2017 will mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and Apple has something major planned to celebrate the occasion. We’re more than a year away from the launch of the iPhone 8, but because of Apple’s ambitious plans for the device, there is already an abundance of rumors hinting at the impressive features coming in the 2017 iPhone edition. Strategic leaks also indicate there will be three versions of the new iteration and some peculiar but attractive features.
Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has said in a new research note that the premium version of the iPhone 8 will have a 5.8-inch OLED panel when released in 2017. However, the active display area will be between 5.1 and 5.2 inches for “specific design purposes”. What design purposes, you ask? Apple could implement a curved or wraparound display in a shakeup to the iPhone lineup. An edge-to-edge display that does away with the top and bottom bezels where features like the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and the front-facing camera are housed. Instead, Touch ID and the camera may be built directly into the display, meaning there will be no Home button.
Bloomberg reported Apple is at the mercy of its four main suppliers for OLED displays, which could lead to supply constraints spilling into 2017. Kuo predicts Samsung will be the exclusive supplier for the iPhone 8’s OLED display, a feat which, if proven true, could bring these two major and bitter rivals together for the first time.
With that design, the display would take up the entire front of the iPhone, but it isn’t clear if the display will grow to fit the iPhone or the iPhone will be shrunken down to fit the display (rumors suggest Apple will use a 5.5-inch or larger display as said earlier). The display itself is said to be flexible OLED rather than an LCD, allowing Apple to introduce a thinner device that consumes less power and offers a better display with higher contrast ratio and more true to life colors. It may also feature edges that are somewhat curved on both sides, but rumors are unclear on this point.
As for the body, rumors suggest Apple is finally going to move away from the aluminum used in the iPhone 5, 5s, 6, 6s, and SE, instead re-adopting a glass body that’s similar to the body that was used in the iPhone 4. At least one iPhone model coming in 2017 will use a glass body, according to Apple supplier Catcher Technology, and according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the glass will be built around an aluminum or stainless steel frame. Kuo says this feature could be the reason for disagreement among Apple sources about Apple’s plans for the size of its OLED iPhone. Some reports, including one from Japan’s Nikkei, claimed otherwise, saying that the phone would have a 5–inch display.
Apple is said to be planning to position the OLED iPhone 8 as a “Premium” model that will perhaps be sold alongside standard flat display 4.7, 5, and 5.5-inch iPhone 8 models, but it is unclear exactly what two sizes will be available and in what configurations. Rumors have suggested everything from 4.7 inches to 5.8 inches, and there is some confusion over whether all of the models will have a curved screen. Most rumors seem to agree that only one higher-end model will feature an OLED display.
The iPhone 8 is still under development and will likely launch in the fall of 2017, and in the months ahead of its launch, we’ll undoubtedly learn more about the specs of the device. The new design may drive sales growth in 2017, given that many pundits labeled the what the iPhone 7 ‘boring’. We, however, encourage rumors to be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism and a pinch of salt!