iPhone 8: Release date, price, specs, rumours and news about Apple’s flagship phone for 2017

Apple is expected to release its iPhone 8 later this year, in what is expected to be the company’s biggest smartphone launch in years.

2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone , which was first announced by Steve Jobs on 9 January 2007, and released later that year on June 29.

Given the momentous occasion, rumour has it that Apple has been holding back some of its most groundbreaking features for this year’s model.

We’ve rounded up all the latest rumours and leaks, so if you’re still undecided about your next phone, you’ll have a good idea what Apple has in store.

Latest news

After killing off the headphone jack with the launch of the iPhone 7 last year, Apple could be set to remove another key feature with this year’s model.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a track record of leaking accurate information on Apple products, the iPhone 8 could ship without a TouchID fingerprint scanner.

First introduced in 2013 with the iPhone 5s, TouchID is used to unlock the iPhone, and as an authentication method for Apple Pay.

Kuo doesn’t go into any more detail about how Apple will replace TouchID, but notes that “3D sensing for facial recognition” will be a part of the iPhone 8, suggesting that Apple could replace fingerprint scanning with facial recognition or eye-scanning tech.

There’s one upside to Kuo’s prediction; he says that because Apple won’t need to bother with scanning your digits, there’ll be no delay in production.

“As the new OLED iPhone won’t support under-display fingerprint recognition, we now do not expect production ramp-up will be delayed again (we previously projected the ramp-up would be postponed to late October or later),” he wrote, according to MacRumours .

Three sizes

Apple is rumoured to be working on three versions of its next iPhone, including a 4.7-inch iPhone 7s, a 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus and a 5.8-inch iPhone 8.

While early reports suggested that all three models would boast identical specifications, it’s looking increasingly likely that the larger iPhone 8 model will be significantly more advanced than the 7s and 7s Plus – which are expected to closely resemble the iPhone 7.

Meanwhile, a recent report in the Wall Street Journal claimed that Apple is currently testing more than 10 different prototypes for its next smartphone.

Name

Based on Apple’s well-established “tick-tock” cycle, the 2017 model would be called the iPhone 7s.

iPhone 7
These photos taken in China and obtained by the blog site Apple Insider allegedly show an iPhone with a very different design. (Photo: AppleInsider)

The tick-tock cycle refers to Apple releasing a new design every two years, and new features within the same casing on alternate years (which are usually known as “s” models).

However, rumour has it that Apple is moving to a three-year cycle on major iPhone refreshes.

This, combined with the fact that next year is the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, suggests that Apple’s flagship 2017 model will be a fairly major upgrade.

It seems unlikely, in that case, that Apple will opt for the name iPhone 7s – as that would downplay the upgrade. It’s more likely that it will be called the iPhone 8.

Apple may even decide to go for something completely different – the iPhone 10 or iPhone X, to mark the anniversary, perhaps, or even the iPhone Air, iPhone Pro or iPhone Edition, to reflect the iPad and Apple watch lineups.

As mentioned, Apple may choose to launch lower-spec iPhone 7s and 7s Plus devices alongside its flagship device.

Release date

The iPhone 8 release date is rumoured to be the week of September 4 or September 11, 2017.

Apple traditionally releases its latest iPhones during the first two weeks of September, in good time for the start of the Christmas shopping season.

However, one report hints that Apple may break with tradition this year and launch its next flagship smartphone earlier than expected.

According to information gathered by BlueFin Research Partners and shared by Barron’s Tech Trader Daily , there is “some indication” that Apple will start production of the iPhone 8 in June.

An Apple iPhone 6 phones are taken out of a shipping box at a Verizon store in Orem, Utah

If Apple is feeling particularly nostalgic, it may opt for June 29 – the same day the first iPhone was released.

Meanwhile, Ming-Chi Kuo has previously claimed the iPhone 8 could be delayed until October or November, due to “significant hardware upgrades”.

