An iPhone 8 leak seems to confirm rumors that Apple will ditch the aluminum casing and produce an iPhone completely encased in glass. The leak springs from Allen Horng, who is the CEO of Catcher Technology, which has been providing Apple with its iPhone chassis for several years.
According to Forbes, Horng stated, “Apple will make its 2017 iPhone using a glass casing.”
Rumors about Apple using a glass case for the iPhone have been floating around since as far back as the iPhone 5. The recent statements from its chassis provider seem to confirm that Apple is not just thinking about using a glass casing, but is going to begin incorporating them into the 2017 phone, which would be the iPhone 8.
— Mashable (@mashable) May 28, 2016
The leak also indicated that the glass housing would be more expensive to make since Catcher would have to use “advanced processing technology” to produce reinforcement for the glass. According to Horng, the fragile casing would have to have a metal frame for reinforcement. He also mentioned that the chassis will only be produced for one model of iPhone, but could not comment on which one. Forbes believes it will be the iPhone 8 Plus.
The extra expense in manufacturing “would suggest the iPhone 8 Plus … or even the hotly rumoured iPhone Pro” will be the recipient of the new glass casing, the article claims.
Despite the credibility of the iPhone 8 leak, Forbes cautions that leaks do not always turn out as expected. Leaks, no matter how reliable the source, have been subject to Apple’s whim. So unless the information is directly from Apple, such news should be considered rumor until confirmed by the company.
— Smartphones Updates (@SamsungUpdates2) May 22, 2016
This latest iPhone 8 leak brings visions of a wrap-around screen to mind, such as the artist rendering in the image at the top of this article. Imagine being able to display a continuous wallpaper that wraps around the entire iPhone. Or replacing the volume, power, and mute tactile buttons with digital buttons displayed as icons on the side. There are many possibilities that a full-glass casing could bring, but many of these dreams are beyond practicality at this time, or even by 2017.
The iPhone is already a notorious battery hog. A fully backlit wrap-around display would chew up battery life faster than a starving wolf devouring a dog treat. Also, having digital buttons poses the problem of accidentally triggering them while you are handling the phone. These problems are not unsurmountable, but since nothing has even remotely been done in these areas yet, it is hard to imagine anything like this coming out in 2017.
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However, the iPhone 8 leak has fueled speculation on what Apple’s R&D department may be working on for the iPhone 8 and beyond.
“It’s a bit disappointing to see leaks suggesting that the iPhone 7 isn’t going to be much different from the iPhone 6. But what about a little further in the future, when promising new technologies benefit from Apple’s massive R&D budget and make their way into Apple products?” TechRadar recently stated.
TechRadar discussed future innovations with Dr. Kevin Curran, who is an IEEE Technical Expert and group leader for the Ambient Intelligence Research Group. Curran suggested several things that we should expect to see by 2020.
— Jeremy Gutsche (@jeremygutsche) May 18, 2016
According to Curran, we will likely see much more emphasis placed on voice activation technologies. He points to Facebook/Amazon’s Alexa as being an example of how much better Siri can get regarding voice recognition and flexibility.
While the touchscreen will not be abandoned, Curran says, “you’ll spend less time using it.”
TechRadar also suggests to watch for:
- flexible screens, for which Apple already has a patent
- more power from the processor and memory components
- longer battery life
- “multi-lens, multi-sensor” cameras
- Apple virtual reality units, for which they also own multiple patents
- faster internet connectivity over 5G
— Ecommerce Herald (@ecommerceherald) April 6, 2016
Curran insists that these are not things that we might see, they are things that are most definitely coming based on patent information and where the individual technologies are already headed with or without Apple. However, with Apple’s track record of always being on the forefront, it is hard to imagine it allowing these advancements to come to the public without being involved with them.
The leak of the iPhone 8 having a glass case brings about some fun speculation with it. However, until we have official word from Apple, nothing is for certain. But does that matter? Wondering what is next is half the fun.
[Image via Jeff Callaway]