Apple will launch the iPhone 8 in just a little more than 24 hours. The smartphone is a regular feature of the rumor mill, since the end of 2016. It's surfaced in countless leaks and rumors, providing us with a lot of details on what to expect. As you all know if you follow us regularly, Apple's landed in a bit of a rut over the past couple of years. At one end, nearly 70% of the company's revenues are from the iPhone. At the other, new and exciting features have almost died out on the lineup. With the iPhone 8, Cupertino will make up for the latter. How so? Take a look below to find out.
Apple's 2017 iPhone X(8) Rumor Roundup: All New A11, Vertical Dual Camera, Build Material And Face ID
Ten years have passed since Apple launched the first iPhone. When you compare what's expected this year, to what was revealed then, it shows exactly what a decade of development should - even if this development has slowed down over the past couple of years. Design on the iPhone hasn't changed in three years, with the iPhone 7/7 Plus upgrading form and colors only.
Feature wise, the only new addition to the mix is Force Touch and a Dual Camera. At the hardware level, Apple's A11 Fusion finally adds more cores. The 2016 iPhone lineup's in-house ISP is also a nice addition, reminding us that Apple still likes to take a look at the details. Well, the company had to look at the details since the bigger picture wasn't sufficient for change. It'll change with the iPhone 8 though.
The Processor - A Brand New A11 SoC:
When compared against other leaks, information for the A11 is sparse. After all, Cupertino always focuses on the entire device rather than stand alone gadget. However, the little that has surfaced is enough to give a gist of what will and will not change this year. The A11 will be manufactured on the 10nm node. Details regarding its production are sketchy. Right now, the processor shipped to Apple at the end of Q1, if TSMC met deadlines.
Regarding specifications, we've got little information. A recent rumor pegs the chip with six cores. We all know how Apple doesn't play with Android's rules. According to our information, the A11 will feature the six cores in a big.LITTLE, 2+4 arrangement. What's more is that the LITTLE cluster will run in unison with the big cluster according to performance needs. If Apple really does implement this, expect iPhone X performance to be off the charts.
Design Part 1 - Motherboard And Internal Component Arrangement:
One of the more interesting leaks for the iPhone 8 is about the motherboard. Apple's love for tinkering a device's internals is well known. It was influenced by Jobs, who in turn was influenced by his adoptive father while building cupboards. The iPhone X will feature a two pieced motherboard. The first leak for the feature surfaced in December 2016, covered by yours truly. Subsequent leaks have provided us with more details and images.
Apple will divide the iPhone 8's motherboard in two pieces. This will facilitate space savings especially as the device will feature more components than its predecessors due to new features. One piece of the board will feature performance components that include the A11, RAM and storage. The other will feature connectivity components such as WiFi. The part on the right in the second image above is for the A11.
Rear Camera Specifications & Arrangement:
Talking exact numbers, no details for the iPhone X's rear camera have surfaced so far. An industry report detailed Apple's plans for a new factory in collaboration with Largon. This plant will produce camera modules with resolutions exceeding 12MP. Judging by that, maybe we'll get 12MP sensors this year as well. If this turns out true, then it'll be the third year for 12MP on the iPhone. However, the absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, so treat this as speculation for now.
However, some big, big feature upgrades are rumored for the smartphone. Tim Cook's been raving on for AR for quite a while. Now, the iPhone 8's rumored to provide serious support for the feature, courtesy of its brand new stack dual rear camera setup. The iPhone 8 will feature AR recording, but exact details for the feature are absent. What we do know for sure is that Apple will borrow a leaf from Google's book.
Leaked firmware reveals a new feature called 'Smart Camera'. This will allow the smartphone to differentiate scenarios and objects in terms of brightness. Various elements of an image will be automatically adjusted, improving quality automatically. It's a great adjustment for point and shoot photography and will also be aided with 'FreezeMotion'. This will detect moving objects and faces, and possibly capture the image at just the perfect moment.
Design Part 2 - Aesthetics, Build Material And A Brownie:
It's an open secret that the iPhone X will be made out of glass. Apple discontinued using the material on the iPhone 5 and ever since then, it's been aluminum all the way. New materials for the iPhone have been present in the rumor mill for almost a year now. The earliest sources claimed something along the lines of Zirconian ceramics, but that's highly unlikely.
Rather, the iPhone 8 will feature a glass back. This is due to wireless charging, a brownie feature when compared against some of the other rumored upgrades for the iPhone. The smartphone will be available in a new Gold color option, Silver and Black. Its borders will be completely black to obscure new internal components. We're also likely to see an enlarged power button without Touch ID according to the latest.
Now we move on to the one feature that's got everyone talking lately. Recent iOS 11 firmware leaks have provided a lot of details of the feature. Combine this with information KGI's Ming-Chi Kuo and we don't think anything remains 'un-leaked' for the feature. The iPhone 8 will feature facial recognition and advanced gestural support. Simply put, the device will detect when you're looking at it and perform the required actions - including unlock and display functions.
Face ID will work by using four different components. These will integrate 3D spatial and 2D data to produce facial impressions. Enhanced by color filters, the feature will also support Apple Pay. While end judgments are reserved for post-testing, we're not sure whether it'll turn out more convenient than simple fingerprint unlocking. (Complete details here and here)
That covers our iPhone 8 rumor roundup. The smartphone will give users a new opportunity for excitement as the lineup hasn't been what it used to. That being said, Apple really needs to clamp down on leakers such as the one who sent links for iOS 11 firmware. It takes the surprise out of things and bites right into what makes flagship smartphone launches worthwhile. Thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned. We'll keep you updated on the latest. Cheers.