Apple iPhone X rumors and news

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Apple iPhone X rumors and news

The Apple iPhone X, also rumored as the iPhone 8, will be announced on September 12. Legions of fans have feverishly been speculating about it for the better part of a year. Rumors suggest the iPhone X may be announced alongside the iPhone 7S and the 7S Plus, but a new leak suggests the naming scheme may be as follows: The iPhone X, the iPhone 8, and the iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone X is likely to be an expensive, technical showcase phone released as a celebratory model.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, long-rumored as the 7S and 7S Plus, are expected to be different. A lot of the information on the iPhone X is up in the air, but what we are hearing sure keeps us interested. Very interested. Here is what we learned so far about the iPhone X.

iOS 11 GM leak

A major leak of the iOS 11 GM (Golden Master) build has provided us with numerous details ahead of Apple’s September 12 event. The biggest are the names for the upcoming devices, thanks to developer Steve Troughton-Smith.

That’s right, instead of what’s been rumored as the iPhone 7S, 7S Plus, and the iPhone X, it’s more likely Apple will go with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X.

But there are far more details in this leak about what we can expect. For example, Animoji in iMessage will be a new feature in iOS 11 f that’s essentially animated, 3D emojis. But they’re purported to use facial tracking to be more expressive. Here’s a look:

There are also a ton of new wallpapers, thanks to 9to5Mac, including OLED wallpapers to make use of those deep blacks.

We’ll be adding more about the iOS 11 GM leak as we learn more.

Release date, name, and price

It’s official — Apple’s next event is happening at 10 a.m. (PT) on September 12. The keynote will be the first to be held at the Steve Jobs Theater, on the grounds of Apple’s new facility in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to unveil the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus, as well as the third-generation Apple Watch, and even a 4K-capable version of its Apple TV set-top box.

Most reports over the past months claimed that a September release date is also likely, including Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and analysts at JPMorgan. However, both these sources also say that while the iPhone 7S is already in production, the supply of the iPhone 8 will be limited in the first month or so after the device’s launch. Unfortunately, the situation does not appear to be improving, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Apple lost about a month’s worth of production, according to the Journal, due to issues securing OLED displays early in manufacturing. The problems were compounded when Apple found it too challenging to implement Touch ID fingerprint scanning within the display. As a result, the company reportedly axed plans to include the security option in the iPhone X altogether, opting for a solution based on its new facial recognition technology instead.

Production is so far behind schedule, the Journal reports, that Foxconn, the company responsible for manufacturing Apple’s products, is offering bonuses to employees who can refer new personnel.

An earlier report from Apple Insider noted Apple may produce 25 million units in September and 60 million during the holiday season. Mac Otakara stated around the same time the iPhone 8 will be delayed past September and won’t ship until sometime in October or November. Pre-orders will open at launch, according to a research note for investment banking firm Drexel Hamilton obtained by MacRumors, but delivery wouldn’t happen until several weeks later.

Earlier in the rumor cycle, predictions from Economic Daily News said the new iPhone X won’t be delivered until November at the latest, and it was even possible Apple would announce it this year and start shipping to customers in 2018, according to a report from Business Insider. Components including memory chips and the OLED screen are causing the delays, say Digitimes, and the Economic Daily News.

Even the name is still unknown. It’s possible the device will be called the iPhone X, the iPhone 8, or even the iPhone Decade Edition, as a leaked screen protector, and Finisar, a laser manufacturer that’s expected to supply the iPhone’s depth-sensing camera component, claim.

Whatever it’s called, it’s probably going to be expensive, with many suggesting it may cost in excess of $1,000. Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski has a slightly more precise prediction, suggesting that the 128GB version of the device will come at $999, while the 256GB version will sit in at $1,099, according to a report from Business Insider. It’s also rumored the phone may come bundled with Apple AirPods wireless earphones, according to JPMorgan.

Design

According to a Bloomberg report, the iPhone 8 will have a crisper screen that takes up almost the entire front. Overall, the device will have slim bezels and the home button will also be replaced by gesture controls. On the bottom, there is a thin software bar that runs across instead which users can drag up to the middle of the screen to open the phone. Apple also plans to have a taller screen with rounded corners along with a stainless steel band around the entire phone which curves into the glass. Previous reports claimed the iPhone 8 would have a notch area at the top and Bloomberg confirms it will as well. The notch will include the facial-recognition sensor, earpiece, and selfie camera, shown in the image below.

