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

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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.

Tips for finding good iPhone 8 deals

Right now we've no concrete new about iPhone 8 deals. But we'll outline our pick of the best contracts when networks go live with pricing. That's usually a matter of days after the handset is unveiled.

As with previous blockbuster Apple phones, it'll pay you to shop around and compare contracts on our iPhone 8 deals comparison page. And if feel like you need a bit more advice, get in touch with our customer service team on Twitter.

We'll also be compiling our list of our pick of the best value iPhone 8 deals for our buyer's guide to help you decide.

iPhone 8 deals at launch

At launch, even the cheapest iPhone 8 deals will probably seem a little bit on the expensive side. That's par for the course with new smartphones.

But if you're clever you can at least make sure you're getting the most for your money by taking advantage of early-bird incentives, such as double-data offers and free use of TV streaming services.

In contrast to the likes of Samsung, you won't find iPhone 8 deals bundled with free gifts no matter how hard you look. So it's even more important to pay heed to those double-data and TV streaming sweeteners we mentioned.

Can't wait for the iPhone 8? Compare offers for the iPhone 7 here.


Headphone adapter included

iPhone 7 lightning adaptor

Concerns had been raised that Apple would not include a Lightning to 3.5mm headphone adaptor with the iPhone 8, meaning that owners would be forced to buy their own wireless earbuds or Lightning connector.

However, a Barclays analyst has suggested this won’t be the case, with Apple including the same adaptor found in the box with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Sources have claimed that come 2018, Apple will stop offering this accessory for free. Apple ditched the traditional 3.5mm headphone slot on last year's iPhone 7 and plans to do the same on this year's model.

No Touch ID

Apple is said to be having major issues getting its new Touch ID scanner to work. The reason? It sits beneath the iPhone 8’s display. The issue has become so acute, according to supply chain sources, that it may ditch the fingerprint scanning tech altogether. That is surely doubtful. Touch ID is the cornerstone of Apple Pay and even if Apple offers facial recognition with the iPhone 8, it won’t be as swift or easy to use as its existing offering.

Vertical VR camera

iphone-8-vertical-camera

Much has been made of Apple’s plans for a new ‘3D’ dual lens camera. But a series of new leaks suggest it could be a lot more than just a way of reeling off high quality snaps. Apple is said to be changing the way the camera is set up, with the two lenses placed vertically. The reason? When placed in a VR headset, they’ll work horizontally, offering an optimum experience. That could mean Apple is priming its own VR headset for release later this year.

Flat screen

For months, it was thought that Apple would offer a curved screen with the iPhone 8, mimicking the design of Samsung’s Galaxy S8. However, several analyst leaks and renders based on Apple blueprints suggest the company will actually adopt a 2.5D display. This essentially means the screen will be flat, with it bezels at the side curving downwards, just as they do on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s.

Ultra-thin

iPhone 8 geskin render angled hero

Render designer Benjamin Geskin has used Apple blueprints to create a hugely convincing look of what we can expect from the iPhone 8, or the iPhone X as he calls it. He reckons that the device will be just 4mm in depth, making it the thinnest smartphone on the market and a major step up from previous models.

Improved battery life

We’ve heard this one plenty of times before. But Apple may have found a new way to boost battery life without making the power pack inside the iPhone 8 bigger. It’s said to be bringing the manufacturing of battery management chips in–house. That would allow it to have greater control over how apps and services suck up power, keeping its handset running for longer. Apparently two new designs are being created, with 80 employees said to be working on the component.

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.

64GB and 256GB options

Chinese social media is constantly buzzing with iPhone 8 gossip. And one interesting rumour centres on Apple’s plans for storage space in its new handset. Chinese analyst Trendforce reckons that Apple will offer 64GB and 256GB options for its new top–end phone. There’s no word of a 128GB model, which would be a strange miss considering Apple already offers that size for both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Wireless charging

iphone 7 wireless charging concept

Update 6th March JP Morgan analyst, Harlan Sur, claims that Apple has struck a deal with chip maker Broadcom to offer wireless charging with the iPhone 8. Sur says the pair have been working together for two years, saying that Apple’s decision to use an all–glass design for the new device is directly related to it being able to charge wirelessly. Sur does not say, however, whether this will involved charging over–the–air or via a charging plate. The latter would not represent a major leap from existing tech.

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

Update 6th March Despite some claims that Apple would not be able to source sufficient curved screens for its iPhone 8, the same WSJ sources say that it’s already placed an order with Samsung for the requisite OLED panels. Initial reports had pointed towards Apple perhaps leaving OLED tech until 2018, with concerns that it could not get enough displays to meet what is likely to be huge demand. That, it seems, is no longer the case.

