Apple is expected to launch three new iPhone models this year, two iterative updates with similar industrial designs to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and one major radical new phone tentatively dubbed ‘iPhone 8’.
A new set of photos have surfaced on Weibo purporting to show molds for all three of the new phones. They don’t really reveal anything what we haven’t seen rumored before, but it’s interesting to see the new size in context. More photos after the jump …
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Something to note about this particular leak is that molds are usually jumping through two layers of indirection. The molds are likely meant to create iPhone cases or dummy iPhone units, not the actual iPhones themselves.
Of course, case leaks have been a reasonably accurate predictor of next-gen iPhone hardware in previous years, so it would be silly to discount it outright.
As reported before, the iPhone 8 — pictured middle — is much closer to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 chassis size than the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. Despite the similar physical dimensions, the iPhone 8 is expected to feature a 5.8-inch display thanks to dramatically smaller bezels horizontally and vertically.
From the new photos, it seems the iPhone 8 is marginally taller and a fraction wider than the iPhone 7.
The molds include cutouts for the rear camera. Again matching previous leaks, the iPhone 8 mold shows a vertical camera module. Other schematics indicate that this single bulge will contain two camera sensors and the flash. Apple likely had to reorient the dual-camera system from horizontal to vertical due to the drastic reduction in chassis width.
All three molds include two holes near the middle of the extrusions. This is unlikely to relate to any specific iPhone hardware change and is simply a manufacturing artefact of how these molds are made. You can see a more complete iPhone 8 dummy from April to get a better idea about how the final phone would look.
In terms of features, the iPhone Pro/iPhone 8 has been reported to tout new 3D-sensing front cameras, upgraded waterproofing, an Apple A11 chip, a bigger battery and more inside the redesigned stainless steel and glass chassis. The 7s phones may swap out aluminium for glass as the back material but in generally will look similar to the current generation iPhones.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 7s, 7s Plus and iPhone 8 in the fall at a media event in September. All three phones should feature wireless inductive charging capabilities. The iPhone 8 may go on sale later (October) than the modest iterative devices and is expected to carry a significantly-higher premium price tag.
iOS 11 may give some more clues about what to expect from the next-gen iPhones; many are expecting the announcement of a Dark Mode to take advantage of the rumored OLED display, for example. Apple will announce iOS 11 at its WWDC keynote on June 5, as well as new versions of macOS, tvOS and watchOS. The debut of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro (also reported to be bezel-less) and a new Siri Speaker product have also been rumored to be unveiled at WWDC.