Apple iPhone 8: Everything we know so far

UPDATE 21/06: Case pre-orders hint at long, bezel-free screen

Sure, the iPhone 7 only launched in September - but things move quickly in the world of Apple.

In fact, judging by prior form and industry sources, production and development of the next Cupertino flagship is well underway.

There's no better time than the present, then, to pore over the raft of rumours, leaks and speculation flying around about the next-gen iPhone. 

What's in store? Well, as ever, it's tough to make concrete predictions about what the iPhone 8 - or, perhaps, the iPhone 7s - will offer Apple fans until we see more solid evidence, leaked or otherwise.

That said, with 2017 being the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone, if you believe the hype, something big could well be on the cards. Read on, to find out more.

What we know

>>> It'll (probably) be all-glass

It's very early days, but there are already several shreds of evidence to suggest that 2017's iPhone will be an all-glass affair. Okay, so it'll probably still have a metal frame around its midriff but, whether to differentiate itself from the ever-growing pack of smartphone slabs or to do something special for the iPhone's 10th birthday, several sources are pointing to a glass front-and-back design.

If you're wondering whether that'll be really rather risky, well, it'll probably be properly tough glass, too. It's long been suggested that Apple might stick the sapphire crystal of its Watch on an iPhone - but that might be prohibitively expensive. A more reasonable option could well be to sheath it in Phire, a new, scratch resistant material being developed by Gorilla Glass makers Corning.

It'll be a bit of a glass sandwich, with a polished, stainless steel frame between two slabs of glass, according to the latest leaks. So a lot like earlier iPhone iterations, then.

>>> It's almost all screen on the front

Every time a new iPhone comes up for discussion, it's inevitable that speculation about its screen will be near the top of the list. What size, what shape, what spec: all hot topics amongst industry sources and rumour-mongers - and that's as much the case with the next iPhone.

There's growing evidence that Apple will follow Samsung's lead in one area of the iPhone 8's display: by opting for a wider (18.5:9 or above) aspect ratio and smaller bezels, meaning the screen takes up more of the front panel without increasing the overall size of the handset. A collection of cases, up for pre-order as of June 2017, strongly suggest that the screen will cover almost the entire front face of the device, running edge-to-edge except for narrow bezels at the top and bottom.

What's more, more than one source has suggested we'll see Apple move from its current LCD tech to some form of OLED for its display - whether to facilitate something flexible, or to counteract the added weight of the all-glass body.

>>> It'll be seriously expensive

As if Apple's steadily rising prices haven't already added up so that every new iPhone makes a bigger dent on your bank balance, the iPhone 8 could be the most expensive one yet. Reports suggesting the AMOLED screens Apple will be using cost more to produce than the iPhone 7's LCD display probably mean Apple will be passing that increase on to its customers.

It's all down to Apple wanting to use 3D Touch with AMOLED, which is proving trickier to do than with LCD. That could bump the cost well over US$1000 (S$1415) when the phone eventually arrives.

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