Why Apple’s iPhone 8 Has Serious Problems

By on Jul 13, 2017 in Mobility Strategy | 0 comments

iPhone 8 is ’s most important smartphone in years. It will deliver the most radical redesign and highest price of any iPhone in history, but with the launch looming so too are the problems…

Last night it was revealed Apple is struggling to get wireless charging working on the iPhone 8. A tentpole feature, it will bring the iPhone range in line with rivals and is the number one reason Apple has switched the entire chassis from aluminium to more fragile glass. Without wireless charging the move would look ridiculous.

iDrop News

iPhone 8 based on the latest leaks. Image credit: iDrop News

But this is only the start. Riffing further on Apple’s pain today is Fast Company which says there is “a sense of panic” at Apple right now.

The consistently reliable site reports further iPhone 8 problems exist with the integration of Touch ID into the display, the supply of OLED for the display itself and operation of the new front facing “3D sensor” camera – which will bring unlocking via facial recognition.

In fact these problems are reported to be so severe that several of the functions will not be available when the phone launches, forcing Apple to enable them later via a software update (John Gruber seconds this). A similar route was taken with Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7 Plus, but these faults would be a far bigger deal.

So what’s behind them?

MobileFun

Multiple iPhone 8 case ranges are now on sale confirming its design, but will all the features be ready at launch?

Fast Company says software integration is the key issue behind both the wireless charging and 3D sensor problems. Given the latter is expected to be a fallback if Touch ID cannot be not integrated into the display, this would leave Apple between a rock and a hard place.

As for OLED, supply problems have forced Apple to invest heavily in Samsung – its number one rival (propelling it to record profits) and “Apple is still finalizing plans on the location of Touch ID, after months of trying different solutions, including embedding the sensor below the OLED display.”

The good news is Fast Company says its source does still expect Touch ID to make it into the iPhone 8. In my opinion a simple solution would be to fit it into the mysteriously enlarged power button as Sony has been doing for years. Apple also has a patent for that.

Reddit / kamikasky

Leaked iPhone 8 front and rear glass panels earlier this month, the change is specifically for wireless charging

“By all accounts, it’s late in the game for Apple to be wrestling with problems as big as those described above,” concludes Fast Company and that’s certainly true. With mass manufacturing usually starting three months prior to release (and a September unveiling locked in stone) solutions are needed, and quickly.

Making all these issues even more pressing is the fact the iPhone 8 will be Apple’s 10th anniversary model, the first redesign since the iPhone 6 in 2014 and sport a gargantuan $1,200+ price tag. This is one iPhone Apple simply cannot afford to mess up…

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