The next iPhone: What to expect

The next iPhone will feature an all-screen front [Image: Georgijevic via iStock]

The next iPhone is on its way – and thanks to a number of leaks, we largely already know what to expect.

New details about the new device – currently known as the iPhone 8, but could end up being named the iPhone X or iPhone Pro – were spotted by developers Steve Troughton-Smith and Guilherme Rambo.

They found that Apple had made an internal software update for employees testing the company’supcoming HomePod smart speaker publicly available.

Among the new features is an all-screen design, which is a complete redesign for the device. It appears that the bezels will be disappearing entirely, with just a small notch at the top of the display for the front-facing camera, earpiece sensor and a variety of sensors.

There is no obvious home button, which comes after a long line of rumours about the issue. It is expected to be a virtual button, which would follow Samsung’s decision to introduce the technology to its Galaxy S8. Apple does not seem likely to include a fingerprint sensor on its virtual home button, something Samsung did not do either.

Apple will also be following behind Samsung with the introduction of facial recognition. Expected to be present in the front-facing camera, this is a new feature for Apple. There have been rumours surrounding the company’s ability to get this to work, but it is now widely expected that it will be ready for launch.

There are no firm reports of where the fingerprint sensor is going to be found on the new iPhone. It has always been located on the front of the device, but the current trend for smartphones is to house the sensor on the back.

It also appears that the Apple status bar – which features information on battery life, phone signal and Wi-Fi, among other things – will be bisected and appear in two halves, one on either side of the camera notch.

According to Mr Rambo, the “battery widget will use a different icon for the new iPhone, this suggests a different charging mechanism”. This is being seen by some as evidence that Apple might be introducing wireless charging.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks that the company’s new phones will all feature the technology, but it is one that Apple has not been able to launch yet. It remains to be seen whether this will pan out.

The next iPhone is expected to be officially unveiled in September. It is thought that it will be one of three revealed, beginning with the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus. This would mark the first time Apple has announced an updated phone as well as a new flagship model.