Apple’s new iPhone 8 will be officially unveiled today. The latest smartphone is expected to be a radical change for the company, which will seek to wow users for the 10th anniversary of the device.
Fans got an early taste of what’s in store ahead of today’s release date when Apple suffered a major leak two days before its launch, with many of the iPhone 8’s features being revealed.
The latest leaks suggest the new phone – its price could be in the region of £1,000 – will actually be called the iPhone X and will include wireless charging, facial recognition, an edge-to-edge display and – for the first time – no home button. Apple is expected to release the device alongside two other phones, called the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
Here’s everything you need to know Tuesday’s the iPhone X release.
When will it be released?
Tim Cook is expected to unveil the iPhone 8 at an event in California on September 12. In August the company sent invitations out to journalists inviting them to an event at its new Apple Park headquarters at 10am Pacific time (6pm UK time).
Tradition dictates the devices will go on sale a week after their announcement, making it likely the iPhone 8 will be available for pre-order on September 15 and hit stores on Friday September 22.
Apple has dismissed rumours that production delays could affect the release of the phone, predicting strong sales in the coming months – above expectations and presumably driven by an iPhone launch.
There could be a limited supply of the iPhone 8 for the first few months of sales.
What will Apple unveil today?
Apple is planning to break with tradition and release three phones in September: the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
The company normally releases a new design one year and follows with a slight upgrade the year after. Following this logic, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are anticipated to feature minor upgrades to the iPhone 7, such as a faster chip and longer battery life.
The flagship phone is now expected to be called the iPhone X and will feature a radical redesign in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone. It could give the device a new name in honour of the splash,
The company is also expected to unveil a third generation of the Apple Watch and a 4K Apple TV.
How much will it cost?
The iPhone X will probably be Apple’s most expensive handset year, with estimates suggesting it could cost $1,000 in the US. The weak pound and VAT mean that this could well translate into a cost of £1,000 or more in the UK.
The 8 and 8 Plus models, which may be available in greater numbers and earlier, are likely to be cheaper, close to the current iPhone 7 and 7 Plus prices of £599 and £719.
What features will the iPhone X have?
Here are some of the best and most plausible suggestions floating around the rumour mill.
It has long been an ambition of Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, to make an iPhone that looks like one piece of glass, with a screen that covers the whole of the front of the phone.
Rumours suggest this might finally come to fruition with the new iPhone X. Clues in the HomePod code suggest the phone will have a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED display. Apple could also replace the device’s aluminium back with a glass back and aluminium bumper.
No home button
The home button has been a feature of every iPhone since the original in 2007, but Apple may be in a position to get rid of it. It has already introduced advanced pressure-detection technology with 3D Touch, and last year’s iPhone 7 had a solid-state home button that vibrates instead of clicks.
The iPhone screen now also wakes up when the phone is picked up, so there is less need to click a physical home button. Apple has patented a way of embedding Touch ID, its fingerprint reading technology, in the screen, so that might solve security issues.
The latest leaks from Apple’s firmware revealed a virtual home button, that could be resized or even hidden.
Facial recognition software
Apple is expected to replace its Touch ID fingerprint scanner and home button with an infrared scanner that unlocks the phone using facial recognition software. The security upgrade is said to be super fast, able to scan a user’s face and unlock the device in “millionths of a second”.
Developers found references to the technology, dubbed Pearl ID, in code for the HomePod smart speaker. It could be used to unlock the phone, log in to apps and verify Apple Pay transactions.
Similar facial recognition is currently available on rival phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8.