Following on from previous rumors of a major redesign for the next iPhone, Barclays supply chain analysts are weighing in on their predictions for iPhone 8. They claim that the 2017 iPhone will feature a bezel-less design with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus including 5-inch and 5.8-inch screens, respectively. This compares with the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch panels used in the iPhone 7.
The report also shines some light on the AirPods mystery, claiming that production of Apple’s truly-wireless earbuds will begin in December (via MacRumors, Yahoo Finance).
Android phone manufacturers have been pushing towards less and less bezel for some time although no company is yet to make a real ‘bezel-less’ device.
For the iPhone, it is expected that Apple will integrate the Touch ID home button into the front display in order to remove the bottom plastic ‘chin’. The company also has numerous patents for methods to put the front FaceTime camera behind the screen too.
The Barclays analysts hedge their predictions slightly, claiming the iPhone 8 design is not ‘100% locked down’ but they are by no means the first institution to report a major change.
Even if the Barclays report is not entirely reliable, many sources are indicating that Apple is readying a major chassis change for iPhone 8 after keeping the iPhone 7 external design almost identical to the iPhone 6 design, introduced in 2014.
Renowned KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has been saying for a while that the next iPhone will feature an all-glass design with an AMOLED screen.
Already, it seems almost certain that the next iPhone will use OLED screen technology instead of IPS LCD. OLED displays feature better saturation and contrast levels, as well as drain far less power when displaying black/dark content as the technology does not use a backlight.
This is also not the first time that the 5-inch and 5.5-inch screen dimensions have been quoted. Several publications have cited the 0.3 inch diagonal increase. Given the supposed bezel-less design, it would make sense that although the displays get a bit bigger, the overall chassis of the phone may not change.
The reports of the OLED display being curved also imply that some of the 0.3 inches of additional screen will be wrapped around the sides of the new iPhone.
Regarding AirPods, the report says that Apple will finally start mass production of the truly-wireless earbuds in December with initial production run of about 10 million units. Whether this means the AirPods would launch in December is unclear.
A previous supply chain report said to expect the AirPods to debut in January 2017. Apple originally intended to launch the AirPods in late October but had to delay the release due to a combination of hardware and software bugs.
Demand for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus exceeded expectations but analysts are anticipating that next year will be big for iPhone growth, as customers wait for Apple to unveil a major new iPhone hardware design with iPhone 8.