It’s January 2017, which means that only nine short months remain until Apple unveils its 10th iPhone. Of course, that means nine more months of rampant speculation and rumors. But for once, I’m glad that we’ve started early, because I think this iPhone 8 concept is right on the money.
Two things stand out from this render: the design language, which is a neat tribute to the entire historical line of iPhones, and the lack of a home button. The design is a glass sandwich with virtually no bezel, no home button, and rounded edges. It’s the perfect shoutout to all the phones that came before it: the smooth, rounded edges of the original iPhones, with the iconic and easy-to-smash glass back of the iPhone 4 and 4S.
There’s still elements of the modern phones, thanks to the larger size introduced with the iPhone 6, side-mounted power button and yes, no headphone jack.
Up front, the edge-to-edge display and lack of home button fit in perfectly with rumors we’ve already heard about the iPhone 8. Much more importantly, they look fantastic. Apple isn’t going to mess about with the 10th-anniversary iPhone, and a phone that looks this good would hit all the buttons Apple is trying to push.
More importantly, it’s all relatively possible given technology that’s available today. Apple has already removed the physical button part of the home button in the iPhone 7, so all that remains is integrating a fingerprint sensor that can sit under a display. Hmm. Otherwise, the only big innovation here is getting an edge-to-edge display with minimal bezel. Samsung came close with last year’s Galaxy S7 Edge, and if anyone can push component suppliers to the limit, it’s Apple.
The rest of the rumored tech specs can all be taken with a grain of salt at this point. I’m sure Apple would love to kill the camera bump and include optical image stabilization, if at all possible, and new finishes and colors are always a possibility for the company. But the most important thing about the iPhone 8 is going to be a totally new design, and if this concept is close to the final design, it’s going to be a good year for Apple.