Some people labeled the iPhone 7 as “boring” as soon as it became clear the design would be nearly identical to the previous version despite not being an “S” model. But the device is anything but boring, and there are only a few other handsets capable of delivering such an impressive smartphone experience.
About a year later, nobody is saying the iPhone 8 will represent a mild update over the 2016 models. But making the iPhone 8 “exciting” means the user will have a huge price to pay for it. And I’m not just talking about money.
Because the iPhone 8 will have features not seen on any iPhone before and might end up packing a technology not available on any other device from the competition, it also means you have to pay a price using a different kind of currency: time. You’ll have to wait to actually get one. Apple is rumored to be prepping up to four million iPhone 8 units that will be on hand at launch, and supply constraints may extend well beyond Christmas. The worst forecast says the iPhone 8 might not hit stores until late November.
In addition to that, a new report just told us that some features might be disabled at launch because Apple’s still not happy with the way they work. That means you’ll still have to wait to use them even if you somehow manage to find an iPhone 8 on launch day. Wireless charging is finally coming to the iPhone, but it won’t be enabled at launch, John Gruber said a few days ago. Instead, it’ll be enabled via an iOS 11.1 update just like Portrait mode last year.
A Fast Company source, Apple is also panicking about the 3D scanning sensor that some say will replace Touch ID on the phone. Apple’s 3D sensor should also be enabled via an update down the road if Apple can’t get it to work reliably.
The OLED screen that’s occupying almost the entire front side of the phone is also a cause of concern and could lead to delays. Samsung is the only company that can meet Apple’s volume requirements, but a recent report said that only three to four million screens could be shipped in time for launch.
The one piece of technology that nobody was courageous enough to deploy in phones this year is a fingerprint sensor placed under the display. The Touch ID sensor might delay iPhone 8 OLED production even further, assuming Apple still plans to include it into the screen.
Finally, Apple has also reportedly run into storage issues according to a different report. Supposedly, Apple had to ink a deal with Samsung to be the third supplier of NAND flash memory for this year’s iPhone series.
The signature features of the “exciting” iPhone 8 include the all-screen design, an OLED display possibly with a fingerprint sensor, a 3D depth-sensing front camera with iris and face recognition, and wireless charging. Of those, only wireless charging is also coming to the iPhone 7s phones, and the iPhone 7s Plus will also feature a rear dual lens camera like the iPhone 8.