Apple Loop: New iPhone 8 Design Leaks, Samsung’s iPhone Killer, MacBook Pro Disappointment – Forbes
Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes an exclusive look at the iPhone 8 design and its biggest challenger, thoughts on the release date of Apple’s flagship smartphone for 2017, the MacBook Pro’s diminished role, iOS 10.3.3’s important Wi-fi security update, Apple streaming directly into your ear, and a lament for the iPod Shuffle.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).
A New Look At The iPhone 8 Design
The iPhone 8 is coming and while we have a rough idea on size and design, this week the flagship smartphone came into focus. Working alongside luxury case maker Nodus, Forbes’ Gordon Kelly brings us the best look at the iPhone 8 design yet:
An enlarged, elongated 5.8-inch display is surrounded by dramatically reduced bezels of approximately 4mm on all sides, the theory being the iPhone 8 won’t be as prone to accidental input like the Infinity and Edge displays on Samsung’s premium Galaxy smartphones.
You will also see a new bottom edge render confirming Apple will not bring back the headphone jack after its controversial removal from the iPhone 7. Despite rumors to the contrary, the Lightning port also remains (though USB Type-C may feature on the wall plug as part of a wider move to finally adopt fast charging).
Should The iPhone 8 Be Late Or Be Sold Out?
The big question I addressed this week was about the delay to the iPhone 8. The conservative opinion is that Apple will wait for stocks to build up of the expensive iPhone 8 and its advanced hardware. But what if Tim Cook would rather keep to the traditional September launch date, even if it meant the iPhone 8 would be almost impossible to find in store?
The iPhone 7S and 7S Plus will pick up the slack with the more traditional price point to allow the iPhone 8 to innovate on specs and sell at a higher price to maintain Apples forty percent margin. If Apple wants to release the iPhone 8 in the traditional September window with a far smaller stockpile of devices, nobody is going to genuinely know just how limited the supply of the tenth-anniversary flagship will be.
Do We Already Have 2017’s Smartphone Winner?
The iPhone 8 is winning the media battle. The iPhone 8 is defining the hardware expectations for the upcoming generation of handsets. And the iPhone 8 (alongside the 7S and 7S Plus) is dominating the supply chain. I’m happy to argue that the iPhone 8 has already won 2017:
The iPhone 8 could well be delayed and in short supply. The iPhone 7S and 7S Plus appear to be little more than iterative upgrades front he iPhone 7 family. The overall specifications may be improved from previous models but on paper they will do little more than bring Apple’s smartphones to the same level as the Android flagships.
All of that may be true, but Apple’s 2017 handsets have already dominated much of the mobile landscape and will continue to do so for the rest of the year and into 2018.
The iPhone 8’s Biggest Challenge
T3’s David Nield thinks the opposite. He highlights Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 as the biggest danger to Apple’s ascendancy, highlighting the potential difference in volume of sales, Samsung’s design chops, and more momentum behind the South Korean company’s product:
The iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus aren’t bad phones at all – in fact they’re very good – but Samsung genuinely raised the bar with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus this year, with the shrunken bezels and overall design of the phones making Apple’s efforts suddenly look rather dated (to be fair, the launches were five months apart). If they can follow it up with an equally spectacular Note phablet then Apple is going to have to have something very special up its sleeve to grab back the headlines and avoid getting overshadowed.
We don’t think Apple is going to take a complete beating over the next couple of months, and we’re sure that the iPhone 8 will sell very well, if Apple can make enough of the phones to keep up; but when the final assessment is made on 2017, we may well be calling it as Samsung’s year.