless charging modules for the iPhone 8. The report arrives just a day after it was revealed that Foxconn will be manufacturing millions of OLED displays for the upcoming iPhones. The Nikkei report quoted a source who said that the modules will only find their way to new iPhones if Foxconn are able to 'boost the yield rate to a satisfactory level later on.'

To perfect the wireless modules, the Cupertino giant will need to overcome a few challenges like loss of power over distance. It's not that Apple hasn't flirted with wireless charging technology before. In 2010, Apple filed for a patent for a technology that involved an iMac being used as a hub to wirelessly charge fellow Apple devices at a distance of one metre. If Apple has already made up its mind about including wireless charging in the iPhone 8, then it must have exhaustively tested the technology before signing a contract with Foxconn.

iPhone 8 may feature significantly enhanced battery life

Aside from introducing wireless charging, Apple is also expected to introduce new battery technologies which may significantly enhance battery life in future iPhones and iPads. Back in 2014, the Daily Mail reported that Intelligent Energy, a UK-based research firm, was working with Apple to develop new fuel cell technologies to power future iPads and MacBooks. Intelligent Energy also partnered with an “international electronics company” to purchase patents related to a practical application of fuel cell. As per Digital Trends, that partner company was Apple.

Intelligent Energy has claimed earlier this year that they will bring in a battery that will keep smartphones alive for an entire week on a single charge. The firm reportedly created a breakthrough fuel cell that is small yet powerful enough to fit inside a smartphone and power it for a week on a single charge. If this technology finds it way inside the iPhone 8, it'll be a leap of technology that'll help Apple maintain its lead over other manufacturers for the next few years.

Main image source: Tech Designs

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  1. Guest
    Guest6th Jan 2017

    Magnetic resonance charging of mobile phones has not been ratified here in the U.K. Yet another technology manufacturer trying to ride roughshod over ...

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