The official iPhone 8 release date and price will be announced in three days, but we think we know everything right now, before Apple shows the world the new iPhone at its Cupertino, California campus Tuesday. We have an invite to the September 12 launch event and will soon be able to confirm if the rumors are in fact true.
Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone will debut at the company’s Steve Jobs Theater venue, a fitting stage for the announcement of a completely redesigned iPhone.
Before you get too excited about the new iPhone, you should know these two things: it’ll be the most expensive phone you’ve ever bought and the release date is unlikely to be as soon as you’ve been anticipating.
But new leaks should have you excited, even if there’s a delay or the high cost. Apple’s iOS 11 final beta just all but confirmed Face ID to replace Touch ID, Portrait Lighting to enhance your photos, and even something called Animoji.
- What is the iPhone 8? The 10th anniversary version of Apple’s iPhone
- What will the iPhone 8 look like? Huge screen, yet smaller glass body
- When is the iPhone 8 release date? Late September or October 2017
- What will the iPhone 8 price be? Up to $1,000 (£900, AU$1,250)
- iPhone 8 launch: what to expect
- How to watch the iPhone 8 announcement
Be prepared to be wowed by a big visual overhaul to the iPhone you know and love. This is welcome news, as Apple fans have been awaiting a fully redesigned iPhone for several years now.
iPhone 8 leaks have been hinting at big changes, and Apple needs to match, if not outperform, the elegantly designed Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which has a had a spike in pre-order. That’s why we expect the iPhone 8 to be unlike any other iPhone that’s come before. Apple needs this just as much as you need a refreshed iPhone.
Will it actually be called the iPhone 8? Apple may call it something more significant, like iPhone Pro, iPhone X (to mark the 10th anniversary) or iPhone Edition, and launch it alongside the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus.
We’re here to tell you which rumors we think are true, and what’s merely wishful thinking from internet tricksters, from the likely iPhone 8 colors including a likely ‘Blush Gold’ color, to the high iPhone 8 price, which may add a comma to the total cost for the first time.
Slide down to unlock and review every major leak ahead of September 12.
New iPhone 8 leaks for September 9
The iPhone 8 leaks just won’t stop, and that’s good for everyone but Apple and its ability to surprise us Tuesday. But the changes are too exciting to not share.
The latest leak comes from iOS 11 itself where a developer has identified different names than what most people had expected for the new phones. It suggests the handset we expect to be called the iPhone 7S will be called the iPhone 8, and the phone written about in this piece will in fact be called the iPhone X.
Nothing is confirmed yet and we won’t know for sure until September 12, but it looks like Apple may be dropping the S variants and surprising everyone with a brand new name for its new super upgraded phone.
Portrait Lighting is supposed to be a new iPhone 8 enhancement to Portrait Mode, which already adds a background blur (bokeh) to iPhone 7 Plus. It’s said to use the dual-lens camera depth sensors and machine learning to pick from lighting styles of Contour Light, Natural Light, Stage Light, Stage Light Mono, and Studio Light. It’s Apple’s newest way to mimic DSLR-like quality photos, but Portrait Lighting may not launch until iOS 11.1.
Face ID, which we detail more below, seems to be Apple’s replacement for Touch ID, using 3D scanning sensors exclusive to the iPhone 8 to unlock your phone and, likely, enable you to make Apple Pay payments. Like the Touch ID setup process, the iOS 11 golden master update (the final beta) asks you to pose all angles of your face, sort of like you had to place your repeatedly fingerprint on the home button (back when home buttons were a thing on an iPhone).
The third big highlight today is Animoji. It’s the combination of animated characters and the emoji you love (or loathe) if you didn’t already guess. This is Apple’s more fun way of using its 3D face scanner tools. These moving emoji are supposed to mimic your facial expression, from your smile (or frown), down to your left and right eyebrow raises. As simple and Snapchat-like as this sounds, it’ll be a showstopper at the iPhone 8 event.
iPhone 8 release date: when will it launch?
- iPhone 8 keynote date is Tuesday, September 12
- iPhone 7S & iPhone 7S Plus: September 2017 release date
- iPhone 8: slightly later September / October release date
The iPhone 8 launch date is Tuesday, September 12, at 10am PT (1pm EST, 6pm BST, Wednesday, September 13 at 3am AEST), with Apple hosting the launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California.
Its brand-new campus is ripe for announcing a new iPhone, and September has become the traditional month for a smartphone launch from Apple.
The 2017 release date is going to be different, even though Apple has released a new iPhone in September every year since the iPhone 5 in 2012. Impressive.
