Mobile connectivity has become gradually faster over the years, with 4G representing the current pinnacle in terms of performance. But now iPhone maker Apple has become the latest company to throw its hat into the ring and apply to test out fifth generation networking technology, according to Business Insider.
The bad news is that this trial scheme will take at least 12 months to complete, which means that this year’s crop of new iPhone handsets will not benefit from any of the technology.
There are debates over exactly what Apple hopes to achieve with its testing of the 28GHz and 39GHz segments of the wireless spectrum in its native California. Some observers argue that it is aiming to improve download speeds on its handsets, while others suspect that some other form of communication is being developed separate to its mobile efforts.
This year it is thought that up to three new iPhones could emerge, marking the 10th anniversary since the original model was introduced. They will not offer 5G capabilities as no network provider currently offers this technology, but they should push technological boundaries in other areas, with rumours of curved OLED displays being at the top of the watch list at the moment.
Apple looks more than likely to introduce an iPhone with a curved display in the near future, with sources quoted by Tech Radar reporting this week that the US firm has signed up to receive 70 million screens of this kind from South Korean rival, Samsung.
Samsung has already perfected the curved screen smartphone, with its Galaxy Edge models introducing the concept to consumers and the new Galaxy S8 going all-in with a display that spills over the edges of the device.
The iPhone 8 looks set to sport a Super AMOLED screen with very similar capabilities, reportedly measuring 5.2 inches across the diagonal. Some earlier murmurings from within the mobile industry had hinted at a bigger screen, but this may suggest that the iPhone 8 Plus will follow suit with its more compact sibling.
Whether or not the iPhone with a curved screen arrives in 2017 is up for debate, as observers argue that this order with Samsung will take a little longer to fulfil. That could mean that 2018 is the intended launch window for the handset which, in turn, implies that the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus will be more familiar in terms of design.
Apple has added a new colour option to its family of flagship smartphones this month, with the new red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus editions hitting the UK alongside the five existing colours, including jet black and rose gold.
Interestingly, Apple is only selling red versions of the iPhone 7 with either 128GB or 256GB of storage onboard, according to Tech Radar. This means getting the cheapest 32GB iPhone model in a new hue is not an option.
It could well be that the Californian firm is trying to convince customers to spend a little more and embrace higher levels of storage on their smartphones to avoid having to constantly reshuffle data as their device gets fuller. This may also hint at a future in which the base model iPhone comes with more space as standard.
The iPhone 7 has a few more months in the sun before its replacement is unveiled, although rumours about what the next iPhone will offer are numerous and often conflicting, leaving a confusing picture about what people can expect. The red iteration is a nice mid-life boost which should help sales and take on some of the colourful spirit embodied by the now archaic iPhone 5C.
This year marks a decade since the first iPhone was introduced, meaning that expectations for Apple’s upcoming anniversary handset are sky high. Now sources quoted by Fast Company suggest that the price for the iPhone 8 might be similarly steep, pushing north of £800.
There are already versions of the iPhone 7 on sale which exceed this price point, although this is only for the higher end models with more storage space onboard. If the base model breaches this figure, then it could be a much more costly device than any of its predecessors.
There are various reasons for the projected price increase, including the rumours that Apple is finally opting to use an AMOLED display on the iPhone range this year. Wireless charging is also expected to appear on every new model that arrives, with up to three fresh devices set to join this family of phones in 2017.
An enhanced camera, more memory and a faster processor are also on the cards, so the iPhone 8 should be a worthy technological successor to the current generation. Some believe that it will even be called the iPhone X, in recognition of the 10 years that have passed since Apple entered the mobile market.
When Apple unveils its new flagship mobile range in the second half of 2017, the devices on offer will be slimmer than any of their predecessors thanks to a change in the speakers that are used.
2016’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus managed to lose a little weight by ditching the headphone jack, a controversial move which is still seen as a misstep by many. But patents filed by Apple reveal that it is working on a cutting edge speaker system, which should not only benefit the iPhone, but also its tablet and laptop ranges.
Tech Radar points out that the iPad Pro already features a type of micro speaker technology which should be similar to that destined for the next iPhone, whether it ends up being called the 7S or the 8.
Last week also saw rumours that not one but two big screen iPhones would be making an appearance in 2017, with sources stating that Apple will finally be introducing a curved display to this range, so that it can compete with the Samsung Galaxy Edge devices. The launch of the new iPhone is a long way off, but anticipation is building already.