Rumours are flying that the iPhone 8 will be nothing more than a Samsung Galaxy S8 knock-off. Could they be true? PAT PILCHER speculates.
Hype is building as Apple’s marketing machine grinds into action. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you most likely already know it’s around the soon-to-launch iPhone 8. It’s a big deal, too, as the iPhone 8 will mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.
As usual, leaks abound, and here’s the thing: based on the leaks, the almost bezel-free, home button-free, OLED display-equipped iPhone 8 sounds a lot like Samsung’s recently launched S8 and S8+.
Before I get inundated with hate mail from indignant Apple fanboys, there’s a caveat. Much of the content of this story is speculative. It has to be. Until the iPhone 8 launches, it’ll be nigh on impossible for anything but speculation.
Still, based on the rumours, it seems to me that Samsung has beaten Apple to the innovation party. There’s no escaping the fact that the iPhone 8 sounds a lot like an Apple-flavoured Galaxy.
In all fairness, iPhone 8 rumours also point to some innovations that are not in Samsung’s Galaxy S8. The biggest one is said to be an ultrasonic under-screen fingerprint sensor. Then there’s dual cameras on the front, which rumours say are for augmented reality. They could also be for depth sensing facial recognition. In theory, it isn’t as easy to fool as the S8’s single front camera. Both these will add petrol on the fanboy bonfire for the inevitable online scraps once the iPhone 8 launches.
The most prevalent rumour has it that Apple will use an OLED display. This means the iPhone 8’s screen could have rounded edges like the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+. Industry scuttlebutt says the screen will be about the same size as the iPhone 7+. The iPhone 8 body will be closer in size to that of the iPhone 7.
A key impediment to this is the round fingerprint sensor home button found on today’s iPhones. Like Samsung, Apple is said to be replacing it with an on-screen version. Thing is, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and 8+ has already done this. Other rumours point to there being no curved screen. Short of a verifiable leak showing the front, back and sides of the iPhone 8, it’s all but impossible to know which rumours are right.
Build-wise, the thing remain a little more conventional. The iPhone 8 is supposed to consist of an alloy chassis with a glass front. There are rumours of a premium all-glass model that’ll work with wireless charging (like the Samsung Galaxy). Equally interesting are rumours around non-wireless charging models. According to these rumours, Apple will bin the lightning port and replace it with a USB C socket. This could mean a new dongle for headphones and many obsolete iPhone accessories.
All-told, it sounds like the iPhone 8 will be a lot like Samsung’s Galaxy S8 – with a few backed-in extras designed to one-up the competition. I’m still wondering what made-up marketing nonsense will be used to name the features highlighted by the latest crop of rumours.
Rumours and fanboy flailing aside, the iPhone 8 does sound like an exciting device. Let’s watch the fanboy fur fly.