IPhone 8's biggest features could be disabled at launch

13 July, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Archie Newman
  • John Gruber

Not only is Apple unsure on fitting the new iPhone with a fingerprint reader, but now insiders claim there is a "sense of panic in the air" at the California headquarters because key features of the new handset might not be ready when it goes on sale later this year.

The company has faced numerous software issues on its next flagship device, likely called the iPhone 8 or iPhone X, which one anonymous source suggests could lead to production and delivery delays, according to Fast Company. Instead of the entire phone being delayed, it seems that maybe some features could be disabled at launch.

Wireless charging may help push up the price tag. The problem is that the software driving them don't.

According to multiple analyst notes this week, Apple AAPL, +0.27% is running into issues with the fingerprint sensor, which the company has been looking to upgrade on the new iPhone.

We heard a similar rumor not long ago, and it's believable, as Apple did the same for Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7 Plus - building the required hardware into the phone, but only enabling the software once it was in a state the company was happy with. A software patch may then enable wireless charging later.

While the hardware is apparently in reasonable shape, a source speaking to Fast Company claims that certain elements of the software aren't ready. Rumours have suggested that Apple are planning to raise the average prices of the new iPhone range, which would make it the most expensive smartphone Apple has ever made. The worst forecast says the iPhone 8 might not hit stores until late November. Apple has yet to build a smartphone with an OLED screen. This will nearly certainly have an effect on final prices. The reports have generally pointed to a possible 1-to-2 month lag in the iPhone 8's production ramp relative to the 7S ramp. Apple will also bring "True Color iPad Pro" screen technology to its smartphones for the first time that uses advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the colour and intensity of the display to match the light in your environment.

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Although it's true that Apple may have bitten off more than it can chew in trying to transition to a full-face OLED display/integrated Touch ID, I'm not convinced that the strategy is "backfiring".

The Fast Company report ends with the helpful observation that, "new iPhones' features can remain fluid until deep in the summer before a launch". They believe Wall Street's predictions are simply unachievable.

A 256GB model would start at $1,299 or as much as $1,399.

It's already mid-July. Summer is passing quickly for many of us, but it sounds like Apple Inc. It is rumoured that the fingerprint scanner will be moved from the front home button, which is now gone, to the back just below the Apple logo.

Samsung includes both wireless charging and support for face unlock on its new Galaxy S8, but Apple hasn't worked with either technology before.

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