iPhone 8 May Include Facial and Gesture Recognition

The next-generation iPhone 8, set to debut this September, could include facial or gesture recognition technology, according to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri. The facial recognition capabilities could be powered by a laser sensor and an infrared sensor located near the front-facing camera.

We’ve previously heard rumors suggesting the iPhone 8 could include advanced biometric features like facial recognition or iris scanning, both from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chu Kuo and from details sourced from the Asian supply chain.

With facial recognition, Apple could replace the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the iPhone or augment its functionality with a two-factor verification system for sensitive information. In this scenario, unlocking the iPhone would require users to scan their faces, something that would increase security on iOS devices.

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Facial recognition could also power other features on the phone, like augmented reality camera functions, and while gesture recognition is a new rumor, it could allow users to control their devices with simple gestures for doing things like turning volume up or down.

Capabilities like gesture control and facial recognition are also some of the first steps towards a rich augmented reality experience, something Apple is rumored to be working on.

Arcuri also reiterates several rumors we’ve previously heard. He believes Apple will launch a total of three iPhones, the standard 4.7 and 5.5-inch models and a new higher-end 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display.

The 5.8-inch iPhone, he says, will feature a wraparound display and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor that is located under the glass, a technology Apple has been pursuing for some time. Wireless charging, a much-rumored and highly desired feature, is also expected.

Today’s report from Timothy Arcuri covers many rumors that have been circulating for a few months, which is similar to much of the information that comes from the analyst. Cowen and Company has something of a mixed track record, but accurately predicted some iPhone 7 features.

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Sketchy Video Shows What ‘Jet White’ iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Might Look Like

Back in November, a report from Japanese site Mac Otakara suggested Apple would add a sixth “Jet White” color option to its iPhone 7 lineup, and while no Jet White iPhone has surfaced as of yet, a video making the rounds tonight hints at what a Jet White iPhone might look like if Apple does indeed release such a device.

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The video, shared by Sonny Dickson, appears to depict an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 7 Plus, both with white casings. While the iPhone 7 Plus features an Apple logo, the iPhone 7 model does not, suggesting it is very likely fake.

Similar iPhone 7 and 7 Plus casing replacements can be found on various auction sites like Alibaba, so it seems the iPhones in the video are sporting third-party shells rather than representing actual forthcoming iPhone models.

Should Apple decide to release a glossy white color option to sell alongside the glossy Jet Black iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, both of which have proven to be highly popular with customers, it could potentially look something like the shells of the devices in the video.

Mac Otakara did not indicate when Apple might release its white iPhone 7, and suggested the information, obtained from supply chain sources, could be “unreliable,” so it continues to be unclear if and when we will see actual “Jet White” iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models.

Apple Testing More Than 10 Prototype iPhone Models, Including One With Curved OLED Display

iphone-7-front-backMultiple sources have claimed Apple will launch its first iPhone with a curved OLED display next year, and now The Wall Street Journal has thrown its weight behind those rumors.

The report claims an OLED version could be introduced as one of several new iPhone models unveiled next year, but it would have a higher price tag than current iPhone models.

OLED displays are thinner, lighter, and allow for flexible designs, but they are up to $50 more expensive to produce than traditional LCD displays, according to analysts cited.

OLED displays can also be more energy efficient, as unlike LCD displays, they do not require a backlight to illuminate the screen. When displaying black pixels, OLED displays are completely off, which could preserve battery life.

Apple is said to have more than 10 different iPhone prototypes under development, so it may decide not to launch a version with an OLED display next year, according to the report. Previous reports said Apple will also launch new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models with traditional LCD displays next year.

Apple will likely tap Samsung as its primary OLED display supplier, but it wants LG Display, Japan Display, and Sharp to ramp up production for 2018, the report added, corroborating information heard previously. Sharp President and CEO Tai Jeng-wu confirmed Apple’s plans to switch to OLED technology last month.

Tim Cook Says He Expects AirPods to Ship Over ‘Next Few Weeks’ in Email to Customer

airpods-duoMany customers are anxiously anticipating the release of Apple’s wireless AirPods, originally slated to launch in October but later delayed. Fortunately, the wait may soon be over.

MacRumors has been forwarded an email in which Apple CEO Tim Cook, responding to a customer, allegedly said he anticipates AirPods to begin shipping “over the next few weeks.”

Customer’s comment: “Give us a release date. I really bought in to the wireless vision you painted. Now I’m stuck waiting with my EarPods but can’t charge my 7 at the same time which I need to do at work. Let us know if it’s a month or 6 months, because then I’ll just buy some other wireless headphones.”

Tim Cook’s response: “Thanks for your note. Sorry for the delay—we are finalizing them and I anticipate we will begin to ship over the next few weeks.”

