Tired of the conflicting iPhone 8 rumors? Wait until Aug. 15. Here’s why.
It’s an exciting time on the iPhone 8 rumor train as analysts and serial leakers alike try to get every detail right about Apple’s next flagship device before the big reveal in early September. Most of the voices have finally found agreement on the larger points about the device, including its overall design, camera placement, and more. What’s happening with Touch ID remains the biggest question mark.
Some are convinced that production issues have forced Apple’s hand and require the company to place a physical Touch ID button on the back of the device. Not so fast says another group which expects an embedded fingerprint scanner on this year’s device.
Another group suggests Apple’s ditching Touch ID this time around and will add facial recognition instead on the 5.8-inch handset. A fourth option, which emerged in a single report in May, suggests Touch ID capabilities will be added to the device’s power button.
Who’s right on the question of Touch ID? I have absolutely no idea. My stomach continues telling me that Apple won’t move the fingerprint scanner to the back of the device. This is the same body part, however, which tells me to overeat on a regular basis, so take its grumblings with the tiniest of grains of salt.
There are two things I do know with some certainty, however.
First, I agree with John Gruber, who recently said it’s “bonkers” to suggest that Apple is still toying with hardware options on the 2017 iPhone lineup this late in the game. (The Apple design team has almost certainly moved to next year’s model.)
What’s really happening now (or not happening as it were) is that not enough people outside of Apple have yet to crack the Touch ID story. In other words, Tim Cook’s renewed commitment to secrecy seems to be paying off at least for now.
Finally, I ask you to remember my Aug. 15 rule, which has held true since at least 2012 in the lead up to the iPhone 5 launch. This simple rule says that iPhone rumors tend to converge by mid-August.
The reason? By that point in the cycle, actual iPhone shipments begin to move, which makes it nearly impossible for Apple to maintain its secrets.
The iPhone 8 isn’t likely to arrive in stores until October or November. However, Apple’s still expected to announce the new handset in early September alongside the “iPhone 7s” and “iPhone 7s Plus.” Therefore, I still expect the Aug. 15 rule to apply.
Until then, be very wary about the rumors.