In Depth

Apple’s iPhone X: is it worth it?

The tech giant is hoping that superfans – and the super-rich – will snap up its brand new all-glass iPhone with face ID

iPhone 8: Facial recognition 'to feature in ID system'

23 January 

Apple's iPhone 8 is expected to feature a two-step ID verification system using facial recognition and touch identification.

According to a research paper posted on MacRumors, the next handset will introduce advancements in "biometric identification technology" that could be used to scan the user's face for heightened device security. 

Sources claim a bespoke display may need to be manufactured to house the technology, which also includes a redesigned Touch ID sensor featuring an "optical-type" system expected to be positioned underneath the display. 

The iPhone 8 is also believed to include a flexible OLED display that will improve 3D Touch interactivity, while a metal structure will "avoid deforming the form factor", the site adds. 

This bolsters earlier rumours that Apple's next smartphone will have an all-glass design reinforced by a stainless steel internal structure, replacing the existing  aluminium body and glass display

Added to that, it is also reported the iPhone will be more water resistant. The Korea Herald says it could receive an IP68 weatherproof rating, which would allow it to be submerged in water at a depth of more than three feet for 30 minutes. 

iPhone 8: Will 'iPhone X' feature facial recognition?

19 January

Facial recognition and gesture controls could be coming to the next iPhone as part of an expected design overhaul to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Apple's iconic handset. 

A report in AppleInsider claims the new device, dubbed "iPhone X", could introduce "some form" of facial and gestural recognition that may be monitored by infrared and laser sensors close to the front-facing camera.

According to sources, both the FaceTime camera and Touch ID sensor will be embedded into a "wraparound" 5.8ins OLED display, which could also appear on upgraded versions of the iPhone 7 and a possible iPhone 7 Plus, the site adds. 

If true, the claims would bolster earlier rumours that this year's handset will feature a curved OLED display similar to the screen on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

It is also being said that the iPhone 8 will feature a completely new design, with DigiTimes claiming a stainless steel chassis will be used along with two pieces of glass for the outer body, replacing the existing aluminium construction and glass display.

In addition, Apple is also rumoured to be introducing wire-free charging, with The Verge reporting that wireless company Energous may be working with the Cupertino-based firm to deliver the technology by the end of the year. 

iPhone 8: Could it be more water resistant? 

16 January

Apple's next smartphone could be more water and dust resistant than the iPhone 7, according to reports.

The Korea Herald suggests the iPhone 8 could receive an IP68 weatherproof rating, which features on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and may also be on the "upcoming Galaxy S8".

Sources claim the rating is among several "drastic upgraders" introduced to celebrate this year's tenth anniversary of Apple's iconic smartphone, the site says.

The iPhone 7 holds a water and dust resistance level of IP67, meaning it is completely protected against dust and can be submerged in liquid at a depth of three feet (one metre) for around 30 minutes. An IP68 rating means it can be submerged in water at greater depths.

However, tests have shown that the current iPhone is more weather resistant than its IP67 rating would suggest, says MacRumors, although liquid damage itself is "still not covered" under a standard Apple warranty.

Last week, rumours that the new iPhone will receive an all-glass casing were bolstered when sources confirmed to DigiTimes that a stainless steel frame will replace the longstanding aluminium design currently used on Apple handhelds.

While the new device is set to be a real game-changer, TrustedReviews says Apple may introduce two other variants alongside it, which could be called the "7S and 7S Plus" and feature an "iterative design".The iPhone 8 is expected to arrive this autumn.

iPhone 8: Apple to swap aluminium body for stainless steel frame

11 January

Apple's new iPhone will have a stainless steel chassis instead of its longstanding aluminium design, sources have confirmed to DigiTimes.  

The new device, rumoured to be called the iPhone 8, is "expected to abandon its conventional aluminium back cover" in favour of "two reinforced glass panels" attached with a steel frame in the middle, the site adds. 

Sources at the new handheld's supply chain told DigiTimes that the cost of the forging process is 30 to 50 per cent cheaper than "the current unibody CNC machine process" and provides more stable quality control. 

The tech giant is expected to continue outsourcing orders for "internal structures" from Catcher Technology and Casetek, says MacRumors, as the steel bezel will require "further refinement" using the existing CNC machining process. 

The report is consistent with rumours surrounding the design of the new iPhone, the majority of which suggest a glass body will be used to be more scratch resistant and to assist with new wireless charging functions. 

