Apple Loop: New iPhone 7S Leaks, $1000 iPhone 8 Returns, Apple Needs Samsung’s Curved Screen – Forbes

Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the changes to the back of the iPhone 8, the curved screen on the front, questions over the iPhone 7S, the $1000 iPhone Pro returns, the lack of innovation around the fingerprint sensor, Apple sacrificing repairs for security, iLife going free, and mapping EV charging in the UK.

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).

Latest iPhone Leaks Highlight Radical Design

More details on this year’s flagship iPhone have come out this week, and it looks like the big design changes are back on track .The four millimeter bezel is evident, as is the fingerprint sensor staying on the front of the iPhone (although the jury is still out on that one). Forbes’ Gordon Kelly looks at the information here:

The most striking part of the leak is the claim that not only will Apple integrate the fingerprint sensor under the iPhone 8’s display, but that it will also do the same for the front facing camera and proximity sensors at the top of the phone. If correct, this would be a truly radical step forward.

Interestingly this is independently backed up by /Leaks and iFanr which obtained virtually identical schematics (with fractionally different dimensions).

Read more on the latest leaks here on Forbes.

iPhone 8 concept render (Image: Oscar Luna Martinez)

Oscar Luna Martinez

iPhone 8 concept render (Image: Oscar Luna Martinez)

The Curved iPhone Looks To Samsung

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has also been looking ito the latest leaks around Appl’es iPhone portfolio. While the idea of a curved screen remains, it appears that the significant curvature that many hoped for is out of reach in 2017. Apple can, at best, match the Galaxy S8, which is not surprising given the supplier of the new curved iPhone screen is… Samsung:

Apple suppliers have so far struggled to reliably produce heavily curved glass in mass quantities, so the company is more likely to ship the version with more subdued curves, the person added. The company is also testing a simpler design that has an aluminum back, rather than a glass one, and slightly larger dimensions, one of the people said.

Because of its early lead in the mobile OLED display space, Samsung will enjoy a rare upper hand in this year’s high-end smartphone contest. At launch, Apple will exclusively use Samsung Display Co. OLED panels for the redesigned iPhone, as other suppliers won’t be ready to supply mass quantities until later, Bloomberg News reported last year. Apple has ordered around 100 million panels from Samsung, the people said.

More at Bloomberg.

But What Will Make The 7S Special?

Alongside the iPhone 8, Apple will be updating the current design, presumably to become the iPhone 7S and the iPhone 7S. Which leads to an interesting challenge for Apple… with the iPhone 8 representing a small step forward (apart from the physical design), what can the 7S family do that will be seen as a worthwhile update without cannibalizing the ‘Pro’ iPhone?

The balance point between the iPhone 7S, 7S Plus and iPhone 8 is going to be a curious one. Chipsets will likely be slightly faster and more efficient across the portfolio and Apple is going to keep key features like the addition of the smart connector for the iPhone 8 (or should it be the iPhone Pro). That doesn’t leave many areas for the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus to be improved on without encroaching on the iPhone 8, especially if Apple brings OLED to all three handsets.

Which leaves price.

More here on Forbes.

Apple iPhone 7 (image: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

Apple iPhone 7 (image: Ewan Spence)

The $1000 iPhone Returns

Samsung’s release of the Galaxy S8 has put pressure on Apple to keep the iPhone 8’s cost as low as possible, but an increase in material costs and the introduction of new components means an entry-level price for the Pro iPhone could still hit the $1000 mark. Shona Ghosh reports:

Analysts are split on whether Apple might stick the $1,000 price tag on the high-end iPhone. But a new analyst note from Longbow, sent to investors on Tuesday, offers more proof that Apple should at least be thinking about it.

Analysts Shawn M. Harrison and Frank Carson wrote that it increasingly costs Apple more to make the iPhone, saying design changes have driven “a mid- to high-single digit increase” in recent years. That’s before Apple even thinks about introducing a pricier OLED display, which it reportedly will for the new iPhone, and takes a “30% increase in memory prices” into consideration.

More at Business Insider.

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