iPhone 7s Plus

KGI: 2017 iPhones to ship with 5W power adapter, wireless charger sold separately

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo clarified in a note to clients, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, that Apple's OLED-based iPhone 8 and LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus smartphones would ship with the same old 5-Watt power adapter, like prior iPhones.

A USB-A to Lightning cable should be included in the box as a standard accessory.

He reiterated his previous stance that iPhone 8 would include a USB-C Power Delivery chip for fast-charge capability. Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis predicted that iPhone 8 would come bundled with a 10-Watt power adapter featuring USB-C connectivity and fast-charge support.

All new iPhones coming down the pike in 2017 should adopt all-glass bodies with metal frames to support wireless charging functionality said to be compatible with the standard put forth by the Wireless Power Consortium, of which Apple is a member.

The analyst claims wireless charging will require an inductive charger, sold separately.

All new iPhones would use ten to fifteen percent faster RAM than iPhone 7 for better augmented reality performance in apps that use the new ARKit framework.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 7s Plus may use 3GB of RAM for better dual-camera performance, while the 4.7-inch iPhone 7s should have 2GB of RAM as it lacks a dual-lens camera.

Kuo said yesterday iPhone 8 would come in limited color options and feature 3D sensing for facial recognition and no Touch ID fingerprint scanning, adding that all 2017 iPhone models would have an improved stereo speaker system and come in 64 and 256GB storage options.

iPhone 8 mockup via iDropNews.

Wistron confirms at least one new iPhone will be waterproof and have wireless charging

At least one of Apple's new iPhone models coming this year will be waterproof and have wireless charging capabilities, Apple partner Wistron has officially confirmed.

According to Japanese outlet Nikkei Asian Review, waterproofing will alter the assembly process for the upcoming iPhones a little bit.

Yuanta Investment Consulting and Fubon Securities analysts claim Wistron is splitting orders for the upcoming 5.5-inch devices “with flat displays” with Foxconn, meaning Wistron is probably referring to an LCD-based iPhone 7 Plus model as having wireless charging features.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted a few months ago that all three iPhone models coming this year would comet outfitted with wireless charging modules.

Wistron is an Apple partner that is currently making a small number of the iPhone SE and iPhone 6 handsets in India so it's a bit surprising that they would jeopardize their Apple business by confirming a feature the Cupertino firm has yet to discuss publicly.

Here's what a company official said:

Assembly process for the previous generations of iPhones have not changed much, though new features like waterproof and wireless charging now require some different testing and waterproof function will alter the assembly process a bit.

The iPhone 7 series is splash, water and dust-resistant, rated IP67 under the IEC standard 60529. According to Apple, “splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear.”

Wistron is probably talking about increased water and dust-resistance under the IP68 rating, like Samsung's Galaxy S8. The Korea Herald said in January that iPhone 8 would feature IP68-rated dust and waterproofing.

As for the rumored wireless charging features, Reuters recently reported that Apple has been testing at least five different wireless charging technologies.

In February, Apple joined the Wireless Power Consortium, prompting some watchers to interpret the move as an unmistakable sign that iPhone 8 would use the ubiquitous interface standard Qi (pronounced chee) that's being widely used for wireless charging across a number of consumer electronics devices.

New leaks give the best glimpse yet of iPhone 8

We've seen our fair share of alleged iPhone 8 dummies, schematics and technical drawings, but not a single physical component has leaked out of factories in Asia—until today.

A pair of images showing front and back phone panels, shared in a Reddit post today, may give us our first look at Apple's rumored designs for the OLED-based iPhone 8 as well as the iterative LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus updates.

One of the images “confirms” that iPhone 8 could feature a vertically stacked dual-lens camera out the back, with an LED flash built directly into the bulge. The alleged iPhone 8 front panel shows a nearly full-screen design, with just a tiny bar at the top.

There's also a cutout near the top for the front-facing camera and the earpiece.

The Home button, at least a physical one, is nowhere to be seen, neither on the front nor on the back side. The alleged iPhone 8 front plate has virtually no bezels and appears to use protective glass that's slightly curved at the edges.

The other photograph shows these purported iPhone 8 parts pictured next to the alleged components for the 4.7-inch iPhone 7s and the 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus.

Those phones are said to feature a refined iPhone 7 design.

For what it's worth, the rear shells shown on that photo appear to be made from glass. Eagle-eyed readers could point out that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that all new iPhones this year will feature glass backs to support wireless charging.

The images are said to have been obtained from a case vendor that purportedly got them from a glass supplier in China. Apple has reportedly prototyped more than ten different iPhone designs this year, but it remains to be seen if these images represent the handsets that Apple will ship this fall or one of the abandoned designs.

What say you, fail or?

Leaked molds offer size comparison between iPhone 8, iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus

This weekend, leakster Benjamin Geskin published a batch of purported photos showcasing alleged manufacturing molds for Apple's upcoming 2017 iPhone refresh, offering a look at relative sizes of the OLED-based iPhone 8 model and the LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus range.