MacRumors has verified the email’s full headers appear to originate from Apple’s corporate servers, while Apple executives are known to respond to customers on occasion, but as a boilerplate disclaimer, it should be noted these emails can of course be faked. Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Apple has so far only said it needed “a little more time” before AirPods are ready for customers, while conflicting rumors have pointed towards release dates between Decemberand January, offering little clarity. AirPods remain listed as both “coming soon” and “currently unavailable” on different sections of Apple’s website.

Second Source Claims Apple Will Launch 10.5-inch iPad in 2017

A report from the Taiwanese supply chain emerged overnight claiming Apple will release a 10.5-inch “education and enterprise” tablet as part of its iPad line-up next year (via DigiTimes). The 10.5-inch iPad is said to be equipped with Apple’s A10X processor, also expected in next year’s refreshed line-up, with production slated to begin next month.

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Apple is launching the 10.5-inch iPad mainly because 10-inch and larger tablets have been popular among enterprises and the education sector in the US, the sources said. Its existing 9.7-inch iPad may be too small and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro too expensive for such procurement, the sources indicated.

A number of claims have emerged recently suggesting Apple plans to extend its iPad line-up with a new tablet dimension in the 10-inch range. Earlier this month, Barclays analysts claimed Apple will release a bezel-free 10.9-inch model alongside refreshed 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPads, citing its own supply chain sources, while in October Japanese website Mac Otakara said a new 10.1-inch iPad Pro would launch in early 2017.

However, today’s report marks the second independent source to suggest Apple plans to introduce a 10.5-inch mid-tier iPad. In August, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the same thing and earmarked the same A10X processor for the tablet, suggesting there may be more substance to this particular rumor.

In addition, Kuo claimed Apple will also launch lower-price versions of the 9.7-inch iPad. Today’s sources corroborate that claim also, citing Apple’s apparent intention “to compete with Android models”.

Shipments of the rumored 10.5-inch iPad are expected to reach two million units in the first quarter of 2017 and may reach 5 to 6 million units in the year, DigiTimes sources said.

More “revolutionary” changes to iPads, including a switch to OLED displays, are expected in 2018, according to Kuo’s earlier report.

Rumored 5.8″ OLED iPhone Said to Have 5.1″ to 5.2″ Active Display Area

Apple is widely rumored to release its first iPhone with an OLED display next year, but reports have been conflicting about its potential screen size.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously said Apple will launch a 5.8-inch iPhone with a curved OLED display and glass casing next year, while Barclays analysts recently called for a 5-inch iPhone with a curved, bezel-free OLED display. Japanese website Nikkei also expects a new glass-backed 5-inch iPhone.

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Now, in a new research note, Kuo said the much-rumored premium iPhone model will indeed have a 5.8-inch OLED panel, but with a smaller actual active display area of between 5.1 and 5.2 inches. Kuo said this is for “specific design purposes,” which likely points towards a wraparound or curved display of some sort.

We predict OLED iPhone will be 5.1-5.2”, despite various market speculation. In terms of the display size of the OLED iPhone, current information from the upstream points to 5.8”, while that from the downstream points to 5”, which does not conflict, in our view. We predict OLED iPhone will adopt a 5.7-5.8” flexible OLED panel (with Samsung (KR) as the exclusive supplier). Nonetheless, for ‘specific design purposes’, the actual active area may be around 5.1-5.2”. Other than the OLED model, we expect Apple to launch new 4.7” and 5.5” TFT-LCD iPhone models.

Kuo reiterated the all-new OLED-based iPhone will be accompanied by new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones with traditional LCD displays.

Three New iPads Said to Launch in March, Including Bezel-Free 10.9-Inch Model

Apple will launch a trio of new iPad Pro models in March, including refreshed 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions and an all-new bezel-free 10.9-inch model, according to Barclays Research analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O’Malley, and Jerry Zhang, citing sources within the company’s Asian supply chain.

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In a research note obtained by MacRumors, the analysts said the 10.9-inch model’s borderless design will allow for it to be the same physical size as the current-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro. That means the display itself will need to have an edge-to-edge design, possibly signaling the removal of the Home button.

Multiple rumors have claimed Apple is developing a new iPad in the 10-inch range, but the exact screen size has varied in each report. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro will launch in 2017, while Japanese website Mac Otakara said a new 10.1-inch iPad Pro will launch in early 2017.

Barclays, like Kuo, expects the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro to be a “low-cost” model alongside the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which the analysts do not believe will be refreshed alongside the larger tablets. Instead, the research note said Apple will continue to produce and sell the iPad mini 4, released in September 2015.

Mac Otakara previously said the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will feature a True Tone display like its current 9.7-inch counterpart, using advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in the surrounding environment.

That report said all three new iPad Pro models will gain quad microphones, compared to the current dual setup, and retain 3.5mm headphone jacks.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is also said to gain the 9.7-inch model’s same 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera and True Tone flash.

More “revolutionary” changes to iPads, including a switch to OLED displays, are expected in 2018, according to Kuo’s earlier report.