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A concept render of an edge-to-edge iPhone display.
 

The iPhone is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, so big changes to the iPhone lineup could be in store. Aside from a possible all-new design and switching out the traditional LCD panel for an OLED display, a key change for the "iPhone 8" could be the size of the screen itself, with early rumors suggesting it to be around 5.1 to 5.2 inches, fitting between the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus display.

A January rumor said there could be a third possible screen size for the "iPhone 8," making it the largest at 5.8 inches. A later supply chain report in February lends weight to this rumor, adding that the handset will have a similar form factor to the current 4.7-inch iPhone 7, despite having a physically larger display.

One report from Nikkei in early March agrees with the 5.8-inch display rumor for the "iPhone 8," going against its earlier report suggesting there to be a third 5-inch display option. The Japanese report does not mention how big the "usable" area of the screen will be, but the quoted size of display panel seems to match other rumors.

It is likely the "iPhone 8" will be released alongside the "iPhone 7s" models, which will probably retain their 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes. While thought to continue using LCD panels, the refreshed iPhones could upgrade to OLED, if Apple is able to secure a large supply of the panels from Samsung and other producers. 

 
These rumors were confirmed in December 2016 when a pair of purported Apple manufacturing documents leaked to the web that show three models -- designated D20, D21 and D22 -- coming to the market in 2017, including a completely redesigned high-end variant codenamed "Ferrari."  "Ferrari" will sport a large AMOLED panel crammed into a handset form factor largely unchanged from current models, allowing for a near edge-to-edge experience, the documents suggest. 
 
One "leak" on May 20 claimed to show a trio of molds from China for the 2017 iPhone lineup, potentially revealing the difference in size between the "iPhone 8" and the two "iPhone 7s" devices. The image and more details on this leak can be found in the "Schematics" section below. 
 
"Ferrari" is also expected to come with a substantial internal redesign that breaks the logic board into two discrete units connected by a flex cable, the report said. The first board will carry iPhone's operating guts like the expected "A11" SoC and NAND flash storage, as a communications package with Wi-Fi and cellular components lives on a second board. Apple is also considering relocating the SIM card tray toward the bottom of the handset to make room for internal components, akin to current iPad Pro layouts. 
 
 
Upstream iPhone suppliers are preparing to ramp up production to between 120 million and 150 million units in the second half of Apple's fiscal year 2017. If these numbers actually pan out, they would beat the previous peak of between 110 million to 120 million that suppliers prepared for at the launch of the iPhone 6, which remains Apple's best-selling handset ever.  In fact, anaylsts have said Apple's 2017 upgrades will lead to "unprecedented replacement demand." 
 
A report from DigiTimes in mid-April claims Apple's chip suppliers are starting to stock up for both the "iPhone 8" and "iPhone 7s." Considering historical supplier orders indicate more than 50 million iPhones are produced per quarter, this may indicate an escalation of orders for this year, putting Apple on track for the production of more than 100M iPhones by the end of 2017. 
 
In anticipation of the "iPhone 8's" production, it is also rumored that Apple has asked its suppliers to commence trial production and inspection, and start preparing their inventories earlier in the year than usual, with component shipments thought to start arriving at Apple late in the first quarter of 2017. Apple has also reportedly implemented stricter inspection requirements for this year's iPhone releases, with the earlier start potentially being used to hammer out any issues with new technology added to the iPhones, before being sold to customers. 
 
Some suppliers are also said to be increasing their production-related spending on flexible printed circuit boards (FPCBs), specifically for the 'iPhone 8". Samsung Electro-Mechanics is investing $88 million to expand its plant in Vietnam, while Inteflex will be making a similar investment to improve its own lines. 
 
Orders for the FPCBs from Samsung and Inteflex, as well as third supplier BH, will reportedly be decided around the time production commences, supposedly in April or May. 
 
One report claims that the manufacturing schedule may have changed, but pushing the release later. According to a report from DigiTimes in March, Apple's development of a custom fingerprint sensor will push back production of the "iPhone 8" until September, long after the expected commencement of production for the "iPhone 7s" and "Plus" models. 
 
As this would push the "iPhone 8" release back by a few months, possibly November, instead of allowing Apple to ship it alongside the other models, this report seems to be unlikely. A separate November launch is possible but improbable, as Apple has launched other products during the month, but not iPhones. 
 
A supply chain report in early April claimed Apple is having difficulty with the design for the "iPhone 8," with problems relating to the OLED screen lamination process and issues with the 3D sensing system potentially causing delays. The report from the Chinese-language Economic Daily News suggests this could impact production enough to shift the launch into Octover or November. 
 
Production difficulties and "severe supply shortages" formed part of an investor note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in late April, suggesting it to be a major concern for the "iPhone 8" through until the end of 2017. The usual August-September production ramp for new iPhones could be pushed as far back as October or November, the analyst claims, with supply issues likely to cap total shipments of new iPhones in the second half of the year. 
 
Kuo's "worst case scenario" for supply chain issues could cut previous total new iPhone shipments from a high of 110 million for the second half of 2017 quite severely, with a potential reduction of shipments by 15 to 25 percent, to between 80 million and 90 million units. "Notably, we see a higher probability of the worst case scenario becoming a reality," Kuo warns. 
 
A later note from Kuo on May 9 claims there to be signs the "worst case scenario" could be happening, delaying the release until November. The production ramp for the OLED-equipped device is thought to take place later than the usual August to September period for other iPhone models, and could be pushed back as far as October or November.
 
Kuo does not indicate what supply shortages may cause the delay, but signs suggest it could be down to issues with Samsung's OLED panel production. 
 
If there does turn out to be a delay in production for the "iPhone 8," Apple could still officially unveil the device as expected in September. There are sometimes long delays between when Apple launches a major product and when it eventually ships, such as the September 2014 announcement and the April 2015 release of the first Apple Watch. 
 
An April supply chain report from the Nikkei Asian Review advised of a number of reasons there could be a delay in manufacturing the "iPhone 8," according to IHS Markit analyst Brian Huh. An alleged delay in Samsung's OLED production schedule may push back shipments of the smartphone by one to two months. 
 
A memory chip industry executive advised the report there may be issues with 3DNAND flash memory supplies, advising the placement of orders is "much more aggressive than the previous two years, but not as high as the year when they rolled out iPhone 6 in 2014. The demand from this year's iPhone looks healthy but the memory chip suppliers are a bit concerned whether the upcoming iPhone's migration to advanced 3D NAND flash memory chips would be smooth enough to avoid tight supply or a shipment delay." 
 
The report also proposed supposed overheating issues with wireless charging modules and low yield issues with smaller printed circuit boards as contributing to the theoretical delay. 
 
Analyst Gene Munster of Loup Ventures advised in June of possible "challenges with the OLED curved screen" causing delayed shipments, citing a discussion with a component supplier. Due to this, Munster suggests shipments could reach 39 million iPhones in the September quarter, 10 million below Wall Street's estimates, though does suggest this could shift 6 million shipments into the December quarter and 4 million extra into the March quarter before balancing out. 
 
A May report from the Economic Daily News claims laminate motherboard suppliers Zhen Ding and Kinsus Interconnect have worked out issues, and will be preparing to ramp up iPhone part production in June. 
 
In the same report, iPhone assemblers Foxconn, Winstron, and Pegatron are said to have started the hiring surges, increasing the size of the workforce early in order to train and prepare for iPhone production. 
 
