Also not new is the fever pitch emanating from online technology rags who list everything expected, wanted, needed, or dreamed about the upcoming iPhone. This year is no different. I could sum up everything we know about Apple’s next iPhone in a single word. But where’s the fun in that?
Sure Thing, Maybe
There seems to be a measure of disparity from the reality of Apple’s history to date, what we read from members of the technorati elite politburo and what they expect Apple to deliver, wild-assed rumors and schematics from the supply chain, and what the company actually delivers.
Traditionally, dating back to iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s, Apple does a tick tock naming scheme. iPhone 5, then iPhone 5s. iPhone 6, then iPhone 6s. But that changed when Apple came out with two models, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. That tells me Apple is not afraid to change things up a bit and this is as good a year as any; the 10th anniversary of iPhone.
Here’s my list of what we do not know about Apple’s upcoming iPhone line.
Name – iPhone 8 seems to have stuck, but it could be iPhone Pro to match iPad and Mac.
Models – technology changes and Apple is a bit– as usual– behind the curve of edge-to-edge micro-bezel smartphones, but also has a scale problem (it may sell 100-million a year of a new model) that no other smartphone maker has. Will Apple ship two or three or four new iPhones in 2017?
Visual Design – with edge-to-edge micro-bezel designs all the rage these days among Apple’s competitors we could expect something similar, but we don’t know how the device will look other than a flat slab of glass.
OLED Display – again, it may be expected, but will it show up on every iPhone model introduced, or just the high end iPhone 8? We don’t know. OLED displays have certain advantages over the LCD displays Apple uses, but those who value such things call the current iPhone’s screen indistinguishable from perfect, and Apple doesn’t always jump on the new trend bandwagon first. Screen size is another item to think about. iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches respectively, but Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has a larger screen in a similar size as iPhone 7 Plus.
Case – if wireless charging is coming, then expect the case not to be aluminum, but glass instead; perhaps ceramic.
Charging – surely there will be Lightning charging available, but wireless charging is here on many smartphone already, and Apple is late to this party; again.
Price – only Apple knows the price, but already an iPhone 7 Plus with 256GB of storage tops out at $969, so the $1,000 barrier could fall. But we don’t know the price.
Shipping – when will Apple announce the new iPhones and when will they be available? Think mid-to-late September for an announcement, and shipping a week or so later, but if the line includes a flagship model and the standard tick-tock iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, all bets are off.
Components – these are lumped together because Apple’s history says they will be improved, but we have zero details to date on camera, sensors, battery size and life, CPU, RAM, storage options, Touch ID button, Home button, etc.
Pencil – why not have Apple Pencil support on a device with such a large screen?
Touch ID & Home Button – with a fullscreen, edge-to-edge micro-bezel design, what of Touch ID and the Home button? We don’t know, but there are technology issues with embedding a Touch ID into the actual screen. I’m thinking Touch ID on a wide, longer Power button.
Gigabit LTE – Apple wants to ditch Qualcomm Inside and go with Intel but the latter doesn’t have the ultra high-speed modems yet, so I don’t expect that this year.
Waterproof & Shatterproof – expect an improvement on the former, but the latter appears to be physics and a good way to keep the case industry alive.
Face Recognition – Apple bought a company that does facial recognition with accuracy higher than Touch ID, so the iPhone maker needs to trot it out sometime soon. Now would be good.
iOS 11 – this is the only thing we know almost for sure about the next line of iPhones. There will be iOS 11, and thanks to both developer and public beta programs, we know almost everything about the software component of the next iPhone.
That’s all. We don’t know much beyond wild and dreamy speculation and the obvious trend toward larger screens in smaller cases with improved cameras and more sensors.
What do we know for sure about the next iPhone? It’s coming. Soon. What we don’t know about the next iPhone is everything else.