If the iPhone X is made to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, it’s logical to expect Apple to make it look special. Over the last months, the overall design of the phone has been revealed in a series of consistent leaks. It’s not certain the device’s look is final, or even if it’s the version Apple will choose to put on sale. According to well-placed sources within Apple’s supply chain, the upcoming iPhone looks “more like an iPhone 7 with glass,” and key features we’ve seen several times include a vertically orientated rear camera and a thinner bezel on the Y axis.

On top of that, recent reports note that the iPhone 8 will come in three colors — black, silver, and gold.

Before that, a leak was posted on Twitter by mobile reporter Evan Blass, showing the iPhone 8 in a protective case — and the render corroborates a lot of the past design rumors. The 5.8-inch iPhone in this image has an edge-to-edge display without the physical Home button, as well as a notch at the top of the phone with an infrared sensor, camera, and speaker. But since the phone is encased in Urban Armor Gear, this means it could be a mock-up from the company and not from Apple. Benjamin Geskin — another mobile reporter — replied to the tweet by Blass claiming the image is not new — and they were taken from him by UAG to create an image for the phone case.

Apple is even been involved in the leaks. The company seeded a build of the software for its HomePod speaker a little early and discovered it was a graphic of a bezel-less phone, which matches leaked images seen before. At the same time, a user guide document that will supposedly come inside the iPhone X/iPhone 8’s box was leaked out. It depicts the same style of phone in the HomePod software with an almost bezel-less screen and a SIM tray on the center right-hand side of the device. The screen itself still has a speaker and front camera cutout at the top, around which the screen appears to curve, much like the Essential PH1.

The HomePod software also contained hints regarding the use of a face unlock system called BiometricKit, using infrared technology. The code, posted on Twitter by developer Steve Troughton-Smith, contains several references to BKFaceDetect, or BiometricKit Face Detect, which may utilize custom cameras and sensors on the front of the phone. This ties in with previous rumors, including a report from Barron’s, stating Apple is apparently struggling to place a fingerprint sensor under the glass of the iPhone X. Facial recognition also comes with challenges related to Apple Pay.

Developer Guilherme Rambo replied to Troughton-Smith’s tweet, with a photo of new references to facial detection. Facial references included “mouthclose,” “mouthsmile,” and “mouthdimple,” among others supporting facial recognition on the iPhone 8 is highly likely. Another tweet by Rambo indicates “attention detection” in the code — meaning notifications could potentially stay silent if your eyes are already on the screen.

On July 17, renders were published of what’s said to be an entirely accurate depiction of the iPhone 8/iPhone X, based around CAD designs used by case manufacturer Nodus to mock-up products for the future device. We think it looks great, retaining the familiar iPhone look while adding very modern design elements. It reflects many of the details we’ve already seen, including a bezel-less screen, a vertical camera array, multiple front cameras, and a large power button. It’s speculated this may contain the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, much like a Sony smartphone, which indicates Apple has solved issues around its placement.

iPhone 8

Published by Forbes with permission from Nodus, the report says it’s the final design for the phone. However, it’s still not official, despite the mounting evidence this is what the phone will look like. It comes after various concept videos have been released over the last months, each giving us a better idea of what the iPhone X may look like. The most recent, still based on rumors and speculation, is perhaps the most detailed yet. However, remember that it’s not an official look, and should be treated only as a fan-made concept. Just like all the other videos.

You can see the resemblance of the device in the video and other leaks, in particular the parts pictured below. The photos also show a rear panel with a cutout for a vertical dual camera, which is pretty much in line with other leaks we have seen over the past few months. The leak comes from a Reddit user, and also seem to show what could be the iPhone 7S, which is expected to launch alongside the iPhone 8.

It is possible the iPhone X could sport a fingerprint sensor on its back — much like many other Android phones out there. That’s not the best news for those hoping for advances in technology and suggests that Apple could be having some issues with implementing the Touch ID in the display. The leak comes from iPhoneros and can be seen below.

The iPhone X might be a lot “heftier” than the iPhone 7. That’s according to iDrop News, citing “factory workers with intimate knowledge” of Apple’s plans. According to the publication, the iPhone X will measure 143.59 by 70.49 by 7.57 mm versus the iPhone 7 at 138.3 by 67.1 by 7.1 mm. It will reportedly be thicker than the iPhone 7 Plus, which measures 158.2 by 77.9 by 7.3 mm, but have a smaller overall footprint.

