Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)-oriented blog Macotakara (via MacRumors) recently posted some information about Apple's upcoming premium OLED iPhone, which is commonly referred to as the iPhone 8.
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The post says that the device will "adopt the stainless steel enclosure sandwiched between the glass plates." In other words, the front and the back will be covered in glass, while the frame of the device itself should be crafted out of "an improved version of the Apple Watch stainless steel."
Image source: Apple.
Beyond that, the report also appears to confirm recent rumors that the dual-camera system will have the camera sensors/lenses stacked vertically rather than placed side-by-side, as they currently are with the iPhone 7 Plus.
Additionally, the report says that the device will include a flat OLED display rather than a curved one, although both the front and back cover glass will feature 2.5D glass (seemingly like what Apple has been using since the iPhone 6).
A breath of fresh air
Apple has used the same basic look and feel for its iPhone models for three generations in a row, beginning with the iPhone 6-series and extending to last year's iPhone 7-series devices (although, on a subjective note, the weight distribution of the iPhone 7 Plus seems to be much better than that of the iPhone 6 Plus or the iPhone 6s Plus).
To Apple's credit, the iPhone 7-series did include some visual enhancements, as the antenna lines were substantially cleaned up, and Apple offered the device in both Black and Jet Black colors (both of which looked quite nice).
However, the shapes were the same, and the devices still included the large top and bottom bezels ("forehead" and "chin," respectively). The side bezels are also rather thick, too.
Image source: Apple.
From what Macotakara describes (as well as what various reputable publications have reported), the iPhone 8 will be a substantial departure from the last three designs. Moreover, from what I can tell, it's going to look both a lot more attractive and, frankly, much more modern, too.
Sounds like a great phone, but can it be manufactured?
The iPhone 8 seems as though it's going to be a very compelling device. Not only do I expect the internal performance and features to be nicely improved over what the company is currently shipping with the iPhone 7/7 Plus, but the much more attractive design could prove a potent driver of iPhone upgrade activity.
What Apple needs to pull off now, though, is to bring this device into mass production. I suspect that the company won't have too hard of a time with most aspects of the device (processor, display, cameras, etc.), but it's hard to ignore the chorus of reports that Apple is struggling to get the rumored under-the-glass Touch ID implementation ready for mass production.
If Apple can pull that off, then there's little doubt in my mind that this will not only be the most exciting iPhone that Apple has released in many years, but perhaps the most exciting smartphone that has hit the market in years.
However, if Apple winds up compromising on Touch ID by either eliminating it entirely or putting the sensor on the back of the phone (both possibilities raised by the analysts reporting that the in-screen Touch ID solution is still a work in progress), then that would be a serious let-down.
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