By Conner Carey on Fri, 03/03/2017
When is the new iPhone 8 coming out and will it even be called the iPhone 8? What is the release date, what will the new iPhone features be, and most importantly, what will it look like? Excitement is starting to grow for the latest iPhone 8, likely coming out sometime this fall. Rumors surrounding Apple’s upcoming iPhone are growing in number as curious techies look for iPhone 8 leaks and clues. Features in question include the iPhone 8 screen size and type (OLED?), new iPhone colors, the possibility of facial recognition technology (so long Touch ID?), and much more. Here, we’ll answer all of these questions and address all the current iPhone 8 rumors and leaks, plus show you artist-rendered images of the iPhone 8.
Related: Poll: What Features Do You Want to See Most in the iPhone 8?
When Is the iPhone 8 Coming Out?
Looking at Apple’s track record, it’s safe to say that the next iPhone’s release date will be in September 2017. We expect Apple to hold its keynote event in early September, with pre-orders opening immediately following the event. Then, as it has in the past, Apple will officially release the iPhone in stores and online toward the end of the month. No rumors suggest the iPhone release timeline will be different than in years past, but this is the tenth anniversary, so who knows.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7s: What is the Next iPhone Going to Be Called?
While most bloggers are calling the tenth-anniversary edition the iPhone 8, it’s possible that Apple will use an entirely different name or simply stick to the natural succession and call it the iPhone 7s, offering a more expensive tenth anniversary option as its way of celebrating. Right now, we can only speculate.
iPhone 8 New Features: Rumors & Leaks
The Latest: Goodbye Lightning Connector? Hello USB-C
The Wall Street Journal’s iPhone 8 rumor predictions include a possibility that could cause an uproar similar-but-not-equal to last year’s removal of the headphone jack. According to WSJ sources, Apple may ditch the Lightning connector in favor of a USB-C connector. The leak has another possible interpretation, however. The article stated that the iPhone 8 may include a, "USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices instead of the company’s original Lightning connector." Apple could keep the Lighting connector but replace the USB-A end of the power cord with a USB-C port. This would make it easy to connect to Apple's latest MacBook line that solely uses USB-C. But if I have to use another dongle, I may just lose it.
Likelihood: This is very much Apple's style, but following the removal of the headphone jack, I'd hope that Apple would give us at least one release cycle to adjust before shifting around again. But it's Apple. So, we'll see.
An OLED screen has been on the list of iPhone updates for a couple years now, and according to the Wall Street Journal’s report, one or more of the new iPhone models will include an OLED display. Adopting OLED screens would allow Apple to create a thinner iPhone (since it wouldn’t need the same backlighting as current screens) and a better battery life (since OLED requires less power than the current iPhone’s LCD screens). OLED would also offer richer colors, truer blacks, and even the flexibility for an edge-to-edge screen, or maybe even a curved display.
ikelihood: Premium model only.
All of the newer iPhone models are expected to have edge-to-edge displays, according to blogger John Gruber of Daring Fireball. I would love to see the display take up the entire front of the next iPhone, since there’s a decent amount of screen real estate that current models simply aren’t making use of. The full display with a flush Home button would make for one classy looking iPhone, especially if the rumored all-glass design turns out to be a new feature too.
Likelihood: Almost certain.
Larger 5.8-inch Screen Option
If KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo is right, an analyst with an unrivaled track record for accurately predicting Apple’s product releases, Apple will offer a third premium tenth-anniversary model, which would exclusively feature the OLED screen, leaving the standard models with LCD displays. The premium OLED iPhone model is expected to have a slightly larger screen at 5.8 inches. I don’t know who would want such a large screen, but hey, that’s what I once thought about the current iPhone 7 Plus too.
Likelihood: 50 / 50.
While the next iPhone will most likely include Touch ID, it might also include an iris scanner or facial recognition. This rumor originally seemed like a stretch, until we heard reports that Apple acquired Israeli firm RealFace, which specializes in facial recognition. If Apple plans to ditch a visible Home button, this new feature makes even more sense. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that this feature doesn’t end up solely on the premium OLED iPhone. Likelihood: Looking strong.
Tricked-Out Front-facing Camera
When Ming-Chi Kuo makes an Apple prediction, everyone listens. According to Kuo, the next iPhone could have a front-facing camera with 3D sensing capabilities. This intricate camera system would have a myriad of applications, including 3D face scanning capabilities for use as your avatar in augmented or virtual reality gaming. Kuo says the fancy front-facing camera will be reserved for the premium iPhone model sporting the OLED display. Likelihood: Up in the air.
