Back in late May, I covered a report from Nikkei and explained why in all likelihood, it was ridiculous. According to the story, Apple decided to change its strategy with the iPhone lineup and extend the amount of time between big new iPhone redesigns from two years to three. This, the report explained, is why all those iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus leaks show a phone that is so similar this year’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
Next year marks the tenth anniversary since Apple released the very first iPhone. As such, it makes sense that Apple would release brand new phones with a somewhat minor external redesign in 2016, and then save its big iPhone overhaul for 2017. At that point, users can expect the iPhone 8 — or iPhone X, or whatever Apple decides to call it — to be a fresh new take on an Apple phone. After that, we can expect a return to the two-year cycle.
A recent report from a well-connected blogger listed a few big changes that Apple may or may not be working on for its big iPhone refresh in 2017. Now, Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha said in a note to clients on Wednesday that there are indeed big changes coming the iPhone 8 next year.
He listed five huge changes we can apparently expect:
- An OLED display that covers much more of the iPhone’s face than is the case with current models
- No home button
- Enhanced haptic feedback
- Wireless charging
- Improved camera
The first three changes would all be related, as we discussed earlier today when a supposed iPhone 7 photo leaked showing a touch-sensitive home button in place of Apple’s current button. Apple has been working for quite some time on tech that will allow it to remove the home button and place the Touch ID fingerprint scanner beneath a device’s display. This will allow the screen to occupy much more of the phone’s face, and a new haptic engine will provide better feedback in place of button presses.
As for wireless charging, it’s unclear if Garcha is referring to run-of-the-mill tech or the groundbreaking new iPhone feature we’re all waiting for. And camera improvements are obviously a given.
The analyst didn’t cite any sources in his note, but he did mirror earlier concerns that anticipation of next year’s huge iPhone redesign could impact the upcoming iPhone 7 sales cycle. In fiscal 2018, however, he thinks Apple’s tenth-anniversary iPhone redesign will push annual unit sales to 250 million.