iPhone 8 release date, features, and specs

What can we expect from the iPhone 8 rumours?

More iPhone 8 news

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16/06/2017: One of Apple's iPhone 8 assemblers has confirmed the device will be fully waterproof and have wireless charging, but the addition of such features may delay production because it needs to be properly tested.

"Assembly process for the previous generations of [iPhones] have not changed much, though new features like waterproof and wireless charging now require some different testing, and waterproof function will alter the assembly process a bit," Taiwanese company Wistron's chief executive Robert Hwang told Nikkei Asia.

Apple uses three main companies to assemble the iPhone: Hon Hai Precision Industry (aka Foxconn), Pegatron and Wistron, although the latter is the smallest of the three. Hwang told Nikkei Asia he thinks Wistron will be responsible for producing more iPhones this year than it previously has and the production of the iPhone could mean it's profitable for the first time ever in India one of its major markets.

The cost of iPhone production is likely to increase, but Wistron is using more automation in its production line to make sure it can still be profitable, Hwang said.

14/06/2017: New shots of what claim to be the iPhone 8 have leaked, showing off the device's rear-mounted vertical camera and full-screen, edge-to-edge display frontage.

Although there's little detail in the back chassis picture, one of the more noticeable omissions is the fingerprint reader that was apparently going to star on the back panel, below the Apple logo. Newer rumours (read below) said this could actually be part of the 'virtual' home button that would be integrated into the display.

The pictures claim to have originated from a Reddit user's "friend in the industry", who obtained the device from the "Chinese manufacturers" although as the images appeared on Reddit with little other information, it's likely they could be fakes.

One extra nugget of information the leakster revealed in this collection of pictures on Reddit was that the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, which will likely be unveiled alongside the iPhone 8 in September, could include wireless charging, which is a previously unheard rumour.

Meanwhile, analyst Gene Munster of Loup Ventures has predicted the arrival of the iPhone 8 could revive recent lacklustre iPhone sales even if it's delayed until October, according to AppleInsider.

12/06/2017: Leaked promotional shots of what could be an iPhone 8 case have been leaked online, showing off the device's edge-to-edge screen and vertical camera lens on the back of the flagship, which would allow for 3D images to be captured.

Through the transparent case, we can also see a virtual home button embedded in the iPhone 8's display. However, there doesn't seem to be the oft-rumoured fingerprint reader on the back below the Apple logo that usually stars in the centre of the hardware.

However, if the home button is embedded into the front panel as suggested by the pictures leaked by Slashleaks, it could double up as a TouchID fingerprint reader, as previous rumours have suggested.

Separate iPhone 8 rumours that surfaced last week suggested that the iPhone 8 (which could be renamed iPhone X) would use facial detection and a retina scanner on the front facing cameras to confirm identity. Although they had seen some next-generation iPhones with a fingerprint scanner under the glass on the front panel, their performance and yield rates weren't good enough. A Reddit post revealed some of the features and was reportedly written by three employees of the iPhone 8's manufacturing centre run by Foxconn.

In these latest photo leaks, some of the vital aspects are a little hard to judge. For example, we can't really get an idea of the size of the device because it isn't pictured next to any other version of the iPhone or anything that will give us perspective. It's also hard to see what the sides will be like because the iPhone 8 is pictured with the case on, and although it's a transparent shell, it covers a lot of the iPhone's chassis giving an odd illusion and obscuring the hardware.

09/06/2017: The iPhone 8 will be delayed by up to two months, RBC Capital Markets has claimed in a note to investors, leading the firm to slash iPhone sale predictions by 2.5 million units for the first quarter it's on sale.

The investment bank thinks the delay is down to availability of the iPhone 8's new OLED display panels, which the company in struggling to get hold off in the high volumes it needs, the analyst firm explained to CNBC.

"Multiple supply chain data points continue to point towards a delayed OLED production ramp, with likely shift by ~1-2 months for volume OLED production," RBC said. "Hence, while we still think [Apple] launches all three models simultaneously in September, the OLED model will see limited availability or delayed availability till mid October/November timeframe."

This sentiment has been shared by other analyst firms too, including Cowen and CompanyKGI and Drexel Hamilton, which all think the iPhone 8 will be delayed due to component shortages.

However, Apple fans aren't likely to be left completely deviceless - RBC Capital reckons the iPhone manufacturer will release two other phones the iPhone 7s and the iPhone 7s Plus that should satisfy those not looking to buy the top-end model.

05/06/2017: Employees at Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer used as a supplier for a host of Apple products, revealed a treasure trove of iPhone 8 details on Reddit over the weekend.

Three employees at the company answered questions in an 'Ask me Anything' session, shedding light on some of the iPhone 8 leaks we have seen over the past few months.

According to the group, collectively using the name FoxconnInsider, Apple's next flagship device, which they repeatedly refer to as the 'iPhone X', will closely follow the design leaked by iDrop News. This features an edge-to-edge screen with dramatically reduced bezels, sat within a steel frame and an all-glass covering.

iPhone 8/iPhone X will most likely resemble the middle phone: courtesy of iDropnews

They also report that initial rumours and images of a rear-facing finger print scanner were incorrect, and that an original design featuring a fingerprint scanner embedded underneath the front facing glass remains the best solution.

The insiders have suggested that Apple has faced significant issues with its fingerprint scanner, particularly when placed beneath the glass, and development on the smartphone has been delayed as a result. It is currently unclear exactly what this will translate to at release, but we're unlikely to see any major upgrades in this area.

The AMA also confirmed that facial recognition technology and a retina scanner would feature in the iPhone's front-facing camera.

Apple will also continue to use a Lightning port rather than the USB C featured in a number of news reports, and will feature wireless charging capabilities. The iPhone X will also come with 3GB of RAM, although details on storage remain unknown.

Surprisingly, the employees also revealed that a refreshed iPhone 7 would appear alongside the iPhone X. The iPhone 7s will have some significant differences, including an all-aluminium body instead of the glass chassis on the iPhone X, and it will lack the wireless charging capabilities.

02/06/2017: As Apple's bitter legal battle with Qualcomm rages on, a new report suggests that the company is falling back on inferior Intel hardware to meet its supply demands for the iPhone 8.

According to a report by Digitimes, Apple will cut down its reliance on Qualcomm by increasing the percentage of baseband modems supplied by Intel this year. The report suggests that as much as 50% of 2017's iPhone 8 modems could be manufactured by Intel, potentially rising to 70% in 2018.

This echoes the company's policy over the iPhone 7, which saw Intel receive an increased outsource proportion of 30%. At the time this created a problem for Apple, as the Intel chips had inferior performance outputs compared to Qualcomm's, leading to a consensus that proportions would shift back in favour of the more powerful hardware for the iPhone 8.

However, the bitter legal fued between the two companies, which sees Apple attempting to sue Qualcomm over what it claims are exorbitant royalty fees, appears to have sunk that notion.

Intel's modems are cheaper to produce for Apple, but yield a poorer performance as a result. This means that there could be a disparity in the iPhone 8 models, in which half receive chips that have less power efficiency, weaker signal strength, and slower network speeds.

Ultimately this is a deal of convenience for Apple, the terms of which may yet change if the lawsuit ends amicably. Yet to get the best out of its next flagship device, Apple may be forced to swallow a bitter and unfavourable settlement.

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