A memo leaked by Benjamin Geskin on May 26 sent to AppleCare workers suggests the actual launch of the "iPhone 8," "iPhone 7s," and the "iPhone 7s Plus" sometime after September 17. The memo imposes a "black out" on time off for AppleCare staff between September 17 and November 4, to deal with an expected jump in call volume. 
 

 Veniamin Geskin Source: Veniamin Geskin

Edge-to-edge, curved, and OLED displays

The most radical claim so far is that the phone will use an edge-to-edge display, possibly concealing the normal "chin" and "forehead" found on most smartphones. In a step that makes this rumor even more likely, Apple was recently granted a patent detailing technology that allows for ear speakers, cameras and even a heads-up display to hide behind an edge-to-edge screen, a design rumored to debut in the "iPhone 8." 
 
Source: USPTO Source: USPTO
 
Awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple's U.S. Patent No. 9,543,364 for "Electronic devices having displays with openings" describes a method by which various components can be mounted behind perforations in a device screen that are so small as to be imperceptible to the human eye. This arrangement would allow engineers to design a smartphone or tablet with a true edge-to-edge, or "full face," display. 
 
The "iPhone 7s" upgrade and "iPhone 8" redesign received another rumored confirmation in January of a new jumbo-sized model featuring a 5.8-inch OLED "fixed flex," "wraparound" screen coming in late 2017. 
 
Rumors are also circulating that Apple has asked its suppliers to increase their output of organic light emitting displays, in anticipation of an OLED-equipped iPhone next year. In addition, Apple is also said to have asked suppliers to offer up screens with higher resolutions than Samsung handsets.

In all more than 10 prototypes are being considered for the launch, the report said. 
 
One report puts into doubt rumors of the use of a curved or wrap-around display. Research firm TrendForce cited supply chain sources in a claim that suppliers are failing to adequately produce curved glass at a high enough yield, with drop-test results for the glass also said to be poor. 
 
The production difficulties may force Apple into using "2.5D" glass similar to the iPhone 7, consisting of a largely flat display with rounded edges. 
 
Another supply chain report from the Nikkei Asian Review seems to corroborate the rumored challenges of making curved glass, claiming that it will have a mild curvature to simplify construction. Again, the display is identified as an OLED panel, supplied by Samsung. 
 
While a March report from ETNews focused on the "iPhone 8's" curved glass back, the report's sources also suggest the use of a modestly curved OLED display, again to simplify the manufacturing process. 
 
The current belief is that Apple plans to buy flexible OLED panels sized at 5.7 or 5.8 inches, but the actual active area on the flagship iPhone will be smaller, in the 5.1- to 5.2-inch range.
 
Citing a TSMC source, the Economic Daily News reported on May 26 that the "iPhone 8" will have a wider display ratio compared to earlier models. While the iPhone 5 through iPhone 7 families have a 16:9 ratio display, the screen on the "iPhone 8" will instead use a ratio of 18.5:9. 
 
The use of the larger panels with a smaller usable area could lead to an extra feature below the main display. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the 5.8-inch display with a 5.15-inch usable area could sit above a separate "function area" that would remove the physical home button usually seen at the bottom edge of the iPhone. 
 
This function area will display virtual buttons, providing access to system functions, with Kuo's note mentioning a possible set of always-on, static system controls. While technically part of the display panel, it is unknown if this function area could be used as part of the main display for certain in-app activities, such as watching a video or playing games. 
 
The OLED iPhone will feature "significant changes in form factor,” suggests Kuo, and will have "considerably better" specifications compared to the LCD models. This means that despite having a smaller screen than the 5.5-inch iPhone Plus model, the OLED version will be the most high-end model. 
 
An examination of a pre-release version of iOS 11 seems to directly corroborate the claim of extended screen realestate and the removal of the physical home button. A new graphic for Siri was spotted in June, located in the same spot as where the home button would be on an edge-to-edge iPhone, with the graphic itself seemingly matching the size of the button itself. 
 
 
A key concern so far appears to be supply of OLED panels— numerous reports have indicated that the availability of OLED displays could limit production of the new flagship model in 2017.
 
One February report claims Apple is already taking steps to increase its OLED panel supply for future iPhone iterations, by considering Chinese firm BOE as an additional supplier. Though a decision hasn't been made, Apple is said to be already evaluating active-matrix OLED screens from the manufacturer, though one report suggests BOE may not be ready to provide panels until 2020. 
 
The volume of OLED screens needed for the "iPhone 8" won't be met by most display suppliers, too late in the production cycle to ramp up their output levels to match demand, according to Robert Cihra of Guggenheim Securities. The short-term supply for the launch is likely to be sourced from Samsung, one of the few OLED vendors capable of supplying panels in such high quantities, and one that Apple has reportedly signed a $4.3 billion deal with for 60 million 5-inch OLED panels in the same month. 
 
A report from Nikkei in April claims Apple has in fact ordered 70 million OLED panels from Samsung, and could request more depending on demand for the "iPhone 8." The report's sources were backed up by IHS Market analyst David Hsieh, who added Samsung could deliver as many as 95 million OLED panels, if Apple needed them. 
 
According to sources of ET News, Apple's rumored $4.3 billion deal with Samsung has in fact increased in size to match the higher panel orders, ballooning to $9 billion. Despite the increase, Samsung isn't expected to earn much in the way of profit, with expendatures to improve its OLED production capacity in 2017 alone believed to cost $8.8 billion. 
 
As part of this capacity improvement, it is claimed Samsung will be converting an ASA LCD factory over to OLED production. 
 
An April supply chain report from the Nikkei Asian Review suggests Samsung's OLED production may cause a delay in shipments of the "iPhone 8." Brian Huh, an analyst for IHS Markit, told the report there may be a "one to two month delay in Samsung's production of OLED panels for Apple." 
 
"Samsung originally plans to begin churning out OLED panels in May but now the schedule will likely be pushed back to the end of June or sometime in July," said Huh. 
 
A June DigiTimes report claims Samsung will be able to deliver around 80 million OLED screens for the "iPhone 8" before the end of 2017. Citing upstream supply chain sources, the report goes on to claim Samsung and other vendors have already geared up for supplying components for the "iPhone 8" and "iPhone 7s" family of devices. 
 
Sharp may be another potential supplier of OLED panels for the "iPhone 8," according to sources of the Wall Street Journal. In a March report, Sharp is said to be investing $878 million into OLED production at iPhone assembler Foxconn's Zengzhou facility, strongly suggesting that Apple will be the primary customer for the panels. 
 
The need for OLED panels by Apple and main rival Samsung is supposedly so great it, the two companies will consume around 70 percent of the global OLED output for 2017 and 2018, according to a March report from DigiTimes. As a result, this is forcing other smartphone producers to rethink their products, and has already allegedly made Huawei reconsider its OLED production in favor of LED. 
 
DigiTimes wrote in March that General Interface Solution (GIS) and TPK Holding will be making considerable investment in touchscreen technology. GIS, known more for iPad Pro production, will be pumping $163 million into its production lines, while TPK will be dropping $152 million. 
 
In April, it was rumored Apple's need for OLED panels forced it to push LG Display towards entering the small and medium-sized OLED business, in order to supply screens for a 2018 iPhone. LG officials are said to be considering accepting a deal, but the lack of experience in making smaller OLED panels is causing the South Korean firm some concern, despite being the sole provider of OLED Apple Watch displays. 
 
