Forget the iPhone 7, it’s the iPhone 8 which you’ll be more interested in set for a 2017 release date to celebrate the iPhone’s 10th anniversary.
It’s early days but it’s also well worth taking a look at the new iPhone for 2017 even though we don’t have the iPhone 7. We think Apple might well be holding back some special things for the iPhone 8 so here’s what you need to know in terms of release date and specs rumours. See also: Best phones 2016.
While you might be excited for the iPhone 7 later this year which may also launch alongside an iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 Pro, there are some reasons why you might want to wait for the iPhone 8.
Latest update: Patents suggest that Apple’s iPhone for 2017 will use a curved all-glass design with active virtual buttons – read about it.
iPhone 8 release date rumours
We’re not getting to technical with the iPhone 8 release date just yet. It’s not necessarily even going to be called that. However, for now that’s the name we’re using to keep things simple and the iPhone 8 will be the new flagship smartphone for Apple in 2017.
If tradition continues, the iPhone 8 release date will fall around September 2017 which we assume will be a year after the iPhone 7.
However, this isn’t quite as easy to predict as normal. The year 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone launch so we wouldn’t be too surprised if Apple mixed things up a bit because of the landmark.
iPhone 8 or iPhone 7S or something else? What will the iPhone in 2017 be called?
As we’ve mentioned, the iPhone for 2017 is unpredictable because of it being a big anniversary year for Apple.
Following the usual pattern, the iPhone 7 will launch this year and will be followed by the iPhone 7S in 2017. The fact that it’s 10 years since the original iPhone means this could all go out the window. Apple will want to do something special to celebrate the occasion so an ‘S’ model, which usually just brings small tweaks, won’t really suffice.
There are many options including the possibility of another iPhone 6S model this year so the 2017 model is the iPhone 7, or the iPhone 7 does get launched this year then Apple jumps straight to the iPhone 8 next year.
It’s pretty much anyone’s guess at the moment, hence, we’re calling the 2017 model the iPhone 8 at the moment but it’s perfectly plausible that the new phone won’t conform to the traditional naming system at all. The iPhone SE (special edition) is already a thing so perhaps Apple will go with ‘iPhone Pro’, iPhone Anniversary Edition’ or even just ‘iPhone’ – although naming the iPad 3 as ‘the new iPad’ didn’t go down too well.
Vote in our poll to let us know what you think Apple will name the iPhone next year.
iPhone 8 specs and new features
If Apple does indeed do something special for the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, which seems likely based on iPhone 7 rumours, the iPhone 8 will be one which fans will no doubt want to upgrade to on launch day. Could we see the biggest queues ever?
A combination of design and hardware changes will make the iPhone 8 the most radical new iPhone to date, going by the rumours and leaks anyway.
Jony Ive has wanted to introduce an iPhone which resembles a single sheet of glass for a long time and the 2017 anniversary iPhone could be the one. It’s rumoured that at least one iPhone in 2017 will use a glass body, according to Apple supplier Catcher Technology. Glass on the front and back would make it like a hugely updated version of the iPhone 4S.
This, combined with the rumour that the iPhone 8 will sport an edge-to-edge OLED screen makes things rather interesting. And we’re not just talking the side edges, as Apple may even go as far as to do away with the top and bottom bezels. The physical home button would be gone and the TouchID fingerprint scanner would be housed within the screen.
A patent filed back in March 2015 states: “The man-machine interface device comprises an electronic display apparatus that is capable of presenting graphic text, images, icons, and other data typically shown on a screen, while further including a transparent finger touch sensor region that is seated above the display apparatus.”
Using a flexible OLED display technology will allow the iPhone 8 to be thinner and give a similar effect to the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. It should also consume less power while offering better contrast and colour reproduction. Apple already uses an OLED display for the Apple Watch.
iPhone 8 concept
This concept image via ConceptsiPhone shows what it might look like.
As pointed out by Patently Apple, the firm has filed and been granted patents which may well be used on the 2017 iPhone. They suggest a curved-glass design and also that the sides of the phone could be used for virtual active buttons. For example, this could be used for certain controls when the camera app is in use. If true, the phone would rival Samsung’s edge screen features.
iPhone 8 2017 patent curved glass body
iPhone 8 2017 patent active virtual buttons
There are plenty of other rumours and expectations for the iPhone 8 including an A11 processor built on a 10nm process. It’s also thought that the new iPhone for 2017 will feature wireless charging for the first time and possible biometric features such as facial recognition or iris scanning.
It’s somewhat up in the air as to whether Apple will remove the headphone jack for the iPhone 7 this year or not. If it doesn’t then we expect this major change will be implemented on the iPhone 8, especially considering the rumoured design changes.
There’s a long way to go yet so stay tuned for more iPhone 8 details and rumours.