People have forgotten.
If you haven’t seen LOST, the reference for what I’m about to say is lost on you.
I’ve been watching old Apple keynotes and listening to podcasts from years gone by, such as this one from John Gruber’s ‘Talk Show’, with Jim Dalrymple as his guest.
They recorded it on the eve of iOS 7 being released to the masses, only a couple of days before iPhone 5S and the 5C is also released.
At the 23 minutes mark, they talk about the new features of TouchID and 64bit.
It’s interesting to hear them talk of their experiences with TouchID in the week of them trying the 5S out. Worries of how slow it may be, if its faster to just input the passcode in, are put to rest when they talk of how better it is.
In years gone by, it’s now an established part of iOS hardware, and part of the Mac line.
But now, rumours are persisting of TouchID disappearing, due to the home button disappearing from the front for the next generation iPhone.
Podcasts, news sites, opinion pieces are up in arms. They don’t want their beloved fingerprint scanner to go. They don’t want to go back to a time of inputting passcodes (and now passwords) in order to unlock their phone, mainly because they know the face recognition feature will not work as well as they imagine.
I wrote that last line to make it sound as if it were 100% true on purpose.
No one knows if this feature will occur on the new iPhone. No one knows how it will work, or if TouchID will go away. But when there’s enough noise as past years have gone, some of it usually appears to come true. Just not how certain news sites perceive.
So here’s what I think will happen.
I. The future of ‘ID’.
TouchID will stay and will be integrated into the screen, but on a certain place. You probably won’t be able to just put your finger anywhere on the screen to unlock it or use ApplePay.
I also believe this 3D ‘FaceID’ will occur, and is mainly down to Apple’s ‘ARKit’ in how it recognises realtime objects. I believe we’re only seeing half the feature set of ARKit for now.
They won’t completely rid the feature of TouchID. It’s far too engrained into iOS devices, and only just appeared in the MacBook line. I can see it coming to a stand-alone Magic Keyboard for an iMac, or even boxed with the iMac Pro later this year.
Rumours are fun to read at times, but its challenging when there’s lots of noise for one feature that may or may not occur. This one in particular. Then I spot opinion pieces on how bad it will affect users, with many alternate future timelines being spoken about.
II. When will iPhone Episode viii be released.
There’s also consistent rumours of the device not shipping until October, or being released but in smaller quantities.
I would place bets on it launching for pre-orders and for sales at the same time as the 7S models, just constrained.
A line up consisting of ‘7, 7S, 8’ would be the slide I’d expect to see at the event.
People forget just how there really isn’t a magical city where components are made and distributed to be evenly spared across the whole phone industry for every manufacturer.
In my days as ‘The Second’ for three years, availability on iPhone models from launch were incredibly difficult.
Again, people forget.
- The 7 Plus, in Jet Black especially, was a mythical device until Christmas. Pre-orders were still occurring.
- The 6S in 64GB Rose Gold was a mythical device until November 2015.
- The 6 Plus was a mythical device until January of 2015.
I can go on.
I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it.
If the 8 was the first smartphone to be released, it wouldn’t have any issues launching in bulk in September.
But processors, materials, there’s only so much human beings and time allows in this day and age of a saturated industry to build a phone, especially when its from a brand thats been incredibly successful in the last ten years.
When KFC are even bringing out a phone, that’s when you start to think it’s becoming saturated.
III. The name.
I believe it will be iPhone 8 for two reasons.
1. Next year, once the successor is announced again, it would be a naming nightmare if they were to replace a model called ‘iPhone Pro’ or ‘iPhone X’ and move that to the middle tier. The names have worked before because its gone from ‘5S, 6, 6S, 7’. To then go to ‘7S, X/Pro, 8S’ would be confusing, and wouldn’t make any sense. September would, for my money, have a line up of ‘7, 7S, 8’.
2. I go back to my thoughts on the iPhone 5C. I thought that the ‘C’ really stood for China. The 5S in gold appealed to the Chinese market more, while working in the previous job, these two points really proved to be true, with the gold model selling out much more, especially for women too. In Chinese culture, the number ‘8’ is known to have good fortune and luck. Even though the Galaxy S8 came and went with a muted launch, and it did have the number 8, it still did relatively, ok over there. But with Apple’s brand, and the rise of it in China, only makes me think it would be a top best seller there, maybe even rivalling USA sales.
In a perfect world, you would only start reading about a new product when it gets announced. But we live in an age where ‘Knowledge is Power’. Even the BBC would have liked to have shown Jodie Whittaker for the first time at Christmas, instead of last weekend.
For me, I’ll wait until September and see what Apple announce, and reserve judgement until then.