Apple releases a new flagship iPhone every year, with an “S” upgrade cycle in between each major redesign of the high-end smartphone.
However, according to analyst Mark Moskowitz, Apple will be skipping the “S” refresh cycle in 2017 and instead opt to launch another major redesigned iPhone, following the launch of the “iPhone 7” later this year. Moskowitz believes the phone launched in 2017 will be called the “iPhone 8,” and that it will showcase a major redesign from the iPhone 7, offer a plethora of new features, and potentially even lose one aspect of the iPhone that has been present since 2007.
Specifically, Moskowitz speculates that Apple will launch the iPhone 8 in 2017, and that it will features wireless charging, an OLED display, and remove the physical Home button from the front of the device. Moskowitz even believes it could have an entirely different form factor, but what that actually means is unknown. The analyst believes this “mega cycle” could boost iPhone sales by 10.3 percent:
“Silver lining – there might be no “S” cycle in C2017. Our conversations with industry participants suggest Apple could skip the “S” cycle next year and instead jump to IP8. The jump could showcase major form factor changes, including OLED, no home button, and wireless charging. In our view, these potential changes could drive a mega cycle, underpinning our C2017 iPhone unit growth estimate of 10.3%, vs. 6.3% previously.”
None of these speculations are inherently impossible. Indeed, reports have been circulating for quite the stretch now that Apple is gearing up to launch OLED displays in its iPhone lineup, with a recent report suggesting Apple could launch an iPhone with an OLED display in 2017. And rumors of Apple using technology to integrate its display drivers and touchscreen to create a Touch ID-enabled display haven’t gone away, which have suggested the removal of the Home button for quite awhile.
Of course, most of these new features, like wireless charging, are on most people’s dream list for features baked into the iPhone 7, so waiting another year might be one year too late for some.