Brand-new iPhones cost a pretty penny as is, but it looks like the iPhone 8 may push that price even further thanks to its rumored improved 3D Touch functionality.
The cost of 3D Touch modules for Apple’s next iPhone are planned to go into production in the fourth quarter of 2017 – but could cost the tech giant over $15 (about £12, AU$20) to produce, according to industry sources at Digitimes.
Up from the iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus’ $9 (about £6, AU$12) module cost, the upgraded modules increase the part cost by nearly 67%.
The supplier, TPK Holding, explains that part of the added expense stems from the 3D Touch modules having to work with AMOLED panels – a gorgeous-looking yet complex (read: more expensive) display technology Apple is reported to use on at least one of its upcoming iPhones.
This, combined with other cost-boosting features rumored for Apple’s next big smartphone such as wireless charging, an on-screen fingerprint scanner, a new VR-capable graphics chip, and 3D camera, potentially makes a batch of next-gen iPhones quuiiiiite pricey to produce.
Some sources go as far as to estimate a quadruple-digit MSRP for the upcoming iPhone, though rumors that an iPhone 7S is also in the works suggests that Apple is considering a range of new handsets and not just a single super-premium one.
Of course, all these features are still housed in the back room of The Rumor Mill, so it’s best to take it all with a grain of salt. However, as more and more signs point to the iPhone 8 (or more likely, the iPhone X) arriving with a big ol’ price tag, we suggest you start making routine visits the piggy bank, just in case.