I have been pretty critical of the insanity of this year’s upgrade cycle up to this point. It has been non-stop, wall-to-wall pictures and leaks and guesses, and worst of all, over-reactions and illegitimate comparisons with already released devices. However, with all of the money that is riding on getting real information on the iPhone 8 early, and with lots of sticky fingers and loose lips all along the supply chain, the details were eventually going to come out. Apple’s current focus on secrecy aside, this was all but inevitable.
What makes this year pretty unique is that we have some absolutely verifiable information from Apple themselves. The accidental leak of the pre-release HomePod firmware that has shed light on all kinds of Apple devices can definitely be traced back to the company, giving all of that information real legitimacy. This is extremely rare, with only the Gizmodo’s leak of the iPhone 4 after an Apple employee left a prototype in a bar coming close in authority and authenticity.
The HomePod leak gave us the following image, confirming design rumors and mockups that had been making the rounds for a month or so.
This picture gives us pretty clear indications about the iPhone 8’s unique design, and it does line up with other recent leaks that had the same or similar front design.
The picture at the top of the article is a mockup that came from noted device leaker and VentureBeat reporter Evan Blass, who goes by the Twitter handle @evleaks. He released the image yesterday, giving everyone a good idea of what the iPhone 8 will look like from the front in a full coverage case. I’ve got to say, all that extra screen real estate is looking good to me right now.
There was a curious bit of news today from Ming-Chi Kuo, which was released through MacRumors. While Kuo currently seems certain that production is on track for a traditional September iPhone 8 release, even if it is only available in low quantities, he also states that the iPhone 8 will only be available in three colors: Black, White, and Gold.
His report does match up with the photo above, which started making the rounds earlier this week. This move is honestly understandable if true, considering the iPhone 8 will be the first glass-backed Apple phone since the iPhone 4S. If you remember, Apple only made the iPhone 4 available in Black initially because if the difficulty of getting White to work properly with the front-facing light sensor and camera, and look up to their standards. With the 4S, you still just had the choice of Black and White. So, Apple rolling back the color selection on such a device wouldn’t surprise me at all.
What is more interesting is that Kuo states that Apple will only make the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus available in these colors, as well. This would definitely be surprising to me, if it turns out to be true. Other colors such as Rose Gold, Jet Black, and the new special edition Product (Red) have proven to be very popular, so Apple arbitrarily removing them from phone models that will likely still feature Aluminium backs and a similar design to the last three iPhones would be a bold move that could draw criticism from potential upgraders.
[Update: According to a report from 9to5 Mac, recent pictures of production samples indicate that the 7S and 7S Plus will also have glass backs, like the iPhone 8. I was operating under the assumption that Apple would continue with the aluminum body of the last three years. With this in mind, the reports of limited color selection make much more sense.]
In a bit of good news, Ming-Chi Kuo also predicts that all of the new Apple phones will have fast charging capability. As with the iPad Pros, users will need to purchase Apple’s 29 Watt USB-C Power Adapter for $49, as well as a USB-C to Lightning Adapter to make this work, However, this is still a welcome addition.
We still don’t know everything about the iPhone 8 quite yet. The look of the back of the device is still unconfirmed, and we don’t know the full story on Touch ID at this time. The aforementioned HomePod leak seems to have ruled out Touch ID embedded under the screen, but we still aren’t certain if it has been moved to the back or side of the device, or if it is gone entirely. Stay tuned for more on that as we get closer to launch.
What do you think about the look of the iPhone 8? Are you going to be rushing out to get your hands on one of the limited quantities available at launch (like I will), or are you holding out for an improved version in 2018? Also, what does everyone think of the color situation? If you upgrade, which of the three will you be getting? Let me know in the Comments section below, on Flipboard, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.