This year marks a decade since Apple released the first iPhone. That fact, coupled with the reality that Apple hasn't introduced any major iPhone design changes in years, has lots of people very excited about what 2017 holds for the Silicon Valley tech giant.
Rumors about the so-called "10th Anniversary iPhone" — also unofficially referred to as the iPhone 8 — have been making the rounds for months. Buzz about the device will only build as we move closer to fall, when Apple is expected to announce its latest iPhones.
To help tide you over, here we examine all the latest rumors about Apple's highly anticipated flagship iPhone for 2017.
It'll Have an All-Glass Front
According to BGR, leaked drawings of the upcoming handset recently posted on the Chinese social media site Weibo suggest that Apple is bidding adieu to the iPhone's physical home button, following rival Samsung's lead. The drawings — which purportedly came from a worker at one of Apple's main iPhone manufacturers, Foxconn — indicate that the iPhone 8 will feature an all-glass front, like Samsung's recently introduced Galaxy S8.
In a recent report, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted the handset will have "virtual buttons" at the bottom of the screen instead of a physical home button, according to MacRumors. The Weibo drawings, meanwhile, show no fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone, suggesting that the Touch ID sensor will be embedded in the screen.
The Display Will Be OLED
All of Apple's smartphones so far have used liquid-crystal displays, but that could be changing. The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed people familiar with Apple's plans, reported in late February that the company is planning to give its iPhone 8 an OLED screen.
"The technology allows manufacturers to bend screens in ways they couldn't previously, such as by introducing a curve at the edge of the phone as in some Samsung models," the report notes. "Using OLED displays would allow Apple to introduce a phone with a new look to fuel sales."
Say Goodbye to Bezels
As for size, KGI's Kuo recently predicted that the iPhone 8 will be about the same size as the 4.7" iPhone 7, according to 9to5Mac. Reports also indicate that the phone's display will be 5.5" to 5.8", meaning the handset will likely sport a bezel-free design, like the Galaxy S8. This design would allow the phone to have a massive screen while still fitting comfortably in your hand.
The Front Camera May Have 3D-Sensing Tech
The leaked drawings posted to Weibo and obtained by BGR seem to confirm some earlier rumblings about the iPhone 8's camera. The main camera on the back will have two lenses, like the iPhone 7 Plus, BGR reported. Those lenses may sit vertically, instead of horizontally like those on the 7 Plus.
Perhaps most exciting, the front-facing camera may be getting "an advanced 3D depth-sensing feature," BGR noted. In other words, 3D selfies might be a thing in the future. This technology may also enable some cool new augmented reality features, along with secure, selfie-based authentication. The latter would let you unlock your phone with your face (and offer peace of mind that someone else won't be able to unlock it with your photo).
The Weibo post also indicates that "the iPhone 8's camera experience will be one of the highlights of the phone, complete with augmented reality features and 3D support," according to BGR.
It Could Get a USB-C Socket
One rumor making the rounds — and that we'd advise you to take with a grain of salt — is that the iPhone 8 will be getting a USB-C port. The WSJ's sources say Apple is planning to ditch its proprietary Lightning connector in favor of a standard USB-C port on the next iPhone.
On the upside, a switch to USB-C would allow for faster charging. On the downside, that means any Lightning accessories you have for your current iPhone, including charging cables and docking stations, wouldn't work with the iPhone 8.
It May Arrive Later Than September
While Apple typically releases its new iPhones in September, we may be waiting a little longer for the iPhone 8. BGR recently noted that the iPhone 8 may not make its debut until "October or even November," if rumors going around are true. However, Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White said the iPhone 8 "delay" should be just a few weeks. That would mean an early October release date.
Apple is said to be readying two other smartphones for release this fall: a 4.7" iPhone 7s and 5.5" 7s Plus. Those two handsets (which will offer iterative updates to their predecessors) are scheduled to make their debut in September. However, the iPhone 8 could take several weeks longer "due to challenges around the 3D sensing technology," the analyst said, according to BGR. The iPhone 8 is still on track to hit store shelves by the holidays, however.
It Could Cost $1,000
If you're in the market for a bargain smartphone, the iPhone 8 won't be the one for you. Per the WSJ piece, the phone will have a premium price tag of "roughly $1,000." If that's out of your budget, not to worry: The iPhone 7s or 7s Plus won't be as expensive as the 8.
Readers, what features do you hope the iPhone 8 will include? Are you planning to buy the phone when it comes out? Let us know in the comments below!