Now that the Samsung Galaxy S8 has been announced, all eyes are on the Apple iPhone 8 and what Tim Cooks team will bring to the table.
With the Samsung Galaxy S8 so well received by critics, the pressure is on for Apple to really ramp things up with the iPhone 8. Rumours are rife about a bunch of technology to be implemented in Apple’s upcoming device which, if true, will amount to a very impressive device indeed.
Apple is expected to debut a device that follows very closely to what we’ve seen in the Samsung Galaxy S8. This means a near-bezeless display which stretches to the edges of the device and no physical home button. It’s still unclear whether Apple is expected to keep this on the front or move it to the rear, however the company is reportedly working on a technology that will embed the button into the panel itself. The sensor is expected to be ultrasonic, which would be a big jump over previous technologies. Currently, only the Xiaomi Mi5s carries such a feature. Ultrasonic fingerprint readers are able to handle wet and greasy hands much better, meaning unlocking your handset in the rain or after some dirty fast food will be greatly improved.
Rumoured design materials for the new iPhone 8 include everything from ceramic to aluminium, all wrapped in a glass finish. According to Japanese website Mac Otakara, the iPhone 8 will come in two variants. The standard iPhone 8 will carry and aluminium and glass finish, while the more expensive “iPhone Edition” will incorporate ceramic materials. Much like current Apple devices, the product will be as minimal as possible, with “few visual interruptions to its sleek design”.
A Revolutionary Camera
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has played it pretty safe with the camera, confirming a sensor but not much else. During the Unpacked event on Wednesday, the company quickly brushed over any mention of the camera, leading many to believe that the S8 will not feature a dramatic improvement in imaging technology over the Galaxy S7. Apple on the other hand are rumoured to be investing a lot of time into the iPhone 8 camera, with mention of a vertical arrangement and revolutionary “3D sensing” technology. This news was initially broke by International Business Times, who quoted a report from renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi-Kuo. He went on to say that the production of a redesigned 3D camera sensor is “expected to begin in September”, which coincides very nicely for the Apple conference in October.
The Little Things
Samsung has done a fantastic job of cramming in several less-important features that all add up to a comprehensive package. Bluetooth 5.0, IP68 waterproofing and wireless charging are all catered for here. Apple on the other hand has always chosen to keep the iPhone rather light, even removing the headphone jack on the most recent 7. It’s suggested that the iPhone 8 will go against history and include wireless charging plus an OLED panel. The latter would greatly improve battery life and allow Apple to implement an always-on display. There’s also talk that the iPhone 8 could jump Samsung and include IP69 waterproofing, which is essentially the highest rating you can get.
There’s no doubt about the fact that Samsung are back on track with the Galaxy S8. Earlier this year, South Korean news site The Investor cited that the company expects to ship 60 million combined units. Samsung has also gone on record to state that the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will surpass the previous generation, though they’re hardly going to say the opposite. On the other hand, iPhone 8 are expected to be equally huge. Morgan Stanley analyst Kate Huberty has gone on record to say that unit sales will rise by 20% in 2018, purely because of the iPhone 8 launch. This is a big jump after the record low experienced in early 2016.
The truth is, nobody knows if this elusive “iPhone Edition” even exists. Nor do we know if it will be a feature-packed super phone that aims to piss all over the competition. Rumours in this area have been so congested that it’s easy to get lost in a bucket full of names and monikers. What we do know is this. Apple will likely launch a iPhone 7s variant first that is more on a par with the current Galaxy S8. It’s anticipated that some of the features expected to debut in the iPhone 8 will also be included on the 7s, such as a 3D camera sensor. We can assume this due to the rumours citing that production will begin in September.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has seen a small price hike over the S7, with US launch prices quoted at between $720 and $750 (UK TBA). It’s fair to say that if the iPhone 8 undergoes a radical design change from previous versions, the price will also rise here. The standard iPhone 8 isn’t expected to increase by much, while the “iPhone Edition” could cost over $1,000. If they also release a Plus model, expect to be paying a lot of money.