Apple Engineers Not in a Panic to Finish iPhone 8 Hardware: Gruber

While Apple’s next big handset release might be delayed due to some problems in the supply chain, the Cupertino company is not in a panic to finish designing the iPhone 8 despite previous reports, says well-connected John Gruber.

According to a new blog post on Daring Fireball, while Apple engineers are stressed, there hasn’t been “any sort of ‘panic.’ Summers are crunch time for iOS engineers, and the deadline for iOS 11.0 is probably no more than a month away at this point.”

“‘Apple engineers are panicking’ is an exciting story,” explains Gruber. “‘Apple engineers are in crunch mode to finish iOS 11.0 just like they are every summer is not.”

Additionally, the iPhone 8 will reportedly use a type of inductive charging, where the phone sits directly on a separate charging device. While this feature is apparently read hardware-wise, the software is not.

“If inductive charging has to wait until 11.1 in October or November, it’ll be a disappointment, but not much more so than having to wait for the iPhone 7 Plus’s Portrait Mode to come out of beta last fall,” reads the blog post.

“With software Apple can (and does) play a bit fast and loose,” Gruber adds. “iOS 11.0 won’t be baked until late August. But software can (and always is) patched. Hardware doesn’t work like that. Many of the decisions related to the hardware on this year’s new iPhones were made two years ago. (And there are decisions being made now for 2019’s new iPhones.)”

If Apple’s iPhone 8 hardware is still being decided upon today, it would be impossible for iOS to keep up, not including Apple’s massive production line.

“I believe Apple is months ahead of these rumors — what we hear now with reports like this are just echoes of decisions that have already been made,” concludes the post.

If there’s any underlying clarification here from Apple, it could come through a proxy like Gruber, who is well-connected to Apple. In the past, he’s had company executives, such as SVP Phil Schiller and SVP Craig Federighi, both on his live podcast at WWDC.

World-traveling, tech-savvy, music-producing writer obsessed with all things Apple, video games, and the finer things in life, e.g. mezcal and tacos. When I'm not writing I'm exploring new places, eating new foods, and generally trying to be a decent human.

  • Mac

    touch ID under screen (fingers crossed)

  • Joe

    Yes! Yes please. Touch ID just came to the Mac and I can’t imagine they would remove it from the iPhone. And Touch ID on the back would most unfortunate.

  • It’s Me

    Hope so. Hate to see them have to use the same workaround that Samsung and Google did with the reach-around on the backside.

  • Joe

    It’s gonna be like with the iMac Pro: Apple will announce the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus in September and those will go on sale shortly after the keynote. But they will also tease the iPhone 8, and it will be exactly what we’re all hoping for.

    But here’s the rub: it won’t launch for x number of months, which is however much time Apple thinks they need to get the software ready and mitigate some of the supply chain issues. I could easily see it being delayed to 2018 if they need to. The iMac Pro was announced (more than?) 6 months before release.

  • Shameer Mulji

    Generally, I agree with your theory regarding iPhone, though I highly doubt Apple delays it till 2018. I’m willing to bet it goes on sale in December when they release the iOS 11.1 update.

    Or they will do something similar like they did with Portrait Mode last year on the iPhone Plus. They will release iPhone 8 along with iPhone 7S / 7S Plus but certain features will only be enabled with the iOS 11.1 update. But no way this gets delayed till 2018. The iPhone is a much more important product to the company than a very niche product like the iMac Pro.

  • Joe

    I would’ve agreed with you a month or two ago, but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if they delay it to 2018. I guess it all depends how quickly they can get the design issues sorted out. Personally I would rather they delay it than ship a half baked product.