Another year, another iPhone scheduled to be released. Although nothing is official until Apple makes it official, it’s almost guaranteed that the tech giants will be releasing the newest version of their popular smartphone later in 2017. There has already been much speculation about what the new phone will look like and what featured may be added. To make things simple, we gathered everything we could find and put it into one place, so that you can get an early rundown of everything that may be included in the new iPhone.
Apple is notoriously tight-lipped about their new products, so some of these things may turn out wrong. However, between tech insiders and leaks from production factories, we believe this article will give you a pretty solid idea of what the new iPhone will look like.
Many people are already calling Apple’s upcoming device the iPhone 8. Under normal circumstances, that would make sense, since the last version released was the iPhone 7 (and iPhone 7 Plus). However, if you know your iPhone history, you’ll be aware that the “iPhone 8” is actually the 12th different generation of smartphones, with Apple adding in multiple “S” versions of their flagship phone every other year. There was the iPhone 3GS, the 4S, the 5S, and the 6S so far. So even though we also used “iPhone 8” in the headline of this article, the smart money is on the name of Apple’s next smartphone being the “iPhone 7S” and “iPhone 7S Plus.” Of course, since 2017 is the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone, there’s also a rumor kicking about that Apple will call their new decide the “iPhone X.
For two generations, everyone’s iPhone was extra breakable. The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S both features the typical glass touchscreen that very smartphone has, but also an all-glass back panel that shattered just as easily when dropped by clumsy fingers. After that, Apple switched to a lightweight metal for the back of their iPhones and it’s been that was from the iPhone 5 until now. But there are multiple reports that the new iPhone will go back to all-glass body, perhaps even having a curved back similar to the iPhone 3G (although it was made of plastic). A stainless steel frame around the edges would hold the front and back together. If this rumor turns out to be true, and you’re prone to dropping your phone, you might want to invest in a hefty protective case for your shiny new iPhone.
The physical size of the new iPhone likely won’t be much different from the current offerings. There will likely be a standard version, a larger “Plus” version, and they may keep around a smaller, more economical, model like the iPhone SE. However, changes to the device itself could mean that the screen still turns out to be larger. Leaks from factories that manufacture iPhone parts are suggesting that the new model will feature a curved AMOLED display, giving the screen some extra space along the edges. Additionally, there are plenty of rumors that Apple will finally kill the Home Button altogether, building Touch ID directly into the screen. That would open up another half-inch of screen real estate at the bottom that is currently part of the bezel.
The iPhone 7 was touted as being more resistant to water damage, with television commercials showing people enjoying their iPhone in the rain or near the pool. They were careful to never claim that the phone was “waterproof,” only that it was “water resistant.” In fact, despite trying to sell their phones was more compatible with liquid, the Apple warranty still doesn’t cover water damage of any kind. And obviously, mixing water and electronics should always be avoided whenever possible.
Apple was able to make these “water resistant” claims partly thanks to the removal of the headphone jack, a controversial move among consumers. The new iPhone definitely won’t be bringing the headphone jack back, so expect Apple to improve the water resistance. But still, don’t shower with your phone!
Almost every tech blog is expecting Apple to unveil some sort of wireless charging feature on the new iPhone. The technology has existed for a while, but usually required users to put on a special case and buy a charging mat. This time, Apple could build in the wireless charging directly into the phone, although it would still require some sort of mat or base to be plugged in and sit on your desk or nightstand. Knowing Apple’s love of selling us accessories, there’s a good chance this charging mat wouldn’t be included with your $700 or $800 new phone. Some rumors suggest that the iPhone 8 (or whatever it’s called) might even have wireless charging that works up to 15 feet away, which would be amazing!
Apple made a wave of headlines when they retired the old 30-pin connector after the iPhone 4S, rendering millions of dollars worth of accessories, chargers, and stereo docks obsolete. To make matters worse, rather than switching to an industry standard like USB-C, they introduced yet another proprietary connection that they called Lightning when they announced the iPhone 5. Sure, it was great that the phone charged no matter which way you inserted the cord, but everything had to be replaced
A report from the Wall Street Journal in February 2017 suggested that Apple was going to eliminate the Lightning connector entirely, and switch to a standard USB-C charging port. If true, it’s a move that will enrage anyone who has invested money in a Lightning dock, Lightning charging cords for their home/car/office, and even the early adopters who bought Lightning headphones to use with their headphone-jack-free iPhone 7.
As per usual, we expect Apple to beef up the technical specs of their new iPhone, including a new Apple A11 processor chip, which would be faster and more powerful than the A10 chip used in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. In addition to the better quad-core processor, we expect the new iPhone to have more RAM. The iPhone 7 only had 2 GB RAM and the 7 Plus had 3 GB. Expect the iPhone 8 to have at least 3GB RAM and maybe 4 GB, if they can figure out how to cram it all in there.
In addition to the robust new hardware, we also expect that Apple will make improvements to the camera. Unfortunately, these improvements aren’t likely to be huge leaps forward in picture taking technology. A slight increase in megapixels is possible and rumors of a “3D photography” feature are the only things floating around the internet that seem to have any substance.
Apple already has Touch ID as an easy (and secure) way to unlock your iPhone. The new iPhone may expand on those capabilities, adding an iris scanner and/or facial recognition software. Some Samsung phones already have iris scanners included, but so far they seem more like a neat party trick than a useful smartphone feature. Could Apple change that? Frankly, we’re not sure. After all, how many different ways do you need to unlock your phone? We consider these rumors to be the least likely of the bunch.
As pictures and videos get high resolution and HD, they take up more hard drive space. Same with the latest and greatest apps from the App Store. As such, the old minimum storage model of 16GB (which was somehow still used in the iPhone 6) is basically useless now. Apple did bump the smallest iPhone 7 up to 32GB, which was a step in the right direction.
For the iPhone 8, we really hope that Apple will again throw their customers a bone and improve the smallest hard drive available to 64 GB, with more expensive 128 GB and 256 GB models available for those that want to spend more. Of course, this might also drive up the price of even the cheapest new model, so it’s potentially not that much of a gain for consumers.
There’s nothing groundbreaking to report here. Every year, battery technology gets slightly better and how long your smartphone can last before running out of juice is one of the biggest factors when it comes to deciding which brand you want to buy. Apple knows this, so they are always designing their new iPhones with the goal of having the longest lasting battery possible. In some cases, that simply means having a bigger battery, which was possible with the increased device size from the iPhone 6 onward, and the removal of the headphone jack (less internal parts equals more room for battery). You can expect the iPhone 8 to have a slightly better battery life than previous models, but only marginally.
When Will It Release?
Nothing here that will surprise anyone who has paid attention to Apple’s habits over the past few years, but we expect the iPhone 8 (or 7S) to be announced some time in last August or early September, with it going on sale to the public a few weeks afterwards. The last five iPhone models have all gone on sale in September of their release years, just in time for back to school and close enough to the holiday shopping season that Apple can move millions of new devices every fall.