This year marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, so if you're anticipating the usual annual upgrades to the iPhone you might have a big surprise in store. Too awesome to be called simply '7s' the upcoming iPhone 8 or iPhone Edition should be the 'revolutionary' iPhone we've all been waiting for. See also: Best phones 2017.

But the iPhone isn't the only thing at Apple celebrating 10 years in 2017 - the company's partnership with AIDs charity (RED) is also hitting double digits. To celebrate, Apple has in March 2017 announced a brand-new red version of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and if the colour proves to be a hit we could also see the hue added to Apple's line-up for the iPhone 8.

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Here's a summary of what to expect from the iPhone 8:

That's the main specs covered, but here are the other rumours:

  • The main logic board will be in two pieces instead of the traditional one
  • Apple may move the SIM tray to the bottom edge (this could be to allow room for other internal components or to include a Smart Connector)
  • Quick charging will be supported when using a cable
  • New speaker design could make the phone the thinnest ever
  • It will use an OLED screen from Samsung - read more.
  • Facial recognition in addition to fingerprint scanner
  • Laser sensor for gesture recognition - read more.

The latest video from ConceptsiPhone does a decent job of showing what the iPhone 8 might look like. It's interesting to see an idea of how the bottom of the display might be used, similar to the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro.

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When is the iPhone 8 UK release date?

iPhone 8 UK release date: September or November 2017 (TBC)

Although still months away, we can fairly confidently predict the iPhone 8 release date. Assuming the annual September announcement tradition continues, the iPhone 8 release date will be in September 2017. However, 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone launch, so we wouldn't be too surprised if Apple mixed things up a bit (it launched the SE - pictured below - in March).

The latest rumour, though, says there are production delays because of supply issues with the 3D camera system. This could push back availability to November, or even later.

What will the 2017 iPhone be called?

It seems the name may have been confirmed with an Apple employee referring to the new device by the name 'iPhone 8' unprompted when speaking to Business Insider. However, there is another suggestion as Apple Insider claims that Apple could call this year's iPhone the iPhone X.

As we've mentioned, the iPhone for 2017 is slightly harder to predict because it will mark a big anniversary for the smartphone.

According to Mac Otakara, the 2017 model may well be simply called the iPhone Edition alongside the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus making up three options as per the below suggestion.

One of the latest rumours says that Apple will release three new iPhone models as part of the main lineup. This could well be the 'S' versions of the 7 and 7 Plus, and the extra 'iPhone 8', an even more premium flagship with 'revolutionary' features.

The Wall Street Journal says: "Apple plans bigger design changes for 2017, the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone. Those changes could include an edge-to-edge organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screen and eliminating the home button by building the fingerprint sensor into the display, according to people familiar with the matter.

"At a meeting with an Apple executive, one of the company’s China-based engineers asked why this year’s model [the iPhone 7] lacked a major design change in keeping with Apple’s usual two-year cycle. The answer, one person at the meeting recalled, was that the new technology in the pipeline will take time to implement. People familiar with the matter said some features that Apple hopes to integrate into iPhones, such as curved screens, weren’t ready for this year’s models," it added.

If Apple follows the usual pattern, the iPhone 7 that launched this year will be followed by the iPhone 7S in 2017. The fact that it's 10 years since the original iPhone means this could all go out the window. Apple will want to do something special to celebrate the occasion so an 'S' model, which usually just brings small tweaks, won't suffice.

It's pretty much anyone's guess at the moment, hence, we're calling the 2017 model the iPhone 8 at the moment but it's perfectly plausible that the new phone won't conform to the traditional naming system at all. The iPhone SE (special edition) is already a thing, so perhaps Apple will go with 'iPhone Pro', iPhone Anniversary Edition' or even just 'iPhone' - although naming the iPad 3 as 'the new iPad' didn't go down too well.

