The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were an iterative upgrade, with better cameras, faster processing, and a similar design. But for the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, Apple is expected to give the iPhone a radical transformation. Rumors have been circulating of an all-glass iPhone 8 and the home button getting the axe, but now it seems we have something a bit more concrete.
According to the president of Sharp, Tai Jeng-wu, iPhone 8 will be making the switch to an OLED display next year from LTPS that is currently being used. Speaking at Tatung University graduation ceremony, he added:
The iPhone has been evolving and now it's switching from LTPS to OLED panels. We don’t know whether Apple’s OLED iPhones will be a hit, but if Apple doesn’t walk down this path and transform itself, there will be no innovation.
Although it may seem like a generic comment, but coupled with sources in China who are pointing to Samsung and LG being front-runners in the race to provide 5.5-inch OLED displays for the next iPhone, things are falling into place. Tai also said that Sharp is also planning to jump into the race, which would be very interesting to see given that Samsung has almost complete monopoly in the OLED space at the moment. Even the TouchBar in the new MacBook Pro were supplied by Samsung.
Coming back to the report from Nikkei Asian Review, Apple is planning to launch three iPhone models next year, one of which will sport the curved OLED panel. The report also suggests the glass front and back of the device. Apple could pay homage to the iPhone 4 design by going with the glass build but make it more modern.
This gels in well with the another report coming in from China which says that Foxconn is testing wireless charging modules for new iPhones. Although wireless charging is nothing new and has been around for years now, with Samsung pioneering fast wireless charging for its flagship smartphones. But Apple has been reluctant to change the metal build of the iPhone which prohibits inductive wireless charging. The switch to a glass back will allow the iPhone 8 to be able to charge wirelessly.
Adding weight to the report are the patents that the company had filed earlier on wireless charging tech for the iPhone. At present, wireless chargers need to be plugged into the wall socket and your phone can be placed on top to charge. It would be great to see something revolutionary from Apple where your phone would charge even when it is at a considerable distance from the charger. But we may be jumping into science fiction here.
There are some other rumors about the iPhone 8 as well including an edge-to-edge display, TouchID embedded within the display - something LG has been working on, dual-cameras and more. The render you saw above from Veniamin Geskin is the iPhone 8 of our dreams, but the design shift may not be this radical.It's safe to say that the excitement around the iPhone 8 has increased manifold given the lack of innovation we saw with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. With sales stagnant, Apple needs a big hit next year to combat the Galaxy S8 which Samsung is focusing on a lot more than it has in previous years given the Note 7 disaster.