What Will Be in the Next, Next iPhone?

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The pixels are barely cool from speculation about Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) so-called iPhone 8 feature list and already we have our first leak of what to expect in the 2018 version of the popular smartphone.

An exclusive story posted Wednesday night at Asia.Nikkei.com cites industry sources who say Apple is looking to release three new iPhone models next year and that all three will use organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display screens. Apple, of course, remains mum.

An OLED display is expected to make its debut on this year’s top-of-the-line iPhone, with the display screen covering the entire front of the device, and including a virtual Home button. Provided that reported problems can be overcome, the iPhone 8 may also include a Touch ID scanner embedded in the display screen. Minor upgrades to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are also expected, but the flagship iPhone 8 is getting all the attention.

According to long-time Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in addition to three new iPhones, including one with an OLED display (minus the fingerprint recognition feature), we can expect the following features this year:

  • 3D sensing for facial recognition & improved selfie quality on the iPhone 8
  • Increased memory capacity of 3GB for dual-camera devices, and 2GB DRAM for single camera iPhones
  • Storage options of 64GB and 256GB on all three devices
  • New models will include a Lightning port and an embedded USB-C power delivery chip for higher charging efficiency
  • Improved output power for the iPhone 8 receiver and speaker to create better stereo effects
  • Fewer color choices for the iPhone 8 than on other new models
  • Product introductions will occur in September but that the OLED-based iPhone 8 won’t be launched until October with a product ramp running into November and OLED supply constraints into the first half of 2018

Most important, Ming-Chi Kuo forecast shipments of the three new models in 2017 will be 80 million to 85 million units, equally split between iPhone 8 and the two iPhone 7 versions. Taipei-based Yuanta Investment Consulting expects iPhone sales of 90 million in the second half of 2017. Half of those are forecast to be iPhone 8.

Ironically, perhaps, Apple’s chief rival, Samsung, will make the OLED displays for Apple’s newest phones. The Korean firm sold its first OLED-based phone in 2010.