iPhone 8 release date, features and specs rumours
The iPhone 7 has only recently been announced, but all we seem to be hearing are rumours about the iPhone 8. We think Apple might well be holding back some major updates and improvements for the iPhone 8, which will be launched on the 10th anniverary of the first iPhone. Here we round up the rumours about the iPhone 8 release date, features and specifications. See also: Best phones 2016.
Hang on a minute, shouldn’t the next iPhone be the iPhone 7s? Well, technically, yes. But this one is said to be such a big and important upgrade that we can’t see Apple giving it what is in essence a point upgrade. There are some rumours the next iPhone could even be called simply The iPhone, or iPhone Pro, but for now we’ll stick to calling the 2017 iPhone the iPhone 8.
Where to buy your iPhone 7? Find out how to get the best price on an iPhone 7 today. Click here.
iPhone 8 release date rumours: When is the iPhone 8 coming out?
iPhone 8 UK release date: September 2017 (TBC)
It’s a bit early to talk about the iPhone 8 release date. It’s not necessarily even going to be called that. However, for now that’s the name we’re using to keep things simple and the iPhone 8 will be the new flagship smartphone for Apple in 2017.
If tradition continues, the iPhone 8 release date will be in September 2017.
However, the release date isn’t quite as easy to predict as normal. 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone launch, so we wouldn’t be too surprised if Apple mixed things up a bit.
iPhone 8 or iPhone 7S or something else? What will the iPhone in 2017 be called?
Update 30 September: It seems the name may have been confirmed with an Apple employee referring to the new device by the name ‘iPhone 8’ unprompted when speaking to Business Insider.
As we’ve mentioned, the iPhone for 2017 is unpredictable because it will mark a big anniversary for the smartphone.
The Wall Street Journal says: “Apple plans bigger design changes for 2017, the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone. Those changes could include an edge-to-edge organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screen and eliminating the home button by building the fingerprint sensor into the display, according to people familiar with the matter.
“At a meeting with an Apple executive, one of the company’s China-based engineers asked why this year’s model [the iPhone 7] lacked a major design change in keeping with Apple’s usual two-year cycle. The answer, one person at the meeting recalled, was that the new technology in the pipeline will take time to implement. People familiar with the matter said some features that Apple hopes to integrate into iPhones, such as curved screens, weren’t ready for this year’s models,” it added.
If Apple follows the usual pattern, the iPhone 7 that launched this year will be followed by the iPhone 7S in 2017. The fact that it’s 10 years since the original iPhone means this could all go out the window. Apple will want to do something special to celebrate the occasion so an ‘S’ model, which usually just brings small tweaks, won’t suffice.
It’s pretty much anyone’s guess at the moment, hence, we’re calling the 2017 model the iPhone 8 at the moment but it’s perfectly plausible that the new phone won’t conform to the traditional naming system at all. The iPhone SE (special edition) is already a thing, so perhaps Apple will go with ‘iPhone Pro’, iPhone Anniversary Edition’ or even just ‘iPhone’ – although naming the iPad 3 as ‘the new iPad’ didn’t go down too well.
A report from Nikkei suggested that in 2017 there would be three new iPhone models. It sounded as though we were in for the usual 4.7- and 5.5in models (the regular and Plus), plus a third new ‘Pro’ model with a 5.5in or above curved screen. Its source said the screen would be “bent on the two sides” making it sound like a Galaxy Note 7 rival. Of course, this didn’t happen with the iPhone 7, though it doesn’t mean we won’t see a curved-screen iPhone 8.
Vote in our poll to let us know what you think Apple will name the iPhone next year.
iPhone 8 specs and new features
If Apple does indeed do something special for the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, which seems likely based on iPhone 7 rumours, the iPhone 8 will be one which fans will no doubt want to upgrade to on launch day. Could we see the biggest queues ever?
A combination of design and hardware changes will make the iPhone 8 the most radical new iPhone to date, if we are to go by the rumours and leaks.
iPhone 8 screen
Jony Ive has wanted to introduce an iPhone which resembles a single sheet of glass for a long time and the 2017 anniversary iPhone could be the one. It’s rumoured that at least one iPhone in 2017 will use a glass body, according to Apple supplier Catcher Technology. Glass on the front and back would make it like a hugely updated version of the iPhone 4S.
This, combined with the rumour that the iPhone 8 will sport an edge-to-edge OLED screen makes things rather interesting. And we’re not just talking the side edges, as Apple may even go as far as to do away with the top and bottom bezels. The physical home button would be gone and the TouchID fingerprint scanner would be housed within the screen.
A patent filed back in March 2015 states: “The man-machine interface device comprises an electronic display apparatus that is capable of presenting graphic text, images, icons, and other data typically shown on a screen, while further including a transparent finger touch sensor region that is seated above the display apparatus.”
The concept video shown below is from DeepMind and shows what an iPhone would look like with an edge-to-edge display. And it looks pretty cool.
Another concept image of an iPhone with an edge-to-edge display emerged in early 2016 from iPhone-Tricks.com. It’s a bit out-there and is unlikely to be quite accurate, but it also shows what iOS 10 might look like including an interesting idea that some of the icons could be bigger in a ‘widget’ style familiar to Android users.
