iPhone 8 price, release date, news and rumors

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Update: The official iPhone 8 release date and price will be announced by Apple on Tuesday, September 12 at a ‘Special Event’ in the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s new Cupertino campus in California.

And fittingly the event will showcase a brand-new iPhone design with vastly different components (and the loss of some traditional favorites), according to the iPhone 8 leaks we’ve seen from OnLeaks and others.

Hold your excitement. It’ll also be easily the most expensive handset that Apple has ever created, with the fresh look and fresh specs hiking the iPhone 8 price beyond its rivals.

  • What is it? The 10th anniversary version of Apple’s iPhone
  • When is it out? September or October 2017
  • What will it cost? Up to $1,000 (£900, AU$1,250)
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iPhone fans are clamoring for a redesign – we haven’t seen a new look in three years of minor upgrades, and Apple needs to match, if not outdo, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Prepare to be wowed.

Sure, we’re using the iPhone 8 name here, but that’s unlikely to be the final moniker… think iPhone Pro, iPhone X (to mark the 10th anniversary) or iPhone Edition launching 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 to the high iPhone 8 price. So let’s review every major leak so far.

iPhone 8 release date: when will it launch?

Hottest leaks:

  • 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, 3am on Wednesday, September 13 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.

We’re expecting three new iPhone models to launch at once

Apple has launched a new iPhone in September every year since the iPhone 5 in 2012, but this year it may do something different in terms of the release schedule.

We’ll still 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.

When will the iPhone 8 actually land in stores? It may be a little bit later (but still before Black Friday and Cyber Monday) due to reported production delays, which may be partly down to its new bezel-less screen technology.

October or November may be the official release date window, according to recent rumors, though Apple’s latest earnings call forecasts a strong quarter through to the end of September, which suggests we’ll get the iPhone 8 on or before September 31, the end of its fiscal calendar.

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 a chance the iPhone 8 release date may slip into October due to all of the production delay rumors, but we’re hopeful to get all three phones by the end of September.

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iPhone 8 price: how much will it cost?

Hottest leaks:

  • 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

The iPhone 8 looks set to be the most expensive flagship phone ever

Since Apple is planning an all-new smartphone design, we’re expecting a suitably high iPhone 8 price.

Current rumors suggest this model could start as high as $1,100 (around £845/AU$1,380), but we’re expecting the price to be a little lower at just a shade under $1,000. However, that would still make it 54% more than the iPhone 7, which is a little on the eye-watering side.

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.

The iPhone 8 will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Apple’s smartphone (Photo Credit: KK Sneak Leaks)

iPhone 8 in the US

US consumers should watch to see if Apple includes the faster modem of its current legal opponent Qualcomm, essentially delivering an unlocked iPhone 8 for all CDMA and GSM networks worldwide. Or maybe an Intel modem will be able to achieve this feat for the first time. 

Currently the iPhone 7 – with the superior Qualcomm chip inside – works on all four major US carriers, whereas those with the Intel modem only work on AT&T and T-Mobile and smaller carriers, which is annoying if you ever want to switch to Verizon and Sprint, or sell your phone to more than half the country.

iPhone 8 in the UK

The iPhone is an incredibly popular phone in the UK, constantly topping the charts whenever a new model is released – and the UK is always among the first wave of territories to get a new model.

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 – but you’ll be able to get those deals on every major network and most of the smaller ones.

iPhone 8 in Australia

In Australia, the iPhone is one of the most popular phones around, and there’s usually no delay when it comes to the release date. In fact, due to its time zone, Australia is often one of the first locations in the world to physically get its hands on the device – meaning there are always huge queues outside Apple stores, with people frequently camping out for up to a week in advance to get their hands on the new iPhone.

If the speculation about the iPhone 8 being priced at over $1,000 in the US is correct, that’ll make it particularly pricey Down Under.

Despite the strong performance of the Australian dollar recently, the price of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 (which is $930 in the US, and 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.

Want the latest iPhone 8 rumors? Check out our video below

iPhone 8 screen and design: what will it look like?

Hottest leaks:

  • 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

The iPhone 8 screen may radically change in size and shape – and it’s about time for something bigger and more stylish than an iPhone 6 and 6 Plus-era 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. 

It’s a lot like we saw with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.

That said, 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.

Credit: TechTastic

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 partially true, but that’s based on one of 10 prototypes Apple is said to be considering.

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.

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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.

Wireless charging components supposedly headed for the iPhone 8

What’s less certain, according to the latest whispers, is whether it’s going to be ready in time for the iPhone’s launch. A delay has been echoed by another source, who says wireless charging will probably be included, but may only be enabled after launch.

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 all-white iPhone 8 in honor of the 10th anniversary… but that doesn’t really jive with the history of the phone.

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.

Could this be the hot new iPhone finish? (Photo Credit: Benjamin Geskin)

The iPhone 8 won’t have a physical home button

Hottest leaks:

  • 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 for Apple’s classic home button. It’s disappearing, as we’ve heard rumor of for years, to allow for more screen.

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.

  1. The Touch ID sensor will be embedded in the screen
  2. It’ll be located on the back, as on the Samsung Galaxy S8
  3. It’ll be on the side sleep/wake button, as on some Sony phones
  4. There’s no fingerprint sensor at all; it’ll rely on 3D face unlock

The first choice, having 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. This is likely why the iPhone 8 delay rumors persist. 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. It had to awkwardly stick it on the back of the phone. Apple’s logo could double as a fingerprint sensor, but, truthfully, no one likes this idea.

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.

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Credit: Benjamin Geskin

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The iPhone 8 packaged up and ready to go. Credit: Feng

The third option has a patent backing it up, and to us moving the sensor to the sleep/wake 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.

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?

Hottest leaks:

  • Face unlock is a new way to bypass the lock screen
  • 3D sensor to be more secure than Samsung’s Face Unlock
  • May be the only way to unlock your phone without a passcode
  • HomePod code mentions possible iPhone 8 ‘look to silence’ command

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 be a bit of a process, 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 

Hottest leaks:

  • 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.

(Photo Credit: Weibo)

What about your everyday photography? That could 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

The iPhone 8 could feature longer battery life, according one analyst who thinks Apple may switch to a stacked mainboard internal design.

Photo Credit: 9to5Mac.com

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, OLED 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

Hottest leaks:

  • 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.

Credit: Baidu

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 artificial intelligence processor 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

  • Foldable iPhone 8 is far-fetched
  • Wireless charging from across the room unlikely
  • Bad-guy-catching thief protection equally so

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.

Probably not this year, but these patents suggest a folding iPhone will come eventually

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 or iPhone X.

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 evidence that Apple has been looking into this tech, with Energous, the company behind it, supposedly working with a “tier 1” smartphone maker. Energous added 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.

Energous has also received a $10 million investment from Dialog Semiconductor, according to BGR, and Dialog just so happens to be a company that works primarily with Apple.

Finally, a future iPhone – not the iPhone 8 – could tighten up security, according to a new Apple patent. It details a system that could get a thief’s fingerprints and photo, as well as recording audio, video and their location – which sounds legally complicated for Apple to do on a global scale, even if it could be a good thing.

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