AppleAAPL +1.42%’s HomePod accident delivered a mother lode of iPhone 8 information. The company’s own code verified two exclusives (1, 2) I published last month and now in conjunction with this I can confirm the iPhone 8’s production-ready final design…
Following on from my renders last month, I have been able to obtain a prototype of Apple’s finalised iPhone 8 design. Unlike a number of dummy units which have surfaced in recent months, this is not a crude slab but a highly detailed model constructed with premium materials and operational power, volume and mute buttons.
This is the iPhone design Apple is currently putting into mass production.
iPhone 8 prototype (left) beside iPhone 7 (right)
So what do we learn from my prototype? In short: the leaked schematics were spot on. The iPhone 8 is indeed slightly larger than the iPhone 7, but noticeably smaller than the iPhone 7 Plus and it feels great in hand. It is similar to the Galaxy S8 in look and feel (which is a good thing) and it should be relatively easy for most owners to use one handed.
iPhone 8’s cut-out ‘notch’ can clearly be seen in the top bezel
The massive 5.8-inch edge-to-edge is also going to look stunning in the final release, though how the ‘cut-out’ notch in the top bezel – housing the front facing camera and sensors – will be designed around in software is open to dispute. I have some tip-offs here, but nothing rock solid. That said I do believe the notch will ‘square off’ (be blacked out) when viewing video to create a straight vertical image along the top bezel.
iPhone 8 vertical dual camera will protrude significantly
And speaking of vertical, yes the rear dual cameras are vertically aligned as widely tipped. This is partially to aid augmented reality (which it is frequently viewed in landscape mode) and partially as I believe the circuitry of the iPhone 8 left Apple with little choice, though expect it to be marketed as the former.
iPhone 8 (top) has a much larger power button than the iPhone 7 (bottom), but why remains a mystery
In February I also exclusively revealed fast charging is coming to the iPhone 8. That remains correct and it will be joined by wireless charging (though the wireless charger will be an – expensive – optional extra) and the headphone jack will not be returning – something I saw coming in 2014.
iPhone 8 (left) switches to a glass back for wireless charging
For the record I also understand almost every point of the Bloomberg/Kuo iPhone 8 25 feature leak is indeed correct. These two sources have been on fire.
Adding to my confidence are my good contacts at MobileFun which have supplied me with Olixar’s commercially ready iPhone 8 cases. These are the real deal. I tried its Crystal Clear, Wallet and FlexiShield cases and each fits perfectly around my prototype unit. I’ve taken several images to demonstrate the precision of these finishes above and below – Apple’s partners are all on the same page.
iPhone 8 prototype inside an Olixar wallet production case
iPhone 8 prototype in an Olixar FlexiShield case – it’s a perfect fit
I am also told Apple will take the risky move of killing off Touch ID in the iPhone 8 to go solely with ’Face ID’ facial recognition security (passcodes are still available obviously), though I haven’t been able to verify this through more than one source.
iPhone 8 (top) is longer than the iPhone 7 (bottom)
That said given how significant the overhaul of the iPhone 8 is, I don’t see any smartphone generating more interest over the next year and I expect whatever follows the iPhone 8 will be iterative for at least one maybe two generations. The iPhone 8 is Apple’s big move and it looks set to be a home run.