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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.

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. 
 
"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." 
 
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. 
 

 Veniamin Geskin Source: Veniamin Geskin

Edge-to-edge 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. 
 
The current belief is that Apple plans to buy flexible OLED panels from Samsung 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.
 
 
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. 
 
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 recent 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. 
 

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. 
 
 

Bio recognition tech 

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. 
 
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. 
 
 
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 ). 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. 
 

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. The assorted cost increases could explain why rumors suggest the "iPhone X" will carry a starting price tag of more than $1,000. A $1,000-plus price tag would be the most expensive iPhone Apple has ever produced. The company's current top-of-the-line model, a 256-gigabyte iPhone 7 Plus, runs $969. 

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.

Plus-sized 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. 

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. 
 
 

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. 

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. 

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.
 
 

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. 
 

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.
 
 
Veniamin Geskin Source: Veniamin Geskin

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.
 
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.
 

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.  
 

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 in the iPhone 8, one rumor suggests the company may continue to push its customers away from the connectivity option. According to Mac Otakara, Apple may decide to leave the adapter out of the box for future iPhones, giving customers the choice of either aquiring the accessory separately or completing the switch over to Bluetooth or Lightning headphones.  
 

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