"This patent describes a technique where touch sensors can be placed around any side of a device allowing for new input sources. The patent also notes that physical buttons (such as the volume controls) could be replaced by these embedded touch sensors," says Forbes contributor Ewan Spence, who summarizes that Apple could drop the current buttons to turn towards touch-enabled areas on the device for the existing UI.
According to Tech Times, Apple is reportedly planning to release three iPhone models in 2017: the iPhone 7s, the iPhone 7s Plus, and the iPhone 8. The article adds that plenty of people are looking forward to the OLED display technology, which has been used by Samsung for years. One problem is that Apple may be depending on just one company for its OLED screen, Canon Tokki Corp.
9to5Mac claims that the next iPhone could have wireless charging.
"According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities, the 2017 iPhone will add wireless charging for the first time. Instead of plugging in a cable, iPhone 8 owners will be able to charge their batteries using an inductive pad similar to how the Apple Watch charges"
"I got faith that Apple will do it right, in other words that it won't be required to put the device on some charging surface," says BelgianWaffle.
"Look at what they did for the Apple Watch. They'll turn the iPhone dock into a capacitive cradle," states Aeron.
The iPhone 8 will come out after Samsung releases the Galaxy S8, which could have a version with a 6-inch 4K screen, although many sources point to there also being a standard S8 with a 5-inch screen. Trusted Reviews predicts that Samsung's next smartphone will come out in February or March of 2016, and -- like the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus -- the headphone jack may disappear. Let's hope that if this happens, Samsung will include a free small adapter for regular headphones like Apple did.
2017 looks like it could be the best year yet for smartphones. In addition to the iPhone 8 and the Galaxy Note 8, the Inquisitr recently reported about the impending release of the Microsoft Surface Phone, which will run a full version of Windows 10. Which smartphone are you looking forward to the most -- the iPhone 8, the Galaxy S8, or the Surface Phone? Let us know in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images]