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iPhone 8 rumours: specs, release date, price and everything you need to know

The iPhone 8 is shaping up to be a landmark for Apple. Here's what we know so far.
iPhone 8

When is the iPhone 8 on sale?

The launch date for the iPhone 8 isn't known yet. But going by Apple's past form, it'll be unveiled in mid or late-September.

In previous years, Apple has made the phones available to pre-order directly from its site a few days later.

But you haven't been able to buy them in stores and on comparison sites like uSwitch until about ten days after launch.

We've seen nothing so far to make us believe that Apple will break form this year.

There is one potential sticking point, though. If, as rumours suggest, there are three variants of 2017's iPhone, Apple could opt to stagger the phones' on-sale date.

This could help it to ensure it can keep up with demand and limit the usual phenomenon of a shortfall of supply and huge waiting lists for consumers keen to get their hands on a new iPhone.

Can't wait until next year? The iPhone 7 is available now. Head to our dedicated page to compare deals.

How much will the iPhone 8 cost?

The price of new iPhones usually stays broadly similar from year to year.

With that in mind, you'd usually expect to pay around £600 for the entry-level iPhone 8 model, with higher-end editions likely to be priced in the region of £650-£750.

Once again going by past form, monthly contract iPhone 8 deals are likely to start at £45 per month at launch, but expect to pay quite a bit more for the top-end models.

However, before you earmark the next-gen iPhone as your next phone, rumours are circulating that this time it could be priced much, much higher if you want the top-of-the-range model.

According to sources cited by Fast Company, it is 'very likely' that the deluxe edition could cost a whopping $989 (£919).

Factor in a weak pound and it could mean the actual UK price is £1,000.

Three sizes

iPhone 8 concept size

Inside sources have revealed that Apple plans to release the iPhone 8 in three different sizes next year.

Reports suggest that two of the designs will be the same size as the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, measuring 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches respectively.

This would be in-line with Apple’s current iPhone strategy, which has seen the iPhone 7 Plus become their high-end device, while the 4.7-inch is the smaller, more affordable alternative.

Apple is also rumoured to be creating an in-between model, measuring 5-inches, presumably to appeal to consumers who want something more premium than the 4.7-inch device without the price tag of the Plus.

Wireless charging

iphone 7 wireless charging concept

Rumours of wireless charging now seem all but confirmed, after Energous, a company that makes the technology, revealed that it has received a $10 million investment from Apple.

Wireless charging plates have been boosting the batteries of select Android devices for a while now. But the tech developed by Energous uses a special chip within the phone and a separate base station, allowing users to charge their phone from as much as 15 feet away.

So, if you were in a room or building that had enough base stations, your iPhone 8 could be constantly charging without you having to plug it in.

But only if you get the top-end model

The way some sites tell it, wireless charging will a feature of all versions of the iPhone 8, irrespective of price.

But it seems that, while we'd all like that to be the case, it may not happen that way.

According to Macotakara, wireless charging will, in fact, be reserved solely for the costly highest-end edition. Worse still, it seems you may have to buy a separate adaptor too.

Ultra-bright screen

iphone 7 dark blue render

Apple recently spent $4 billion (£3.2 billion) on ultra-bright OLED screens, adding considerable weight to the expectation that the iPhone 8 will feature an OLED display.

Although the Apple Watch already has an OLED screen, this year’s iPhone 7 was released with an older LCD display, putting it behind rival company Samsung, which has been using brighter OLED panels on its phones for some time now.

The larger 5.7-inch iPhone 8 will have a screen similar to the ultra-bright OLED display used on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, while rumour has it that the 2 smaller iPhones will feature the less impressive LCD panel. This is yet another feature to make the largest handset a more premium option.

Curved screen

iPhone 8 concept curved screen

Yet again, this is something that Samsung has been doing for a while, but has yet to appear on an iPhone.

Insiders claim that the larger, 5.5-inch iPhone 8 will have a futuristic curved design, while the smaller models will have flat screens, giving consumers an added incentive to go large with the iPhone 8.

All glass design

iphone concept future

Apple is expected to deliver something extra-special for next year’s model to mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, and has reportedly settled on an all-glass design.

The all-glass enclosure is set to replace the aluminum casing used in the iPhone 7, giving the phone a more premium look, particularly if paired with an OLED, curved display.

Virtual home button

iPhone 8 concept no home screen

Apple has long been expected to revolutionise the iconic iPhone design by getting rid of its traditional home button to be replaced by a touch-sensitive digital button embedded in the screen.

This comes as evidence mounts that rival company Samsung plans to make next year’s Galaxy S8 their first all-touchscreen device. Rumour has it they will do away with its physical home button in favour of an optical fingerprint scanner that sits beneath the screen.

If the rumours are true, a virtual home button will give next year's iPhone a very diffent look, which should appeal to fans who have been underwhelmed by the improvements in Apple's last few handsets.

Better camera

iPhone 7 Plus dual camera

After the success of the dual lens camera on the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple is rumoured to be including the technology on the larger two iPhone 8 models.

Apple is also looking into adding more megapixels and better low light performance to make the camera a real selling point.

Facial recognition tech

iris scanner

There have been whispers of Apple adding an extra layer of security to next year's iPhone with a laser sensor that picks up hand movements and recognises users’ faces.

This could include a high-tech iris scanner, which was one of the key features of the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7 earlier this year and would definitely be a real selling point for next year's iPhone.

Fully dust and waterproof

iPhone 7 jug of water

It's rumoured that Plle's latest device will be able to withstand longer and more sustained periods of water exposure than previous iPhones, bringing it in-line with the durability offered on the Samsung Galaxy S7 range.

This could see the iPhone 8 able to handle being dropped in as much one and a half metres of water for up to half an hour.

Improved 3DTouch

iOS 9.3 3D Touch shortcuts

Word from analyst Ming Chi Kuo is that the iPhone 8 will feature a more sensitive touchscreen panel and a more fully featured, more complex version of 3D Touch.

In case you've not used an iPhone 6s or iPhone 7, 3DTouch is pressure-sensitive tech that means you can interact with your handset in different ways.

It allows you to hold your finger on the screen and bring up features such as Pop and Peek, which gives you a preview of an email so you can see if you need to respond urgently or whether it can wait.

The version of 3DTouch on the iPhone 8 will apparently go one better by registering varying pressure levels. That ought to mean even more ways to interact with your phone.

MacBook Pro-style Touch Bar

Once again, this comes from analyst Ming Chi Kuo. He claims that the area below the iPhone's screen will be taken up by a function area. Think: the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro and you're on the right track.

On the MacBook Pro, the Touch Bar lets you adjust volume, play and rewind if you're in iTunes, say. But if you're in another app, the features it brings up are completely different.

In the Safari browser you get a list of bookmarks. If you're in Photos, you get served with handy editing tools.

The challenge for Apple will be how to incorporate this into a phone-sized screen that's much smaller than the MacBook Pro.

Fingerprint scanner built into screen

This rumour stems from a patent filed by Apple. The filing shows plans for an iPhone where the fingerprint scanner is embedded directly into the screen, rather than in the home button as it is now with TouchID.

Naturally, this gives one fewer reason for Apple to keep faith with physical home buttons. So adds ballast to rumours that an iPhone with an all-screen front isn't too far away.

Bigger battery

iphone battery

Rumours suggest that Apple is working on what's called a 'stacked' logic board to make more room inside the iPhone 8.

The extra capacity is intended for a larger battery, which would help address complaints about the longevity of the most recent iPhones.

Category: Features
Tagged: iphone 8, iphone, apple

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