Even if LG accepted Apple's deal, a decision expected to be made by the end of June, it is unlikely to affect OLED supplies for the "iPhone 8" due to production scheduling.  
 

Wireless charging 

Foxconn is said to be testing wireless charging hardware that might see implementation in Apple's 2017 smartphone. Reports suggest wireless charging could be limited to a high-end premium model. The rumors have been bolstered by a new report in early 2017, with supply chain sources claiming that Lite-On Semiconductor has received a sizable order to supply components for the forthcoming "iPhone 8." The report said "half of the orders for GPP bridge rectifiers that will be used in the wireless charger for the upcoming iPhones." 
 
In February, another rumor confirmed the inclusion of wireless charging in the 2017 iPhone. In fact, the report said it would include inductive charging and a glass back, but buyers will have to use a separate accessory to juice up wirelessly. The accessory could be based on technology by Luxshare, a Chinese company previously thought to be supplying coils for the wireless charger bundled with the Apple Watch.
 
Evidence also suggests the company is working on powerful technology that could enable long-distance charging.
 
Beyond its own patents for inductive charging systems, the company recently hired two experts from uBeam, a firm developing technology that uses ultrasonic waves to charge devices from afar.
 
Reports in September implied Apple is on the hunt for manufacturers who can supply wireless charging capable of high energy applications like iPhone. In February, unidentified sources of Reuters claim there are at least five different groups working with Apple on implementing wireless charging in iPhones. 
 
J.P. Morgan analyst Harlan Sur claims Apple has worked with Broadcom to develop a next-generation wireless charging system over the last two years. Despite the long incubation period,  Sur thinks the "iPhone 8" may not make use of the technology, suggesting Apple wants to make sure the technology works without suffering a major power-related issue, similar to Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 battery fiasco. 
 
A research note by Cowen and Company's Timothy Arcuri provided to AppleInsider in February strongly suggests Apple will be using wireless charging in the "iPhone 8." While bullish on the technology's use in the device, it is unclear what specific solution will be used, noting the large number of chip sets and support for both Qi and Airfuel specifications. 
 
Arcuri is seemingly confident that long-range wireless charging won't make an appearance in the "iPhone 8." Despite previous hints of a deal between Apple and Energous to use the technology, Arcuri notes that Energous' product has not yet received FCC approval and is unlikely to do so in its current form, as the system probably violates FCC rules governing unlicensed transmitters and power regulations. 
 
The official Wireless Power Consortium website added Apple to the list of organization members in mid-February. The addition could be seen as a sign the iPhone producer is moving towards using the Qi standard more in its products in the future, though Apple already uses a tweaked form of Qi in the Apple Watch charger. 
 
The implementation of wireless charging and other new features such as a glass casing, however, will reportedly make Apple have to rethink how the "iPhone 8" handset is built, adding a thin graphite sheet to the handset's internals to prevent overheating. Wireless charging adds heat, and glass handles that heat poorer than metal. Also, the switch to a new film sensor for 3D Touch in the new handset is more sensitive to heat as well. 
 
One notable schematic leak from Steve Hemmerstoffer in April shows the "iPhone 8" with a large section within the back casing that could be used to house wireless charging components. Hemmerstoffer has a track record of accurate leaks, making the image plausibly genuine, and in turn giving some credence to the wireless charging rumors. 
 
 

Touch ID/Fingerprint Recognition

Rumors have circulated that Apple is developing a new class of bio-recognition technologies that play nice with “full-face,” or zero-bezel, displays. This technology could replace the existing Touch ID that uses fingerprints. This new technology could be implemented as early as this year, which means it could make its way into the "iPhone 8." 
 
A capacitive solution, Touch ID sends a small electrical charge through a user's finger by way of a stainless steel metal ring. While the fingerprint sensing module is an “under glass” design, the ring must be accessible to the user at all times, making the solution unsuitable for inclusion in devices with full-face screens.
 
Recent patent fillings also show that Apple has been working on fingerprint sensors that work through displays, as well as gaining related patents through acquisitions. That means Apple could turn to optical type fingerprint sensing technology capable of accepting readings through OLED panels without need for capacitive charge components. These “under panel” systems allow for a completely uniform screen surface, an aesthetic toward which the smartphone industry is trending. 
 
A report from the Economic Daily News on May 26 makes the claim Apple is going with the under-screen fingerprint sensor, citing a source within processor supplier TSMC. 
 
In one patent, transferred to Apple from its acquisition of LuxVue, there is also the possibility of turning the display panel itself into a fingerprint sensor, using a combination of infrared light emitters and sensors. While this presents other benefits, such as using the entire screen for fingerprint recognition instead of a defined region and completely replacing bulky capacitive sensor components, it is unlikely this specific method will be used in the next iPhone generation. 
 
Another patent for an "Acoustic imaging system architecture" describes the use of transducers to generate acoustic waves through a surface, such as an iPhone's coverglass. The same hardware can then be switched into a second detection mode that monitors reflections, attenuations, and diffractions caused by the foreign objects in contact with the surface, such as a finger, to generate an approximated two-dimensional map. 
 
The filing claims the system can be used to map out the ridges of a finger pad, which can then be compared against a database of maps generated by the user registering their fingers beforehand. As the system isn't limited to just the display, it can be mounted practically anywhere on the device's chassis, and has the potential to saple a user's entire handprint. 
 
According to a March report from DigiTimes, Apple will be developing its own custom fingerprint sensor, using an algorithm from AuthenTec -- acquired by Apple in 2012 -- combined with glass identification technology from Privaris, and using TSMC's 12-inch production line and a 65-nanometer process. Suggesting it would not use a capacitive Touch ID sensor, the report claims Apple will use other methods to read the fingerprint, such as with ultrasound. 
 
Despite the multitude of rumors circulating around the home button's removal, it is highly likely for Touch ID to remain on the rumored smartphone. Sources of Mac Otakara claim Apple is working on multiple next-generation prototypes, with versions including and excluding the Touch ID home button undergoing engineering verification testing (EVT). 
 
The report claims Apple may not have actually settled on the specification of the "iPhone 8," with the choice of using IPS TFT or AMOLED displays, different chassis designs, and other elements still yet to be finalized. 
 
An April investor note from analyst Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company suggested the rumored under-glass fingerprint sensor for the "iPhone 8" is the "biggest bottleneck" in the smartphone's production, citing his own supply chain field work. "The current yield rate of Apple's in-house AuthenTec solution remains low and AAPL seems unwilling to use other vendors' products," Arcuri wrote. 
 
To deal with the bottleneck, Arcuri suggested Apple had three possible solutions, including delaying production of the "iPhone 8" but still announcing it alongside the "iPhone 7s" series. The Touch ID panel could potentially be placed on the rear of the device, similar to some Android smartphones, but this is noted as not a user-friendly option. 
 
Arcuri's third, and most unlikely, suggestion is for Apple to ditch Touch ID entirely, and instead rely on the rumored facial recognition system.
 
An Arcuri investor note on May 24 claims Apple is still working to increase its AuthenTec Touch ID yields for the "iPhone 8," and will be a contributing factor for the smartphone's delay in mass production, alongside possible issues with the layered motherboard. Mass production could be pushed from the "normal" July to August timeframe back to October or November, Arcuri suggests. 
 