Speaking to The Verge ahead of the Consumer Electronics show, Steve Rizzone, chief executive of the US-based wireless company Energous, revealed that the firm had signed an exclusive deal with a "key strategic partner" and would ship products featuring its wire-free technology "by the end of 2017". 

Last year, AppleInsider reported that the Cupertino-based company had been approved for a patent to position the home button and FaceTime camera underneath the display, suggesting the firm may also install an OLED screen on the device. 

iPhone 8: 'Best is yet to come', Tim Cook says

9 January

Apple chief executive Tim Cook says "the best is yet to come" as rumours surrounding the next iPhone begin to grow, a mere four months after the launch of the iPhone 7.

In a statement celebrating ten years since the tech giant first announced its iconic handset, Cook says the company is "just getting started". 

He did not, however, unveil any details about what the company is planning to introduce on its next handset, which is rumoured to launch this autumn with a significant design overhaul.

US-based wireless company Energous last week revealed it had signed a deal with "one of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world", fuelling speculation the new iPhone may have wireless charging features.

Speaking to The Verge ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Energous chief executive Steve Rizzone said the company had agreed a deal with a "key strategic partner" and would ship products featuring its wire-free technology "by the end of 2017". 

According to MacRumors, the next iPhone will feature an all-glass case to house the wireless charging features as the existing metal casing can "limit the speed" of battery charging. This would also correspond with Apple designer Jony Ive's vision of a phone resembling a single sheet of glass, the site adds, a concept he has wanted "for several years". 

While the iPhone 8 is expected to be a real game-changer, TrustedReviews says Apple may be working on two other models, which could feature an "iterative design" and be called the "iPhone 7S and 7S Plus". 

iPhone 8: Energous fuels wireless charging rumours

6 January

Rumours that the iPhone 8 will offer wireless charging have been bolstered by claims from Energous that it has signed a deal with "one of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world".

Speaking to The Verge ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, chief executive Steve Rizzone said the company had agreed a "key strategic partnership" and will start shipping transmitters that can charge devices wirelessly from several feet away "by the end of 2017".

He added: "I cannot tell you who [the partner] is, but I can virtual guarantee that you have products from this company on your person, sitting on your desk, or at home."

According to the Verge, Energous "certainly doesn't mind speculation" that this partner is Apple.

The US-based company, which develops wireless products, was first expected to release a wire-free charger towards the end of 2015, adds the site, although its plans changed when it signed the agreement that year.

Under the deal, Energous's partner will be the first to ship its products inside "phones, laptops, tablets, and certain wearables and accessories". 

If true, the shipping time would fall into place with the expected launch window of the rumoured iPhone 8.

It was reported by MacRumors that the phone will feature an all-glass case to accommodate wireless charging features, as the current metal design can "limit the speed at which charging takes place". This also fits into Apple designer Jony Ive's vision of a phone that looks like a single sheet of glass, the site adds, a concept he has wanted "for several years". 

Apple often uses its iPhones to unveil technology that will then be transferred to its other products. Its fingerprint scanner and Lightning connector both debuted on the phones, as did the virtual assistant Siri, which last year appeared on the MacBook range

iPhone 8: Will game-changing handset feauture new Touch Bar?

4 January

Apple's latest smartphone, the iPhone 7, is only a few months old, but fans are already creating concept designs for the iPhone 8. 

A video from YouTuber Apple Designer imagines a smartphone that combines several rumours about the next generation, such as the absence of the home button and a USB-C charger, into one design.

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The imagined phone also includes an adapted version of Apple's Touch Bar at the bottom of the display in place of the home button. It could be used to unlock the device or expand the keyboard to include emojis in the Messages app.

It is believed the iPhone 8 will be released this autumn, with the tech giant skipping an 'S' version, the traditional follow-up to a new number, in favour of a new device to celebrate the phone's tenth anniversary.

The Korea Herald reports it will feature a plastic curved OLED display from Samsung, with sources claiming it may incorporate "new sensing technology" that allows users to touch the sides of the device. 

However, TechnoBuffalo says Apple are often slow to "adopt to new trends" and it's more probably the iPhone 8 will be a "general follow up" rather than a generation overhaul. 

iPhone 8: next iPhone may get curved OLED display

19 December

Apple's iPhone 7 has only been on sale for three months, but attention is already turning to next year's smartphone reveal.