A report from Nikkei suggested that in 2017 there would be three new iPhone models. It sounded as though we were in for the usual 4.7- and 5.5in models (the regular and Plus), plus a third new 'Pro' model with a 5.5in or above curved screen. Its source said the screen would be "bent on the two sides" making it sound like a Galaxy Note 7 rival. Of course, this didn't happen with the iPhone 7, though it doesn't mean we won't see a curved-screen iPhone 8.

Vote in our poll to let us know what you think Apple will name the anniversary iPhone.

How much will the iPhone 8 cost in the UK?

We're speculating for now, of course, as the iPhone 7 has only recently gone on sale. Whether Apple will introduce a price increase for the potentially special iPhone 8 is anyone's guess. However, the iPhone 7 price jumped up to £599 in the UK thanks to Brexit and we hope that it will stay the same with next year's anniversary model. However, in light of the latest leaks, the 'anniversary' model seems to be an ultra-premium device that could cost more than any iPhone yet. At least one report claims it will be more than $1000 in the US. 

Although one analyst predicts the iPhone 8 will be the best selling model ever - with up to 150m sales - another is worried that following the anniversary edition, Apple will see a possible 10 year slump afterwards.

It is believed that moving to OLED for the iPhone 8 will push up costs as much as $50m for Apple, eating into the firm's profit margin. Whether the firm takes the hit and keeps the price of the phone the same or not remains to be seen.

What are the rumoured new features?

If Apple does indeed do something special for the iPhone's 10th anniversary, which is ever more likely from all the leaks, the iPhone 8 will be one which fans will no doubt want to upgrade to on launch day. Could we see the biggest queues ever?

A combination of design and hardware changes will make the iPhone 8 the most radical new iPhone to date, if we are to go by the rumours and leaks.

Latest feature rumour: KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo refutes other reports saying Apple will use USB-C instead of Lightning on the iPhone 8 in order to introduce fast charging. Via TechTimes, he says that Apple will make a few power-management tweaks to enable the battery to be charged faster when using a Lightning cable.

OLED screen: Will the iPhone 8 feature a next-gen display?

It seems certain that the iPhone 8 will have an OLED screen - like the Samsung Galaxy S7 - rather than the traditional IPS tech Apple has used previously. 

A recent KGI report says that it will be a 5.8in screen which will fit into a chassis a similar size to the current 4.7in iPhone and that the phone will have a significantly higher capacity battery. Another report (Nikkei) backs up the suggestion of the iPhone 8 having a 5.8in OLED screen.

Here's a diagram from the report which illustrates how the iPhone 8 will slot into the range:

iPhone 8 rumours - screen OLED

As you can see, the screen will have two parts. A 5.15in 'main' screen with a resolution of 2,436 x 1,125 pixels and a separate 'function area' across the bottom. This is likely to be where the integrated fingerprint scanner will live, and it may operate like the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro laptops.

Whatever turns out to be the case, the screens are coming from Samsung. The Korean Herald reported that a source confirmed the order from Samsung and that - like the screen on the Galaxy S7 Edge - it will be made from plastic and not glass. Typically glass is only used for flat screens, so this is not too surprising.

It's backed up by a report from Japanese website Nikkei Asian Review, which claims that the next iPhone will feature a curved display, although "gentler than screens in Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge handsets". It's due, in part, to the challenges associated with creating and applying curved glass screen protectors that match the display. It's interesting to note that while the site claims it will receive a curved display, it won't boast any additional functionality. 

However, a report from analysts at TrendForce says that the iPhone 8 won't have a screen with curved edges. Based on information from the iPhone supply chain, TrendForce said, "Apple will not implement the curved display design for the high-end iPhone because there are issues with the 3D glass in terms of production yield and drop test results. Thus, the next high-end iPhone is expected to have the same 2.5D glass for display cover as the current models.".

This was backed up by another report quoting IHS Markit analyst Wayne Lam. According to Lam, the 5.8in iPhone won't have a curved display. "We anticipated Apple will adopt a flat implementation of OLED design on their special iPhone model, which is analogous to the current 2.5D glass design" he said, speaking to MacRumours. 