Arcuri now expects iPhone shipments to be lower than Wall Street's predictions for the fourth financial quarter, as a result of these delays, reaching 44 million rather than 47 million. The delay may still help push the holiday quarter's iPhone sales up to 90 million, the analyst proposed. 
 
A June 17 investor note from Arcuri claims Apple is still undecided on the technology to enable fingerprint recognition in the "iPhone 8." The three options in this note include thinning the cover's glass over the sensor area, creating a pinhole through the glass for optical or ultrasonic sensors to operate, or integrating a capacitive or infrared "film" sensor. 
 
Notably, this note reveals Arcuri has backed away from the idea of using a rear-mounted fingerprint reader. 
 
The suggestion to leave Touch ID off the "iPhone 8" has been echoed by research analyst Andy Hargreaves of Pacific Cresit Securities. In a note to investors issued in April, Hargreaves believes Apple has evaluated an optical fingerprint solution from Synaptic that is embedded into the OLED display, "but that it has not been qualified." 
 
Hargreaves suggests Apple's engineers could fix the problem within a month or two, causing a delayed launch, but adds an extra warning that "Apple may be forced to eliminate fingerprint sensing from the OLED iPhone altogether." 
 
A separate report showing supposed schematics for the device with Touch ID and a home button on the back surfaced shortly after Arcuri issued the note. The image is most probably bogus while simultaneously demonstrating a simple reason for the unlikelihood of Apple mounting the button to the rear: it would make the iPhone thicker, the polar opposite direction of the company's trend to make thinner and lighter devices. 
 
A photograph of a PowerPoint presentation provided to Slashleaks in late May appears to show a version of the "iPhone 8" with a hole on the back, just below the Apple logo, which could be used for rear-mounted fingerprint reader. Aside from the lack of a "confirmation" on its authenticity, the details the image shows is doubtful considering other reports from around the time seem to indicate the reader will be on the front. 
 
Sources of Bloomberg said in April that Apple is still experimenting with embedded fingerprint sensors in the display, though it is uncertain if it will arrive in a shipping product. 
 
 
 

Alternative Biometric Security

As far as alternative bio-recognition tech, Apple could be looking to completely replace fingerprint sensors with facial or iris recognition systems. Analysts believe facial recognition will be first due to a growing number of patent fillings for such solutions (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). However, Apple supposedly also has eye scanning technology in development. 
 
There are, however, barriers that stand in the way of implementation, such as software design, hardware component development and the creation of a verification database, among other backend bottlenecks. 
 
Even so, analyst Rod Hall of investment firm J.P. Morgan suggests there to be a 3D laser scanning module in the "iPhone 8," which could be used for facial recognition. Hall believes Apple partner Primesense has managed to combine a light emitter, light filter, image sensor, and signal processor into a relatively inespensive package, which may make up 3 percent of the cost to build an iPhone.
 
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo writes in February that the "iPhone 8's" FaceTime camera will be accompanied by an infrared transmitter and an infrared recieving module, which could be used for 3D sensing and modeling. This could be used to drive a facial recognition system, with Kuo also suggesting it could be employed for iris recognition. 
 
Kuo believes Apple is far ahead of its Android-based competition in terms of facial recognition algorithms, with rivals expected to catch up over the next two years. 
 
While facial recognition may have a slim chance of appearing in the "iPhone 8," it hasn't stopped Apple from investing in the technology. Apple has reportedly acquired RealFace, the developer behind software that uses machine learning to perform "frictionless face recognition," as well as creating an app to mathematically determine a user's best photographs.
 
In March, it was claimed by a source of iGeneration that STMicroelectronics is producing the 3D imaging sensors in a factory in France, with the Crolles facility closeby to Apple's Grenoble research center, one dedicated to imaging technology. 
 
This claim seems to correlates with reports that STMicroelectronics is doubling its annual investment to $1 billion for "new products and specialized technologies." CEO Carlo Bozotti has publicized a contract that is expected to generate "substantial" revenues in the second half of 2017 from an unnamed client, further helping the production rumor's cause. 
 
The same report also plays into rumors of a delayed release for the "iPhone 8," with the claim that STMicroelectronics might not have enough components produced in time for Apple's usual September launch window. 
 
The STMicroelectronics claim is echoed in analyst notes from Timothy Arcuri of Cowen & Company in March 2017, identifying it as a supplier for the front-facing camera's CMOS sensor. Arcuri also writes that Heptagon/AMS will provide the infrared sensor, while Lumentium and Finisar will offer the laser emitter.
 
Arcuri is also insistent that this technology will only appear in the "iPhone 8," and not the "iPhone 7s" series. 

In late March, DigiTimes sources claimed the Taiwanese Himax Technologies was inserting itself into the "iPhone 8" supply chain, providing glass for a 3D-sensing camera module produced by Lumentum. The alleged module will use VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser)-based DOE (diffractive optical elements) for the camera element. 

Himax's contribution to the part will be the glass component design for the module's chip-on-glass (COG) construction, with added assistance from backend partner ChipMOS. 
 
The Korea Economic Daily wrote in late April that LG Innotek is supplying facial recognition camera modules to Apple for the "iPhone 8." A new facility has apparently been set up dedicated to Apple products, worth an estimated $238.5 million. The first order for the components is believed to be around $177 million. 
 
LG Innotek is already a supplier of camera modules to Apple, providing the rear-facing, dual-lens cameras for the iPhone 7 Plus. The new factory is said to have been created due to the front-facing modules being too small for the firm's other facilities to create. 
 
According to Mac Otakara in mid-May, there is a "possibility" that Apple will use a second camera sensor on the front for facial recognition, alongside the standard version. This module may use a 24mm wide-angle lens, smaller than the 32mm used by the current front camera, though it could possibly be coupled with a slightly smaller 28mm camera instead. 
 
This two-camera arrangement would give Apple a number of benefits when it comes down to facial recognition. Rather than the relatively easily foolable single camera setup, a dual-camera system allows for better rangefinding, as well as an improved mathematical model of the face, thanks to the properties of stereoscopic vision. 
 
Component supplier Largan has confirmed it is shipping 3D sensors capable of scanning a user's face and their iris, with the module small enough to be fitted to smartphones. While Largan did not reveal it was providing the component to Apple, it is known as a supplier of parts for iPhones, with a report from Nikkei strongly suggesting it will be used in the "iPhone 8." 
 
The report also notes Largan will be shipping the sensing module in the second half of this year, which coincides with the "iPhone 8's" production schedule. 
 
 
 

3D Touch sensor price increase 

The new 3D Touch sensor in the "iPhone 8" is expected to cost between 30 and 50 percent more than the one currently found in the iPhone 7 series. However, analysts believe the phone's new sensor will offer a better 3D Touch experience for users, though they haven't indicated in what ways performance or capabilities might improve.

The same reports indicated "a memory upgrade from the current iPhone 7 line" is in store. Yet, whether that means faster memory or a new high-end 512-gigabyte capacity was not indicated.

One report from Digitimes, concerning investments by display producers in their OLED production lines, hints at why the cost could increase. It is claimed the glass panel-based touch screen solution used in LCD displays would have to be switched out for a thin film solution for the OLED panels, with the manufacturers spending heavily on the production lines to maintain Apple's desired levels of precision. 

For current LCD panels, the glass-based 3D Touch sensor is estimated to cost around $9 per unit. Producing a thin film version for OLED panels is said to bring this per-component cost closer to $15, somewhat correlating with earlier price increase rumors. 

