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iPhone 2017: Specs to expect from Apple's next flagship include glass back and A11 processor

International Business Times logo International Business Times 23-10-2016 Agamoni Ghosh
iPhone© Reuters iPhone

Even as the iPhone 7 makes its way at users' doorsteps, rumours have started to float about Apple's 2017 flagship. While sequentially the phone should be called the iPhone 7S, reports have so far pointed to the phone being named as iPhone 8.

Traditionally Apple releases an S model a year later after releasing the main models of an iPhone. However, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the device in 2017 the company is planning to offer a different iPhone, which according to rumours will be the iPhone 8.

IBTimes UK takes a look at the specs expected from the 2017 iPhone model from Apple.

Design and Build

Apple is said to have reserved some of its best technology developed for the mobile platform in the last few years for this 2017 model which it has hinted will be a game changer. Popular Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities says the company deliberately did not introduce ground breaking changes in the iPhone 7 range as it will do so in the 2017 iPhone.

For the design, Kuo expects that this iPhone will feature either glass or ceramic backs with metal frames, as phones with all-glass chassis aren't currently feasible "given technological bottlenecks." He says one of the key reasons Apple wants to move to glass is that producing the glossy finish that's currently used in the popular jet-black variants of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is difficult. We have already witnessed how there has been a shortage of the iPhone 7 and 7 plus jet black models that have limited productivity.

Another change that could feature on the 2017 iPhone design is the removal of top bezel of the phone. The top bezel generally houses the ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, the front speaker, and the front-facing camera. But the assumption for this design alteration came from an Apple patent that suggests the company is looking to move the front-facing sensors including the speakers underneath the display.

Since the iPhone 7 range is already waterproof it is expected the future iPhones will also posses the same technology.

Screen and Display

For the iPhone in 2017, Apple is expected to sport an edge-to-edge display measuring 4.7-inches. The company has taken a step back on large screens after iPhone 6 users were not too appreciative of them. In the iPhone 7 range as well the main model has 4.7-inch while the Plus model has a 5.5-inch screen.

Reports in January had stated that Apple struck a deal with Samsung Display for a new flexible OLED for the iPhone 7. However, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus did not showcase a flexible display as reported. This hints that the iPhone in 2017 may feature this display panel.

Some other rumours have however pointed towards the company using AMOLED screens for the 2017 model of the iPhone. A recent rumour had hinted that Apple supply chain partner TPK is working on a project to produce a glasses-free 3D display.

While the exact specs for display are still at contention one feature that is going to be missing from the next iPhone is the physical home button. Just recently Apple asked iPhone 7 and 7 Plus users to not panic if their home buttons were not working as they had an on screen home button back up. This indicates the company already has the technology but is saving it to introduce it at a later stage.

It is expected that the TouchID fingerprint scanner will also be housed within the screen.

Processor, RAM, ROM and OS

Apple and chip manufacturer TSMC signed an agreement to work together on a 10-nanometer "A11" processor design, expected to go into production later in 2017. This processor will be made exclusively for the next iPhone.

There is no solid report on what the RAM capacity of the next iPhone would be but given that iPhone 7Plus has a 3GB RAM, the next model could sport either a 4GB or 5GB RAM. Somehow Apple has never rushed into the RAM boosting competition. Although most Android models are currently moving towards 6GB and 8GB of RAM but for the 2017 model Apple is targeting just half of that capacity.

For internal storage or ROM, the company already has made a significant step by abolishing the 16GB model altogether and is likely to stick to the same strategy for the iPhone in 2017 as well. As for the OS, the company will introduce the iOS 11 for the next iPhone model.

Camera and Battery

Apple was expected to introduce the dual camera set up in 2017 but it has already done so with the iPhone 7 Plus. So a dual camera set up is a must for the 2017 model but exact specs are still not clear.

Unlike other manufacturers Apple never reveals the mAh capacity of its iPhone batteries but projects their power in terms of hours. Only after an iPhone is released can one assess the estimated capacity through benchmark tests. The battery for the next iPhone is expected to hold a capacity of 3,000 to 3,500 mAh given the iPhone 7 currently holds an estimated 2900 mAh battery.

The next iPhone is also speculated to have wireless charging capacity.

Release date and pricing

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were released in the month of September, which has become Apple's patent hardware product launch month for every year. The current iPhone 7 costs £599 in UK for the base model. If the next iPhone comes with the expected changes as has been claimed by analysts then apple could position its price much higher than the iPhone 7.

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