It may be October until you can actually touch that all-screen iPhone 8. Oh, we’ll see Apple unveil the iPhone 8 at this September 12 event, but it may only ship the 7S phones initially, approximately one or two weeks after CEO Tim Cook first holds them up in the air. The Apple Watch 3 LTE and 4K Apple TV are expected to launch then too.
Why is the iPhone 8 likely delayed? It’s reportedly due to reported production delays, which may be partly down to its new bezel-less screen technology.
October or even November may be the official release date window, according to new rumors. Apple’s latest earnings call did forecast a strong quarter through to the end of September, but that suggests at least one (or two) new iPhone before September 31, the end end of its fiscal calendar, not an iPhone 8.
TechRadar’s take: The iPhone 8 launch date is officially Tuesday, September 12, but the release date hasn’t been nailed down yet. Apple likes selling phones on a Friday, so we expect that date to be either Friday, September 22 or Friday, September 29.
There’s now a good chance the iPhone 8 release date may slip into October due to production delays, and the late September release date will be left to the 7S phones. But you’ll definitely have it by before and – if you can find it in stock before 2018.
iPhone 8 price: how much will it cost?
- Prepare for the iPhone 8 to cost at least $300 more in the US
- Samsung’s new phone costs $930, so Apple could charge $999
You’re going to have to spend a lot of money to own the iPhone 8, and yet it’s still be sold out in around five minutes. Apple is planning an all-new smartphone design, and we’re expecting a high iPhone 8 price to reflect that.
That’s good news, or bad news, depending on how you look at it. It’s cheaper than some analysts have been predicting, but at $999, that would still make it 54% more than the iPhone 7.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 costs $929 in the US, £869 in the UK and AU$1,499 in Australia, while the Galaxy S8 Plus costs $825 in the US, £779.99 in the UK and AU$1,349 in Australia. This gives us an idea of what Apple could be thinking.
We’re expecting that the UK – thanks to Brexit – will be one of the more expensive places to buy the iPhone 8, with contracts starting at around £50 per month at least for minimal data – here’s what you should expect to pay for the iPhone 8 in the UK.
The price of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 (which is AU$1,499) suggests that Aussies could end up paying over AU$1,600 to buy Apple’s new premium handset outright.
Combined with a 24-month telco plan, your monthly payments are likely to start at somewhere between $90-120, depending on the provider, with Telstra almost certainly set to charge over $100 for just a basic amount of calls, texts and data.
iPhone 8 leaks straight from Apple
Straight from Apple’s own early HomePod firmware, iOS app developers have uncovered an icon for the all-screen display. It’s the closest we have to official iPhone 8 design confirmation from Apple so far.
The same Apple source code also points to something called ‘Face ID’, which could take the place of the fingerprint sensor (or be an addition to it). It may be the new way to unlock your phone now that the 5.8-inch display doesn’t have room for a Touch ID home button.
We talk more about these screen and fingerprint sensor changes below.
iPhone 8 screen and design: what will it look like?
- 5.8-inch screen that stretches from edge to edge
- No top bezel or home button below – it’s all screen
- Switching from LCD to a richer AMOLED display
Get ready for a 5.8-inch AMOLED display in a smaller frame, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. It’s said to sport a slight 2.5D curved edge, but nothing too different from the iPhone 7 – and it won’t be as sloped as Samsung’s curved edges.
It’s a big switch from 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones that use LCD displays. It can deliver better contrast, more vibrant colors and support a battery-saving always-on display feature. It’s also better suited for VR and AR, should Apple start down that route.
But even with a dramatically bigger screen size, the phone body won’t be so big in your hand. In fact, it’ll likely be smaller than the current iPhone 7 Plus, on account of being (virtually) all-screen thanks to the removal of the top bezel (around the earpiece) and the physical home button.
If you want a render that shows what the iPhone will look like based on leaked case schematics, the one from OnLeaks above does just that, and shows the new features we’re expecting.
For instance, there will be a small lip of bezel coming down from the top, containing the earpiece, front-facing LED flash and camera, in a similar fashion to the Essential Phone.
You may have heard different iPhone 8 rumors, like ones that claim Apple’s new phone will have a higher resolution than Samsung’s phones.
Keep in mind this could be true, but that’s based on one of 10 prototypes Apple is said to be considering and we doubt the brand (which has never had the highest-res screens on the market) will try to outstrip rivals here.
Interestingly, Samsung is said to be supplying the OLED screens, beating out Sharp, which was once rumored for the job, but this will likely just be for the iPhone 8, not the other new iPhone models with a basic specs upgrade.
