The latest rumor about the iPhone 8 could make audiophiles very happy and one-up its biggest rival — even if it raises the cost of the already potentially super-expensive flagship.
The deluxe 10th anniversary model of the iPhone might ship complete with Apple's latest, most-beloved iPhone accessory: AirPods. The current 7 and 7 Plus phones are packaged with basic wired EarPods with a Lightning connector, so having true wireless buds right out of the box would be another major upgrade.
The news comes to us via a JP Morgan investors note, obtained by 9to5Mac. The firm recently made us question its validity with bold claims about the iPhone 8 based around sketchy sourcing and guesswork — but this leak appears to have some more beef to back up its claims in the form of some new device schematics. It's unclear when this investor note went out based off 9to5Mac's report.
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AirPods would make the iPhone 8 even sexier, but there are plenty of reasons why their inclusion is unlikely to work out.
AirPods are still selling like crazy — ordering them online still comes with a six-week wait period, months after their (delayed) release. That high demand proves the AirPods can sell on their own, and the delays mean that producing enough earbuds for the bundle could also be an issue, something Apple is already looking to avoid with the iPhone 8.
The buds are expensive, too. These aren't the throwaway EarPods that sell for just $29. AirPods are a premium, $159 product. That cost would be factored into the bundle, making the iPhone even more costly.
The only real reason Apple might package the AirPods along with the iPhone 8 would be to bury the Samsung Galaxy S8 and its new AKG by Harman wired headphones. They're a nice set of buds, by all accounts — but they can't compare to the best-selling headphones on the market.
Not quite bezel-free
The note also predicts the OLED-screened 8 will feature a 5.85-inch edge-to-edge display with an integrated home button, but the phone will still sport top and bottom bezels, à la the S8. Other schematics we've seen from more reliable leakers have featured true edge-to-edge, bezel-free displays, with a "function area" built into the screen.
JP Morgan's sources don't have an answer for one of the biggest questions about the iPhone 8's design: where's the thumbprint scanner? In the quest for true edge-to-edge displays, the feature's placement has reportedly been an issue as Apple works to move it beneath the display.
Samsung gave up and awkwardly put its fingerprint reader on the rear of the S8, a move Apple is likely hoping to avoid. JP Morgan's sources don't present any alternatives, however, literally posting a question mark in its rundown of the schematics.
The note also claims the iPhone 8 will have better image stabilization for its cameras, a 3D-facial recognition system, wireless charging, improved speakers, and enhanced waterproofing.