There are rumors swirling around the iPhone 8 suggesting Apple could be planning to offer a major technology leap forward with its 10th Anniversary iPhone, but the highest-end devices may not be cheap.
Business Insider has published a pair of rumors on various aspects of the upcoming iPhone 8. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo Apple will move back to all-glass construction with the iPhone 8 for all three models. The use of glass could make it more difficult to implement the wireless charging support Kuo expects the new device to offer, and overheating could be a problem due to the difference in thermal dissipation between glass and metal. Kuo writes:
Adoption of glass casing & wireless charging unfavorable to thermal system operation for three new 2017F iPhone models; bigger impact on OLED model. The thermal system becomes less efficient with glass casing, as compared to metal casing used previously. Furthermore, wireless charging increases handset temperature. While we don’t expect general users to notice any difference, lamination of an additional graphite sheet is needed for better thermal control and, thus, steady operation; this is because FPCB is replaced with film, which is more sensitive to temperature change of the 3D touch sensor in OLED iPhone.
Kuo suspects that Apple can solve this problem by adding the aforementioned graphene sheet, but that it could increase the cost of the OLED panel by as much as 50%. That brings us to our second rumor. Scuttlebutt suggests the top-end iPhone 8 with an OLED display, wireless charging, and a 5.8-inch screen could hit $1,000 or even more. Mark Sullivan of Fast Company agrees with Kuo on this point. Sullivan expects the iPhone 8 (or iPhone X) to offer more RAM, more storage, and possibly higher clock speeds than other Apple devices.
The iPhone 8/X is also expected to offer home buttons and fingerprint sensors built directly into its edge-to-edge screen, a double camera, and 3D-sensing technology provided by Lumentum. Companies like Amazon and Google have played with 3D-sensing technology to varying degrees, and the tech could be useful in augmented reality and virtual reality applications.
Now, keep in mind, that $1,000+ price tag is strictly for the premium model. There would be three smartphones in total: A 4.7-inch model (iPhone 7s), a 5.5-inch model (iPhone 7s Plus) and the 5.8-inch iPhone 8 or iPhone X with higher specs wherever possible. Apple has supposedly tied up OLED suppliers and is working on integrating a much larger battery into the iPhone 8/X. The company is also expected to use both Intel and Qualcomm modems.
For now, it looks like Apple will debut a number of brand-new features for the iPhone 8/X, then roll those features out to the entire product lineup, most likely the following year. That would keep some technologies positioned as halo items for the luxury buyers, while simultaneously ensuring over the long term that these features would be used.