Apple is planning big improvements in at least one handset this year, but its screen might not come with additional features, according to a new report.
Apple is working on a new iPhone—believed to be known as either the iPhone 8, iPhone X, or iPhone Edition—that would come with a curved screen, Nikkei is reporting, citing sources who claim to have knowledge of its plans. But unlike other smartphone vendors that use curved screens to add new features, like alerts to a call or the ability to quickly access contacts, Apple’s curved display won’t offer new functions, according to the report. The curved screen would mainly function as a new design element.
Rumors have been swirling for months over claims that Apple (AAPL) is working on a big new smartphone update this year, with possibly a curved screen and even eliminating the physical home button that has traditionally sat below the screen on previous iPhones. Some reports have suggested the entire face of the iPhone 8 will be covered by a display.
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The iPhone 8 will roll out alongside what are speculated to be the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, which would deliver only minor upgrades over last year’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, according to reports.
There had been some hope that Apple would utilize the curved screen design to its benefit. Specifically, the feature could be used to show frequently called contacts or provide easier access to certain software features, like it is in Samsung’s (SSNLF) Galaxy S7 Edge, among other Android devices. Apple, however, won’t follow the pack, according to the report.
The Nikkei sources also said that the design isn’t finalized, and it’s possible Apple could make changes before it sends the handset to production.
Apple hasn’t commented on future plans. So it’s possible the iPhone 8 won’t make its way to store shelves this year. If Apple decides to release the handset, it’s believed to be planning a September unveiling.