Additionally, the TSMC source mentioned that the rear camera would be flanked by several infrared sensors designed to improve the phone’s augmented reality functions.

In late May, a video gave us a quick spin around a prototype device that was claimed to be the iPhone X, and it matches the look we’ve seen before.

Before this, a report from market research firm Cowen and Company suggested the iPhone X’s earpiece, FaceTime camera, and Touch ID fingerprint sensor would be embedded into the screen, allowing for a seamless edge-to-edge front panel. It said Apple may switch to Synaptic’s optical-based fingerprint reader for the new Touch ID, citing it as “currently the only workable solution” for detecting a fingerprint through a smartphone screen. But the designs are posing a challenge for Apple’s suppliers. According to Apple Insider, yields of the under-screen Touch ID sensor are low — so low that Apple may consider alternative designs if the production problems can’t be solved.

In the latest report by Mac Otakara, the chances of in-display Touch ID are low but haven’t been eliminated completely. Other rumors suggest the Touch ID will be replaced by facial recognition instead. Judging by images of the screen protectors below, this could be highly likely — with a few new front-facing sensors that hint at being 3D sensors for facial recognition. The FaceTime camera might also be moved to the right side of the device instead.

Wireless and fast charging

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Apple lags behind the Android competition when it comes to charging, but that may change in 2017 with at least one of the new iPhone models. The company may introduce a new power adapter that supplies 10W of power, compared to the 2.5W from its current bundled iPhone charger. It may replace the full-size USB connection with a USB Type-C connector, that will use the Power Delivery fast charging system. This is the same technology used on the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro. Charging time would be drastically reduced compared to the tablet, due to the iPhone’s smaller-capacity battery.

This follows previous rumors. The Wall Street Journal said in February that Apple is in favor of USB Type-C, the industry standard connector for smartphones, laptops, and chargers. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo most recently predicted the iPhone will have a Lightning Port and an embedded USB-C power delivery IC resulting in higher charging efficiency.

Wired charging may be accompanied by a wireless charging option. According to a note from JPMorgan that was picked up by CNBC, Broadcom will supply the chips for wireless charging — which is somewhat surprising considering previous rumors that Apple was building its own wireless charging tech. It’s possible that Broadcom will simply manufacture chips that will be designed by Apple.

Just because Apple suggested it would use its own tech doesn’t mean third parties won’t develop wireless charging accessories for the iPhone. RAVPower, known for its portable power banks and other power charging solutions, announced a wireless fast charging pad on its site. Citing it as “One charger to power them all,” this device will be compatible with “next-gen Apple and Android smartphones” including the “Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S7,  and all Qi-enabled devices for Apple and Android.”

Further solidifying the announcement, RAVPower told Mashable that “mass production has already begun.” RAVPower’s general manager Allen Fung sent Mashable this statement: “Our sources tell us the next iPhones have special technology for wireless charging that we have in this charger. Our wireless charger will wirelessly charge the next iPhones at full speed, as well as being able to charge other mobile devices wirelessly.”

The Next Web also cited the statement from Fung, counting him as one of two independent sources confirming the wireless rumors. The other source chose not to go on record, TNW reported.

Neither the RAVPower site nor Fung went into detail of which Apple devices will be compatible, but MacRumors reported in July that Kuo predicted the iPhone 8, iPhone 7s, and the iPhone 7s Plus will all have wireless charging functionality.

After Apple joined the Wireless Power Consortium, popular wireless charger manufacturer Powermat said it will work to support whatever wireless charging standard the new iPhone uses. Some reports suggest the device will support Qi charging, while others indicate it may use a modified version that won’t work with standard Qi chargers. Reuters reports that Apple has at least five different groups working on wireless charging technology.

A separate report by Kuo claimed the iPhone X will have a more expensive logic board design, allowing for longer battery life, according to MacRumors. The new logic-board design would allow for the OLED iPhone to have dimensions similar to a 4.7-inch iPhone, but it could offer comparable battery life to a 5.5-inch iPhone.

