Amazon sorta spoiled the surprise, but the iPhone 7 and its (relatively few) new features have now been fully released to the Apple-loving masses. Since I’m only concerned with what’s next, the iPhone 7 is now dead to me and it’s time start looking ahead to 2017 and the iPhone 8. (If that’s what they’re calling it.)
As I predicted in my iPhone 7 odds, not a lot was added, and the headphone jack was jacked. If anything, this year’s phone feels like a letdown. But next year is the tenth anniversary of the iPhone’s initial launch. If you’d asked those in the know, you’d know that Apple likely held back some special bells and whistles for the big anniversary release next year. Now you know.
Will Apple completely overhaul their phone in 2017? My answer is yes. In fact there are already some rumors and ideas floating around the interweb about what the next iPhone will look like. (It’s rather cute that we still call it a “phone” when, in reality, making a phone call is the least impressive function of this mini-tablet. But I digress.)
What can we expect in next year’s big announcement? Below are some of our iPhone 8 predictions and the odds they come to fruition. (Fruit pun totally intended.)
2017 iPhone Odds
This will be an interesting one. Normally Apple releases iPhones in early September, but since this is the ten-year anniversary, could they actually push the date to June 29th when the first iPhone was launched back in 2007?
- Odds the next iPhone is released …
- in or after September, 2017: 2/3
- pre-September, 2017: 3/2
Number of Phones Released
Will there only be one phone released? There is some speculation that Apple could bring out three different phones with different screen sizes and features.
- Odds on only one phone being released: 3/2
- Odds on only two phones being released: 3/1
- Odds on three (or more) phones being released: 2/1
Bells and Whistles
If only our phones had real bells and whistles, maybe I would stop losing mine.
There are rumours that Apple will be adding eye scanning technology to their next generation of phones. Although this hasn’t been confirmed yet, it appears to be the next logical step as Samsung has already implemented it into their Android devices.
The word on the street is that Apple is working with a company called Xintec which will create the iris-recognition chips. However, they could also be creating a full face scan instead of just the eyes.
- Odds the next iPhone features eye-scanning technology: 1/1
- Odds the next iPhone features facial-scanning technology: 1/1
Remember how great LCD screens were? Well, that’s old school now. You’re starting to see handheld devices move to an OLED screen which is far superior; it makes blacks blacker and whites whiter. OLED screens (like the one on the Apple Watch) also consume less power and have a much faster response time. Some were surprised that the iPhone 7 didn’t include an OLED screen. It’s safe to say that next year’s model will. But if multiple phones are released, it might only be available on the premium model, with the others getting a “micro-LED screen.”
Since we’re on the topic of screens, there has been some chatter that Apple might make the entire front side of the phone an edge-to-edge screen, which means no more home button. There is also some buzz that three different phones will be released with their premium phone only getting the OLED screen and the other two getting something called a micro-LED screens.
- Odds the next iPhone features an OLED screen: 1/3
- Odds that home button will be removed for an edge-t0-edge screen: 2/3
Speaking of old school and OLED screens, do you remember when Apple first came out with a glass casing on the back of the iPhone 4s? Since they tended to crack when dropped, Apple moved to aluminium casings. Well, we might be headed back to glass. The reason? The glass today (Gorilla glass) is far more durable and the glass backing provides the antenna with better reception. It also provides Apple with more options for wireless charging.
The problem with glass is that it adds a bit of weight and Apple has been working hard to make their phones lighter and thinner. Apple might actually be dabbling in liquid metal casings (like Terminator 2) so that their phones remain lightweight and durable. Multiple 2017 releases could mean we see multiple casing options.
- Odds the next iPhone features a glass casing: 2/1
- Odds both glass and aluminum casing are offered in 2017: 4/1
- Odds a liquid metal casing is offered in 2017: 4/1
What’s in a name?
After the release of iPhone [INSERT NUMBER], Apple tends to tack an “s” onto the next offering. Since we were just graced with the iPhone 7, you might expect the next release to be the “iPhone 7s”. However, with the anniversary coming up, do you really want to celebrate the milestone by launching a new phone with just an “s” added?
Apple is all about the marketing which is why many believe the next release will get the “iPhone 8” name tag. There is also the rumour that the iPhone Pro could also be released next year. The pro is supposed to have a massive 5.8-inch screen, a smart connector, dual-lens camera and premium software. It could mean that the Pro or Plus could be the one with the premium OLED screen and two other standard iPhones will be available in 4.7 and 5.5-inch size options.
- Odds on the next iPhone being called “iPhone 8”: 1/3
- Odds on the phone being called iPhone 7s: 50/1
- Odds on Apple releasing an “iPhone 8 Plus” in 2017: 4/1
- Odds Apple scraps the number names entirely (maybe name it Steve?): 5/1
Yes, other manufacturers have come out with wireless charging already. Yes, Apple is behind in the game, but that’s probably because they are looking to do something more with the technology. Apparently Apple is testing a wireless charging device that merely requires the phone to be within a certain radius (instead of directly on top).
- Odds on the next iPhone featuring wireless charging: 1/2
As for the camera, you can probably expect the iPhone 8 to feature the same camera as the iPhone 7 with the larger model (plus or pro) featuring two 12-megapixel lenses, optical zoom, and light field camera applications.
Apple’s iPhone 7 is rumoured to be waterproof to a depth of one meter for up to 30 minutes, which is the same as the Apple Watch. So you can expect Apple to carry this through to the iPhone 8. It just means that you can drop it in the toilet and it should be okay; don’t take it scuba diving.
Feature image credit: Jan-Willem Reusing (Flickr).