A report from the Economic Daily News on May 19 claims supplier TPK Holdings is considerably raising the cost of the technology used in 3D Touch. The hardware will apparently cost between $18 and $22 per iPhone, according to supply chain reports, more than double the $7 to $9 cost per device when it was used in the iPhone 7 and sourced from the same company.  

Stainless steel chassis 

There are also rumors that the "iPhone 8" will switch from an aluminum chassis to feature a Jabil-made stainless steel chassis. The move could expand Apple's comparatively small American supply chain
 
The alleged switch to Jabil may be coming at the expense of Taiwanese firms Catcher and Casetek, who currently handle Apple chassis work. This depends, however, on whether 2017 iPhone rumors pan out.
 
Apple's last iPhone to rely on stainless steel was the iPhone 4s, which wrapped two CNC-machined bands made from a bespoke steel alloy around a "glass-sandwich" body. Since the iPhone 5 series, however, Apple has favored aluminum as the metal of choice for iPhone. The lightweight yet durable alloy is a Cupertino favorite used to manufacture everything from iPhone 7 and 7s to Apple Watch to Mac. 
 
A report from Mac Otakara in April cites sources as claiming the device will include an "improved" version of the stainless steel currently used to produce Apple Watches, though it is unclear if it will be polished or treated to produce a matte finish. 
 
 

Rumored and new naming conventions

There isn’t an official name of the new iPhone that’s expected to launch in 2017, but there hasn’t been a lack of creativity when it comes to predictions for the phone’s moniker.

Leaked documents in December had the new phone nicknamed “Ferrari,” while a range of analysts are calling it “iPhone 8.”

The iPhone 7 successors are also colloquially, but unofficially, being called the "7s."  

Meanwhile, the media has picked up on calling the 10th anniversary model the “iPhone X.” It’d be a change from the conventional use of number/number “s” tick/tock strategy we've seen from Apple since the iPhone's inception. Maybe Apple is ready to take their naming convention in a new direction with the phone's anniversary and rumored major changes.

Typically, Apple sticks to a numeric increase during even years for external changes and an “s” during odd years for internal updates only. That means this year would be a "7s" year, but with all of the drastic predicated changes, it’s more likely Apple will skip to the next number — 8. 

A later report has also added another suggestion to the list, with the "iPhone Edition" borrowing the suffix from the most-expensive version of the Apple Watch. This does make some sense, as the OLED iPhone will be a special release alongside the expected "7s", with it also keeping "8" available for next year's refresh. 

Wistron to help produce iPhone 8

Rumors have confirmed that Apple has picked Wistron to be its first iPhone manufacturer in India, with plans to get the company working on the 2017 phones launching later this year. It's been said that Wistron has expanded not just in India but in Kunshan, China in preparation. 

Apple representatives are expected to meet with various government officials to talk about concessions the company wants before committing to Indian manufacturing. Manufacturing for any of the new phones will have to start two to three months in advance, making June or July the likely deadline for Apple securing a deal in India. 

A June report cites Wistron CEO Robery Hwang as confirming new features that will be included in the next generation of iPhones, including waterproofing for the "iPhone 7s" range and "wireless charging" for both the "7s" and "8" models. 

Motion sensor supplier changes

A report in early May suggests Apple will be using at least two suppliers for its motion sensors. A Bloomberg report cites anonymous sources claiming Bosch has been tapped as a potential supplier for the components. 

For the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7, InvenSense has been the exclusive supplier of the motion sensor components. According to the report, the German-based Bosch will be providing some of the supplies for the "iPhone 8," alongside InvenSense. 

Bosch already supplies barometric sensors for current-generation iPhones, so the firm has experience working within Apple's supply chain. 

Apple has multiple reasons for bringing aboard multiple suppliers for a specific component, such as forcing its vendors to compete against each other on price, to bring costs down. Doubling up on suppliers also provides Apple with a safety net for production, allowing it to work around production bottlenecks or delays with one supplier by increasing orders with another. 

 

Return to glass

Another possibility for the "iPhone 8" is a return to a glass back, something Apple veered away from beginning with the iPhone 5. That might potentially make iPhones more fragile again, though improved methods could reduce the chance of fractures. Apple supplier Catcher "confirmed" next year's iPhone will move to a mostly glass enclosure, while a source said Apple's position on glass is "tentative." However, the phone should still make some use of metal, namely a frame holding both sides together.
 
One report from ETNews in March seems to indicate the back of the "iPhone 8" could use "3D glass", emulating the heavily rounded corners the first iPhones used. The "water drop design" will apparently create a "curved wall" on the back of the device, with a gentle curved rim mimicking the chrome ring present on earlier iPhone versions. 
 
Sources of Bloomberg claimed in April that Apple's most recent prototype for the device will use a flat screen but with a cover glass curving into a steel frame, among other rumors. Some prototypes are said to use glass backs, while others are also apparently being tested using an iPhone 7-style aluminum back. 
 
One supposed leak on May 10 claimed to depict rear shells for an iPhone that used Ion-X glass, the same glass used for the display of non-sapphire Apple Watches. The leaked image, shared with Slashleaks and pictured above, reveals the shells are linked to the code number "N79," which follows the NXX format used in iPhone codenames in the past. 
 
The person behind the leak suggested the shells were for an updated iPhone SE, but considering a refresh took place in March, this is unlikely. The lack of a camera bump and the apparent holes used for a single camera and flash instead of a dual camera layout also suggest the shells are meant for the "iPhone 7s," rather than the "iPhone 8," but it is still possible rear shells for both sets of device could be sourced from the same facility. 
 
 
 

Cameras

Rumors have also circulated that Apple is expected to include the dual-lens camera with universal optical image stabilization in both the "iPhone 8" and the 5.5-inch model. 
 
Factors possibly impacting adoption of optical image stabilization in both lenses are the need to increase the image circle in the telephoto, and a possible need to completely redesign the telephoto lens to accommodate the stabilizing technology. 
 
The front FaceTime camera may receive some improvements, in light of the rumors surrounding the "iPhone 8's" 3D facial recogition capabilities. Ming-Chi Kuo expects a customized 1.4-megapixel image sensor to be used to detech changes in light signals, in conjunction with an infrared transmitter and receiver, allowing the iPhone to detect depth and positions of key areas of the user's face. 
 
While the 3D sensing and modeling has more apparent security applications, it could also be used in different ways. Kuo suggests the technology could be used to take a 3D self portrait, or in games, replacing the head of a character model with that of the user. 
 
In order to handle facial recognition and 3D sensing, a report from Mac Otakara in mid-May claims there could be a second camera set up close to the existing FaceTime sensor on the front, providing stereoscopic imagery for the 3D sensing system to use. It is suggested that this second camera module could use a 24mm wide-angle lens, paired with either the current 32mm camera modules, or a slightly smaller 28mm version. 
 
According to sources of Bloomberg in April, Apple's experimental prototypes included versions with a vertical dual-lens rear camera, and a dual-lens front camera, potentially integrated into the display. The dual camera arrangement on the front could have applications for 3D facial recognition, augmented reality, depth-of-field photography, and other possible novel uses. 
 
The vertical dual-lens rear camera rumor was also cited by Mac Otakara in Apriland would be a good fit for existing smartphone-powered VR headsets. 
 