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.

‘Revolutionary’ new front–facing camera

Apple is forever dubbing its new kit ‘revolutionary’. But in the case of the iPhone 8’s front–facing camera, it’s been given the title by analyst Ming Chi Kuo. He claims to have word from Apple suppliers that the new camera will be able to recognise location and depth of objects, bringing skills found in the iPhone 7 Plus’s rear camera portrait mode.

Such tech would allow for much sharper selfies. But beyond the boon for Instagram fiends, the camera looks as if it will have other killer features, including facial and eyeball recognition, making it central to Apple’s plans for improved iPhone 8 security.

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.

USB–C

USB-C

Apple has always been resistant to using standard charging ports with its iPhone and iPad.

However, a report from the Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources close to Apple, claims that the iPhone 8 and its flatscreen iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus stablemates, could come with a USB–C charging port.

This would mark a major step change for Apple, but would be welcome for those upgrading from Android.

However, a separate report from analyst Ming Chi Kuo suggests Apple will retain the Lightning connector for the iPhone 8, but utilise USB–C power delivery to ensure fast charging.

The latter seems a lot more likely.

Huge price tag

Analysts have offered differing thoughts on Apple’s iPhone 8 strategy. But price seems to be one area where there’s agreement.

Simon Jankowski, from Goldman Sachs, has backed up rumours from earlier this year, claiming that the iPhone 8 will start at $999 for a 128GB model, rising to a colossal $1,099 for a 256GB model.

That means UK pricing will likely be around the £950 to £1,050 mark. Contracts could easily top £50 a month for the most basic of offers.

No 32GB model

Jankowski’s research notes suggest that Apple will bin the 32GB iPhone altogether. at least for the iPhone 8.

Instead, with the focus on ever larger apps and off lining movies from Amazon and Netflix, there will only be 128GB and 256GB models.

This makes sense for those who download lots, not so much for those hoping to get in on the act without paying a king’s ransom for a new phone.

LG working on 3D Facial Recognition

Samsung Galaxy S8 facial recognition hero

It’s been widely accepted that Apple will offer 3D facial recognition with the iPhone 8, a step up from the 2D effort found in Samsung’s Galaxy S8.

Recent supply-chain chatter suggests that Apple has struck a deal with LG to make the components, with the Korean company using a purpose built facility.

With LG already making the dual lens camera for the iPhone 7 Plus, this is a move that makes sense.

Vertical camera for Virtual Reality (VR)

iPhone VR headset hero image

A slew of rumours and reports from Apple’s Asian supply chain, from leaked cases to blueprint drawings, have shown off plans for a new vertical camera.

This dual lens effort will be broadly similar to that on the iPhone 7 Plus.

However, switching it to a vertical design will allow the iPhone 8 work with VR headsets.

With Samsung’s Gear VR proving popular, this tweak could point towards Apple making its own headset, offering immersive games and experiences unavailable on other devices.

Launch in September, out in October

There’s been much debate about when Apple will release the iPhone 8.

While a launch date in September is almost nailed on, there’s a lack of clarity as to when the iPhone 8 will actually be available.

The most recent news from China says that Apple has solved the low yield rates on key components that were said to be holding back the device, with the company ramping up production in June with an eye to an October release date.

Or could it be November?

Analyst Ming Chi Kuo, known for getting his Apple predictions spot on, has claimed the iPhone 8 may not be available in large numbers until November.

The reason? Problems with OLED functionality, newly slimmed down circuit boards and 3D facial recognition tech.

While a heavily delayed release date is increasingly unlikely, constrained supply in the weeks and months after launch is almost certain, with demand set to outstrip supply.

AirPods in the box

apple-airpods

Could Apple be about to sweeten the iPhone 8 deal by bundling its £159 AirPods with its newest smartphone? That’s what JP Morgan analysts reckon.

The headphones are designed to work wirelessly with the iPhone. And considering the iPhone 8 won’t have a normal headphone slot, like its predecessor, such a move makes sense.

After all, a dongle or Apple’s own wired headphones will hardly scream premium to iPhone 8 owners. However, such a move seems unlikely in the extreme.

Touch ID round the back

iphone-8-schematic

There’s been plenty of talk of Apple building its Touch ID fingerprint scanner into a special ‘function area’ at the bottom of the iPhone 8’s screen.

But word of low yield rates has led some to speculate that the fingerprint scanner will actually appear on the back of the phone, most likely as part of the Apple logo.

Some leaked blueprints do show off such plans, although whether Apple will want to ape Samsung and LG and offer something a touch less revolutionary remains to be seen.

Category: Features
Tagged: iphone 8, iphone, apple

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