In a post on Reddit today, a user claiming to represent a team of Foxconn insiders offered up details on a host of future Apple products, including the iPhone 8, the heavily rumored Siri Speaker, augmented reality glasses, upgrades to the iMac line and the dynamic e-ink keyboards allegedly slated for 2018 MacBooks.
As for the validity of information provided in the thread, a mod of the host subreddit was quick to back its legitimacy, posting that “appropriate documentation and evidence” had been provided. Of course, some of the products discussed in the thread are still a year or more away from their purported release window, which is to say what we’ve learnt here could change drastically in the months to come.
The iPhone 8 might now be nearing its final design, however, with roughly four months left till its reveal. The leaker claims to have seen EVT (Engineering Validation Test) units of the unannounced smartphone back in January and describes the design as resembling that of the iPhone 7, but with thinner top and bottom bezels, and more glass on the chassis. These units, the leaker’s network claims, didn’t have fingerprint sensors on the rear, and though there were some with Touch ID embedded below the front glass panel, their “performance and yield rates” were found lacking. The next iPhone, they believe, may very well replace Touch ID with camera-based authentication.
As for Apple’s Amazon Echo competitor, expected to be announced during the WWDC 2017 opening keynote, the alleged Foxconn insider claims the smart Siri Speaker is the “same shape” as a Mac Pro but smaller, and that three designs were tested for the device, including one with a camera and another with a screen. They believe the speaker might be announced during WWDC, but with Hon Hai having lost its contract with Apple to produce the device, it’s likely the so-called Siri Speaker won’t be released till much later in the year.
With regards to Apple’s iMac line, the leaker said that while the upgrades in the pipeline for 2017 only feature changes to the internals, 2018 may be the year Apple’s desktop computers finally receive a major cosmetic update, with a dark black design, more glass on the chassis, and glowing Apple logo being tested.
The MacBook line too has been claimed to have minor upgrades planned for this year, with the aforementioned e-ink keyboards planned for 2018 models. These keyboards will retain the Touch Bar from the 2016 MacBook Pro lineup, replacing the rest with “smart any key technology.” The leaker also mentioned an external keyboard – most likely an upgrade to the Magic Keyboard – based on the same tech.
Apple’s AR glasses, of which very little was known before this leak, is claimed to be set for a 2018/2019 release, though the leaker mentions that the project, currently named “Project Mirrorshades – Apple Iris,” may actually have already been cancelled. Details on test units were still revealed, though, with the product sounding a lot like the discontinued Google Glass, featuring an accelerometer and light sensors for tracking steps and head movements, magnetometer for navigation, “bone induction modules,” and noise cancelling microphones.
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