This Tuesday, Sept. 12 (AAPL) Apple will unveil its highly anticipated 10th anniversary iPhone. And while the notoriously secretive company isn’t giving us any information about the handset — we’re not even sure if it’s going to be the iPhone X or iPhone 8 or if we’ll see both — that hasn’t stopped plenty of leaks and rumors from hitting the web.
And it’s thanks to the never-ending drip of those leaks, and a bit of insider information, that we’ve been able to put together a near-complete picture of what Apple plans to serve up with the next iPhone.
These are the top 8 updates we expect from Apple’s iPhone 8. Or is it the X? You know what, after reports from this weekend, we’re just going to go with iPhone X.
The biggest trend in smartphones is the edge-to-edge display. LG has done it with the G6, and Essential has done it with its own phone. Samsung has done it with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, and now Apple is expected to do the same with the iPhone X.
Judging from renders and case manufacturer leaks posted online, it looks like the iPhone X’s display will look more similar to the Essential Phone’s in that the display will run all the way up to the top of the handset and wrap around its front-facing camera.
The larger display would allow for a greater viewing area, which means developers would be able to show more of their apps on screen at once. That’s more space for your Snaps (SNAP), Instagram (FB) Stories, oh, and Netflix (NFLX).
OLED screen technology
Beyond just blowing out the edges of the iPhone X’s display, Apple is reportedly using a completely different technology for the handset’s screen. Rather than the usual LCD backlighting used in previous iPhones, Apple is expected to use OLED.
Both have benefits and drawbacks, but the main reason Apple seems to be moving to OLED is that the technology allows for more vibrant colors and deeper blacks versus LCD panels. That said, OLED displays can struggle in bright lights such as direct sunlight.
Samsung and other manufacturers, though, have been using OLED panels for some time and managed to work out such issues. What’s more, OLED panels can offer battery improvements, since they turn off individual pixels when creating blacks.
The iPhone X’s edge-to-edge display means Apple will have no place for a physical Home button and its accompanying Touch ID fingerprint sensor. There have been rumors that the Touch ID sensor will be built into the display, but the company might not even have to worry about offering consumers a reader if its expected facial-recognition technology is as impressive as reports indicate.
According to various publications, the iPhone’s facial recognition technology will be able to recognize a person’s face in milliseconds, and instantly unlock your phone. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the Face ID reader will be faster and more secure than Touch ID.
That means you might soon be able to pay for your chips at Duane Reade using your smartphone and your face.
With iPhone 7 Plus, Apple gave us the first iPhone with a dual-lens camera. For the iPhone X, the company is said to be making some changes by switching the orientation of the lenses from horizontal to vertical. In other words, the lenses will be stacked on top of each other.
The reason for the change is that it will likely improve the phone’s ability to take advantage of Apple’s new AR Kit in iOS 11. The software allows you to lay digital images over the real world. So imagine a shopping app that lets you view how your furniture would look in your home before purchasing it.
If Apple’s past serves as precedent, then you can also expect the camera’s overall quality to improve, ensuring your photos turn out cleaner and crisper.
Smartphone makers have been using wireless charging technologies for some time, and, according to 9to5Mac, Apple is finally jumping on the bandwagon. The company will reportedly include the ability to charge your handset without wires when the iPhone X hits the market.
Well, technically it’s not wireless. You still need to plug in the charging pad, just like the Apple Watch’s charger. But you’ll be able to pick up your iPhone while sitting in bed at night without having to worry that you’ll also pull the charger out of the wall.
I’ve never really been a fan of wireless charging, since, you know, you still have to use wires — but I can see how some users would appreciate the tech. Still, I’d just rather stick to an old-fashion cable and plug.
The iPhone 7 was the first iPhone to get any kind of significant water-resistant technology. And while that phone could spend up to 30 minutes submerged in up to three feet of water, The Investor reports that the next iPhone will be able to stay submerged in more than 3 feet of water.
That means you might be able to take your iPhone into the deep end of the pool for some sweet underwater selfies.
The iPhone X is built to take advantage of everything iOS 11 has to offer, so you know that the handset will be thoroughly equipped to handle everything the software can throw at it.
That includes an updated Siri with the ability to pull in even additional query suggestions, the aforementioned AR Kit functionality, updated machine learning capabilities using Apple’s Core ML framework, a vastly improved App Store and more. The iPhone X will likely be the most powerful handset Apple has ever built.
This one might not be the best feature, but it needs to be discussed anyway. The iPhone X isn’t going to be cheap. In fact, it’s not even going to be affordable for many consumers if the rumors about its price are correct. The iPhone X is expected to cost, hold your breath, around $1,000. I’ll give you a second.
Okay, you alright? Good. Anyway, $1,000 isn’t exactly an unheard of price for a smartphone. Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 8 costs between $930 and $960 depending on which carrier you purchase the device for, and Apple’s own iPhone 7 Plus costs $969 with 256GB of storage. But if that $1,000 is just to purchase the base version of the iPhone X, the company will likely have a heck of a time moving the handset in major volumes.
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Email Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.