Kuo also expects the iPhone X to have a 2,700mAh L-shaped two-cell battery pack. The OLED display could allow the device to be more energy efficient, meaning it could have better battery life than previous 5.5-inch iPhones.

The most recent hint in terms of the battery, comes from Developer Guilherme Rambo. He posted a tweet noting the battery widget will use a different icon for the iPhone 8 — suggesting a different charging mechanism.

Rear dual camera setup and ‘revolutionary’ 3D front camera

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The camera has always been a strong feature on the iPhone, so what have we heard about the iPhone X? This front-camera may also be used to power iris-sensor technology, like Samsung’s Galaxy S8. But the latest rumors relate to the phone’s video recording capabilities.

According to a report from Brazilian-language iHelp BR, the next-gen iPhone may be capable of capturing video at 4K resolution and 60 frames-per-second through both its front and rear cameras. The site says it discovered code referring to the feature while parsing through leaked firmware. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus can already record 4K video, but only at 30 frames per second, and only through the shooter on the back.

Rumors have also suggested the iPhone X will have a thing or two in common with Microsoft’s depth-sensing Kinect sensor. According to a report published by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the upcoming iPhone’s front camera boasts a “revolutionary” infrared sensor that can sense the three-dimensional space in front of it. That report has been corroborated by Apple’s 3D camera supplier, Largan Precision, which says it’s on track to deliver 3D sensors for the phone for iris and facial recognition.

It’s also said to be aimed at taking selfies. According to Kuo, the front sensor merges depth information with 2D images for features like facial recognition . It could be used to replace a video game character’s head with that of the user or to generate a 3D selfie that would integrate seamlessly with virtual reality applications.  The technology is being developed by PrimeSense, the company behind Microsoft’s Kinect; and Apple is likely to open these 3D scanning capabilities to third-party developers.

For the front camera, Apple’s testing dual lenses. That’s according to Bloomberg, which reports that the company using camera components from Sony.

A dual-lens rear camera is expected on the rear, a la the iPhone 7, but it may shift orientation to a vertical layout. This has been seen in several schematics based on rumor, and according to MacOtakara. In a later rumor, the site says the cameras are likely to have similar functionality to the existing iPhone 7 Plus, but adds the vertical layout may be to enable better use inside a virtual reality headset.

According to a report from The Korea Economic Daily, Apple is collaborating with LG to create a dual-camera module that would allow for 3D photography. While Apple previously patented 3D-object and gesture recognition, it’s unclear whether the upcoming iPhone will bring these patents to life.

Better water resistance, and glass, ceramic, steel?

Last year’s iPhone 7 added a new finish option — Jet Black — which offered a polished, reflective look compared to the typical matte aluminum found in the product line over the previous several years. While very striking (we still think the 7 Plus is the best smartphone), the almost ultraglossy surface is a magnet for fingerprints and scratches. It seems Apple is looking to go even further with one of the options for the iPhone X.

Kuo previously reported that Apple may employ glass, ceramic, or plastic for the back of the iPhone X. Meanwhile, others have suggested Apple may go with a stainless steel frame instead. If a report from DigiTimes is true, it would mark a return to stainless steel for Apple —  which was last used in the iPhone 4S.

Subsequently, a stainless steel chassis with glass front and rear was rumored by MacOtakara, quoting anonymous sources familiar with the project. The metal used may be an evolution of the metal used on the Apple Watch.

The latest report from Mac Otakara, suggests the iPhone 8 may only be released in black. The rumor surfaced after the site’s sources saw a front display panel component in the same color.

The iPhone 7 was the first device in the iPhone family that could be submerged up to a meter underwater for 30 minutes. Naturally, rumor has it that Apple’s going to take it a step further with the next iPhones, ramping up the IP rating from IP67 to IP68 and putting it on par with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy S8. That rumor comes from the Korea Herald, which cites “multiple sources.” Most people will hardly notice a difference, to be fair. The IP68-rating allows submersion up to about 1.5 meters for 30 minutes, a minor improvement over the 1-meter depth for IP67-certified devices.

OLED technology

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One rumor that constantly crops up is the possible use of an Organic LED (OLED) screen on the iPhone 8. OLED screens can offer deeper blacks and are often thinner than LCDs, and Apple has used this technology before with the Apple Watch. AMOLED is a different type of OLED, and Samsung (as well as many other manufacturers) has been using it on Android smartphones for years.