First surfaced on Chinese social network Weibo, the images serve as yet another indication that iPhone 8 will probably be just a bit wider and slightly taller than the 4.7-inch iPhones.

That's because iPhone 8 should squeeze a 5.8-inch OLED screen with a 5.1-inch active display area into a chassis roughly the size of a 4.7-inch iPhone by embedding the selfie camera, the sensors and the Home button directly into the display assembly.

Other iPhone 8 features we can glean from the images include a vertically aligned dual-lens system with an LED flash and a noise-suppressing microphone built directly into the bulge, plus an elongated Power button on the right side that some folks think could double as a fingerprint sensor if Apple is unable to integrate Touch ID into the OLED display.

Touch ID is built into the display itself, according to Geskin.

Don't let the holes near the middle confuse you: they're probably manufacturing artifacts.

While the iPhone 7s family is expected to feature slightly updated design and maybe even a glass backside to help with wireless charging, it won't have a nearly full-screen front face like iPhone 8. In other words, iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus should retain their fairly large “chin” at the top and the bottom because, unlike with iPhone 8, their front camera, Home button and sensors won't be integrated underneath the LCD panel.

Please take this news nugget with some skepticism because iPhone shells are machined, not cast. For all we know, the molds pictured on these photographs could be (and probable are) made by a third-party for use in the production of iPhone cases rather than actual handsets.

Geskin also published photographs of third-party cases for Apple's upcoming 10.5-inch iPad Pro model and a next-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, designed based on information obtained from a Foxconn source.

The purported cases suggest two things: 1) the 7.9-inch iPad mini lineup is indeed being discontinued, as previously rumored; and 2) 2017 iPads will relocate the microphones from the sides to the backside of the devices, like with the recently launched $329 9.7-inch iPad model.

3D Touch component costs for iPhone 8 to double vs iPhone 7

Apple is paying between $7 and $9 per unit for iPhone 7's 3D Touch components, but that price is expected to triple for the firm's rumored OLED-based iPhone 8 model to between $18 and $22.

The 150 percent price increase, according to a report in the Chinese-language Economic Daily News cited by DigiTimes, stems from the fact that pressure sensors for OLED displays require a separate protective glass bonding on both the front and rear of the display panel.

“Due to the additional bonding of glass covers, overall processing cost for OLED-based 3D Touch solution is about 50 percent higher than that for the LCD-based one but the quotes for the client is about 150 percent higher,” reads the report.

Taiwanese touch panel makers TPK Holdings and General Interface Solution act as suppliers of 3D Touch parts for existing LCD-based iPhones. Both TPK and General Interface Solution should be the sole suppliers of iPhone 8's enhanced 3D Touch components as well.

Apple has accepted the price increase, according to Economic Daily News.

iPhone 7's 3D Touch module, as mentioned before, directly bonds pressure sensors on the LCD display panel. For OLED display technology, TPK's 3D Touch solution entails bonding of a glass cover on the front and back side of an OLED panel each “to reinforce the fragile panel.”

TPK has reportedly passed certification for its OLED-based 3D Touch solution for iPhone 8. The company now expects to obtain significant orders from Apple.

Analyst predicts possible prices of iPhone 8 & iPhone 7s/Plus models

Simona Jankowski, an analyst with the multinational finance company Goldman Sachs, predicted that Appe's OLED-based iPhone 8 could cost $999 for a 128-gigabyte model, or $1,099 for the top-of-the-line model with 256 gigabytes of storage.

“We think the higher demand for the larger 5.8-inch form factor will be supported by the fact that iPhone 8 will have compelling new features not available in the smaller form factors,” like a 5.8-inch OLED display and 3D-sensing augmented reality technology, reads the note.

She told her clients in a note seen by Business Insider that the entry-level models of iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus may be priced at $649 and $769, respectively, like the current iPhone 7 models. The flagship 256GB iPhone 7 Plus model currently retails for $969.

“We expect iPhone 8 to have 128 GB and 256 GB models priced at $999 and $1,099, respectively,” Jankowski and her team wrote in the note to clients. She doesn't think Apple will offer iPhone 8 with just 32 gigabytes of storage.

Here's an excerpt from the research note:

Relative to the 128GB iPhone 7 Plus, we estimate the new features and higher commodity prices to increase the bill of materials by over $70, which we expect Apple to offset via a $130 price increase, resulting in a starting price of $999 for the 128GB capacity and $1,099 for the 256GB capacity.

The first $1,000 iPhone can drive “meaningful upside,” reads the note.

Goldman Sachs expects these features and costs:

5.8-inch OLED screen (adds $35) No bezel & all screen 3D sensing capabilities (adds $20) Better & faster flash storage and DRAM memory (adds $16 to $29) Capacity starting at 128 gigabytes Apple-desgined A11 processor No Home button Biometric authentication

She believes Apple has now finalized iPhone 8's design.

“Apple usually explores multiple designs in parallel,” explains her note. “However, with only four months left until launch, we believe Apple has now locked down the design.”

She estimates fiscal 2018 iPhone average selling prices will rise sixteen percent annually to $763 versus the $675 Wall Street consensus.

