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The Apple iPhone 8's release date is further away than anyone thought
You might have to wait a little longer for your brand-new iPhone 8 than previously thought, a new report has claimed.
According to reliable Japanese source Macotakara, the long-rumoured iPhone 8 will not be available to buy in September.
In previous years, Apple has made its new iPhone available for pre-order a few weeks after the initial announcement, which is typically held in early September.
But that could all change with the Apple iPhone 8.
Macotakara says Apple needs additional time to procure materials before it makes its final design decisions.
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
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Apple iPhone 8 will debut a brand-new all-glass look, with a curved OLED display and no physical Home Button
Because of this, the production of the flagship iPhone could be pushed back until later in the year.
Apple is excepted to launch two iPhone models, dubbed iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus, at an event in September.
Reports suggest these will only represent a minor upgrade over the current generation handsets.
Apple is expected to include a new red finish, as well as a faster processor.
Meanwhile, the hotly-tipped iPhone 8 will ship later in the year, complete with a slew of must-have new features.
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Dropping the chunky bezels would allow Apple to squeeze a bigger screen into a smaller body
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Concept images reflect Apple's rumoured decision to drop the iconic Home Button
Renown analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who has a solid track record with iPhone rumours, believes the iPhone 8 will ship with a 5.8-inch OLED panel.
However the primary touchscreen area will be 5.15 inches, while the rest of the display – which will reportedly bleed to the very edge of the chassis – is set to be reserved for a row of virtual on-screen buttons.
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 purportedly plans to debut an edge-to-edge display in an effort to keep the physical size of the device down, while simultaneously increasing the size of the display.
Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive is reportedly designing the phone so that it resembles "a single sheet of glass".
Apple is hotly-tipped to ditch the physical Home Button from the front of the smartphone, so that it can reduce the bezels around the display.
But the dramatic changes planned for the next iPhone will not just be surface-deep.
According to a new research note from UBS, Apple has put together a team of more than 1,000 engineers working on Augmented Reality (AR) technology ready for the iPhone.
Augmented Reality sees artificial elements – like video footage, CGI animation or GPS data – placed on-top of real-world elements.
IMRAN TAYLOR • BEHANCE • CONCEPT OF IPHONE 8
The iPhone 8 is widely-tipped to include a new edge-to-edge display
Pokémon Go is probably the best known example, which lets players use the camera to search for CGI monsters within the world around them.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is very interested in AR and has spoken at length about the potential for the technology.
“I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone," Mr Cook said in an interview earlier this year.
"The smartphone is for everyone, we don’t have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic or country or vertical market: It’s for everyone. I think AR is that big, it’s huge."
According to Business Insider, Apple now "may have over 1,000 engineers working on a project in Israel that could be related to AR".
The same UBS research note claims Apple will include Augmented Reality technology inside its best-selling smartphone as early as the iPhone 8.
If Apple keeps to the same schedule as previous years, iPhone 8 will be launched in September.
Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities claims Apple will incorporate the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, usually located in physical Home Button, beneath the glass display in the next iPhone.
According to Kuo, the current system Apple uses for its fingerprint recognition functionality will not allow for its revolutionary all-glass design.
Instead, Mr Kuo claims, the new fingerprint sensor will require optical sensors to read the print resting on the display.
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The complicated new display set-up, which presumably will still need to incorporate the pressure-sensitivity debuted with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, will require a number of new, custom solutions from the panel manufacturers.
However the KGI Securities research report states that Apple has enough clout within the industry to get the system built ready for the new iPhone.
Alongside the new fingerprint recognition technology, the iPhone 8 could also see Apple introduce facial tracking sensors into its flagship smartphone, Mr Kuo has claimed.
These could be used to scan users' faces to help verify identification.
IMRAN TAYLOR • BEHANCE
The flagship iPhone 8 is expected to resemble the all-glass design of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S
IMRAN TAYLOR • BEHANCE
The tenth anniversary iPhone could have a curved edge-to-edge OLED display
Mr Kuo believes the fingerprint recognition system will "ultimately be replaced by a facial recognition system" in an effort to make the iPhone even more secure.
"However, if the technical challenges cannot be overcome, we believe a combination of fingerprint and facial recognition is another possible solution," he writes.
Elsewhere, Apple is reportedly looking to distance itself from the curved aluminium design language it has used for the past three generations of iPhone, first introduced with iPhone 6.
With the Home Button gone, Apple can extended the display to the bottom of the phone – reducing the chunky bezels around the screen, and shrinking the overall footprint of the device.
The new 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone is also expected to be modelled with an all-glass design, similar to the iPhone 4 and 4S.
Apple is expected to debut its new industrial design language in the coming months with a refresh of its iPad range.