So did the hardware shown off at Apple's June WWDC developer conference. Judging by what has been reported to date, the iPhone 8 will do the same.
On Monday, July 3, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo -- perhaps the two people responsible for the most Apple-related product scoops over the last few years -- delivered fresh reports on the iPhone 8's feature set. In line with prior reports, Gurman and Kuo state Apple plans to launch an OLED iPhone 8 with a virtual (software-based) home button and a display that takes up most of the device's front, along with two LCD iPhones (presumably the iPhone 7S and 7S-Plus).
Gurman provides new details about the rumored 3D sensing abilities of the iPhone 8's front camera. A source states the camera can "scan a user's face and unlock the iPhone within a few hundred milliseconds," and is "designed to work even if the device is laying flat on a table." Notably, the feature is intended to replace the Touch ID fingerprint sensor as a means of authenticating users. It could also conceivably be used to enable 3D avatars and camera effects.
Gurman's source adds Apple's face-unlocking feature is more secure than Touch ID, since it takes in more datapoints. Finisar Corp. (FNSR) and Lumentum Holdings Inc. LITE are believed to be supplying lasers needed to enable the iPhone 8 front camera's 3D depth-perception.
The report comes as Gurman, Kuo and others indicate Apple is having trouble developing a Touch ID sensor that's built into the iPhone 8's display. Kuo, who has already reported that the iPhone 8's production ramp will be delayed to the October/November timeframe due to technical challenges, now predicts the phone won't have a fingerprint sensor. Another possibility is that Apple will place the sensor on the back of the phone, as Samsung and many other Android OEMs do.
Gurman reiterates that Apple wants the iPhone 8 to contain a chip, known internally as the Neural Engine, dedicated to handling AI/machine learning algorithms. And like others, he states the phone will have curved front-and-back glass panels -- Corning Inc. (GLW) is the likely glass supplier -- held together by a steel frame.
Kuo reiterates the iPhone 8 will have a 5.8-inch display, while adding it will sport "the highest screen-to-body ratio of any smartphone currently available." Along the same lines, Gurman reports the device will be "about as big physically as the [4.7-inch] iPhone 7, but will have a display roughly the size of the one on the [5.5-inch] iPhone 7 Plus."