On May 26, a report from the Economic Daily News cites TSMC sources saying there will be rear-mounted infrared image sensors on the "iPhone 8," to assist with range-finding. It is also claimed this will also help boost any augmented reality applications the "iPhone 8" could have when it launches. 
 

Plus-sized, fast-charging battery

By shrinking components inside of "iPhone 8," Apple apparently plans to squeeze a Plus-sized battery into a smaller form factor. Specifically, plans call for a 2,700 mAh battery, which would put the battery capacity on par with the current iPhone 7 Plus, despite having the smaller form factor.

In fact, with a 5.1- to 5.2-inch edge-to-edge OLED display, the "iPhone 8" or "iPhone X" will carry dimensions similar to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7. Apple plans to accomplish this with a stacked logic board, called a substrate-like PCB mainboard. Shrinking the components themselves is necessary because battery technology is not expected to improve in the next 3 to 5 years.

In addition, thanks to the use of a low-power OLED panel, the battery life of the "iPhone 8" could be even better than a 5.5-inch LCD iPhone.If Apple were to include a "dark mode" option in a future version of iOS, it could offer even greater battery savings with an OLED display. 

While there are rumors of wireless charging being included in the "iPhone 8," there may be another power-related change included. A note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests the 2-cell L-shaped battery pack design, combined with "Type-C Power Delivery," will give the "iPhone 8" fast-charging capabilities. 

To help maintain stable data transmissions while fast charging is underway, as well as to keep the process safe, Kuo believes Apple will take advantage of power management processes from Texas Instruments and power delivery chips from Cypress. 

 

Veniamin GeskinSource: Veniamin Geskin

Water- and dust-proofing

Apple is reportedly planning to make the water and dust resistance of the "iPhone 8" even better than the iPhone 7, upgrading it to an IP68 rating.
 
When it launches later this year, Apple is reportedly planning to make the water and dust resistance of the "iPhone 8" even better than the iPhone 7, upgrading it to an IP68 rating. The change should allow the device to stay submerged at 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) for 30 minutes. The iPhone 7 and most other smartphone carry an IP67 rating, which limits them to 1 meter (3.28 feet) for the same duration.

A11 processor

As usual the phone is expected to have a superior processor, currently referred to as the "A11." One report has suggested that two-thirds of chips will be manufactured by TSMC, using a 10-nanometer FinFET process, shrinking things even further than the 14- and 16-nanometer designs used in 2015 iPhones. Apple and TSMC are reportedly in the earliest steps of preparing for "A11" production. If TSMC shares orders, its fellow supplier will likely be Samsung.
 
A report in late February claimed TSMC is in a position to start commercial shipments of the 10-nanometer processors before the end of March, in time for the production of the "iPhone 8," "iPhone 7s," and "7s Plus," strongly suggesting the condensed process will be used for the A11 processor.
 
In late March, another report from the Chinese-language Economic Daily News claimed TSMC will start volume production of the "A11" in April. A later report in May from the same publication claims TSMC will instead start producing the "A11" chip in mass quantities on June 10, with volume quantities arriving at Foxconn in the second half of July. 
 
A source of DigiTimes on May 11 claimed TSMC has already commenced "A11" production, though it is unclear if this means volume manufacturing of the chip. The source claims production was affected by issues involving "stacking components in the backend integrated fan-out packaging process," but the problems have since been solved. 
 
The A11 should be both faster and more efficient than its predecessor. Rumors are also circulating that they will include features like long-range wireless charging and biometric additions like iris or facial scanning.
 
Other internal tweaks are likely to go unnoticed by casual consumers. For example, rumors suggest a new and improved Taptic Engine will support more complex vibration patterns.
 

True Tone

A research note from Barclays analysts in March 2017 suggest all three iPhones expected this year to include True Tone technology, with the full spectral sensing ambient light sensors supplied by AMS of Austria. 

First introduced in the iPad Pro 9.7-inch, True Tone is a system that uses four sensors to detect the ambient light conditions, and then alter the display's white point and brightness to better suit where the iPad is being used. By slightly changing the brightness and color of the screen, this is said to help ease eyestrain and prevent overexposure to blue-toned light, which is said to interrupt sleep patterns. 

Apple has, in patents, expressed an interest in using the display technology in other areas, and could potentially include it in other devices, both for future iPad Pro models and iPhones. 

Memory and storage

A report from analyst firm TrendForce claims the "iPhone 8" will ship with 3 gigabytes of DRAM, similar to the iPhone 7 Plus.
 
Only two storage options will reportedly be provided in the "iPhone 8," with the choice of either the 64 gigabtye model or the larger 256 gigabyte version. While lower capacity iPhones will be available, with both the "iPhone 7s" and "iPhone 7s Plus" expected to offer 32 gigabyte options, Apple is thought not to want to offer a low amount of storage on what is perceived to be a premium device.  
 

VR/AR

Virtual reality and augmented reality have been under development by Apple for quite a while, but work in the field has yet to be revealed by the company. Given the anniversary and the specifications of the "iPhone 8," it is possible for AR and VR to make an appearance as part of the smartphone's launch. 
 
For a start, the rumored 3D laser scanning system and other concepts said to be coming in the handset could be employed for both VR and AR, if similar technology is located on the back as well as on the front. If employed in a Google Glass or Samsung Gear VR-style system, where the iPhone is put into a headset accessory and used as a display, this technology could be used to map the local surrounding, helping the user avoid bumping into objects in VR, or to identify and interact with items in AR. 
 
Code found in a beta of iOS 10.3 in March also suggests Apple is planning to allow developers to set the frame rate of iOS device displays when their app is running. For the most part, this could indicate a higher refresh rate display could be on the way for future iPad Pro launches, though it could also be employed in the "iPhone 8." 
 
Virtual reality needs a high quality, high refresh rate display in order to give users a good experience. The higher the refresh rate, the more fluid motion seems for the user, and the "illusion" becomes more believeable. 
 
By using an OLED panel, the "iPhone 8" would have an extremely low response time, and in turn a far higher potential refresh rate, compared to an LCD equivalent. This makes the "iPhone 8" an extremely useful device for VR and AR purposes. 
 
 
 

Better version of Siri

Apple’s 2017 iPhone models will likely ship with an enhanced version of Siri, reflecting growing competition in the AI assistant space. Exact details are unknown at this time, but the company has bought machine learning startups like Turi and Perceptio that could aide Siri. 

Any Siri improvements would presumably be tied to iOS 11, which should be announced at June's Worldwide Developers Conference and launched in the fall, if Apple follows traditional schedules. 

Headphone Adapter

For the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple dropped the analog headphone jack, nudging users into using either wireless headphones using Bluetooth or Lightning-equipped versions. As a compromise, Apple includes a Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter in the box, allowing existing audio accessories to connect to the iPhone.

While it is highly unlikely Apple will revert to including a headphone jack for the iPhone 7s, one rumor suggests the company may continue to push its customers away from the connectivity option.

Smart Connector

Possibly recycling a rumor from 2016, one report in April from The Verifier claims Apple will include the Smart Connector in the "iPhone 8." It is claimed the connector could be used to charge the smartphone, and could be employed in VR and AR applications. 

Initially appearing on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, followed by the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the Smart Connector is used to connect keyboards to the iPad without using Bluetooth, with the connector transferring data and power. It is unknown how much of each the connector is capable of transferring, which would dictate the potential uses for the connection with other peripherals and accessories, but so far it has had a relatively small amount of utility compared to Lightning. 

