iPhone 8 release date, specs, features: Big changes expected on next iPhone, expected by fall 2017

REUTERS/Michael Dalder
Customers gather outside an Apple store before the release of iPhone 5 in Munich early September 21, 2012.

It has only been days since the public got their hands on the latest iPhone 7, but the community is already getting ready for the big changes that may happen when the iPhone 8 arrives next fall, in 2017. Next year also marks the 10th year anniversary of the legendary iPhone.

Apple is said to be implementing a major design overhaul for its next smartphone. It has long been rumored that John Ive, the chief designer at Apple, wanted the iPhone to look like a single piece of glass, which means that it will have an edge-to-edge display. The design will also eliminate the top and bottom bezels, the front-facing camera may purposely build directly into the display, as well as the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The physical home button has already been eliminated this year, replacing it with a touch-sensitive area that also has a fingerprint scanner and a taptic engine, Mac Rumors reported.

It is also speculated to be thinner, less power-hungry, and offers a more vibrant 5.5-inch or larger display. The flexible OLED screen could have been fully developed by that time, and it would be ready for the next year's iPhone.

Inside, an A11 chip that uses the 10 nm FinFET manufacturing process will be powering the future phone and could also be capable of long-range wireless charging. Additional security features may also be included such as facial or iris scanning.

MacWorld also added that the iPhone 8 could be protected by a Sapphire screen instead of the Gorilla Glass that Apple is already using it on its AppleWatch. The company could extend its use on its smartphone. It is rumored that the Foxconn, a major supplier of the company, is ready to build its own sapphire plant in Taiwan.

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The publication also added that the next iPhone could incorporate "virtual buttons" on the side of the device, which is similar to the alleged OLED touch bar that will arrive with the highly anticipated MacBook Pro 2016.

Apple is also said to be moving away from aluminum and would then use a glass body. The company is also rumored to be developing a viscoelastic material that could be used to cover the rest of its future phone and devices and that would absorb impacts, giving the next-gen iPhone a higher survivability rate.

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