Celebrating the phone's ten-year anniversary in 2017, the tech giant is rumoured to skip past the '7S' variant and instead debut the iPhone 8. While this year's device was closer to an evolution of the formula, the iPhone 8 is tipped to have many more significant changes, including a raft of new technologies.

A report issued by the Korean Herald suggests the iPhone 8 will receive a plastic OLED display that will feature curved edges similar to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

Sources claim the new iPhone may incorporate "new sensing technology" that allows users to "touch any side of the device", the site says.

Speculation surrounding an OLED display began in October, with AppleInsider reporting the firm has recently been approved for a patent to position the home button and FaceTime camera under the screen.

Last month, it was rumoured that the iPhone 8 may feature an "all-glass casing" to accommodate wireless charging, says MacRumors. It is also believed Jony Ive has wanted to design a device that looks like a single sheet of glass "for several years", the site adds.

iPhone 8: The iPhone may finally get wireless charging

02 November

Barely two months have passed since the launch of the iPhone 7, but attention is already turning to next year's big Apple smartphone launch. 

The tech giant is tipped to go straight past introducing an 'S' version of its current phone, and will instead debut the iPhone 8 next year. Unlike this year's device – criticised by some for being a minor upgrade – 2017's iPhone is rumoured to be a game-changer, and will introduce several new technologies and features in one fell swoop.  

The big rumour is that it'll get a completely edge-to-edge OLED display, with no buttons whatsoever on the phone's face. 

Now a new report issued by Nikkei suggests that the iPhone 8 could introduce a feature many of Apple's Android rivals already have up their sleeves – wireless charging.  

According to the paper, Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn is currently testing wireless charging modules, which could make their way into next year's smartphone. 

MacRumors says it's unclear if wireless charging will be a feature included in all upcoming iPhone 8 models, or if it'll be offered exclusively on the iPhone 8 Plus, just as this year's iPhone 7 Plus has exclusive camera hardware.  

Rumours about wireless charging are nothing new, and Apple is thought to have lofty ambitions for the technology. 

Earlier this year it was reported that the company was exploring "extended wireless charging", which would allow users to do away with their charging mats. Instead, the new technology would allow Apple to use radio waves to reach and recharge phones up to 15 feet away.  

The iPhone 8 will arrive next September, so there's still plenty of time before all is revealed. 

iPhone 8: Everything we know so far

28 October

Apple's iPhone 7 hasn't been on sale for two months yet but fans are already readying themselves for next year's release. 

In any normal year, 2017 would see the introduction of an iPhone 7S – Apple only releases new, redesigned devices once every two years, with improved "S" versions filling in the gap. 

If rumours are true, though, next year promises to be different as 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of Apple entering the smartphone industry. It has gone on to become the company's most profitable venture by a significant margin, which is why fans are expecting something special to celebrate. 

Releasing an S version of the 7, a smartphone that has been criticised by many for being too similar to the iPhone 6 and 6S, would be an unpopular move. A lot of iPhone fans are resting their hopes on 2017's device being a game-changer. 

Here are all the rumours so far.

iPhone 8 release date

It seems a safe bet that the phone will be released in September, Apple's traditional time for unveiling new devices. However, it could be that the tech giant will break with tradition as it marks ten years of iPhones, says PC Advisor.

Complete design overhaul

The iPhone has been redesigned many times since it hit the market in 2007, but every handset has had the same face – two large bezels top and bottom and a round home button underneath the display.

But early rumours are pointing towards a radical new design language coming next year. It's believed the iPhone 8 will do away with the bezels and instead feature a complete edge-to-edge display with the home button, selfie camera and speaker either hidden beneath or integrated into it.

The latest word comes from respected and consistently accurate Apple tipster Ming-Chi Kuo, whose most recent scoop has been picked up by MacRumors.

He says the edge-to-edge iPhone won't look like a single sheet of glass, as has been reported, but will be reinforced by an aluminium or stainless steel frame. The phone will be made predominantly from glass, though, stepping away from the aluminium designs used since the iPhone 5.

Curved glass?

In June, the Wall Street Journal suggested the new phone might have curved glass, something Apple is believed to have been working on for some time. MacRumours says this could mean the display of the iPhone 8 is curved at each edge, in the manner of the Samsung Galaxy S7.

No more LCD

The iPhone 8 may not use a traditional LCD (liquid crystal display), replacing it with a flexible OLED (organic light-emitting diode). This will make for a thinner phone that uses less power - something that might help with battery life. The OLED should have colours that are more true to life and a higher contrast ratio, says MacRumours.