Just when Apple had nearly perfected the aluminum unibody phone, it’s now expected to be moving to an all-glass design. This is actually great news.
It’ll allow for the iPhone 8 to wirelessly charge, as electricity doesn’t pass straight through metal nearly as well.
The CEO of one of Apple’s suppliers has even let wireless charging capabilities slip, and a sound file hidden in the iOS 11 beta also points to wireless charging, as does a mention of inductive charging in Apple’s HomePod software, so it looks almost certain that we’ll see it in some form.
We’ve even seen images of wireless charging components supposedly headed for the iPhone.
What’s less certain is whether it’s going to be ready in time for the iPhone’s launch. The delays have been put down to a variety of factors, including the phone’s wireless charging capabilities (which may only be enabled after launch) and the more complex display.
You’ll still see a metal frame, of course, which would give the new phone a look not unlike the Samsung Galaxy S8. One source described the iPhone 8 as having a “glass sandwich design“. Delicious, right?
It’ll be a touch more water-resistant – up from IP67 to IP68 – so it can handle more dunking for longer.
A number of dummy units were shown off by a variety of video producers, and you can watch one of them below. For example, the video from Marques Brownlee shows a non-working unit of what we think may be the iPhone 8.
There’s a fake screen in this video for illustration purposes, but it shows off the glass back, full-screen front and dual-camera on the rear of the phone.
In terms of new iPhone 8 colors, we’re hearing very little beyond a new ‘Blush Gold’ variant that will take the place of Rose Gold in the lineup. There could even be a one-off in honor of the 10th anniversary… but that doesn’t really jive with the history of the phone.
That Blush Gold looks very likely, as this recent Tweet from leaker Benjamin Geskin suggests strongly:
Color comparison “Blush” Gold / Rose Gold / Gold pic.twitter.com/KRx1ls85ZnSeptember 5, 2017
There could also be a mirror-like finish as a special edition, but in reality we expect a black, gray, jet-black and blush gold lineup for the new iPhone.
The iPhone 8 won’t have a physical home button
- All-screen design has no room for a physical home button
- Instead, an on-screen home button will take its place
- Big mystery: what happens to the Touch ID fingerprint sensor?
The big iPhone 8 screen means big changes – the new iPhone won’t have a front-facing Touch ID home button any more.
While Apple could introduce some new gesture controls or a pressure-sensitive virtual home button to mimic the button, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor may have to move.
However, where it’s going is very much up for debate.
Four predictions, some based on leaks and others on Apple patents, give us an idea what the iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor replacement will look like.
- The Touch ID sensor will be embedded in the screen
- It’ll be located on the back, as on the Samsung Galaxy S8
- It’ll be on the side sleep/wake button, as on some Sony phones
- There’s no fingerprint sensor at all; it’ll rely on 3D face unlock
The first choice sees the sensor beneath the glass, is what everyone wants. But it’s unclear if Apple can successfully engineer this unproven tech in time. All of the dummy unit leaks and confident words by Apple blogger John Gruber won’t mean a thing if Apple can’t get the sensor to be nearly 100% accurate.
The most recent rumors suggest Apple has run out of time to perfect the tech this year.
The second choice is in line with Samsung having trouble fitting the fingerprint sensor under the glass of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, forcing the brand to awkwardly put the sensor on the back. Apple has been rumored to do the same – using the Apple logo – but that idea seems to have gone quiet.
Below you can see a photo from a Foxconn factory – that’s the company which manufacturers the iPhone – which claims to show the iPhone 8 with a Touch ID sensor on the rear.
We’re currently uncertain if we can trust the source, but the image looks to be real, and may be one of our first looks at the rear sensor on the iPhone 8.
The third option has a backing it up, with the sensor moving to the power button makes sense, as it’s easier to reach than the back of the phone. We won’t rule this one out just yet, even if there are no other leaks attached to it.
This is further supported by news that long-pressing this button could wake up Siri – so would there be a separate power button to allow you to actually turn the phone off?
The fourth choice, having no fingerprint scanner, would be a major shake-up for the iPhone 8 – but Apple has new unlocking tech on the way, which brings us to our next point.
iPhone 8 to have a 3D face-scanning sensor?
Giving the iPhone 8 an even more futuristic vibe, Apple is said to be readying a 3D face-scanning sensor to unlock your device.
Either in place of, or in addition to, TouchID, the scanner is said to be more secure than Samsung’s – although it may not be available for some time after the launch as Apple perfects the software.
We’ve also seen evidence that this feature’s going to work even if your phone’s lying flat on a surface.
