The rumour mill loves an Apple story. It doesn't matter if it's so far fetched it will never see the light of day, or whether it is something that might actually happen, it churns them all out anyway.
With the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus having both now launched, and no sign of the iPhone 7 Pro, all heads have turned to the next iPhones. Next year's models will mark a decade since the launch of the original iPhone so you can only imagine how much of a twist the mill will be getting its knickers in over the coming months.
Here is everything that has been speculated about the 2017 iPhones so far. Remember to take everything with a pinch of salt because as usual, absolutely nothing has been confirmed, nor will it be until late next year.
Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Name
- Expected to be called iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
- Report suggests might be iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus
Traditionally, the next iPhones should be called the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus, which is exactly what Apple's Taiwan suppliers suggest will be the case with only one element changing: the processor.
Given they are the anniversary models however, we're hoping Apple will move straight to iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, skipping the incremental upgrade models and offering something close to what all the other rumours have been speculating.
That's the assumption we are making for the sake of this feature anyway. There has also been talk of a third iPhone, though it currently doesn't have a name. Apple iPhone 8 Pro anyone?
Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Release date
- 6 September is our educated guess for a launch date
- Pre-orders expected to start on 8 September if 6 September launch happens
The Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both launched on 7 September 2016, while the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus debuted on 9 September 2015. Both launch events were a Wednesday, both were two days after Labor Day in the US and both were the last day of consumer electronics show IFA, which Apple notoriously never attends.
If Apple follows the same release pattern, the next iPhones could be announced on Wednesday 6 September 2017. Labor Day is on 4 September and IFA will run from 1 to 6 September in 2017, meaning a 6 September launch date would allow Apple to steal back some of the limelight from its competitors who do attend the Berlin show.
We are just guessing for now, but if we are right, we'd expect pre-orders to start on 8 September, and the devices to hit shelves on 15 September.
Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Design
- All-glass model has been rumoured
- Entirely different design to iPhone 7 expected
- Premium ceramic model for 10th anniversary?
The Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus brought a few changes to their design over the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. The antenna bands on both were removed across the rear, the headphone jack was removed in favour of Lightning only and stereo speakers, and new colours were introduced in the form of Black and Jet Black. The Plus model also offers a dual-lens camera setup on the rear.
The iPhone 7 Pro, which has yet to see the light of day, was rumoured to feature the same Smart Connector found on the Pro line of iPads and a dual-camera. Of course the dual-camera ended up appearing on the Plus model, as we mentioned, but the iPhone has yet to see a Smart Connector.
As for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, an all-glass design has been thrown about the speculation field. Glass would at least allow for wireless charging, a feature that has also been rumoured for the next iPhones.
We wouldn't be surprised to see a premium ceramic finish for the 10th anniversary iPhone though. Apple used the material for its Series 2 Apple Watch Edition model and OnePlus has previously used ceramic as a finished for its X device. It could be that Apple launched the Jet Black iPhone this year as a test bed to see how people took to a glossy device, with the aim to introduce a more premium option next year.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the 2017 iPhone will look totally different to the iPhone 7. Apparently the Touch ID fingerprint sensor will be built into the display because Apple's design chief, Jony Ive, wants the iPhone to look like "a single sheet of glass". We'd expect the headphone jack to remain missing, the stereo speakers to remain intact, and we'd also expect a dual-lens set up on the rear of at least one of the devices.
Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Display
- Same size screens expected, plus additional 5.5-inch model
- Edge-to-edge OLED display reported
- Resolution increase rumoured
We'd expect the Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus to stick with the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes, as to go smaller would encroach on the iPhone SE's territory and well, much larger would basically put the iPhone in iPad mini land, almost. As we said though, there has been talk of a third iPhone, which is thought to be 5.5-inches too and more recently, a rumour of a 5-inch device has also appeared. A 5-inch iPhone would sit in the middle of the two current larger size offerings so it's a plausible suggestion.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities claims the third device will have a redesigned OLED display, while the others will have an LCD display. This is supported by a report from BGR that claimed only one of three iPhone 8 devices will have an OLED display. Apparently OLED screen supply won't be able to meet Apple's requirements so the other two devices are said to be launching with LCD displays. The Korean Herald begs to differ however, suggesting all three iPhones will have Samsung-made curved plastic OLED displays. The Wall Street Journal also claims Ive is considering a curved, edge-to-edge OLED screen for the 2017 iPhone.
