Separating the wheat from the chaff at the iPhone rumor mill
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The iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus hit the shelves last September, and like clockwork, the web immediately began to speculate on Apple's next iPhone release, ostensibly the iPhone 8.
By all accounts, the stage is set for the tenth anniversary iPhone to be a doozy when its announced on September 12. Here's a round-up of all the rumors swirling around the next iPhone release and whether or not you can expect them to come to fruition.
Word on the street is that we're about to see three new iPhones unveiled at Apple's keynote event in a few weeks. Two of these iPhones will be slightly-modified versions of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. If tradition holds, these will be the iPhone 7s and the iPhone 7s Plus.
The big announcement, however, will be the company's next flagship—the device we're all assuming will be called the iPhone 8. Given that it's the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone, you can expect this device to be more powerful (and more expensive) than the 7s and 7s Plus.
OLED displays don't just produce dazzling colors and dizzying contrast ratios, they also allow engineers to manipulate screens in weird and exciting ways. Samsung gets it—Apple's major competitor has been outfitting its flagships with AMOLED displays for years, eventually stretching them past the edges of the phone.
According to those in the know, Apple will be offering an iPhone that features an OLED display similar to the type found on Samsung's Galaxy flagships. The display won't wrap around the sides of the device like Samsung's latest phones, but the iPhone 8's screen-to-body ratio will almost certainly be the highest in Apple's history.
In all likelihood, at least one of the iPhone models released this year will feature an OLED display, but it's unclear whether it'll be a feature exclusive to the iPhone 8, or if the 7s will come equipped with OLED technology, too.
The iPhone 7 was the first iPhone to ditch the original home button in favor of solid-state button with haptic feedback. These days, the prominent rumor is that the iPhone 8's fingerprint scanner will either be built within the display itself or removed entirely. And if the fingerprint scanner is out, the home button as we know it will be, too.
Removing the home button will require an entirely new system for in-phone navigation. Instead of tapping the home button to return to the home screen, users will have to learn a new set of gestures to get around iOS.
There's also been talk about the next iPhone's front-facing camera being embedded behind the display and hidden from sight. This one would take some tricky engineering so I wouldn't get too excited about it just yet. Instead, there will probably be a small region above the display reserved for the selfie camera and facial recognition sensors.
That's right—the iPhone 8 will probably feature some combination of iris- or facial-recognition in lieu of its fingerprint scanner getting the boot.
You're probably familiar with Samsung's wireless charging pad, but what about wireless charging without the need for a pad?
Rumor has it that Apple already struck a deal with a company called Energous, which developed a wireless charging system that charges devices up to fifteen feet away from their source.
Basic, inductive charging is the more likely of the two outcomes here. If I had to guess, I'd say that Apple will be selling wireless charging pads on the same day as the iPhone 8's release. I could even see the feature finding its way into the less-premium iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you're probably never going to see a headphone jack on an iPhone ever again.
For better or worse, Apple planted its, uh, courageous flag in a future where its users' headphones are either wireless or connected via Lightning cable. While we don't know the precise figures, the lack of a headphone jack does not appear to have significantly knocked down iPhone sales like many predicted it might.
In short, don't expect to ditch the dongle if your favorite pair of headphones connect the soon-to-be old fashioned way.