The Apple iPhone X, Apple iPhone 8, or whatever the 10th-anniversary iPhone ends up being called, is expected to arrive in late 2017, and legions of fans are feverishly speculating about it. Rumors suggest the iPhone 8/iPhone X may be announced alongside the iPhone 7S and the 7S Plus. It’s likely to be an expensive, technical showcase phone released as a celebratory model.
The iPhone 7S and 7S Plus are expected to be very different. A lot of the information on the iPhone X is up in the air, but what we are hearing sure keeps us interested. Very interested. Here is what we learned so far about the iPhone X.
Release date, name, and price
It’s official — Apple’s next event is happening at 10 a.m. (PT) on September 12. The keynote will be the first to be held at the Steve Jobs Theater, on the grounds of Apple’s new facility in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to unveil the iPhone X, 7S, and 7S Plus, as well as the third-generation Apple Watch, and even a 4K-capable version of its Apple TV set-top box.
Most reports over the past months claimed that a September release date is also likely, including Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and analysts at JPMorgan. However, both these sources also say that while the iPhone 7S is already in production, the supply of the iPhone 8 will be limited in the first month or so after the device’s launch. Unfortunately, the situation does not appear to be improving, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Apple lost about a month’s worth of production, according to the Journal, due to issues securing OLED displays early in manufacturing. The problems were compounded when Apple found it too challenging to implement Touch ID fingerprint scanning within the display. As a result, the company reportedly axed plans to include the security option in the iPhone X altogether, opting for a solution based on its new facial recognition technology instead.
Production is so far behind schedule, the Journal reports, that Foxconn, the company responsible for manufacturing Apple’s products, is offering bonuses to employees who can refer new personnel.
An earlier report from Apple Insider noted Apple may produce 25 million units in September and 60 million during the holiday season. Mac Otakara stated around the same time the iPhone 8 will be delayed past September and won’t ship until sometime in October or November. Pre-orders will open at launch, according to a research note for investment banking firm Drexel Hamilton obtained by MacRumors, but delivery wouldn’t happen until several weeks later.
Earlier in the rumor cycle, predictions from Economic Daily News said the new iPhone X won’t be delivered until November at the latest, and it was even possible Apple would announce it this year and start shipping to customers in 2018, according to a report from Business Insider. Components including memory chips and the OLED screen are causing the delays, say Digitimes, and the Economic Daily News.
Even the name is still unknown. It’s possible the device will be called the iPhone X, the iPhone 8, or even the iPhone Decade Edition, as a leaked screen protector, and Finisar, a laser manufacturer that’s expected to supply the iPhone’s depth-sensing camera component, claim.
Whatever it’s called, it’s probably going to be expensive, with many suggesting it may cost in excess of $1,000. Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski has a slightly more precise prediction, suggesting that the 128GB version of the device will come at $999, while the 256GB version will sit in at $1,099, according to a report from Business Insider. It’s also rumored the phone may come bundled with Apple AirPods wireless earphones, according to JPMorgan.
According to a Bloomberg report, the iPhone 8 will have a crisper screen that takes up almost the entire front. Overall, the device will have slim bezels and the home button will also be replaced by gesture controls. On the bottom, there is a thin software bar that runs across instead which users can drag up to the middle of the screen to open the phone. Apple also plans to have a taller screen with rounded corners along with a stainless steel band around the entire phone which curves into the glass. Previous reports claimed the iPhone 8 would have a notch area at the top and Bloomberg confirms it will as well. The notch will include the facial-recognition sensor, earpiece, and selfie camera, shown in the image below.
If the iPhone X is made to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, it’s logical to expect Apple to make it look special. Over the last months, the overall design of the phone has been revealed in a series of consistent leaks. It’s not certain the device’s look is final, or even if it’s the version Apple will choose to put on sale. According to well-placed sources within Apple’s supply chain, the upcoming iPhone looks “more like an iPhone 7 with glass,” and key features we’ve seen several times include a vertically orientated rear camera and a thinner bezel on the Y axis.
On top of that, recent reports note that the iPhone 8 will come in three colors — black, silver, and gold.
