iPhone 8 rumours round-up

The iPhone 8 is arguably one of the most important devices that Apple has ever developed. Not only is it set to arrive 10 years after the firm’s first ever handset hit the market, but it also comes at a time when smartphone sales as a whole are stagnating and the industry is in need of some serious innovation to get consumers excited about mobile tech again. So what can iPhone fans expect from the next iPhone? Here are just a few of the most exciting rumours doing the rounds at the moment.

The name

There is still a lot of debate surrounding the naming strategy that Apple will adopt this year, especially given that at least three new iPhones are apparently on the cards. What seems likely is that two of the models will follow the pattern of previous years, with the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus representing the bread and butter of the range. Further industry murmurings point towards a higher end, flagship model going by an entirely different moniker also being likely to launch.

Early indications suggest this top tier model would be called the iPhone 8, but as time has passed, yet more names have been thrown into the ring. The iPhone X was a top contender for a time, but now sources suggest that it may instead be called the iPhone Edition. Whatever the case, Apple’s next iPhone may strike out as a new offshoot of its broader mobile brand.

The hardware

A whole host of hardware-related rumours have been churned up in recent weeks, with claims and counterclaims made by apparently reputable sources up and down Apple’s Asian supply chain. So it is worth taking any assertion about the iPhone 8 with a pinch of salt. That being said, one major new development expected to make an appearance on the range is the arrival of displays based on AMOLED technology. Apple has stuck with LCD panels throughout the life of the iPhone to date, but 2017 is set to be the year in which it finally catches up with Samsung in the screen department.

AMOLED displays offer better contrast ratios, colour saturations and energy efficiency than old school LCD screens, with the main downside being that they can suffer from image burn-in over time. Some rumours claim that the iPhone 8 will use an AMOLED panel which is curved rather than flat, covering the entire front surface of the device and resulting in the Home Button being ousted altogether, although these rumours have yet to be substantiated.

Wireless charging capabilities are also on the cards for the iPhone 8, meaning that the use of a cable will no longer be necessary. Instead, users will be able to pop it onto a compatible charging pad or equivalent surface, reducing clutter. A growing number of modern cars now offer wireless charging on board, which will be an added convenience if this comes to pass.

Another update expected for the iPhone 8 is the inclusion of a dual lens camera on the rear, which will bump up the photography specs and keep it in line with developments that are being made by rival mobile makers like LG. There are even suggestions that Apple will move away from using its proprietary Lightning Connector for the iPhone 8 and instead adopt USB-C to improve compatibility.

The launch

The iPhone 8, or whatever name the device is given by Apple’s marketing department, is expected to be announced later this year, alongside the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus. If it follows the same schedule as in the past, then a September launch seems likely. However, insiders predict that the iPhone 8 will take longer to actually be released than its stablemates, meaning it might not hit store shelves until the end of 2017, or perhaps even early 2018.