A recent report from Bloomberg corroborates past rumors about including an OLED screen. It will apparently blend in almost perfectly with the phone’s notch and thin black edges.

Nikkei Asia, citing “two industry sources,” reports that Apple is planning to use advanced OLED displays in iPhone models from the second half of 2018. But it says that the iPhone maker’s suppliers might not be able to meet demand if Apple opts to use the new displays across its new iPhone lineup. (Taipei-based Yuanta Investment Consulting said shipments of new iPhone models in the second half of 2017 will reach 90 million, half of which will be OLED handsets).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Samsung is shaping up to be the biggest supplier of OLED displays for the upcoming iPhone. A report from DigiTimes notes that the company is on track to deliver 80 million OLED screens for the phone before the end of the year. DigiTimes argues that Apple will likely only ship around 50 million units before the end of the year, but that does not mean Apple won’t have stocked up on supply for 2018.

While Samsung is considered to be the top manufacturer of the iPhone’s OLED displays, LG seems to be gunning for second place. LG Display is planning on investing a hefty $3.56 billion into constructing new production lines for OLED displays in 2018 — and its focus will largely be on displays for smartphones, not TVs. The report, which comes from ETNews, notes that the investment could be an attempt to become a major supplier for the iPhone.

A rumor regarding the production of 3D Touch components for OLED displays solidifies the chance that the iPhone X’s panel will employ the technology. Apple has once again partnered with TPK to develop the 3D Touch solution for the new flagship iPhone, according to Patently Apple, by way of China’s Economic Daily News. TPK has worked on the 3D Touch setup in previous iPhones, and reportedly quoted a price of $7 to $9 per phone to build it into every iPhone 7.

For the iPhone 8, however, the fragility of OLED displays has required TPK to go back to the drawing board. The company will have to bond glass covers to both sides of the iPhone X’s display before attaching the sensors, and this is purported to raise the cost of production quite significantly, up to $18 to $22 per device.

Furthermore, April reports from Nikkei and Bloomberg claimed Apple placed an order for between 70 million and 100 million OLED panels from Samsung. According to the publication, the South Korean company will be the sole producer of screens for the device. Nikkei attributes the news to one of Apple’s suppliers and said Samsung could produce as many as 95 million panels for the new iPhone before the end of 2017. Still, Apple was reported to be testing both OLED and LCD panels, curved and flat, as recently as the beginning of March.

Not only could the display be OLED, but it could also be True Tone, according to a report from MacRumors citing Barclays bank. The only Apple device with a True Tone display is the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. True Tone basically changes the white balance of the display depending on the ambient light. If you’re in a room with an orange light bulb, the screen will change a little to match the scene. It’s very similar to Night Shift, which adjusts the color to cut out blue light at night. Apple’s Touch ID technology could also be revamped to complement the bezel-less device, in that it may be replaced by a facial recognition system. As there are a lot of technical challenges to the technology, the company may use a combination of fingerprint and facial recognition technology.

If the iPhone X does come with an OLED screen, it’ll likely be expensive, possibly beyond $1,000. The Wall Street Journal reports the displays are costly to produce. However, the same report notes that Apple could decide against the OLED model altogether. There’s precedent for such a 180: Last year, a global shortage of sapphire glass forced Apple to abandon the material for the iPhone 7.

Screen

For some time now, we’ve been hearing rumors the iPhone X will have a curved edge-to-edge or bezel-less screen, potentially with OLED technology. And in late June 2017, new evidence emerged in the form of an iOS 11 icon.

The most recent report from Bloomberg claims the iPhone 8 screen is noticeably taller than the iPhone 7 Plus. It will include rounded corners, with a longer power button on the right side that is longer and easier to press while holding the device. With a longer screen, it can show more of a web page or additional text messages and will show 24 icons on each page — still with six vertical rows of apps. The dock which includes the apps at the bottom will be redesigned with a new interface that looks similar to the iPad on iOS 11.

With the notch in place, there will be a definitive cutout at the top of the apps without black backgrounds. Users will notice the cutout at the top of the screen when using apps. The status bar — which shows cellular reception, battery life, and the time — will be split into left and right sides of the screen. In images of recent test devices, Bloomberg reports the left side shows the time and the right side of the notch shows cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity along with battery life. The status bar could change based on the task.