Silencing your phone – even an iPhone – can take too long in a panic, and another rumor suggests the iPhone 8 might have a solution for this: the face-scanning camera is said to let you silence your phone just by looking at it.
iPhone 8 camera and AR features
- A vertically-oriented dual-camera lens
- Augmented reality features
- 3D cameras
The iPhone 8 camera “can do extraordinary things”, we fully expect Tim Cook to say on stage come September. “We never thought it possible before today.” And so on.
Cook’s ambitious-sounding words are inevitable. In his quarterly investor calls, he’s become captivated with the idea of augmented reality (AR), and the vertical camera array is present in every leak we’re seeing.
Since then, AR developer tools have come to iOS 11 beta for existing phones, and the iPhone 8 could take it one step further.
What can Apple do with AR? You may be able to point your iPhone 8 at an object and have it recognized, claims one source ‘familiar with the matter’. The camera app may be able to recognize and manipulate faces in the future, too.
Apple analyst Gene Munster cites examples like being able to find your seats in a crowded stadium, or the groceries you need among all of the aisles, by looking at your phone.
There’s also talk from Korea that Apple is working with LG on a ‘3D photographing’ module for the iPhone 8, which could be used to add three-dimensional effects and which would work with the rumored augmented reality features.
What about your everyday photography? That will be upgraded, too, with the second lens on the dual-lens iPhone 8 gaining optical image stabilization.
There’s also now been a mention of a ‘SmartCam‘ feature spotted in the HomePod software. This is believed to be able to automatically recognize scenes and objects, and adjust the camera settings accordingly.
We don’t expect a bump beyond the 12MP sweet spot that Apple and other phone manufacturers have found, and don’t look for the dual-lens snapper on the standard iPhone 7S – it’ll be just for the iPhone 8.
iPhone 8 battery life
This would open up extra room for a larger-capacity iPhone 8 battery, and we already know OLED displays are better at preserving power. When exhibiting blacks, these display pixels are essentially turned off.
However, with more pixels to power this is going to be a big ask – and Apple has always had a little trouble getting a long-lasting iPhone onto the market as it balances power, functionality and cost.
iPhone 8 specs will make it faster
- A tiny but faster 10nm A11 Fusion chipset
- 3GB of RAM, and 64GB or 256GB internal storage options
The iPhone 8 is undoubtedly going to be faster with an Apple A11 chipset, which may be called A11 Fusion. A quad-core chipset launched with the iPhone 7, so we don’t expect an octa-core chip upgrade just yet.
Yes, octa-core chipsets are all the rage, but Apple has shied away from touting big numbers and instead focused on boosting performance, and it’s done just fine.
The same goes for RAM. The iPhone 8 may stick with the same 3GB of RAM setup as in the iPhone 7 Plus (the iPhone 7 has just 2GB of RAM, so we don’t foresee Apple going to 4GB RAM just yet).
But the 2017 iPhone may go for one smaller number: 10 nanometers. The move from the 16nm A10 Fusion chip to a 10nm A11 Fusion would make significant gains.
Qualcomm’s 10nm Snapdragon 835 chip, for example, requires less energy and exhibits a performance boost over 16nm chips, and Apple will want to rival this chip to offer faster reactions on less battery consumption.
Some of the phone’s built-in smarts might be powered by a dedicated AI chip; the word on the Cupertino street is that Apple is busy working on its own to take the strain off the main CPU and graphics chips.
Finally, we’ve heard that the iPhone 8 might come in just 64GB and 256GB varieties, with no 32GB option. If Apple introduces other new entry-level iPhone versions, those could inherit the 32GB, 128GB and 256GB configurations.
But we’d assume Apple is still going to offer either a 128GB iPhone 8, or a 512GB choice, as well – three sizes is par for the course for the brand.
What not to expect from the iPhone 8
For every credible iPhone 8 rumor there are about 10 dubious ones floating around the internet, and here are three ‘leaks’ that are definintely far-fetched.
Apple’s ‘Ferrari’ phone, as the iPhone 8 codename may indeed be, won’t be flexible or even foldable, despite convincing patents. That’s not even iPhone 9 territory – maybe we’ll see this tech emerge for the iPhone 10.
Apple has also been rumored to be readying wireless charging (true) that works at ranges up to 15ft, with no contact required between the device and the power source (so far a pipe-dream).
It’s not out of the question for the future, though. There’s that Apple has been looking into this tech, with Energous, the company behind it, supposedly working with a “tier 1” smartphone maker. Energous that it’s “working with one of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world”, and that it will be shipping a product by the end of 2017.
- Want more? T3 is also looking forward to iPhone X