But what should we expect instead? According to Lam, we should look to the LG G6 for inspiration. "Much like the recently announced LG G6, we anticipate a touchscreen with a new longer aspect ratio design to take advantage of higher coverage area of the iPhone in its entirety. This new design language is expected to become the trend for 2017, as we all anticipate Samsung's reveal later this month".

According to GSMarena, the deal between Apple and Samsung for the screens is now finalised.

The iPhone 8 won't be the first to have a bezel-less screen. Xiaomi has already launched the Mi Mix, reviewed. It's a stunning device and the first of a new category of phones with it's 91.3 percent screen-to-body ratio, according to the firm.

Xiaomi Mi Mix

Controversially, a Facebook post by Robert Scoble - a well-known tech strategist - says that the iPhone 8 will be "a clear piece of glass... which will put holograms on top of the real world like Microsoft HoloLens does". He also says the phone will have an OLED screen and that Apple has 600 engineers working on a next-generation 3D sensor and that the phone will have eye sensors. These will bring "a new kind of interface". He also says that you'll "pop it into a headset which has eye sensors on it, which enables the next iPhone to have a higher apparent frame rate and polygon count than a PC with a Nvidia 1080 card in it."

Plus, he says that new sources revealed we can "expect battery and antennas to be hidden around the edges of the screen, which explains how Apple will fit in some of the pieces even while most of the chips that make up a phone are in a pack/strip at the bottom of the phone."

These sound like ridiculous predictions, especially the part about the phone being transparent - battery tech is not yet good enough to make one small enough to "hide" - but if true, the iPhone 8 will be a revolution rather than the evolution we've seen with the iPhone 7 this year. We'll continue to update this article as new information appears, but here's how things stand right now.

This concept image via ConceptsiPhone shows what an edge-to-edge OLED display iPhone might look like:

iPhone 8 concept

Another concept, via AlHasan Husni, gives us another look at what the iPhone might look like with a bezel-free design. This shows what some of the interface and apps might look like with the screen almost wrapping around to the back on either side using a curved glass display like Samsung's Galaxy S7 edge.

iPhone 8 screen concept

Glass frame: Will the iPhone 8 feature Gorilla Glass?

Jony Ive has wanted to introduce an iPhone which resembles a single sheet of glass for a long time and the 2017 anniversary iPhone could be the one. It's rumoured that at least one iPhone in 2017 will use a glass body, according to Apple supplier Catcher Technology. Glass on the front and back would make it like a hugely updated version of the iPhone 4S.

This, combined with the rumour that the iPhone 8 will sport an edge-to-edge OLED screen makes things rather interesting.

Allen Horng, chairman and chief executive of Catcher Technology, a key supplier said: "As far as I know, only one [iPhone] model will adopt glass casing next year. I don't think this move will have an impact on Catcher's revenue as glass casing still needs a durable metal frame which requires advanced processing technology and would not be cheaper than the current model."

However, don't get your hopes up. Although Foxconn - the manufacturer of iPhones in China - has been experimenting with building a glass chassis for around a year, it is likely too early to put it into mass production. Current tooling is all for aluminium chassis and that's where the expertise and investment is. A switch to glass - or ceramic or some other material - would be such a massive change that there would be far more leaks backing up these rumours. Put simply, we don't believe that the iPhone 8 will be an all-glass machine.

Touch ID: Will the iPhone 8 have a home button integrated to the screen?

What's much more likely is that the home button will be 'virtual' in the iPhone 8.  This makes sense, and is surely one of the features of the 'function area' in the diagram earlier.

But will Apple ditch Touch ID? Previous rumours say no but another new Apple patent for an "Acoustic Imaging System Architecture" suggest otherwise.

It's impossible to know what Apple will do, since there are so many patents. One Apple patent shows that the new iPhone's Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which is usually situated beneath the Home button, could be built-in to the entire display, eliminating the need for a Home button and making room for a larger display without enlarging the overall size of the smartphone.