Modem changes

There is possibly a greater chance the modem in a sold "iPhone 8" may be supplied by Intel this time, with a DigiTimes report from June 1 claiming a drastic change in the supply ratio. For the iPhone 7, Intel provided around 30 percent of the modem chips, with Qualcomm providing the rest, but it is suggested Intel's proportion may change to go past 70 in 2018. 

Apple started using Intel modems last year in a limited fashion, namely for GSM-based iPhones due to the lack of CDMA-compatible technology in Intel's components. The launch of Intel's XMM 7560 LTE modem changes this, with the chip capable of hitting gigabit speeds, as well as supporting CDMA. 

Apple's ongoing lawsuit against Qualcomm over royalties and patent licensing may also nudge the company away from using Qualcomm as a component supplier. 

A Bloomberg report in June claims that Intel won't have gigabit chips ready in time for this fall's iPhones. As a result, Apple will allegedly throttle units with Qualcomm modems in order to maintain a consistent experience across carriers, something the firm did for the iPhone 7

Pricing

The rumored high specification of the "iPhone 8" certainly indicates that the anniversary iPhone will command a high price, but the lack of an exact specification makes it difficult to pin down how much it will cost customers. 

There have been some murmorings that the "iPhone 8" could end up with a starting price tag in excess of $1,000, which would make it the most expensive iPhone Apple will have ever produced. For comparison. the company's current top-of-the-line model, a 256-gigabyte iPhone 7 Plus, costs $969. 

Despite the cutting-edge specification rumors, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich suggested in April that it will in fact start from $850 at retail, writing in an investor note he expects there to be a $70 to $90 increase in construction cost over the iPhone 7 Plus. The lowest-priced "iPhone 8" could sell for between $850 and $900, while a 256GB model could fetch between $950 and $1,000. 

A later investor note from Milunovich in May fine tuned the pricing prediction to start closer to $870, with the 256-gigabyte model fetching $1,070. If Apple sticks to the pricing strategy used for the iPhone 7 and Plus in the "iPhone 7s" series, Milunovich suggests the "iPhone 8" could command a $100-plus premium over the other devices. 

 

Schematics, Renders, and Ruses

As is to be expected for a new Apple device, the rumor mill generates images that are either claimed to be part of Apple's design process for the next iPhone, or a "concept rendering" mock-up created based on details from a variety of different reports. Generally speaking, images supposedly "sourced" from Apple's supply chain documentation should be looked at with trepidation. 

Generally speaking, leaks relating to accessories by third-party vendors for the "iPhone 8" aren't a reliable source of information, at least compared to those about components. Third-parties often produce cases and other items based on other rumors, or "leaked" schematics, in order to be first to the market on the device's release, with the relatively low cost of production of such items making it a cheap gamble for these producers. 

In April, a report claimed to show "leaked schematics" indicating Apple was moving the home button and Touch ID to the back of the "iPhone 8," while also making the smartphone considerably thicker than the iPhone SE. AppleInsider considers the image as probably bogus, in part due to it being a reversal of Apple's usual design choice to produce thinner devices, as well as going against numerous reports claiming Apple is embedding the fingerprint scanner into the OLED display. 

Schematic allegedly depicting the 'iPhone 8' from ifanr Schematic allegedly depicting the 'iPhone 8' from ifanr

In the same month, another diagram for the "iPhone 8" from ifanr showed supposed measurements for the "iPhone 8" that seem to contradict some previously reported details. Unlike the earlier "schematics," the report doesn't place a home button or Touch ID sensor on the rear. 

The image shows a 2.5mm bezel for the device, suggesting it won't have an edge-to-edge display, with the casing projecting another 1.5mm from the edge of the screen. For reference, the iPhone 7 Plus has a 3.1mm bezel, and another 2mm between the edge of the class to the outside curve of the enclosure. 

Notably, this illustration has a "cutout" in the top of the display for sensors, possibly including the rumored 3D camera, laser rangefinder, infrared transmitter, and IR receiver. It is suggested the speaker holes will be cut through the glass and the screen panel material itself, a feat that may be extremely difficult to engineer. 

Schematic of Schematic of "iPhone 8" shared by Sonny Dickson

Shared by Sonny Dickson on April 19, another schematic for the "iPhone 8" shows an aluminum chassis with a home button cutout beneath the Apple logo, indicating the use of Touch ID on the back of the device. Also visible is a vertical rear camera arrangement, rather than the horizontal two-camera system used in the iPhone 7 Plus. 

It is noted that the measurements included in this schematic match those issued in a previous, but also questionable, image leak from the previous week. 

As with other schematics, it is unclear if this is genuine or not, as it takes the form of a photograph of a printout, complete with an official-looking stamp, which could easily be fabricated. It is even possible that, if actually legitimate, this image could possibly be for one of a number of prototypes, one that may not be released to the public. 

This latest schematic may have been the source of inspiration for another report that surfaced the following week, with another image on Chinese social media claiming to show the rear body itself. While the closeness to the schematic may have given some level of credibility to both images, the later image would only have done so if it were genuine, but it appears to be more a render than a real physical component. 

The internal circuitry is also prime "leak" fodder, with one set of schematics released on Chinese social media in late April supposedly showing layouts of circuit boards and the inside of the "iPhone 9." 

The first image offers images of multiple circuit board layout diagrams, with the illustrations looking extremely close to earlier schematics shown near the top of this page. The main difference, aside from the order the boards are presented in, is the predictable identification of the A11 chip as the main processor, whereas the earlier drawing simply identified it as the "CPU." 

The second image shows what could be the internal layout of the "iPhone 8," showing where the combination of circuit boards would be placed within the smartphone. The illustration shows a vertical dual camera layout, fitting into the gap of the L-shaped board sandwich, as well as other elements including the Taptic Engine module. If genuine and proportioned correctly, the board spaces for 3D Touch would in theory be larger than equivalents in the iPhone 7 device family. 

It is also noted in this second image that Apple will be sticking with a removable SIM card in the "iPhone 8," instead of migrating over to the Apple SIM technology. 

Shared in Twitter by Steve Hemmerstoffer in late April, the above schematic pictures an "iPhone 8" with the vertical camera layout on the back, though it does not appear to depict a rear-mounted Touch ID sensor like the other image-based leaks. 

A large section in the middle of the back is unlabeled, but may be used for wireless charging. The components required for wireless charging are typically be laid out in a flat disc, maximizing the potential area used for the technology to function correctly, and is seemingly depicted in the picture. 

Unlike the other leaks, Hemmerstoffer is known to be quite accurate with his own offerings, which suggests the image above is more likely to be genuine. If real, the illustration may have been sourced from within Apple's assembly partners or parts manufacturers, such as Foxconn and Catcher.  

More schematics from leaker Benjamin Geskin on May 29 reveal the front and back of the smartphone, complet with the vertical twin-lens camera arrangement, and indicators showing where the Apple logo and the "iPhone" text appears on the rear.

Towards the top of the device on the other side are what appear to be the front camera, sensors, and earpiece. The front seems to be entirely covered by the display, with a cutout for the aforementioned components, though they could also be embedded under the display, removing the need for a cut out area. It appears in this render that Touch ID would be embedded below the display. 

