Earlier iPhone releases have been dogged by leaks in the run-up to each official announcement, so it is no surprise to see the same state of affairs afflicting Apple’s next flagship handset.
A video from a well connected YouTube channel has provided the best look at the iPhone 8 to date, showcasing many of the features which were already rumoured to be on the cards, according to TechRadar.
The iPhone 8 featured in the footage is not a finished model, but rather a pre-release version which is intended to give Apple’s accessory-making partners an idea of what to expect when it emerges in full later this year.
The most prominent change is visible on the rear, where a dual camera lens setup is present, not only boosting its photography credentials but also helping with augmented reality (AR) and other high end features.
The front of the phone features a large display and the iPhone 8 will seemingly do away with much of the surrounding bezel and even the traditional home button.
The iPhone 8 is likely to be unveiled in September this year, although if the leaks continue to flow then there may not be many surprises left up Apple’s sleeve.
More iPhone apps should be able to take advantage of voice controlled interactions via Siri following the rollout of Apple’s latest operating system, according to a Reuters report.
This is all thanks to a lifting on the restrictions which govern how and where Siri can be used by third party developers as part of the software packages they create. This should also lead to many more commands being made available, dramatically increasing the potential of this service and how vital it is to the iOS experience.
More information about how this will work in practice will be made public this week as Apple’s WWDC gets underway. And there is little doubt that one of the reasons that iOS 11 is bringing this change to the table is so that Apple is better equipped to compete with rivals to Siri, including Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana.
Traditionally, Apple has been reluctant to open up its core iOS functions to third parties, instead preferring to keep strict control over how all of its devices operate. This is in direct opposition to Google’s open source approach.
However, in the age of intelligent voice controls, the Californian firm can no longer afford to be so shut off from outside influences.
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.