The usually competitive smartphone market is becoming even more cutthroat. We have already witnessed the incredibly successful launch of the LG G6 and the massive hype surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S8 announcement. However, arguably the best is yet to come with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and their standard setting upcoming iPhone lineup.
The hype regarding the upcoming Apple iPhone 8 has been growing since the beginning of this year and has now reached critical mass. We are getting inundated with leaks and new information every day. Recently, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman added his own contribution to the rumour mill. Citing information from “people familiar with the matter“, Gurman claims the new iPhone 8 will adopt a curved OLED display akin to the Galaxy S8. However, he also claims that the display will span the entire front of the phone, compared to 83% coverage for the Galaxy S8. It means Apple iPhone 8 could be the first bezel-free full glass screen smartphone ever. The phone will also feature a stainless steel design and more advanced camera.
Let us analyse the rumours and what they entail for Apple and the smartphone industry at large.
Why Is Apple Releasing Three iPhones This Year?
One big question regarding this year’s iPhones centres around rumours that Why is Apple releasing not 2, but 3 flagship iPhones? For a while now, Apple has traditionally released 2 flagships every year. It would seem that Apple is deviating from the norm this year in a bid to capture a sizable sales share of all premium smartphone segments.
- One primary reason for this change could the accusations of the boring design philosophy that have been levelled at Apple as of late. The iPhone 7 shares a very similar design to the iPhone 6S, which in turn was very similar to the iPhone 6. The reign of Tim Cook as Apple CEO has hardly been characterised by the innovation that Steve Jobs was so famous for. The iPhone 8 could be Apple’s attempt to return to their visionary roots.
- Apple is highly dependent on the iPhone for revenue. In fact, 60% of the company’s overall revenue comes from the iPhone. Therefore Apple needs to stay competitive and innovative in the smartphone space to thrive, especially when competitors like Samsung is keen to dethrone it.
- Apple iOS has been lagging behind Android in terms of market share for a while now. With Android now invading the premium segment with phones like the Pixel, S8 and LG G6 the iPhone 8 could help them get a leg up over the ever expanding Android premium segment.
- 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone. The original iPhone changed the face of the smartphone industry when it launched. It makes sense that Apple would want to commemorate this anniversary with a truly special product, which could be the ultra-premium version of iPhone, dubbed as iPhone Edition by many sources.
Apple iPhone 8: May Be The Best Smartphone Ever
Samsung, Apple’s chief rivals hit a home run earlier this year with their flagship Galaxy S8. However, if the rumours are to be believed, the iPhone 8 may even surpass that. The leaked schematics point towards some revolutionary changes by Apple. The leaks suggest that Apple is embedding the front camera, microphone, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor and rumoured 3D sensor inside the display itself. Moreover, we also reported on rumours on Apple ditching Touch ID for a brand new fingerprint sensor embedded inside the display. The new sensor would be based on Authentic algorithms and Privaris glass tech.
These innovations would allow Apple to create a truly edge-to-edge display with minimal bezels. This would represent a triumph over the compromises Samsung made with the S8 by putting the fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone and retaining the top and bottom bezels. Apple is also planning to integrate an all new 3D sensor for advanced facial recognition.
The market also seems to believe that the iPhone 8 will be a major game changer. Credit Suisse has increased its stock price target for Apple to $170. RBC Capital markets also increased their estimates to $157. Apple shares are currently trading at $141, up from $115 in October 2015. This is despite the fact that nothing concrete has come out or announced till now. The exploded rise in value and estimates is riding on expectations of the iPhone 8 in large part. Analysts expect Apple to be worth at least $824 billion by the end of 2017. And, if Apple acquires Disney, it could easily surpass the valuation of $1 trillion to becomes only the second company, after Saudi Aramco, having a valuation of US$ 1 Trillion.
However, all these new innovations mean that the iPhone 8 could likely be delayed. Suppliers are reportedly encountering technical issues related to OLED display lamination and integrating the new 3D sensing system. Digitimes believes the new iPhone could experience a delayed launch in October-November due to this.
- The premium version of the next iPhone may be called the iPhone “Edition” or “iPhone X” instead. Calling it as the “iPhone 8” could antiquate Apple’s other offerings – the iPhone 7s and 7s plus.
- Apple’s stock price is expected to rise to new highs in anticipation of the iPhone 8.
- Apple may create the first truly edge-to-edge display by embedding sensors inside the display itself.
- The iPhone 8/Edition will likely be delayed due to production and technical issues. The iPhone 7s and 7s plus are expected to launch on schedule.