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iPhone 8 Leak Explains Apple's Expensive New Smartphone

Forbes logo Forbes 13/02/2017 Gordon Kelly, Contributor
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The iPhone 8 is shaping up to be the most exciting and controversial smartphones of 2017 and new leaks will only increase this…

Following news that the iPhone 8 will carry an asking price in excess of $1,000/£800 (whether that is “starting from” or “up to” remains unclear), we now have a better idea of how Apple will justify this: more of its functionality will be exclusive than we expected.

According to Mac Otakara, Apple has decided the iPhone 8 will be the only 2017 iPhone to integrate wireless charging. This contradicts previous reports which claimed the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus (incremental upgrades on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus) would also hop on the wireless bandwagon. 

Apple iPhone 8 concepts based on leaks shows how wireless charging could look. Image credit: Veniamin Geskin © Provided by Forbes Media LLC Apple iPhone 8 concepts based on leaks shows how wireless charging could look. Image credit: Veniamin Geskin

Apple iPhone 8 concepts based on leaks shows how wireless charging could look. Image credit: Veniamin Geskin

For the latter two models Mac Otakara claims Apple will have a workaround. It will sell separate wireless chargers for them made by Luxshare, the Chinese company behind the inductive charging in the Apple Watch. These are unlikely to be compatible with previous iPhones without additional accessories, such as wireless charging cases.

There is more bad news too as Mac Otakara says the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus will not include the Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adaptor supplied with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. There will be no Lightning to USB Type-C adaptor either, Apple’s preferred standard for its MacBook range. No reason for this was given.

Understanding Apple’s 2017 iPhones

So what is going on here and what should you think?

To get a handle on it, it helps to understand Apple’s strategy for 2017. The company will release three premium iPhones: the iPhone 8 (some say it will be called the ‘iPhone X’), the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus. The former will be a radical redesign to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone while the latter two will retain the same designs launched with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2014.

Concept render of the much rumoured 2017 10th anniversary iPhone 8 alongside iterative iPhone 7S models. Concept image credit: Veniamin Geskin © Provided by Forbes Media LLC Concept render of the much rumoured 2017 10th anniversary iPhone 8 alongside iterative iPhone 7S models. Concept image credit: Veniamin Geskin

Concept render of the much rumoured 2017 10th anniversary iPhone 8 alongside iterative iPhone 7S models. Concept image credit: Veniamin Geskin

Should Apple nail the iPhone 8 design it is likely to fly off shelves – even if models start at $1,000, given top of the range iPhone 7 Plus models are already close to this figure – and help boost Apple’s profit margins which (while huge compared to rivals) have been falling in recent years. Of course by making the iPhone 8 the only model with integrated wireless charging, the chances of its success would only increase.

But should you trust Mac Otakara? On the one hand the site is famed for its big exclusives. Notably last year it was first to report Apple would remove the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (I had theorised it much earlier, but that was speculation). But Mac Otakara has been wrong in the past and its poor English language translations often undermine it. For example this time its reference to 5-inch iphones is a clear error. 

Consequently my advice is always to keep calm until Tim Cook is standing on stage with the new models in September. Yes you can expect three premium iPhones, yes you can expect one to be a radical departure from previous generations, and yes you can expect that model to be most expensive iPhone ever made.

Arguably the stakes have never been higher, but it’s also nice to see Apple taking risks again…


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