It’s that time of the year where we start expecting the next iPhone instalment. The iPhone 8 isn’t the only phone we expect from apple this year and it isn’t the only iPhone giving apple a headache at the moment. Apple is rumoured to be working on an edition of the iPhone 8 that has a reflective finish. Apple typically delivers an “S” series upgrade in September in odd-numbered years, like 2017. This year, however, Apple and its suppliers are said to be struggling to mass produce the next flagship model, possibly called the iPhone 8, as well as the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus. According to a persistent series of reports by media, analysts, and supply chain sources, the debut of the “S” series, which will likely be a modestly upgraded version of the current generation iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, may be delayed.
The iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus are currently scheduled to start the final phase of production in August — months behind the normal timeline. This could result in any number of previously unthinkable scenarios including a postponed announcement, a significantly delayed ship date, or an announcement followed by severe product shortages. As the drama continues to unfold, we will keep on collecting information we can get out hands on.
Apple iPhone 7S, 7S Plus and iPhone 8: Release date
The Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both launched on 7 September 2016, while the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus debuted on 9 September 2015. Both launch events were a Wednesday, both were two days after Labor Day in the US and both were the last day of consumer electronics show IFA, which Apple notoriously never attends.
If Apple follows the same release pattern, the next iPhones could be announced on Wednesday 6 September 2017. Labor Day is on 4 September and IFA will run from 1 to 6 September in 2017, meaning a 6 September launch date would allow Apple to steal back some of the limelight from its competitors who do attend the Berlin show.
We are just guessing for now, but if we are right, we’d expect pre-orders to start on 8 September, and the devices to hit shelves around 15 September. A recent leak shows Apple Black Out days, which is when AppleCare staff apparently cannot take time off, between 17 September and 4 November. This could suggest the new devices will go on sale on 18 September, as 17 September is a Sunday, and therefore the company needs all hands on deck to deal with increased call volumes.
There have also been a couple of reports that the iPhone 8 might be delayed until October or November due to technical issues with the OLED screen so nothing is set in stone as yet though it is still expected to be unveiled the same time as the other devices.
Check out this cool concept trailer
Nikkei Asia, citing “two industry sources,” reports that Apple is planning to use advanced OLED displays in iPhone models from the second half of 2018. But it says that the iPhone maker’s suppliers might not be able to meet demand if Apple opts to use the new displays across its new iPhone lineup. (Taipei-based Yuanta Investment Consulting said shipments of new iPhone models in the second half of 2017 will reach 90 million, half of which will be OLED handsets.)
Original device manufacturer and Apple partner Wistron recently revealed some details about the iPhone 7S Plus, saying it will receive wireless charging and waterproofing. Apple’s current phablet, the iPhone 7 Plus, is already rated IP67 water resistant — making the mention a bit peculiar. Perhaps the company is looking to improve water resistance on the upcoming models.
Wireless charging, however, is a new feature that has been previously linked to the upcoming flagship iPhone X, but not so much the refreshed 7S line. The system would work similarly to conventional devices that charge wirelessly, through contact on a pad. Earlier in June, it was rumored that the iPhone 7S would receive an aluminum unibody like its predecessor, which would put wireless charging out of the question.
The iPhone 7 was the first device in the iPhone family that could be submerged up to a meter underwater for 30 minutes. But Apple’s could take it a step further with the next iPhones, ramping up the IP rating from IP67 to IP68 and putting it on par with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. That rumor comes from the Korea Herald, which cites “multiple sources.” Most people will hardly notice a difference. The IP68-rating allows submersion up to about 5 feet for 30 minutes, a minor improvement over the 3.3 feet depth against which IP67-certified devices are protected.
The iPhone 7S models may feature a familiar design. According to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri, the mid-range iPhones will serve as upgrades to the existing iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. They’ll likely sport LCD screens instead of the OLED technology rumored for the iPhone X, Arcuri says, and eschew the high-end iPhone’s “wraparound” design in favor of the current crop’s familiar flat display.
The iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus may ship in a new color. The jet black iPhone was a huge hit for the iPhone 7 despite the $100 premium, and according to recent rumors, Apple may well do the same thing with the iPhone 7S models. According to the Japanese Apple blog Macotakara, the new color’s red. Since this rumor spread, Apple has released a special Product (Red) edition of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, in partnership with the HIV/AIDS charity, making another Product (Red) edition of the new models likely.
Given the dearth of blockbuster features, we don’t expect Apple to tinker with the “S” series pricing too much. Expect the iPhone 7S to start around $649 (N233,640) and the iPhone 7S Plus at $749 (N269,000). The iPhone 8, on the other hand, is rumored to start somewhere between $850(N306,000) and $1,200(N432,000).