Using a flexible OLED display technology will allow the iPhone 8 to be thinner and give a similar effect to the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. It should also consume less power while offering better contrast and colour reproduction. Apple already uses an OLED display for the Apple Watch.
Reports say Samsung Display is currently working on a new flexible OLED for the iPhone and is set to invest billions in a new factory to keep up with demand and meet Apple’s order of up to 45,000 panels per month.
This concept image via ConceptsiPhone shows what an edge-to-edge OLED display iPhone might look like:
iPhone 8 concept
As pointed out by Patently Apple, the firm has filed and been granted patents which may well be used on the 2017 iPhone. They suggest a curved-glass design and also that the sides of the phone could be used for virtual active buttons. For example, this could be used for certain controls when the camera app is in use. If true, the phone would rival Samsung’s edge screen features.
iPhone 8 2017 patent curved glass body
iPhone 8 2017 patent active virtual buttons
There were also some rumours we heard about the iPhone 7’s screen that never made it to fruition. It’s possible that they could see daylight with the iPhone 8.
Economic Daily News speculated that the iPhone 7 could feature a 3D display, and one that doesn’t require the use of those annoying 3D glasses. The website claimed at the time that Apple supply chain partner TPK is working on a project that could produce a glasses-free 3D display, though we’re not holding out much hope for this as its been done before (remember the LG Optimus 3D?) and has never done well.
There were also some rumours to suggest that the iPhone 7 could have a sidewall display, similar to that found on the Galaxy S7 edge and Note 7. This came from an Apple patent that was published in 2015. The patent hints at a future iPhone with a display that extends onto the sides of the device, providing interactive or touch sensitive portions that give access to slide-to-unlock functionality, music player controls, messaging readout, called ID, system controls and more.
Apple iOS did not have an official name until the release of the iPhone software development kit (iPhone SDK) on March 6, 2008. Before then, Apple marketing literature simply stated that their iPhone runs a version of OS X, a reference to iOS’ parent operating system. When introduced, it was named iPhone OS. It was renamed iOS on June 7, 2010, as, with the introduction of the iPad, and the existence of the iPod Touch, the iPhone was no longer the only device to run the mobile operating system. iOS 4 was the first major release to reflect this change. Apple licensed the “iOS” trademark from Cisco Systems.
In June 2007, Apple released the first version of what became iOS – concurrently with the first iPhone. The final 1.x series release was 1.1.5, released shortly after version 2.0.
July 11, 2008, saw the public release of iPhone OS 2.0, with upgrades through version 2.2.1 made available.
June 17, 2009, was the release date for iPhone OS 3.0. It was updated through (and including) version 3.1.3 (release date February 2, 2010). The first generation iPod Touchand iPhone have iPhone OS 3.1.3 as their newest available version. All iOS versions from 3.2 until 4.0 were made specifically for the iPad.
On June 21, 2010, iOS 4.0 (formerly iPhone OS) was released to the public and was made available only to the iPod Touch and iPhone. iOS 4.0 was announced to have over 1500 new APIs for developers, with the highly anticipated multitasking feature. The iPod Touch (2nd generation) and iPhone 3G have iOS 4.2.1 as the final version available. Nevertheless, many features are not available for the iPhone 3G or iPod Touch (2nd generation), such as multitasking and home screen backgrounds. iOS 4.2 is the first version to bring major feature parity to the iPhone and iPad. The release of the CDMA iPhone for Verizon Wireless saw a branching of iOS. The 4.2 version sequence continued for the CDMA phone while 4.3 was released for all other products
On June 6, 2011, Apple previewed iOS 5, Apple TV 4.4 beta and the iOS SDK 5 beta along with iCloud beta among other products. This update introduced iMessage chat between devices running iOS 5, a new notification system, Newsstand subscriptions, Twitter integrated into iOS, Reminders app, Enhancements to AirPlay, full integration withiCloud and over 200 new features. iOS 5.0 supports all iPad models, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 GSM & CDMA, iPhone 4S, and the iPod Touch (3rd & 4th generation).
iOS 5 had only three minor additions, 5.0.1, 5.1, and 5.1.1, which were all provided as OTA and iTunes software updates.
Apple concurrently provides the same version of iOS for the comparable model of iPhone and iPod Touch, usually devices released in the same calendar year. iPhone users receive all software updates for free, while iPod Touch users paid for the 2.0 and 3.0 major software updates. As of iOS 4.0, Apple no longer charges money for iPod Touch updates.
As of October 23, 2011, two versions of iOS were never released. iPhone OS 1.2, which after the first beta was replaced by a 2.0 version number; the second beta was named 2.0 beta 2 instead of 1.2 beta 2. The other was iOS 4.2, replaced with 4.2.1 due to a Wi-Fi bug in 4.2 beta 3, causing Apple to release 2 golden masters (4.2 GM and 4.2.1 GM). One version of iOS was pulled back by Apple after being released. iOS 8.0.1 was pulled back by Apple because cellular service and Touch ID were disabled on iPhone 6and iPhone 6 Plus