No more wires?

Apple is "late to the wireless charging party", says PC Advisor, and pundits are confident it will join in with the iPhone 8 - removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is widely seen as a step towards that. According to TechRadar, Apple might just "go beyond rivals and offer a truly wireless charger that works at a distance".

A similar camera

It's rumoured that not much will change with the iPhone 8 camera, although the optical image stabilisation (OIS) technology introduced on the iPhone 7 might be extended to the selfie camera on the new device.

Glass or metal?

Sources claim Apple will return to glass-bodied phones after several generations of aluminium. TechRadar says there might be a choice: the iPhone 8 could be glass and the iPhone 8 Plus metal - or vice versa.

Three sizes? 

The latest rumour comes from Japanese newspaper Nikkei and has been doing the rounds on the usual assortment of dedicated Apple blogs and rumour sites. 

Nikkei suggests Apple may introduce not two, but three iPhone 8s next year, all of them with different size displays. 

At the moment, Apple makes its smartphone with 4.7ins or 5.5ins screen sizes. These are expected to remain, but a five-inch model will reportedly slip between them. All three will have glass casings, but only the most expensive model will get an OLED display. 

Price?

It really is too early to speculate, except to say the phones are unlikely to cost less than the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which start at £599 and £719.

iPhone 8: Is this Chinese phone the best look yet?

25 October

Apple's iPhone 8 should make quite an impact when it arrives next September. 

Rumours suggest that Apple is set to skip doing an S version of the recently introduced iPhone 7, partly because the device is a refreshed iPhone 6S, but mostly because 2017 marks ten years since the introduction of the original iPhone. 

It's said that Apple has something special lined up for the iPhone's tenth anniversary, and that the iPhone 8 will be a completely re-designed handset, with an appearance unlike any iPhone before it. 

Apple is tipped to switch to OLED displays, replacing the LCD panels it has used since the original device. It is also rumoured that the iPhone 8 will have an edge-to-edge display with curves at the edges, so the phone's face is a large, uninterrupted screen with no bezels or buttons. 

If you haven't yet bought the iPhone 7, that may be enough to keep you from upgrading until next year. But if Xiaomi's latest handset is anything to go by, you'll be able to buy a phone just like the rumoured iPhone 8 very shortly.

The Chinese company has just revealed its latest flagship handset. Called the Mi Mix, it is set to launch on 4 November, and it features a huge 6.4ins display tucked right up to the edges of the phone, covering 93 per cent of the device's face.

The only significant bezel is at the bottom, but it features no buttons: everything is controlled onscreen, except for the fingerprint scanner on the back.

Inside it gets the latest Snapdragon 821 chipset mated to 4GB or 6GB of RAM, depending on which spec you choose. There's no word of a UK release, but in China it'll cost the equivalent of £425 when it arrives. 

The iPhone 8 is expected to be a little different, using a glass case rather than a metal one, and with the fingerprint scanner and FaceTime camera embedded under the display. But MacRumors still says the Mi Mix "may give us some idea of what Apple's next phone could look like". 

iPhone 8: Home button could be behind the display?

10 October

Apple's iPhone 7 has been out for less than a month, but the rumour mill for next year's iPhone model is already in overdrive.

Apple is tipped to skip over the iPhone 7S next year and leap straight to iPhone 8, with a radically redesigned handset marking ten years since the introduction of the original handset in 2007.

It's said that next year's iPhone will look completely different thanks to an edge-to-edge OLED display that could take up the entire front side of the device, as well as a glass body similar to the one on the iPhone 4 and 4S. The phone's iconic home button and large top and bottom bezels will be no more.

To achieve this, Apple has to embed hardware like the FaceTime camera, speaker and – crucially – home button underneath the next iPhone's display. AppleInsider believes it may have found out how the internet giant can overcome this design hurdle.  

Last week, the site reported a newly uncovered Apple patent filed in 2014 and recently approved, accurately outlining fingerprint and sensor technology that would allow fingerprints to be read on a scanner behind the screen. It's one of the biggest leaks so far to support rumours that Apple is working on a home button-less smartphone.

To get around the gap between a user's finger and the sensor below the display, Apple proposes using electrostatic lenses in order to achieve an accurate image of the finger or thumbprint through the screen.

As ever with patents, it's unclear if Apple is actively developing the technology and if it will end up in an iPhone, but this new information does reveal one of the methods Apple might use if it decides to go ahead with a new smartphone with no home button.

 

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