There are a big expectations for the iPhone 8, namely a major redesign featuring a large OLED display that wraps around the sides of the device with a front face featuring almost no bezels; the fingerprint Home Button will somehow be integrated into the screen.
In addition to the radical new design, KGI has a new report today adding another new feature to the list: a new, improved, 3D Touch system for enhanced pressure sensitivity.
KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that the new OLED iPhone will use a flexible display panel, which will likely allow it to curve around the sides of the main chassis. However, this makes it incompatible with the existing 3D Touch pressure sensors seen in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7.
Therefore, the upcoming flagship device will switch from a ‘FBCB sensor to a film sensor’, offering higher sensitivity and a wider range of 3D Touch pressure levels.
As OLED panel is more fragile than the LCD displays, Apple will reinforce the 3D Touch sensor with a metal structural part to provide support. The report does not detail whether this extra layer of metal would be externally visible, if it is solely an internal component.
Apple’s new flagship iPhone, currently being dubbed the ‘iPhone 8’, is expected to launch in the fall. Many sources indicate the device will be a major upgrade from the iPhone 7 with an all-new glass design, with an OLED display larger than a 7 Plus although some of the screen area will be wrapped around the sides of the device. It may also feature new Touch ID and facial recognition biometrics, wireless charging, enhanced waterproofing and other features.
Apple is also said to be developing two iterative updates to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with minor external changes and new chips for better performance. Essentially, if the rumors are true, Apple is readying three new iPhones for 2017: an iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus and iPhone 8 with OLED screen and a radically-new form factor.
In a separate report from the same analyst, KGI claims that Sharp is receiving a higher proportion of Apple product orders across fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018. As well as being a supplier for the OLED iPhone, it will also be the enw leading supplier of MacBook and iPad displays.