After dragging the software button up to open the phone, a similar gesture starts multitasking when inside an app. Users can continue to flick up to close the app and go back to the home screen. It’s still unclear if gesturing is limited to on-screen or if Apple will also include in-air gesturing. In June, one of the earlier promotional videos suggested ‘gesture recognition’ as part of 3D sensing technology, Patently Apple reports. While the technology is there for Apple to introduce, it’s still unclear whether it will be included in this year’s launch.

Apple Insider spotted a new icon while attempting to activate the Do Not Disturb When Driving feature on an iPhone 7 Plus. A different Siri “please wait” graphic appeared in the bottom-center screen, accented with a pulsing icon the same physical size as the iPhone’s home button.

However, this may have changed following the completion of the iPhone X’s early developmental stages.

In reference to recent predictions by Kuo, OLED iPhone will adopt full-screen design — with a screen-to-body ratio that’s the highest of any smartphone currently available worldwide.

A report from JPMorgan by way of 9to5Mac, speculated that the iPhone X will receive an edge-to-edge display somewhat similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S8. The top and bottom bezels would still be fairly prominent, but the screen would wrap around the sides of the device. A sketch provided with the report shows the fingerprint sensor mounted within the display, though an associated spec sheet leaves it as an unknown with a literal question mark.

JPMorgan’s track record when it comes to rumors is spotty at best. Last week, the company claimed out of nowhere that Apple was planning to unveil the iPhone 8 at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. That would be an unprecedented and shocking move considering all the supposed production troubles the phone has run into, and the threat that it might actually be delayed until next year. Keeping that in mind, it would be wise not to take these rumors at face value.

However, if JPMorgan’s report holds true, it would mean Apple has retired its plan of a display covering the entire front of the device. In April, Bloomberg reported the company was testing a screen that measured out to be larger than that of the iPhone 7 Plus, but could be contained in a body the size of an iPhone 7.

Having tested various models, Apple decided to adopt a flat OLED screen on the iPhone X, according to anonymous sources talking to MacOtakara. The screen will be underneath a 2.5D piece of glass, and mounted inside a stainless steel chassis, with another piece of glass on the rear.

It might be curved. Bloomberg reports that Apple is testing prototypes with glass that slightly slopes on the front and back (the new OLED screen itself is flat, while the cover glass curves into a steel frame).

The screen may or may not be curved, but it’s likely to still be bezel-less. An image created by designer Benjamin Geskin on Twitter shows how the phone may look with a full-length screen and is based on sketches apparently made by a factory employee with knowledge of the iPhone X’s design. The screen stretches all the way to the bottom of the phone’s front panel, and a bezel at the top contains several sensors and a dual-lens front camera. On the rear is another dual-lens camera, but this time it’s mounted vertically.

Many reports suggested Apple is still finalizing the design for the new iPhone, such as this one from Mac Otakara which states that while there was a prototype built without a home button, it may not end up being a part of the final design. The site subsequently published another rumor on this subject, indicating Apple has chosen the designs which will move forward to the next stage of development.

A patent discovered by Apple Insider suggests that Apple has considered moving the front-facing sensors to underneath the display. For a closer look, you can check out U.S. patent No. 9,466,653, titled “Electronic devices with display-integrated light sensors.” These reports corroborate rumors brought to light by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, who was among the first to say the iPhone X also may not have a single bezel — that plays well with the idea of a single sheet of glass. The entire front of the device could be one giant display, and the Touch ID sensor would be embedded in the screen itself. This has been reiterated in The New York Times, which sourced two anonymous Apple employees.

The Wall Street Journal corroborated other rumblings about the iPhone X’s display, home button, and more. The iPhone 8 will reportedly feature a curved OLED screen similar to those on Samsung’s Galaxy S8 devices and it will also do away with the physical home button. And it will launch alongside two other smartphones. Analyst Ming-Chi Kou agreed, saying the iPhone X could see the elimination of the iconic home button and Touch ID sensor in favor of “virtual buttons” at the bottom of the screen. MacOtakara’s sources have also said the iPhone X will have a software home button, inside a so-called function area along the bottom of the phone.