No Home Button
Along with the possibility of an edge-to-edge screen is the potential for a flush display. Apple took a step in this direction with the iPhone 7’s digital Home button, which uses haptic feedback instead of a mechanical button. The new iPhone would simply take that technology to the next level by removing the visible button altogether. The next iPhone could be the perfect opportunity to make the change completely, given the technology is up to Apple’s standards. We may very well see a new iPhone without any visible Home button or camera.
Likelihood: Very likely.
Apple ditched the headphone jack with the iPhone 7, so it only seems natural it would move toward a completely wireless iPhone. Many Samsung phones already offer wireless charging, so Apple is late to the game with this technology. However, Apple has also been waiting for distance charging, which would allow you to charge your iPhone from 15 feet away. As awesome as that would be, the technology is reportedly not up to par yet. I sure hope we see wireless charging in the next iPhone, and Ming-Chi Kuo thinks this time around, we will. Wireless distance charging is probably another couple years down the road though.
Likelihood: Yes, but not distance charging.
The iPhone 4s was the last iPhone to have a glass back. We’ve only seen iPhones designed with strong aluminum bodies since then. But with the next iPhone, we may see an all-glass design. Of course, if Apple chooses to go this route, it will hopefully have figured out a way to improve the strength of the glass used on its iPhones, especially considering that it moved away from a glass design in the past due to the iPhone’s vulnerability to nasty cracks. This is another new feature that is expected in the Plus or premium model of the next iPhone.
Likelihood: *shrugs shoulders*.
A11 Chip Upgrade + More RAM
The iPhone 7 uses an A10 chip with a reported 2 GB of RAM. It’s no surprise then that Apple plans to upgrade to an A11 chip with the next iPhone. The premium or Plus models of the next generation of iPhone are also expected to get a RAM upgrade. Likelihood: Definite.
Augmented Reality Ready
The upcoming iPhone could include augmented reality functionality and be able to recognize objects and faces via the camera and overlay relevant information and objects on the screen. Whether or not this technology makes it into the iPhone 8 or not, Steven Milunovich, analyst at financial firm UBS, predicts that AR is a big part of Apple’s future. With AR, you could, for example, manipulate objects you see through your camera frame in real time. By pairing augmented reality with a 3D front-facing camera, the possibilities are endless! Furthermore, Apple would make the iOS SDK (Software Development Kit) available to developers. Developers could use augmented reality in navigation apps, with your camera showing arrows in the direction you should walk. Augmented Reality is clearly something people are interested in (hello, Pokémon Go). If Apple adds it to the next iPhone, we’ll see a lot more uses for augmented reality sooner rather than later.
Likelihood: Will be surprised if not included.
New iPhone Colors
The iPhone 7’s shiny Jet Black model has been popular. So why not make a shiny white iPhone? I can't say for sure how much validity this rumor has, but I love my Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus. Despite its tendency to collect fingerprints, it just feels super classy. I'm sure the Jet White iPhone would be the same. I’ve also seen mockup iPhone 8 images with a bright red color option, which I would love.
Likelihood: I’m nearly certain we’ll see at least one of these colors added to the lineup.
According to Patently Apple, Apple was recently granted a patent for a foldable iPhone design. Of course, Apple loves to file patents, so there’s no telling when or if we’ll ever see this idea come to life. However, the design itself looks interesting. Likelihood: Solid no from me.
What We Want to See in the iPhone 8
Quotes from the iPhone Life Team on what we want to see in an iPhone 8:
- Edge-to-edge display
- Facial recognition technology that allows me to unlock my phone
- Two cameras and a better battery life for the smaller-sized iPhone
- Wireless charging
Sarah, senior web editor:
- I want it to not break so easily!
- I want wireless charging!
- Longer battery life!
- Even more waterproof!
Rheanne, associate editor:
- Wireless charging. Agreed.
- I want a better camera, as always. I would like for it to get better at shooting moving subjects. Also, Portrait mode needs a little work, but that's more an issue with the operating system I suppose?
Jaime, creative director:
- I don’t caaaare.
- 3D Printing.
What Will the iPhone 8 Cost?
It’s expected the iPhone 8 will be about the same price as the iPhone 7. That’s Apple’s pattern, and we don’t expect to see it break from that. However, if there are three models with one of them being a “premium” model for the 10th anniversary, it’s completely likely that model will be more expensive than the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus. As far as the iPhone 8 goes, it will probably start at $649 for the 32 GB and go up to $849 for the 256 GB, with the Plus model being a hundred dollars more for each.
What do you want to see in the new iPhone 8 or 7s? Let us know in the comments!