Before that, a leak was posted on Twitter by mobile reporter Evan Blass, showing the iPhone 8 in a protective case — and the render corroborates a lot of the past design rumors. The 5.8-inch iPhone in this image has an edge-to-edge display without the physical Home button, as well as a notch at the top of the phone with an infrared sensor, camera, and speaker. But since the phone is encased in Urban Armor Gear, this means it could be a mock-up from the company and not from Apple. Benjamin Geskin — another mobile reporter — replied to the tweet by Blass claiming the image is not new — and they were taken from him by UAG to create an image for the phone case.
Apple is even been involved in the leaks. The company seeded a build of the software for its HomePod speaker a little early and discovered it was a graphic of a bezel-less phone, which matches leaked images seen before. At the same time, a user guide document that will supposedly come inside the iPhone X/iPhone 8’s box was leaked out. It depicts the same style of phone in the HomePod software with an almost bezel-less screen and a SIM tray on the center right-hand side of the device. The screen itself still has a speaker and front camera cutout at the top, around which the screen appears to curve, much like the Essential PH1.
The HomePod software also contained hints regarding the use of a face unlock system called BiometricKit, using infrared technology. The code, posted on Twitter by developer Steve Troughton-Smith, contains several references to BKFaceDetect, or BiometricKit Face Detect, which may utilize custom cameras and sensors on the front of the phone. This ties in with previous rumors, including a report from Barron’s,stating Apple is apparently struggling to place a fingerprint sensor under the glass of the iPhone X. Facial recognition also comes with challenges related to Apple Pay.
Developer Guilherme Rambo replied to Troughton-Smith’s tweet, with a photo of new references to facial detection. Facial references included “mouthclose,” “mouthsmile,” and “mouthdimple,” among others supporting facial recognition on the iPhone 8 is highly likely. Another tweet by Rambo indicates “attention detection” in the code — meaning notifications could potentially stay silent if your eyes are already on the screen.
On July 17, renders were published of what’s said to be an entirely accurate depiction of the iPhone 8/iPhone X, based around CAD designs used by case manufacturer Nodus to mock-up products for the future device. We think it looks great, retaining the familiar iPhone look while adding very modern design elements. It reflects many of the details we’ve already seen, including a bezel-less screen, a vertical camera array, multiple front cameras, and a large power button. It’s speculated this may contain the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, much like a Sony smartphone, which indicates Apple has solved issues around its placement.
Published by Forbes with permission from Nodus, the report says it’s the final design for the phone. However, it’s still not official, despite the mounting evidence this is what the phone will look like. It comes after various concept videos have been released over the last months, each giving us a better idea of what the iPhone X may look like. The most recent, still based on rumors and speculation, is perhaps the most detailed yet. However, remember that it’s not an official look, and should be treated only as a fan-made concept. Just like all the other videos.
You can see the resemblance of the device in the video and other leaks, in particular the parts pictured below. The photos also show a rear panel with a cutout for a vertical dual camera, which is pretty much in line with other leaks we have seen over the past few months. The leak comes from a Reddit user, and also seem to show what could be the iPhone 7S, which is expected to launch alongside the iPhone 8.
It is possible the iPhone X could sport a fingerprint sensor on its back — much like many other Android phones out there. That’s not the best news for those hoping for advances in technology and suggests that Apple could be having some issues with implementing the Touch ID in the display. The leak comes from iPhoneros and can be seen below.
The iPhone X might be a lot “heftier” than the iPhone 7. That’s according to iDrop News, citing “factory workers with intimate knowledge” of Apple’s plans. According to the publication, the iPhone X will measure 143.59 by 70.49 by 7.57 mm versus the iPhone 7 at 138.3 by 67.1 by 7.1 mm. It will reportedly be thicker than the iPhone 7 Plus, which measures 158.2 by 77.9 by 7.3 mm, but have a smaller overall footprint.
Additionally, the TSMC source mentioned that the rear camera would be flanked by several infrared sensors designed to improve the phone’s augmented reality functions.
In late May, a video gave us a quick spin around a prototype device that was claimed to be the iPhone X, and it matches the look we’ve seen before.
Before this, a report from market research firm Cowen and Company suggested the iPhone X’s earpiece, FaceTime camera, and Touch ID fingerprint sensor would be embedded into the screen, allowing for a seamless edge-to-edge front panel. It said Apple may switch to Synaptic’s optical-based fingerprint reader for the new Touch ID, citing it as “currently the only workable solution” for detecting a fingerprint through a smartphone screen. But the designs are posing a challenge for Apple’s suppliers. According to Apple Insider, yields of the under-screen Touch ID sensor are low — so low that Apple may consider alternative designs if the production problems can’t be solved.
