The iPhone is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and big changes are expected. Hopefully on September 12, 2017, it’ll make up for the hype. Aside from a possible all-new design and switching out the traditional LCD panel for an OLED display, a key change for the "iPhone 8" could be the size of the screen itself, with early rumors suggesting it to be around 5.1 to 5.2 inches, fitting between the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus display.
In January, there were expectations that there could be a third possible screen size for the "iPhone 8," making it the largest at 5.8 inches. A later supply chain report in February lends weight to this rumor, adding that the handset will have a similar form factor to the current 4.7-inch iPhone 7, despite having a physically larger screen.
One report from Nikkei in early March agrees with the 5.8-inch display rumor for the "iPhone 8," going against its earlier report suggesting there to be a third 5-inch display option. The Japanese report does not mention how big the "usable" area of the screen will be, but the quoted size of display panel seems to match other rumors.
The "iPhone 8" will release alongside the "iPhone 7s" models, which will keep their 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes. While thought to continue using LCD panels, the refreshed iPhones could upgrade to OLED, if Apple is able to secure a large supply of the panels from Samsung and other producers.
These rumors were confirmed in December 2016 when a pair of purported Apple manufacturing documents leaked to the web that show three models -- designated D20, D21 and D22 -- coming to the market in 2017, including a completely redesigned high-end variant codenamed "Ferrari." "Ferrari" will sport a large AMOLED panel crammed into a handset form factor largely unchanged from current models, allowing for a near edge-to-edge experience, the documents suggest.
One "leak" on May 20 claimed to show a trio of molds from China for the 2017 iPhone lineup, potentially revealing the difference in size between the "iPhone 8" and the two "iPhone 7s" devices. The image and more details on this leak can be found in the "Schematics" section below.
"Ferrari" is also expected to come with a substantial internal redesign that breaks the logic board into two discrete units connected by a flex cable, the report said. The first board will carry iPhone's operating guts like the expected "A11" SoC and NAND flash storage, as a communications package with Wi-Fi and cellular components lives on a second board. Apple is also considering relocating the SIM card tray toward the bottom of the handset to make room for internal components, akin to current iPad Pro layouts.
Built-in Fingerprint Reader
For months leak after leak revealed the iPhone 8 would come with a fingerprint reader built into the display, but suddenly it disappeared. Similar to Samsung, Apple couldn’t get the technology perfected in time for its 2017 flagship. So, they cancelled the release. Instead, Apple doubled down its Face ID facial recognition system, dropping Touch ID entirely.
While the iPhone 8 will miss out on a new patent, AppleInsider uncovered that Apple remains hard at work in perfecting the technology. US Patent No. 9,747,488 titled "Active sensing element for acoustic imaging systems,” describes a method of reading a fingerprint for authentication through ultrasonic detection.
The acoustic system sends out an acoustic pulse which can pass through a second layer (“substrate”) and this is reflected back to piezoelectric transducers which determine the image of whatever object is touching the substrate. In the case of fingerprints, its ridges and valleys create unique acoustic boundaries allowing them to be told apart. Clever stuff.
The patent also breaks down Apple’s approach to regulating the technology, which it acknowledges can require high voltages. It would tightly control the drive signal, voltage bias and ground reference for each unit effectively creating an “active sensor”.
Apple is close to mastering the technology, but the iPhone 8 won’t get one - something that must be a frustrating disappointment given its potential as a differentiator. Especially if Samsung beat them in building this into its Galaxy S9 or Note 9 in 2018.
They phone will be release on September 12, 2017 for all you iPhone fans out there. I can't wait to see it myself.