Rumors

iPhone 8 may have (slightly) curved screen after all

Contradicting a recent report, Japanese outlet Nikkei Asian Review wrote Wednesday that Apple’s rumored 5.8-inch iPhone will have a display based on active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) technology that’s slightly curved on the sides, but not as curved as Samsung’s Galaxy series.

A source familiar with the handset’s design said the curve of the iPhone 8 screen will be “gentler” than the screen curvature of Samsung’s Edge handsets because of the challenges of making curved glass covers to match screens.

More evidence points to late 2017 launch for iPhone 8

Evidence continues to mount suggesting that Apple’s AMOLED-based iPhone 8 flagship aka “iPhone Edition” may in fact launch later in the fourth quarter of 2017, unlike the refreshed LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus that should hit store shelves shortly following an announcement in September.

Citing industry sources, DigiTimes reported Tuesday that touch panel maker TPK Holding won’t begin churning out next-generation 3D Touch sensors for use in iPhone 8 before the fourth quarter of 2017.

Apple spotted testing new iPads

Potentially confirming KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s prediction of a planned iPad refresh due this spring, mobile marketing firm Fiksu (via TechCrunch) has spotted several new iPad models that are currently being tested in Cupertino and nearby locations.

According to unnamed but allegedly “reputable supply chain analysts” who spoke with MacRumors, Apple could announce new products between Monday, March 20 and Friday, March 24.

Analysts are expecting Apple product announcements as early as next week

According to reputable supply chain analysts who spoke with MacRumors on condition of anonymity, Apple could announce some new products later this month, most likely between Monday, March 20 and Friday, March 24.

We already know that Apple will be previewing major updates to iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS at its annual developers conference, which this year kicks off with a keynote on June 5. We also know that the Cupertino company usually saves the best and most important product upgrades for September (iPhones, iPads, Macs and major iOS and macOS software upgrades). So, what could Apple be unveiling at a March press event?

Some experts think iPhone 8 will use flat rather than curved display

Previous reports from publications like The Wall Street Journal, Commercial Times, The Korea Herald and Nikkei, including high-ranking sources at suppliers such as Sharp as well as research from analyst from Barclays Research and KGI Securities, have predicted that iPhone 8 would come outfitted with a 5.8-inch wraparound AMOLED panel protected by a curved 2.5 glass cover on the front much like the cover glass on the iPhone 6s/7 series of phones which have the slightly curved edges.

However, several sources interviewed by MacRumors think iPhone 8 will have a flat rather than a curved screen due to lower manufacturing cost and better yields.

Alleged supplier of iPhone 8 wireless charging components expects revenue boost

Component vendor Lite-On Semi was mentioned in a recent Chinese-language Commercial Times report as a possible supplier of wireless charging parts destined for Apple’s 2017 iPhones. According to Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, the supplier is expecting to see its revenues reach the peak for 2017 in the third quarter (when iPhone 8 is rumored to enter mass-production, mind you) thanks to robust demand for its power management chips used for wireless charging in smartphones and other devices.

Google Photos picks up auto white balance editing feature in latest update

Google Photos for iPhone and iPad has picked up a brand new editing feature—auto white balance. Requiring Google Photos for iOS version 2.11, the app’s improved Auto Enhance tool now includes white balance correction that adjusts the white tone of your images to make them pop and given them a more natural look. Launch Google Photos on your device, select a look and the app will now correct not only exposure and saturation, but also automatically correct the white balance of the image.

STMicroelectronics tapped as supplier for iPhone 8’s rumored 3D camera sensor

Franco-Italian company STMicroelectronics used to be the sole supplier of accelerometers, gyroscopes and motion sensors for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices before Apple started dual-sourcing these microscopic components from both STMicroelectronics and Bosch Sensortec.

According to a report Wednesday by French blog iGeneration, the Cupertino company has tapped STMicroelectronics as a supplier for iPhone 8’s 3D camera sensor that should support exciting capabilities such as 3D sensing and mapping, 3D selfies, augmented reality features, advanced facial recognition and more.

Shift to OLED screens said to necessitate thin film solution for iPhone 8’s 3D Touch

Without mentioning sources, DigiTimes reported Wednesday that the widely expected shift from LCD to OLED screens will necessitate a thin-film solution for iPhone 8’s 3D Touch module instead of the older glass solution adopted for 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s/7 series. Suppliers behind the new 3D Touch modules are dropping big bucks on advanced factories to retain the precision that Apple demands.

iPhone 8 could be called iPhone Edition, may launch well after September announcement

Japanese blog Mac Otakara is reporting that Apple’s OLED-based iPhone 8 may be marketed under the “iPhone Edition” moniker, saying the flagship handset may hit store shelves well after an announcement in September. The story corroborates prior rumors and analyst reports suggesting that iPhone 8 might launch later than expected and cost upwards of $1,000.

Mac Otakara expects the LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus iterative updates to go on sale shortly following the announcement.

Instagram launches geostickers in Stories

Instagram has aped Snapchat all over again, this time by launching geostickers which I’m sure you know are location-based stickers originally popularized by Snapchat. This cool feature is live in just two cities, for now, but you can bet they’ll be aggressively rolling it out in additional markets as rapidly as humanly possible. If you happen to live in Jakarta or New York City, use geofilters to spice up your Instagram Stories with visual accessories representing your present location, down to the neighborhood.

WSJ: Sharp investing $878 million into OLED production for future iPhones

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday morning that Sharp is investing a trillion yen, or about $878 million, into a manufacturing facility solely dedicated to churning out the superior organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display panels.

Sharp is owned by iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and the facility is expected to focus exclusively on OLED panel production for future iPhones.

Apple may have removed limitations on its price matching program

Apple has a lesser-known program which lets would-be buyers get some of its latest products at a discount. The Cupertino firm used to match up to ten percent off a product’s original list price from authorized retailers, under certain conditions, but that ceiling is reportedly no longer in effect, as per an Apple store employee on Reddit.

First sign of macOS 10.13 spotted on Mac App Store

Visits from Mac computers identified as running macOS 10.13 have been increasing across iDownloadBlog and various other publications in recent weeks. And now, what looks to be the first public sign of macOS 10.13 has been spotted on Mac App Store, as per Pike’s Universum which provided reliable information in the past. Apple will preview the next major versions of macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS at its annual developers conference which kicks off with a keynote on June 5.