Apparently, Apple is struggling to integrate its Touch ID sensor into new iPhone’s the display.

So while the iPhone 8 could be unveiled in September, it may not go on sale immediately, according to Kuo.

However Carphone Warehouse have already opened their pre-registration, so if you are looking to pick up the new iPhone as soon as it’s released, you can sign up for free here.

Price

Apple products are not exactly known for being cheap. When the company launched its ‘budget’ iPhone 5c in 2013, it still cost an eye-watering £469.

But the latest reports suggest that Apple’s next device will be its most expensive yet, exceeding the $1,000 (£795) mark for the first time.

The price was reportedly leaked to The Fast Company by “a source with knowledge of Apple’s plans”.

The source said that Apple will be launching three devices this year – a massive 5.8-inch model (likely called the iPhone 8), a 5.5-inch model (called iPhone 7s Plus), and a 4.7-inch model (called iPhone 7s).

The iPhone 8 will reportedly have a new OLED display that will stretch across the whole front of the phone.

This is part of the reason for the high price tag, according to the source, as the OLED display will cost Apple roughly twice as much as the LCD display used in current iPhones.

The new phone is also likely to get a memory upgrade from the current iPhone 7 line, which will add to the cost of manufacturing the device.

All-glass design

Apple is allegedly planning a major design overhaul for the iPhone 8. The company is said to be working on an all-glass version of its iconic iPhone , for release in 2017.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo published a report in May claiming the American tech firm will completely redesign the iPhone in 2017.

Instead of the aluminium casing used in the iPhone 7 , Apple will move to an all-glass enclosure.

iPhone

This wouldn’t be the first time Apple has used glass in its iPhones. The iPhone 4 and 4s had glass front and back panels, with a stainless steel band sandwiched between the two.

However, these phones were plagued by durability issues, with many customers claiming their phones cracked too easily when dropped .

Kuo noted that some investors are concerned that glass casing would be too heavy or fail a drop test, but said he believes that a return to glass casing will not be problematic for Apple.

Broken Mobile Phone
“Apple already uses glass casing for iPhone 4/ 4S, and non-Apple brands have also been using glass casings. We therefore think a drop test will not be problematic for glass casing,” he wrote in his report, according to MacRumours .

The rumour has been backed up by a couple of other leaks. A source reportedly told Japanese website Nikkei that “Foxconn has been trying glass chassis’ since last year.”

The arguments to be made for a glass smartphone include better antenna reception and more options for wireless charging.

Curved OLED display

At least one of the iPhone 8 prototypes is said to feature a new cutting-edge curved OLED display with practically no bezels – similar to that used on Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge.

Although there is no functional reason to have a curved screen, Samsung has been seeing significantly higher sales of the curved versions of its Galaxy smartphones.

In March 2016, Nikkei reported that Apple was planning to ditch LCD displays in favour of OLED screens, with the first OLED iPhone arriving in 2017.

Then in April 2017, DigiTimes reported that Apple had signed a two-year deal with Samsung to supply the OLED panels.

The deal, which is rumoured to be worth $9 billion, will see Samsung shipping 70-92 million OLED panels to Apple this year, representing 30% of all iPhone devices expected to be sold in 2017.

AirPods

Apple’s next top-of-the-range iPhone could come with an accessory worth £160 in the box.

According to a new report from analysts at JPMorgan, seen by 9to5Mac, the iPhone 8 may come bundled with a free pair of AirPods.

The wireless earphones were announced along with the iPhone 7 and went on sale just before Christmas. They currently cost £159 to buy in the Apple Store.

The AirPods link up to your iPhone or Apple Watch via Bluetooth. They use sensors to automatically detect when they are in your ears, and play or pause your music accordingly.

They contain a pair of microphones, so you can control your music, change the volume and check your battery life using Siri.

The AirPods deliver up to 5 hours of listening time on one charge, and come in a special case that doubles as a charger, offering more than 24 hours of listening time in total.

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