Due to the expected higher-priced iPhone 8 models, Goldman Sachs has raised its estimates further above consensus, setting its Apple price target to $170 from $164, representing ten percent upside from Thursday's close, and raising its Apple fiscal 2018 earnings-per-share forecast to $11.50 from $11.00 versus the Wall Street average of $10.40.

Fast Company was first to report back in February that the flagship iPhone 8 model could cost north of $1,000 due to advanced technologies and premium parts.

TSMC resolves manufacturing woes, kicks off production of A11 chips for upcoming iPhones and iPads

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has commenced production of Apple-designed A11 chips for upcoming iPhones and iPads.

According to a report Thursday from Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, the semiconductor foundry has successfully resolved initial manufacturing issues in the company's ten-nanometer FinFET process technology.

“TSMC has begun 10nm chip production for Apple's next-generation iPhone 8 series,” sources told the publication. “Production was once affected by issues involving stacking components in the backend integrated fan-out packaging process, but they have already been solved.”

TSMC is Apple's exclusive manufacturer of the in-house designed 16-nanometer A10 Fusion chip for the iPhone 7 series. TSMC's new ten-nanometer process should yield smaller chips that run faster and consume less energy.

TSMC has also secured 12-nanometer chip orders (a smaller version of its 16nm technology) from Nvidia, MediaTek, Silicon Motion Technology and HiSilicon. As for TSMC's 10nm process, the node technology has obtained orders from Apple, MediaTek and HiSilicon, as per sources.

iPhone SE or iPhone 7s could have strengthened Ion-X glass display like Apple Watch

The next iPhone SE or the upcoming LCD-based iPhone 7s/Plus could come outfitted with a strengthened Ion-X glass display like some Apple Watch models, as indicated by a new photo posted Wednesday to leak aggregator Slashleaks.

Slashleaks states that the leaked image, which originated from Chinese social network Sina Weibo, depicts glass casings and some of the manufacturing specifications for a 2017 iPhone model, internally code-named “N79”. The post doesn't make it clear if the next iPhone SE or the iPhone 7s/Plus updates might have a strengthened Ion-X glass cover.

The current iPhone SE and iPhone 7 models feature an aluminum rear casing. The photo shows two cutouts on the backside, one for a single-lens camera and another one, located right below the camera cutout, that could house Apple's quad-LED True Tone flash.

Assuming genuine, the leaked image probably shows the glass casings for the iPhone 7s series. On the other hand, prior rumors have claimed that the iterative iPhone 7s/Plus updates would have the same aluminum back design like their predecessors.

That being said, please take this story with healthy does of skepticism: according to Twitter, the two circular cutouts seen on the nearside appear to have been doctored.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, iPhone 8 should feature an iPhone 4/4s-like “glass sandwich” design with a stainless steel frame and a vertically aligned dual-camera system out the back, among other rumored enhancements.

Taiwanese outlet claims there will be no delay for iPhone 8 launch

We still don't know by how long Apple's OLED-based iPhone 8 might be delayed. Be that as it may, a Taiwanese outlet is saying that the flagship handset is on schedule for an announcement in September alongside the iterative LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus updates. Apple should begin selling the new iPhone range in October, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News repoted Monday.

An excerpt from the report:

The report defied previous speculations that volume production of new iPhone devices would be delayed to the fourth quarter of 2017 instead of the original schedule in August-September due to yield rate issues on production of some parts.

Contract manufacturers Foxconn Electronics, Winstron and Pegatron are allegedly hiring and training new workers in China in preparation of mass production of 2017 iPhones.

Suppliers should start ramping up production of new iPhone parts in June.


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Some of the suppliers mentioned in the report include semiconductor maker TSMC, substrate-like printed circuit board makers Zhen Ding Technology and Kinsus Interconnect Technology, as well as battery vendor Simplo Technology.

TSMC is thought to begin producing wafers for Apple-designed A11 chips on June 10 ahead of volume production in the second half of July. Zhen Ding and Kinsus should kick off volume production of related iPhone 8 components in June, added the report.

Older reports have said that the Tenth Anniversary iPhone, as it has been affectionally dubbed by the media, would be delayed because of manufacturing issues related to new components.

Concept image: iPhone X with Full Vision Display via iFanr

Barclays: 2017 iPhones will have True Tone display

According to research note from Barclays, obtained by MacRumors, all three iPhone models this year will adopt True Tone technology that's currently available only on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

The research notes states that both Apple's rumored all-new iPhone 8 model with an active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) display and the iterative LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus will each include a “full spectral sensing” ambient light sensor to support a “True Color” screen.

Nikkei corroborates iPhone 8 has 5.8″ OLED screen, iPhone 7s/Plus to use LCD panels

Nikkei Asian Review in a research note Monday corroborated previous reports which said that only a brand new iPhone 8 model would switch to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens, with the two smaller models—iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus—expected to retain their existing LCD panels.

Korean publication The Bell also said this morning that about forty percent of 2017 iPhones would have OLED screens, predicting that all new iPhones introduced in 2019 would sport power-sipping OLEDs.