 

A supposed A supposed "CNC" model for the "iPhone 8," from Twitter user VenyaGeskin1

In terms of supposed leaks showing physical components, Twitter user VenyaGeskin1 posted on April 23 images claimed to be an "iPhone 8 Dummy," a CNC model from Foxconn. Photographed from inside a car and at angles that makes it difficult to work out the device's dimensions, it is said the pictured model has a 4mm bezel, is 7.1mm thick, and uses 2.5-D glass front and back, uses a metal frae, a protruding vertical camera array, and no sign of a rear Touch ID sensor. 

It is difficult to determine whether this report is genuine or faked, but it is likely to be the latter. Geskin's Twitter biography notes he makes "realistic renders based on rumors and leaks," strongly suggesting this isn't a real Foxconn model. 

In late May, Geskin released a video showing another mockup of the "iPhone 8," via Twitter. The 11-second clip shows the model being rotated around, with both the front and back sides in full view, as well as the sides, with the device looking similar to April's "CNC model" photographs. 

Geskin did not advise what the source of the mockup in the video was, nor how it was constructed, but claims to have sources within Apple's Asian supply chain and contacts within aftermarket accessory producers.

The leaker has only recently become known for the model leaks, making it tough to work out the authenticity of supplied images and videos. Geskin lacks a track record for earlier product launches, so has yet to be proven or disproven on any leaks as of yet. 

 

A pair of images released in late April supposedly reveal the schematic for a mold, as well as a physical version of the mold itself, that is apparently being prepared for the production of the "iPhone 8." The images were posted without any accompanying identifying details, such as the source, making it extremely difficult to verify if it is genuine. 

On examining the images, it appears the mold could feasibly be used for the construction of internal components, if it is real. The mold would in theory be used to hold components for placement on or near the rear casing, with the schematic indicating the placement of a Lightning connector and a vertical camera arrangement, but no rear Touch ID sensor cutout.  

On May 16, Engadget was reportedly sent a number of renders based on a "highly detailed CAD file" of a smartphone's chassis, claimed to be from a "reliable source" of the publication.

While said to be an "iPhone 8," the report seemed to suggest there would only be two different sizes of phones, rather than the three models stated in earlier rumors. There is a possibility that the depicted smartphone may in fact be an "iPhone 7s" and not the "iPhone 8," based on these details. 

Of note in the image are a vertically-arranged pair of cameras on the back, a "carved out area" for a wireless charging coil, and a glass backing. On the front are a pair of cameras, with one possibly used for a 3D sensing system or laser scanning module, and the TouchID fingerprint reader on the bottom is apparently flush with the glass. 

Photographs of a mockup for the "iPhone 8" surfaced on May 17, appearing to follow the design concepts brought up in earlier rumors and leaks, but possibly using leaked schematics. 

The front shows what the edge-to-edge screen with "2.5D" curved glass could look like in the final model, with rounded stainless steel sides. On the bottom is an iPhone 7-style Lightning port and twin speaker grills, but no headphone jack, while the back has the vertical camera arrangement and a glass back. 

There is no sign of a Touch ID sensor on the device, potentially meaning it is either embedded into the display seamlessly, as well as a software-derived home button. Though unlikely, it has also been rumored for a potential rear mounting of the fingerprint reader, but the mockup does not appear to depict that specific design concept. 

A trio of molds revealed on May 20 by Slashleaks appear to show the potential sizes of the 2017 iPhone line.  The molds are likely to be used in the creation of the chassis or the rear cover of each of the devices, if genuine, and offer little in the way of detail individually. 

It is believed the middle mold is the "iPhone 8," with the "iPhone 7s Plus" on the left and the "iPhone 7s" on the right. If the three molds are in correct order of size, something difficult to assertain due to the bottom edges of the mold being out of frame, it suggests the "iPhone 8" will be much closer to the size of the "iPhone 7s" than the "Plus" version.

Aside from size, the molds also seem to suggest that the "iPhone 8" will be the only one with a vertical dual camera arrangement, with the "iPhone 7s Plus" having the usual horizontal arrangement, and the "7s" using just one camera. Notably, the "7s" devices have spaces to the side for the flash, while the "iPhone 8" does not, which could mean the flash is integrated within the camera bump itself. 

A series of images posted to Weibo in late May seems to suggest the "iPhone 8" will use a rear-mounted Touch ID sensor, going against earlier rumors. Three colors are shown, with a silver, gold, and black version supposedly on the way, though oddly the black variant is pictured without the usual "iPhone" text towards the bottom of the device. 

The images also go against another rumor, namely the use of glass on the back. Glass would have allowed for the use of wireless charging in the device, at least according to other rumors, so the removal of the material from the rear is also dubious. 

Another leaker, Benjamin Geskin, has already dismissed the images as of the "iPhone 8," claiming they are for a clone product based on an early Apple prototype.

In a vaguely similar manner to a leak for the "10.5-inch iPad Pro," a photo has surfaced comparing a case supposedly made for the "iPhone 8" against the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The case was sourced from Alibaba by Mac Otakara, though considering the "iPhone 8" production process hadn't started when the image surfaced, as well as the relatively low-risk nature of producing cases for an unreleased device, it is worth taking the exact dimensions of the case with a pinch of salt. 

The photo shows the case to fit in the middle between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in terms of size, matching earlier rumors, as well as a vertical rear dual camera cutout. Notably, it appears the cutout itself is far larger than the camera bump on the iPhone 7 Plus, meaning the case producer may be anticipating a much larger bump on the back of the upcoming smartphone.  

On the left and right are cases for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. On the left and right are cases for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

On the subject of cases, another example of the accessory surfaced on May 29 from an unknown manufacturer, again from a "recent CAD drawing" of the "iPhone 8." In this version, the upcoming smartphone appears to be larger than the previous case "leak," erring towards the physical stature of the iPhone 7s Plus than the iPhone 7s. 

A paper insert within the case suggests the round hole on the back is to make a rear-mounted fingerprint reader accessible, despite rumors indicating Touch ID will continue to be in the front. Considering similar cutouts in that location for other cases, it is more likely that the circular hole is simply to display the iPhone's rear Apple logo. 

In mid-June, photographs posted to Reddit allegedly show the front and rear panels of the "iPhone 8." The images seem to support rumors of an edge-to-edge display, a glass back, and a vertical dual-lens camera arrangement on the rear. 

While plausible, some doubt is raised about how genuine the image is, due to the markings on the back panel. The CE (Conformite Europeene) safety logo hasn't been seen on recent iPhones, and though Apple could easily have added it to the back, it seems unlikely such a decision would have been made. 

The June "leak" of a screen protector supposedly sourced from accessory producer Olixar appears to be taking the rumored edge-to-edge display of the "iPhone 8" to heart. Leaked by Benjamin Geskin and shared on China's Weibo, the image strongly suggests that there will be little in the way of bezel on the device, with a minimal black ring around the outside of the protector. 

Notably, the top of the screen protector has a black section with gaps and holes left for the speaker, camera, and other sensors, though no similar hole at the base for the microphone, which could suggest it will be on the bottom of the "iPhone 8" chassis. 

Due to it being an accessory by a third-party company, it is best to consider the image as one firm's gamble on what the "iPhone 8" will look like, rather than a definitive confirmation of Apple's smartphone design. It is likely that Olixar used previous specification leaks to create the protector, something it has also reportely used to produce designs for cases for the currently unannounced smartphone. 

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