iPhone 8: everything you need to know

A new direction, or have we seen it all before?

When it comes to the iPhone 8, Apple has been leakier than the roof of a particularly neglected 2CV in a carwash during monsoon season. And though very few “official” details have actually been released about the landmark smartphone, Apple fanboys, pseudo hackers and tech detectives the world over have already given us a pretty good idea of its vital statistics. In a week where leakiness reached “Trump staffer at a hotel open bar” levels, here is everything we know about the iPhone 8.

The launch date

The latest leaks, fresh from the sieve this week, indicate that Apple CEO Tim Cook will unveil the iPhone 8 at an event in California on September the 12th. Historically, Apple kicks off its launch events at 11am, which will mean 6pm start over in the UK.

Every other iPhone has hit the stores around a week after the big announcement, so the iPhone 8 will most likely be available to buy on the high street on Friday September 22.

The price tag

All the sources and rumours seem to point to the iPhone 8 being Apple’s most expensive handset ever, with the consensus suggesting it will cost $1,000 in the US and £750-£800 in the UK.

That price tag would make the handset 54% more expensive than the iPhone 7. But then again, an executive at Apple contractor Foxconn did warn that the device would “not be cheap”.

The colourways

The standard colours for the new iPhone 8 will be white, black, copper and champagne gold. A further leak from veteran Apple investigator Benjamin Geskin indicates that the new device will also come in something called “Blush Gold” – a more vibrant rendering of the rose gold option on previous models.

The Features

Edge-to-edge display: Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Office, has long harboured ambitions to create an iPhone with an edge-to-edge display that make the handsetlook like a single piece of glass. On the device’s 10th anniversary, it seems likely that this latest model will do just that. This design would allow Apple to increase the screen size of the iPhone without increasing its overall dimensions – i.e an iPhone 7 Plus screen with the size of an iPhone 7.

No home button: If an edge-to-edge screen does come in, it seems unlikely that Apple will maintain their erstwhile home button in any recognisable form. Much more likely is an evolution of the iPhone 7 home button, which vibrates instead of clicking. Apple has been playing around with pressure detection technology using 3D Touch for a couple of models now, and it’s likely that they’ll deploy all the tricks in that book to create a model without any sort of physical home button whatsoever.

Apple has also patented a way of embedding Touch ID – its fingerprint recognition technology –  into the entire screen, which will solve any security issues inherent in a home button-less model.

Facial recognition software: The rumour mill believes that apple will be jettisoning its single-button Touch ID fingerprint scanner in favour of a 3D infrared mapping camera that unlocks the phone using facial recognition. The upgrade is said to unlock the device in “millionths of a second”, and will work from the second you pick it up or glance its way.

Wireless charging: Technology and computing power may be advancing at breakneck speeds, but phone battery life has moved backwards, with most phones now draining their power sources in a single day. Phone makers have thus focused on fast charging and charger gimmicks in the meantime.

Smartcam: Firmware for the HomePod smart speaker revealed the presence of something called a SmartCam in Apple’s unreleased roster. Leaks suggest that this is a hyper-intelligent camera system that can identify different objects, faces and scenes.

Augmented reality directions: Apple’s software has also given canny-eyed enthusiasts some clues as to the iPhone 8’s navigation system. The source code suggests that the new model will navigate users around cities using directions superimposed on the camera’s on-screen viewfinder.

Further Reading