iPhone 8 to get mini Touch Bar that replaces Touch ID

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iphone concept
Apple has major changes planned for iPhone 8.
Photo: ConceptsiPhone

Apple is making major changes to the iPhone this year as the device celebrates its tenth anniversary. According to the latest claims from one reliable analyst, the iPhone 8 will offer a larger OLED display and a new “function area” that replaces its Touch ID button.

Although the next-generation iPhone will be similar in size to the iPhone 7, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reveals Apple will make the bezels around its display significantly smaller to allow for a larger screen. The OLED panel is expected to measure 5.8 inches diagonally.

However, only 5.15 inches of that will be used for the main display. The rest will serve as a “function area” that sits at the bottom of the device in place of the Touch ID button. Kuo doesn’t tell us what this will do, but it is believed it will display virtual buttons and shortcuts.

It’s likely the function area will be somewhat similar to the new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar. Instead of a physical Home button, users will get a virtual one that can be adapted to provide useful actions and shortcuts when using iOS apps.

It’s unclear whether the iPhone 8 will continue to offer fingerprint recognition with a sensor embedded beneath its display, or whether Apple will turn to other biometric security options. Recent reports have claimed the device could have built-in lasers for facial recognition.

In addition to a bigger display, the iPhone 8 will also pack a larger battery, Kuo claims. Apple has adopted a stacked “substrate-like” logic board to make room for a “dramatic increase in battery capacity,” reads Kuo’s note to investors, which was obtained by 9to5Mac.

Previous reports have also promised a new all-glass design and wireless charging. We can also look forward to Apple’s next-generation A11 processor, improvements to things like the iSight camera, and possibly more RAM.

But these upgrades won’t come cheap. The iPhone might be one of the most expensive smartphones on the market already, but recent rumors have warned the iPhone 8 could start at as much as $1,000 — more than the high-end 256GB iPhone 7 Plus.

The iPhone 8 is expected to be “the only bright spot among the new iPhone lineup,” which suggests Apple doesn’t have any significant changes planned for the likes of the iPhone SE.

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  • imtough

    I feel like this is the one we’ve been waiting for- but it will definitely keep the new form factor for years a-la phone 6, 6S, & 7 (which is fine).