2017 is the tenth anniversary of the launch of the first iPhone — and Apple is believed to have some big things planned.
There are rumours swirling about the features that could make their way into the high-end device, from wireless charging and a dual-camera to an edge-to-edge OLED screen.
Now, thanks to a report on Japanese-language Apple news site Macotakara — which we saw via 9to5Mac — we might know what it will be called: The iPhone Edition.
(In lieu of an official name, it has previously been typically referred to as the “iPhone 8.”)
Apple has used the the “Edition” name before, for the Apple Watch Edition — a luxury version of its smartwatch that cost more than $US10,000 (£8,200) and was made of 18-karat gold.
From what we’ve heard, the iPhone Edition will be a special anniversary device, and will be announced alongside more incrementally updated handsets (the “iPhone 7s”) that build on 2016’s model (the iPhone 7). The iPhone Edition is also rumoured to cost far more than a normal iPhone — upwards of $US1,000 (£822).
So there’s similarities with the Apple Watch Edition there, meaning the name would make sense.
The Edition might not launch at the same time as the 7s
Although the iPhone 7s (and 7s Plus) and the iPhone Edition are expected to be announced in September 2017, at a similar time to in previous years, the Edition might not actually hit shop shelves until later in the year.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo has suggested that production of the iPhone Edition may not actually begin until September 2017 — meaning its commercial launch could be pushed back until later in the year.
It would be a similar situation to what we saw with Airpods, Apple’s wireless headphones, which were announced in September 2016 but didn’t go on sale until that December.
The Macotakara report supports this theory — saying that because of ongoing tests, the Edition “may be very much behind” the commercial release of the 7s.
Apple is reportedly testing multiple prototypes
The site reports that Apple is testing “multiple prototypes” using different materials, including glass, aluminium, and ceramics. Here’s what it said, translation via 9to5Mac:
“Last year we published the article about additional iPhone 7s & iPhone 7s Plus model and the article about the 5 inch model equipped with the iSight Duo camera, but this 5 inch model would highly possibly be the “iPhone Edition” which is the premium model.
“Multiple prototype models exist for this model and the development continues to be carried out in parallel with EVT. The production level of development on various models are being done such as the models with IPS TFT, AMOLED, the model with or without home button, in addition to the models with a new glass, aluminium chassis, white ceramics etc.”
The iPhone Edition is rumoured to come with wireless charging, no home button, an edge-to-edge screen, improved battery life, and a double-lens camera for improved picture quality.
Its screen is believed to be OLED, which will produce better-looking on-screen blacks while also helping to save battery. Macotakara reports Apple is also testing out an LCD TFT display as well.
Don’t expect Apple to confirm any of this in advance, however: The company almost never comments on unannounced products and features.
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