In the latest report by Mac Otakara, the chances of in-display Touch ID are low but haven’t been eliminated completely. Other rumors suggest the Touch ID will be replaced by facial recognition instead. Judging by images of the screen protectors below, this could be highly likely — with a few new front-facing sensors that hint at being 3D sensors for facial recognition. The FaceTime camera might also be moved to the right side of the device instead.
Wireless and fast charging
Apple lags behind the Android competition when it comes to charging, but that may change in 2017 with at least one of the new iPhone models. The company may introduce a new power adapter that supplies 10W of power, compared to the 2.5W from its current bundled iPhone charger. It may replace the full-size USB connection with a USB Type-C connector, that will use the Power Delivery fast charging system. This is the same technology used on the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro. Charging time would be drastically reduced compared to the tablet, due to the iPhone’s smaller-capacity battery.
This follows previous rumors. The Wall Street Journal said in February that Apple is in favor of USB Type-C, the industry standard connector for smartphones, laptops, and chargers. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo most recently predicted the iPhone will have a Lightning Port and an embedded USB-C power delivery IC resulting in higher charging efficiency.
Wired charging may be accompanied by a wireless charging option. According to a note from JPMorgan that was picked up by CNBC, Broadcom will supply the chips for wireless charging — which is somewhat surprising considering previous rumors that Apple was building its own wireless charging tech. It’s possible that Broadcom will simply manufacture chips that will be designed by Apple.
Just because Apple suggested it would use its own tech doesn’t mean third parties won’t develop wireless charging accessories for the iPhone. RAVPower, known for its portable power banks and other power charging solutions, announced a wireless fast charging pad on its site. Citing it as “One charger to power them all,” this device will be compatible with “next-gen Apple and Android smartphones” including the “Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S7, and all Qi-enabled devices for Apple and Android.”
Further solidifying the announcement, RAVPower told Mashable that “mass production has already begun.” RAVPower’s general manager Allen Fung sent Mashable this statement: “Our sources tell us the next iPhones have special technology for wireless charging that we have in this charger. Our wireless charger will wirelessly charge the next iPhones at full speed, as well as being able to charge other mobile devices wirelessly.”
The Next Web also cited the statement from Fung, counting him as one of two independent sources confirming the wireless rumors. The other source chose not to go on record, TNW reported.
Neither the RAVPower site nor Fung went into detail of which Apple devices will be compatible, but MacRumors reported in July that Kuo predicted the iPhone 8, iPhone 7s, and the iPhone 7s Plus will all have wireless charging functionality.
After Apple joined the Wireless Power Consortium, popular wireless charger manufacturer Powermat said it will work to support whatever wireless charging standard the new iPhone uses. Some reports suggest the device will support Qi charging, while others indicate it may use a modified version that won’t work with standard Qi chargers. Reuters reports that Apple has at least five different groupsworking on wireless charging technology.
A separate report by Kuo claimed the iPhone X will have a more expensive logic board design, allowing for longer battery life, according to MacRumors. The new logic-board design would allow for the OLED iPhone to have dimensions similar to a 4.7-inch iPhone, but it could offer comparable battery life to a 5.5-inch iPhone.
Kuo also expects the iPhone X to have a 2,700mAh L-shaped two-cell battery pack. The OLED display could allow the device to be more energy efficient, meaning it could have better battery life than previous 5.5-inch iPhones.
The most recent hint in terms of the battery, comes from Developer Guilherme Rambo. He posted a tweet noting the battery widget will use a different icon for the iPhone 8 — suggesting a different charging mechanism.
Rear dual camera setup and ‘revolutionary’ 3D front camera
The camera has always been a strong feature on the iPhone, so what have we heard about the iPhone X? This front-camera may also be used to power iris-sensor technology, like Samsung’s Galaxy S8. But the latest rumors relate to the phone’s video recording capabilities.
According to a report from Brazilian-language iHelp BR, the next-gen iPhone may be capable of capturing video at 4K resolution and 60 frames-per-second through both its front and rear cameras. The site says it discovered code referring to the feature while parsing through leaked firmware. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus can already record 4K video, but only at 30 frames per second, and only through the shooter on the back.
