Apple is testing a variety of different technologies for this year’s “iPhone 8,” according to a report reaffirming many rumors about the phone’s features, such as an edge-to-edge Samsung OLED display and new camera technology.
Seemingly confirming a handful of rumours regarding Apple’s next-generation “iPhone 8” handset, a report out on Tuesday from Bloomberg claims the forthcoming smartphone will feature a polished stainless steel “glass sandwich” design, vertical iSight camera array for augmented reality functionality and a flat OLED display.
The latest information leak comes from insider sources speaking with Bloomberg said Apple has been experimenting with several design variations. Some have been axed because of production concerns, like the version with a curved display surface instead of just curved edges.
Matching other reports, the sources said the physical Home button is going away to make more room for the display. In its place we’ll see an on-screen virtual button.
“For its redesigned phone, Apple has tested multiple prototypes with manufacturing partners in Asia, including some versions that use curved glass and stainless steel, according to one of the people,” reads the report.
Right now Apple is considering a design that’s a throwback to the iPhone 4 with glass front and back and a metal band running around the edge. An aluminum back version is also in the running.
“Apple has also experimented with integrating the iPhone’s fingerprint scanner into the screen of the OLED version, which would be technically challenging, the people said,” reads the report. “It’s currently unclear if that feature will make it into the final product. Samsung also tried this approach for the S8, but ended up installing a more standard fingerprint reader on the back of its phone due to the challenges, another person said.”
The Touch ID sensor is still in flux, according to the report. Apple wants to embed the fingerprint scanner in the display, but may be facing technical issues that are causing some problems for the phone’s development. Moving it to the back of the phone is an option, but the sources didn’t have anything to say on that.
“This fall, it would be three years since we had a remarkable shift in iPhone hardware. This raises expectations for this year’s phone having a material change in functionality and look,” said Gene Munster, co-founder of Loup Ventures and a veteran Apple analyst. “The Samsung Galaxy S8 raises the bar for Apple to hit a home run.”