In their latest research note based on their analysis of Apple’s supply chain, JPMorgan analysts believe that the OLED iPhone 8 will feature improved waterproofing and an enhanced stereo speaker setup.
More specifically, Apple will be making “further improvements” to the receiver i.e. the earpiece at the top of the iPhone 8 to perhaps make it louder and clear sounding. Starting with the iPhone 7 last year, the earpiece at the top also acts as a speaker for improved loudness and stereo effect.
Considering that the OLED iPhone 8 will have very small bezels, further improving the acoustic performance of the handset’s earpiece will be an impressive feat to achieve. The very fact that Apple is able to retain the stereo speaker setup on the iPhone 8 despite its bezel-less design will be an impressive feat in itself.
In addition, JPMorgan analysts believe that Apple will be further improving the water-resistance rating of the iPhone 8. Currently, the iPhone 7 features an IP67 certification, which is the second highest water-resistant certification available for consumer devices. Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S8 and last year’s Galaxy S7 feature an IP68 rating that makes them slightly more water resistant in a higher depth of water for a longer period of time.
The note also claims that Apple will be bundling AirPods with the iPhone 8, though that seems unlikely to me due to the high price of the Bluetooth headsets. The analysts also predict that the iPhone 8 will feature a 5.85-inch edge-to-edge OLED display with no bezels, which is in line with other reports out there. The inclusion of many new cutting edge components will lead to a $75-80 increase in the manufacturing cost of the iPhone 8. Rumors suggest that Apple will be pricing the iPhone 8 upwards of $1,000, so the company will easily end up making up for its higher manufacturing cost.