No doubt 3D Touch will be included in next year's devices in some form too, probably more advanced than it is currently and we'd also love to see Apple Pencil compatibility, at least on the Plus model.
Will Apple up the display resolution for the iPhone 8 models? Who knows. A 2K AMOLED display was reported for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but it never appeared so perhaps Apple was holding out for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, or the iPhone 8 Pro if Kuo's and BGR's predictions are accurate.
A Quad HD resolution on a 5.5-inch display would put the pixel density at 534ppi, compared to the iPhone 7 Plus's current 401ppi, while the smaller model would offer 635ppi, compared to 326ppi. A switch to AMOLED would also deliver a greater contrast ratio for brighter, punchier colours.
Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Camera
- Two 5.5-inch models expected to have dual camera
- Smaller model predicted to miss out on dual again
- New 5-inch model claimed to have vertical dual-cameras
Apple's iPhone 7 and 7 Plus both offer great camera capabilities, like the iPhones that have gone before them. The iPhone 7 has a 12-megapixel rear snapper, while the iPhone 7 Plus has a dual camera setup with two 12-megapixel snappers, one wide angle and the other telephoto.
Both devices have a f/1.8 aperture, along with optical image stabilisation and a quad-LED True Tone flash. The front camera is 7-megapixels on both devices with an aperture of f/2.2.
We'd like to see all the new iPhone models offering the same capabilities so a dual-setup on the both, or all three options would be welcomed. After all, opting for the smaller smartphone shouldn't mean losing out on some of the fun features. Smaller hands want to be able to create bokeh images too.
That said, analyst Kuo believes the two larger phones predicted for 2017 will feature the dual-lens camera setup, while the smaller device will miss out, again. Another rumour contradicts this however, claiming a new 5-inch model will feature a dual-camera arrangement but in a vertical format rather than horizontal as it is now.
Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Hardware
- A11 Fusion processor with embedded M11 motion coprocessor predicted
- Same storage options expected
- Wireless charging rumoured
The new devices will no doubt come with a new processor, which if tradition dictates should be called the A11 Fusion with an embedded M11 motion coprocessor. We'd also expect the same storage models as the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, meaning 32GB, 128GB and 256GB, as well as the same colour options.
Of course, we'd love to see a bigger battery as always and it wouldn't be too surprising to see the Smart Connector introduced to the next iPhone, allowing for the transfer of both data and power at the same time. Whether we will see any other hardware additions on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, like an iris scanner as found on the now-defunct Samsung Galaxy Note 7, will remain a mystery for now.
As we mentioned though, wireless charging has been speculated after it was reported that iPhone manufacturer Foxconn is working on a new system. Apparently it will only be implemented if the yield rate can be deemed profitable though, and it's also been claimed the technology might only appear on the larger iPhone.
Another report, also talking about wireless charging, has suggested the iPhone would be able to be charged from a distance of up to 15ft however. This is a technology being developed by Energous and there have been signs to suggest it is working with Apple, though no confirmation as yet.
Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Software
- iOS 11
Apple always launches its new iPhones with the latest software build, which is always previewed at WWDC in June. For the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the software will be iOS 11, though we currently know nothing about what it might bring with it.
Like every yearly software update, there will be several new features and functions but we will have to wait a few more months to find out what some of these will be.
Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Conclusion
Nothing is certain at the moment, except for the fact that Apple will launch a new iPhone, or iPhones, probably in September next year and these models will mark a decade since the original iPhone.
Whether the anniversary will mean a whole new design for the iPhone is not yet known, but we can expect it to offer power enhancements and a new software build at the very least. We wouldn't be surprised to see a standard and Plus model again, as well perhaps a premium, or special edition anniversary model or finish that we think will be ceramic.
For now, keep checking back as we will update this feature whenever we see a new rumour appear or a new leak.