Samsung is increasing manufacturing volumes on seven separate OLED production lines specifically for the panels for the iPhone X. The panels are described as flexible — meaning the type of screen required for an edge-to-edge display — which corroborates past rumors about the iPhone X screen. According to industries, Samsung Display finished inspecting seven its lines that produce OLEDS for iPhones this month and will now operate them full scale. Production capacity of panels for iPhones will increase from 15,000 per month from last year to 105,000 panels per month this year, ETNews reports.

Developer Guilhereme Rambo posted a tweet confirming the death of the home button — replacing it with a virtual one instead. There was some speculation that it was still possible the model would have a fingerprint sensor under the display. Troughton-Smith went on to explain that there is no evidence of any new kind of Touch ID — which is required if the iPhone would operate the same or similarly as the current Touch ID.

The screen size of the new iPhone has been the subject of some debate, but it seems as though most reports agree to the size of 5.8 inches (like the Galaxy S8). Previously, Nikkei Asian Review suggested that the display would instead be 5 inches, however, the outlet, which is known for iPhone leaks, has since changed its tune in a revised report.

Kuo reports that the virtual buttons will take up part of the iPhone X’s screen, a rumored 5.8-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 2,800 × 1,242 pixels — a figure now agreed upon by Nikkei. And he believes the phone “will come with other biometric technologies that replace the current fingerprint recognition technology.” Kuo notes the overall footprint would be comparable to the 4.7-inch TFT-LED iPhone, though with a measurably larger display size and battery life.

Although going back to glass may seem like an odd retro move for Apple, it would also open up possibilities like wireless charging, which is nearly impossible to achieve with an all-metal device. Moreover, Kuo suggests that higher-end models of future iPhones will likely use stainless steel in their cases — so look out, world. We’re about to get real fancy.

A recent tweet by Troughton-Smith also claims the iPhone might support the ‘tap to wake’ feature, similar to the ones on Windows Phones and Lumias.

No gigabit LTE?

The next iPhone may miss out on the faster gigabit LTE speeds coming soon to many carriers in the United States, according to a report from Bloomberg. Despite its legal battles with Qualcomm, Apple is still using the company’s modems in its hardware. However, in an effort to lessen its dependence on the chip manufacturer, the iPhone maker has also partnered with Intel as a second supplier.

Right now, Qualcomm’s modems are the only ones on the market capable of supporting data transfers up to gigabit speed. But sources tell Bloomberg that Apple doesn’t want to create a discrepancy between similar products, so it will intentionally disable that feature in Qualcomm-powered iPhones to achieve parity with the ones sporting Intel modems.

If this approach sounds familiar, it is more or less what Qualcomm suggested in its countersuit against Apple. The iPhone 7 also featured both Qualcomm and Intel modems — a first for the brand — and Qualcomm believes Apple deliberately capped the performance of its chipsets so they wouldn’t be superior to Intel’s.

Gigabit LTE hasn’t arrived on American carriers yet, but they’re all experimenting with the technology. Many of the newest flagship phones on the market, like Samsung’s Galaxy S8, feature Qualcomm’s X16 modem, enabling them to take advantage of the upgraded infrastructure when it finally rolls out as it is expected to later this year.

A11 processor

Every year, Apple upgrades the processor in its new iPhone. The iPhone X, like the 7S and 7S Plus, will likely get the new A11 chip. DigiTimes reports the chip will use a 10-nanometer manufacturing process, like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 and Samsung’s Exynos 8895. The chip should be even faster than the A10 Fusion processor, which has been heralded by critics as the best mobile phone processor.

New reports indicate that the new A11 chip is set to soon enter production, according to Economic Daily News, which notes that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will begin production of the new A11 chip in April, and will aim to produce 50 million chips before July. Not only that, but the firm will reportedly produce 100 million chips before the end of 2017. iPhone sales, in fact, are estimated to hit astronomical numbers of 220 to 230 million units. And in order to supply this demand, ADI, Broadcom, Cirrus Logic, Cypress, NXP, Qualcomm, STMicroelectronics, and TI are reported to be making Apple’s chips.

According to Chinese research firm Trendforce, the upcoming iPhone’s will have plenty of internal storage as they may come in 64GB and 256GB configurations.

Apple is also looking to build its own graphics processor for the iPhone, though we may not see this technology until later models.

Update: Added a report from The Wall Street Journal stating Apple is a month behind schedule in manufacturing and may omit Touch ID fingerprint recognition. 

Published at Sun, 10 Sep 2017 16:15:16 +0000

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