We don’t do much Apple news here, but it’s no secret that the iPhone 8 is gearing up to be one of the most popular phones of 2017. This isn’t merely because it’s another iPhone, either. What sets the 10th generation Apple device apart from its predecessors is its inclusion of modern hardware.
Apple, easily one of the most popular smartphone designers, always adopts technological advancements, but often many years after their initial release. The Silicon Valley giant has fallen far behind its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) competitors in the production of new technology and until 2017, seemed to lack a little “courage.”
Taking a good look at suspected specs of the new iPhone, we glimpse what should be a fairly impressive smartphone. Most of the key ingredients in this concoction will make fanboys swoon, and even Android enthusiasts may nod their heads with reluctant approval. This isn’t so bad, for once.
Before we get into it, it’s important to note that leaks prove nothing until Tim Cook says it from his own lips. However, we will probably know every single little thing long before he even writes his speech, thanks to historically reliable leaks.
This year’s flagship device raises eyebrows because it hopes to add almost everything Apple has omitted in the past five or so years, all at once. Where does it get these ideas, who is it copying, and where is it trying to be in five years? Let’s take a look at the hardware updates coming to this new smartphone and see if we can place their origins in history. For the purpose of this article, we will not be comparing or discussing iOS 11 or any other software renditions.
Let’s take a look at the most popular features of the next-gen iPhone.
1. Skipping the iPhone 7s model
Let’s face it: Apple sells more phones than any other company each year and the model numeral increasing a whole number every other year ensures that competitors with an annual progression would eventually catch and surpass the iPhone. This is generally not an issue for most brands other than Apple. HTC is on #11 as of today and LG recently hit #6. However, Samsung, one of Apple’s fiercest competitors, has steadily hit #8 and is going to be releasing #9, come Q1 of 2018. The number matters because the perception that Apple is falling behind its biggest foe will undoubtedly impact future sales.
2. OLED screens
Other manufacturers have been deploying Organic Light Emitting Diode screens for years. Even low-end phones boast the benefits (and challenges) of the superior display technology. Liquid Crystal Displays on a smartphone are now common only on low-end devices. Don’t get me wrong: It’s great that Apple wants to be part of the OLED club; I’m just merely pointing out that they are nine years late to the club. Apple fans are now raving about their superior tech, while it is openly known that these displays are sourced from Samsung, the largest OLED producer in the world. Samsung is, in fact, facing a pinch in supply as it moves to satiate Apple’s huge order. Awkward.
3. Bezel-less phones
Let’s not be coy. One of the first companies to announce a phone with minimal or no bezels was the Sharp Aquos, and it tanked badly. LG and Samsung certainly made it mainstream in the first half of 2017, and Xiaomi definitely takes the cake on the boldest, most confident exposition of these futuristic displays, with the Mi Mix, and the Mi Mix 2 under development. Undoubtedly, Apple will claim it led the charge in maximizing screen space; but for those of us who pay attention, it’s clear that Apple is one of the last companies to get onboard the bezel-free wagon. And it appears they’re willing to copy even the new Essential phone in squeezing out a few more pixels in the upper corners.
4. Wireless charging
Us non-iPhone folks have been enjoying this technology for many years, now. We have had the Qi and PowerMat options built into our phones, added to the battery cover, placed in special phone cases, and even added to McDonald’s and Starbucks’ cafe tables. Old news. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 was one of the first gorgeous phones to look and act the part. Rumor has it (which basically means it’s true) that Apple has ditched the metal iPhone 8 backing in an attempt to include a form of wireless charging. Given Apple’s annoying track record, there’s a chance it will release a means of charging the iPhone which is incompatible with any other tech (thereby forcing consumers to buy Apple-branded chargers). Lame. But, at least there won’t be any wires.
iPhone 7 was the 9th iPhone release, and kindly included an IP67 rating, certifying it to be the first iPhone that wouldn’t kick the bucket from a toilet drop. Apple actually made the seals so well, many YouTubers found iPhone 7 was essentially waterproof. But remember when fanatics told you that they didn’t need their phones when it rained? Well, as the rumor goes, Apple would like to see some underwater photos added to their iCloud storages, so we believe it will finally enable you to take those on this next iPhone 8. Welcome to Sony’s flagship, 2014. Hearing Apple clamor on about its amazing features years after their invention is getting old (no pun intended).
6. Dual Cameras
No, iPhone 7+ did not invent dual cameras, or even use them first for a field-of-depth photography function. As you may expect, manufacturers have been using them for awhile, actually since 2011, on both the LG and HTC flagships. Speculation leads us to believe Apple’s next big release will have the dual camera do-hickey on both the large and smaller models. iOS’ software uses these lenses to create some pretty impressive photos, but don’t let anyone tell you that Apple is unique or first in this field.
7. Navigation bar
This is technically a software update, but it’s important because it signifies the removal of the iconic physical home button. Android phones have used soft buttons for navigation since the beginning. Whether those buttons activate home, back, settings, recents, or other functions, they were unique to Android phones. Well, apparently Apple has caught the Google bug, because in an attempt to ditch the home button for more screen space, the iPhone 8 will attempt an all-new way of exploring iOS. Some speculate it will be called the “Function Bar” and should exhibit an area with basic options, like “back” and “home.” It’s possible the bar will include the ability to make and receive calls and texts, access music, and other shortcuts. Basically, Android’s notification shade, but at the bottom of the screen instead of at the top. Totally new idea, right?
Apple once believed NFC in smartphones was a pointless, useless, overrated, under-performing technology. And then Apple Pay spawned from the core of the bitter fruit, and thus was born the card-less, secure, well-known option of paying with your phone. You see, Apple may have taunted other companies for experimenting with Near Field Communications, but behind the scenes, as often is the case, engineers in Silicon Valley are tracking everything their competitors create, and are cautiously attempting to improve those inventions. NFC is no exception. Rumors indicate Apple may finally unlock the transponder to be used for third-party apps, scanning boarding passes, checking in, sharing media, sending money, etc. This would give developers the option to offer iPhone users the same benefits of contact technology as their Google counterparts.
9. Headphone jacked up
Hilarious is the hearsay that Apple’s profound “courage” was a mistake, and that it would be adding wireless charging to the phone to make sure you can listen to music and charge your phone at the same time. Apple knows best, and its fanboys will follow the Californian Pied Piper wherever it goes.