Here’s why the Apple iPhone 8 is a bigger deal than the upcoming iPhone 7
First, let’s clear things up. I own an iPhone 6 Plus, which will soon be two years old at the launch of the upcoming iPhone 7 expected to take place this September. That said, I’m eager to know what’s in store for me, since I also happen to be a victim of Apple’s transition to better hardware. I own a device that sports 1GB RAM, while the current standard (thanks to the iPhone SE) is 2GB. This meant that my iPhone felt a lot slower within a year instead of typical two years for Apple devices. Owners of the Apple iPad Air and the iPad mini (1st gen.) will also feel the same way. I’m also excited about the iPhone 8, but not so much when it comes to the iPhone 7. Here’s why.
Those like me, waiting for a worthy upgrade (along with the fear of not being able to future-proof ourselves) will indeed be looking up to the iPhone 8 because the iPhone 7 will still pack in the same stuff in terms of hardware. We can expect an Apple A10 with a massive processing jump but for now we aren’t really sure if the shift from 14/16nm to 10nm (with multi-threading) is really necessary. The A9 for now seems fast enough to take on those benchmarks and certainly fast enough for iOS. With that said, the iPhone 8 that is expected to pack in some form of VR goodness, will.
The iPhone 7 (along with the 7 Plus or the Pro) is expected to pack in the same old TFT LCD tech for its displays. Frankly, speaking LCD displays are getting a bit too old. OLED seems to be catching up and the S-AMOLED displays on the Samsung S7 edge and the OnePlus 3 are proof of this. They are brighter, more energy efficient (meaning better battery life) and showcase a lot more depth. Like it or not the iPhone 7’s display will look a bit too old and this will be hard for Apple to explain since there won’t be a bump up in the resolution either.
With the iPhone 8, analysts and patents indicate that Apple may go for a flexible OLED display. One that is expected wrap around the corners of the smartphone getting rid of the volume buttons as well. It will certainly be a breathtaking sight to see the smartphone in the flesh. But Samsung with its project valley smartphone is expected to steal the show way before the iPhone 8 gets announced.
Apple is also said to be working on mLED or micro LED technology for its Watch displays. These are said to be a lot more efficient than the ones in its current Apple Watch range. So far the Cupertino Giant is the only one to be working on this technology, so we may see the same appear on Apple devices to come. But there is no ways that it can make it on a smartphone yet, as they are simply too expensive to produce at the moment. What we can expect with the iPhone 7 is a glare-free, anti-reflective screen something on the lines of what Corning displayed back in 2014, but has not gone mainstream yet.
As of today, we all do know that the iPhone 7 series will once again look similar to the iPhone 6 devices. The only expected difference will be missing antenna bands on the back that will be thicker but move towards the edges of the device instead of passing through the top and bottom ends. Add to this the a missing headphone jack at the bottom with the addition of another speaker something that has been common in all the leaks we have seen so far.
Image: USPTO image shows an iPhone patent that Apple applied for back in 2011.
The iPhone 8 on the other hand is expected to break the standard two year design refresh that we have seen from the company in the past years. The iPhone 8 is expected to look like a single sheet of glass and is expected to skip on the metal for its external appearance. It will be the much needed design break that should skip on the thick antenna bands that have been plaguing iPhone models since the 6.
And a refresh is needed indeed. This is because Apple’s iPhone will soon be running out of steam. Sales are expected to take a dip with the iPhone 7 itself and one of the reasons for the same will be the same reason you are reading this article, news about the iPhone 8. Apple seems to lagging behind in terms of new designs in the past few years. While the iPhone 6 was not received too well, people eventually adapted to its rounded design.
Add to this the lazy move of launching a very uninspiring product in the form of the iPhone SE, which was basically an iPhone 6 in the body of an iPhone 5 minus 3D Touch. The pricing of the same was not too impressive either, especially in India, where taxes and import duties bloat up the prices by quite a margin. Somehow we wish that Apple brought the iPhone 8 this year instead of the iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 will be another a transition device with little or no innovation (wireless audio really?) that may force Apple to launch another smaller iPhone SE mid-way next year, to make up for lost profits.