Rumors have also suggested the iPhone X will have a thing or two in common with Microsoft’s depth-sensing Kinect sensor. According to a report published by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the upcoming iPhone’s front camera boasts a “revolutionary” infrared sensor that can sense the three-dimensional space in front of it. That report has been corroborated by Apple’s 3D camera supplier, Largan Precision, which says it’s on track to deliver 3D sensors for the phone for iris and facial recognition.
It’s also said to be aimed at taking selfies. According to Kuo, the front sensor merges depth information with 2D images for features like facial recognition . It could be used to replace a video game character’s head with that of the user or to generate a 3D selfie that would integrate seamlessly with virtual reality applications. The technology is being developed by PrimeSense, the company behind Microsoft’s Kinect; and Apple is likely to open these 3D scanning capabilities to third-party developers.
For the front camera, Apple’s testing dual lenses. That’s according to Bloomberg, which reports that the company using camera components from Sony.
A dual-lens rear camera is expected on the rear, a la the iPhone 7, but it may shift orientation to a vertical layout. This has been seen in several schematics based on rumor, and according to MacOtakara. In a later rumor, the site says the cameras are likely to have similar functionality to the existing iPhone 7 Plus, but adds the vertical layout may be to enable better use inside a virtual reality headset.
According to a report from The Korea Economic Daily, Apple is collaborating with LG to create a dual-camera module that would allow for 3D photography. While Apple previously patented 3D-object and gesture recognition, it’s unclear whether the upcoming iPhone will bring these patents to life.
Better water resistance, and glass, ceramic, steel?
Last year’s iPhone 7 added a new finish option — Jet Black — which offered a polished, reflective look compared to the typical matte aluminum found in the product line over the previous several years. While very striking (we still think the 7 Plus is the best smartphone), the almost ultraglossy surface is a magnet for fingerprints and scratches. It seems Apple is looking to go even further with one of the options for the iPhone X.
Kuo previously reported that Apple may employ glass, ceramic, or plastic for the back of the iPhone X. Meanwhile, others have suggested Apple may go with a stainless steel frame instead. If a report from DigiTimes is true, it would mark a return to stainless steel for Apple — which was last used in the iPhone 4S.
Subsequently, a stainless steel chassis with glass front and rear was rumored by MacOtakara, quoting anonymous sources familiar with the project. The metal used may be an evolution of the metal used on the Apple Watch.
The latest report from Mac Otakara, suggests the iPhone 8 may only be released in black. The rumor surfaced after the site’s sources saw a front display panel component in the same color.
The iPhone 7 was the first device in the iPhone family that could be submerged up to a meter underwater for 30 minutes. Naturally, rumor has it that Apple’s going to take it a step further with the next iPhones, ramping up the IP rating from IP67 to IP68 and putting it on par with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy S8. That rumor comes from the Korea Herald, which cites “multiple sources.” Most people will hardly notice a difference, to be fair. The IP68-rating allows submersion up to about 1.5 meters for 30 minutes, a minor improvement over the 1-meter depth for IP67-certified devices.
How many iPhones will there be?
There has been some disagreement over whether there will indeed be a total of three iPhone models released this year. A rumor posted on April 20 by Chinese tech blog Micgadget.com claims there will be just two handsets released this year. “Rumors say that Apple will release two iPhone 7s and one iPhone 8 (or iPhone Edition) models,” the blog post reads. “Today we can tell you, that it’s not true. This fall, we can see only two models with new technology. Very interesting that rumors leaked new iPhone 8 and big iPhone 8 Plus will have similar dual cameras.”
Take this with a grain of salt, however.has an inconsistent track record when it comes to Apple and its plans, and this singular report certainly flies in the face of the majority of other reports.
That said, there is another report suggesting we may not see three iPhones this year, though this one claims that it’s the iPhone X that will be late to the party. According to unsubstantiated gossip from iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, Apple won’t be able to release the iPhone X in 2017. Apparently, the leak from within Foxconn claims that Apple has only ordered the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, though packaging material for those handsets are said to arrive in factories as early as June.
Kuo recently predicted that Apple will roll out three iPhone models including an all-new design 5.2-inch or 5.8-inch OLED iPhone and LCD models including 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. “For optimized promotional effect, we think Apple may unveil the three models simultaneously in September, though the launch date of the OLED version may trail that of LCD models, and supply tightness may not improve before 1H18,” StreetInsider reported.