These rumours seemed pretty far fetched to begin with, but it might just happen. Sonavation recently announced that it has found a way to insert ultrasonic biometric sensors underneath a Gorilla Glass display, still being able to read a user's fingerprints.

The newly developed tech is "well suited for through-the-glass fingerprinting and specifically architected to deliver advanced security and ease-of-integration into mobile and IoT devices” Sonavation’s CTO Rainer Schmitt said.

The company claims that it can even do one better than the existing Touch ID (and most other fingerprint scanners on the market) by being able to scan fingerprints on a finger that's wet, dirty or oily. Though it's not clear which devices will be the first to feature this new technology, but we assume it'd either be the iPhone or a flagship Android smartphone.

Another patent has been awarded to Apple for a button which places the fingerprint sensing technology underneath the screen. Named a 'capacitive fingerprint sensor including an electrostatic lens', it means the Touch ID fingerprint sensor can work through various layers of the display. 

Apple fingerprint sensor patent

Yet another patent, via Apple Insider, deals with the light sensor - the one which adjusts the screen brightness automatically. It's called 'Electronic Devices With Display-Integrated Light Sensors' and explains that having a light sensor can result in an increase in the size and weight of the device so "it would therefore be desirable to be able to provide improved electronic devices with light sensors and displays."

iPhone 8 light sensor

Face-recognition: Will the iPhone 8 feature a 3D camera?

However, Macrumours says that a JP Morgan analyst claims there will be no fingerprint recognition at all, and that Apple will instead embed a front-facing 3D laser scanner that will be able to accurately recognise your face. This will avoid the problem where Touch ID doesn't work if you have wet fingers - or the sensor has water on it. He says it will also be more secure, which could lead to more companies - including banks - supporting Apple Pay.

This theory is backed up by Kuo of KGI Securities whose latest report, via 9to5Mac, says Apple will put an enhanced front camera and an IR sensor in order to build up a 3D model of the user's face.

A patent filed by Apple shows that the firm is looking into depth maps for smart facial detection. It's based on infrared tracking and can detect how close or distant someone is. Whether or not it will be part of the iPhone 8 remains to be seen but it seems unlikely with the focus on the 3D camera mentioned above, but that's not to say this can't be a feature as well.  

The report also says that Apple's 3D algorithms are "years ahead" of Android, and such a feature could be an iPhone exclusive for a couple of years before Android phone makers catch up.

As pointed out by Patently Apple, yet more patents suggest a curved-glass design and also that the sides of the phone could be used for virtual buttons. For example, this could be used for certain controls when the camera app is in use. If true, the phone would rival Samsung's edge screen features.

iPhone 8 2017 patent curved glass body

iPhone 8 2017 patent active virtual buttons

There were also some rumours we heard about the iPhone 7's screen that never made it to fruition. It's possible that they could see daylight with the iPhone 8.

Economic Daily News speculated that the iPhone 7 could feature a 3D display, and one that doesn't require the use of those annoying 3D glasses. The website claimed at the time that Apple supply chain partner TPK is working on a project that could produce a glasses-free 3D display, though we're not holding out much hope for this as its been done before (remember the LG Optimus 3D?) and has never done well.

There were also some rumours to suggest that the iPhone 7 could have a sidewall display, similar to that found on the Galaxy S7 edge and Note 7. This came from an Apple patent that was published in 2015. The patent hints at a future iPhone with a display that extends onto the sides of the device, providing interactive or touch sensitive portions that give access to slide-to-unlock functionality, music player controls, messaging readout, called ID, system controls and more.

One of Apple's partners, Japan Display, is working in flexible an foldable screens similar to Samsung and LG. Whether this will end up in the iPhone 8 remains to be seen - it's unlikely but still interesting. Apple has plenty of patents describing bendable and folding devices, according to TechnoBuffalo.

More details on the screen tech include that Apple is supposedly working on a new generation of 3D Touch. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the firm will make it from a thin film in order to introduce enhanced sensitivity - via AppleInsider.

Above concept by Michael Shanks