Apple iPhone 8 – Leaked photos, concept images, and renders Sun, January 1, 2017
iPhone 8 is shaping up to be one of the most impressive Apple smartphones to date, with glass panels on the front and rear of the device, a curved borderless OLED display and no Home Button
Play slideshow VENIAMIN GESKIN • TWITTER • CONCEPT IMAGES 1 of 24
Apple iPhone 8 will debut a brand-new all-glass look, with a curved OLED display and no physical Home Button
Apple has not placed any firm orders with its chosen optical fingerprint module provider ahead of iPhone 8 production, according to an analyst report from Pacific Crest Securities.
This has fuelled speculation that Apple will ditch elements of the next-generation iPhone in an effort to make its habitual September release date.
iPhone 8 was rumoured to drop all physical buttons from the front of the phone, allowing it to extend the display up to the very edge of the chassis.
Apple was purportedly planning to embed the Touch ID fingerprint scanner technology, which until now, has been housed within the physical Home Button, underneath the glass display.
But following reports of frustratingly low yield rates for this new Touch ID technology causing a bottleneck in iPhone production, Apple is rumoured to have ditched its plans.
iDROPNEWS • CONCEPT RENDER
Apple was hoping to embed the Touch ID fingerprint scanner beneath an edge-to-edge display
According to the Pacific Crest Securities investors note, "The anticipated move to a full-screen OLED panel in the coming iPhone 8/X eliminates the physical home button, which necessitates a move to a virtual home button and an optical fingerprint sensing solution to read fingerprints through the OLED panel.
"At this point, we do not believe Apple's optical fingerprint module provider has firm orders for production, which suggests Apple does not have functionality of the optical fingerprint sensor ready.
"Additionally, we believe Apple has evaluated Synaptic's (SYNA) optical fingerprint solution, but that it has not been qualified."
This aligns with a previous analyst report from Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri.
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Leaked technical drawings appear to show the reserve design for the iPhone 8
Mr Arcuri also believes Apple is looking at dropping the ambitious new technology for another less-exciting design for the iPhone 8.
Interestingly, Samsung is believed to have faced similar issues with the Galaxy S8, leaving it no choice but to relocate the fingerprint scanner to the back of the phone.
Analyst Mr Arcuri believes Apple could follow suit and maroon the Touch ID scanner on the rear of the iPhone.
This has previously been rumoured, with a number of concept images mocking up the design.
Mr Arcuri also offers another two alternatives.
Apple could drop its fingerprint sensor altogether, and rely solely on the face recognition technology believed to debut on the next iPhone.
Renders of the what the iPhone 8 would look like if it followed the Galaxy S8’s lead
This is the most unlikely option, says Mr Arcuri, since face recognition is still in its infancy, and has not been developed enough to be the sole biometric security option included with the handset.
Finally, Apple could push-back the launch of the iPhone 8 until it can remedy the production problems.
There have already been a number of reports that suggest the next-generation iPhone will miss the company's traditional September launch window.
Most technology analysts agree that the design of the iPhone has yet to be finalised. That means the next handset has yet to enter full-scale production.
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Apple Park HQ in pictures
The California-based company is believed to be prototyping devices with glass, aluminium and white ceramic in the chassis.
Other prototypes being passed around the Cupertino headquarters include some iPhone 8 models with an LCD display, while others use an AMOLED panel, others include a Home Button, while some have ditched the button altogether.
In fact, the other features Apple is reportedly certain of are the new five-inch display size, wireless charging and dual camera set-up.
That display size refers to the primary touchscreen area, which will be around 5.15 inches, according to the latest whispers from Cupertino.
Meanwhile, the rest of the touchscreen – which will reportedly bleed to the very edges of the phone – will be reserved for a row of virtual on-screen buttons.
DRIBBLE • ALHASAN HUSNI
Concept artists reveal the new Function Area at the bottom of the five-inch touchscreen
This separate Function Area, housed beneath the main display, will replace the physical Home Button and include the Touch ID fingerprint scanner embedded beneath the glass display.
The Function Area touchscreen will intelligently adapt to whatever is happening on screen, bringing menu items and shortcuts to your fingertips, similar to the Touch Bar included on the latest MacBook Pro models.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the overall footprint of the smartphone will be similar to that of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 – which all have a 4.7-inch LED display.
Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive is reportedly designing the phone so that it resembles "a single sheet of glass".
The news comes as reports that the iPhone 8 would cost more than $1,000 were dismissed by another prominent analyst.
"Apple is about mainstream luxury, so a $1,000 phone seems less likely," the note from analyst firm UBS explained.