While the iPhone 8 isn’t going to be announced until September, this week has been packed with rumors about the upcoming device. And it looks like the display is going to be the main star of the show.
Rumor has it that Apple is going to announce three new devices — two new versions of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, and a new high-end device that could cost more than $1,000. And it looks like the rumors around the display are for this mysterious “iPhone Pro” model.
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (who is usually pretty reliable), the next iPhone could feature a 5.8-inch OLED display, but in a phone that is going to be roughly the size of the current iPhone 7. In order to do this, Apple is going to eliminate the bezel around the screen so the surface of the device is just a giant screen. Here’s what it’ll look like, according to this image from MacRumors:
As you can see, Apple is going to keep some space at the bottom for virtual buttons. Think about it as a sort of Touch Bar, but for the iPhone. You’ll see a virtual home button, but also buttons that are relevant to the app you’re currently using. Imagine having media playback buttons in the Music app, or a button to pick photos in the Messages app.
What about Touch ID? AppleInsider spotted that Apple patented a way to embed a fingerprint sensor into a screen. I guess Apple doesn’t want to put the fingerprint sensor at the back of the device like most Android phones.
Also worth noting, it looks like the screen is going to be taller than before. This way, Apple can ship a narrow device, which would be easier to hold with one hand than other big phones.
The screen would no longer be 16:9. It means that if you’re watching a video on YouTube in full screen, there will be black rectangles on the left and right of the video. If you’re watching a 21:9 movie in full screen, there will only be tiny black bars of 49 pixels on each side.
Also, can you see that the main 5.15-inch display area is a bit narrower than the 5.8-inch physical OLED? I’m not sure what it means exactly. Maybe the OLED display could be curved on each side like on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge — and you don’t want to display text on a curved display.
This display is going to pack a ton of pixels, as well. With a pixel density of 528 PPI, it’s a much higher-quality display than the current iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus display (respectively 326 ppi and 401 ppi).
Like on the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple could provide different levels of “zoom,” with 3x rendering as the default setting. Remember that the iPhone 7 Plus renders everything at 2208 by 1242 pixels, then scales it down to 1920 by 1080. If the main display area has a width of 1242 pixels, it would make a lot of sense.
Essentially, this rumored iPhone would display as much content as the iPhone 7 Plus display, but with a few extra lines of text, as the display is taller. Everything would appear a bit smaller though, so Apple could also let you choose 2x rendering by scaling it down to the phone’s display in real time.
But bigger screens in tiny phones usually lead to worse battery life. According to KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has found a way to pack more battery into the same footprint. Apple could be adopting a stacked PCB mainboard, piling up all those transistors on top of one another. Here’s an image from 9to5mac:
If the main PCB board is smaller, it could leave more space for the battery. Finally, the next iPhone could feature wireless charging. So you should be able to charge your phone more easily throughout the day.