Apple is expected to debut its anniversary iPhone model on September 12th – we’re unpacking everything we know ahead of its announcement!
It seems that for every day since Apple announced the original iPhone back in 2007, there’s been a proportionate amount of critics who’ve desired a sweeping change in form factor from the Cupertino company’s mobile range – and it seems that the firm is set to deliver more than ten years after Steve Jobs held the original iPhone aloft with the promise of being an internet communicator, iPod, and a phone in one.
Ahead of September 12th, which will likely see Apple debut its next-generation iPhone to an excited audience, we’re rounding up every tidbit of information we’ve come across in a bid to unpack the device before it lands.
What will its name be?
It seems as if there’s almost as much conjecture in debating a name for Apple’s next iPhone as there is for a new royal baby, and the fact that Apple may well release three iPhone models this year hasn’t done much to ease the plethora of potential names floating about in the blogosphere.
At present, there seem to be several likely avenues; the most plausible – thanks to a recent product packaging leak – details that Apple may move to release an iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in addition to a premium iPhone X.
Another theory details a scenario where Apple elects to discard the numerical appendix altogether and elects to proceed with an iPhone, iPhone Plus, and iPhone Pro trinity.
A third option – and one I personally presumed to be the most likely up until the above-mentioned product packaging leak – might see Apple unveil an iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone Edition; the latter being in line with the company’s product naming strategy for the Apple Watch.
This is bugging me. Apple’s anniversary iPhone will be called…
The bottom line: The irony of the matter is that whatever Apple chooses to name its premium product will have far more impact on the traditional iPhone duo than it will for said product itself; Apple for years has relied on a tick-tock strategy where in a numerical iPhone is followed by an ‘s’ successor which brings performance enhancements; eliminating the said strategy in favour of anything else will have a sizeable impact on what future iPhones will be called. At present, it would seem as if ‘iPhone X’ will be the name of Apple’s next-generation iPhone.
What will it look like?
Apple’s iPhones have shared a number of consistencies over the years – mostly pertaining to the use of glass and aluminium mixed with heavy top and bottom bezels and a predilection for a thin width over a sizeable battery.
The company’s next-generation iPhone is expected to take a similar route to many other 2017 flagships – such as the Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, LG G6, and LG V30, by eschewing its top and bottom bezels for an edge-to-edge display.
The device will apparently feature a sensor notch cutout somewhat like the Essential Phone, and will apparently be the first iPhone ever to debut without a physical home button – instead, the device is said to rely on a new facial recognition feature that will see the handset leverage a virtual home button instead.
The handset is further anticipated to debut with a large side-mounted power button (where Touch ID may or may not be placed) and will have a vertically-aligned dual-camera array on its rear panel.
The device is expected to sell in either black or white, and other rumours have suggested that the phone may either come in a mirror-like finish or a bronze-gold hue.
iOS is anticipated to arrive with several new enhancements to fully leverage the handset’s edge-to-edge display – the system is expected to include a resizeable home button, and may split its status bar to reduce the profile of the ungainly sensor notch on the device’s top panel. The bottom line: Essentially, Apple’s next iPhone may be its most radical departure yet; the use of an edge-to-edge display will fundamentally change interaction with the device, and the absence of a physical home button might well equate to a new standard for navigation throughout iOS. The device will likely be in closer proximity to 2017’s Android flagships, giving those of us who love near-borderless displays an iOS option to pick in the smartphone market.
An iPhone can only be as sexy as what it is capable of doing, and 2017’s Android flagships have raised the bar in terms of biometric security, camera prowess, and 3D imaging/augmented reality smarts.
Apple’s next-generation iPhone is expected to debut with new features in each of those categories. Firstly, the handset is expected to eschew Touch ID altogether in favour of a new, facial-recognition service dubbed Pearl ID.
Pearl ID will reportedly leverage a duo of 3D-sensing front-facing cameras to authenticate not only user access to the device, but will further come in handy to approve payments through Apple Pay. The framework may extend to other devices, leaving users able to authenticate their identity on products such as Apple’s HomePod.
The handset is also anticipated to improve both its front-facing and primary camera arrays; the device is expected to debut with 3D-sensing cameras not just for the purpose of biometric security, but further to tie in with Apple’s newly announced ARKit, which allows developers and creators to craft meaningful experiences in augmented reality.
It is expected that the device will accommodate the same 2x optical zoom as the incumbent iPhone 7 Plus does, though its camera array will be mounted vertically in stereoscopic alignment. The bottom line: Whichever features debut on Apple’s premium iPhone will likely make their way down the lineup come September of 2018; the device is expected to serve as the pioneer for the firm’s direction in mobile going forward, and will give purchasers ‘early access’ to many of these features prior to their mainstream arrival the following year. Significantly, the debut of a facial recognition service might well spell death for fingerprint recognition through Touch ID.
How much will it cost?
It wouldn’t be an Apple product if it weren’t expensive, and accordingly the company’s next iPhone is anticipated to be one of its most expensive deliveries yet.
Rumours have posited that a next-generation iPhone will retail for $1,000 USD at minimum, where models sporting additional storage capacities may well break past the $1,200 USD and $1,600 USD mark at retail.
This has been a direction which the company has been heading toward for some time; the top-of-the-line iPhone 7 Plus arrived in the South African market with a price tag stretching into the R20,000 range, and for parity the newly-minted Samsung Galaxy Note 8 debuts with a hefty price tag of R18499 at launch. The bottom line: Given its status as both a ‘next-generation’ and ‘anniversary’ device, Apple’s next mobile effort will likely be designed to break the bank. Given its feature set and novel design, the handset will likely set the pace as Apple’s most premium mobile product ever, and might spell a worrying indication for iPhone models going forward.
Have your say!
What are your thoughts? Would you be prepared to purchase Apple’s next-generation iPhone? Would you be willing to sacrifice Touch ID for a novel design and facial recognition services? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA