Apple’s next-gen iPhone to feature curved OLED display and USB-C connector

“In line with previous reports, The Wall Street Journal today said Apple’s rumored iPhone 8 will feature a curved OLED display supplied by Samsung,” Tim Hardwick reports for MacRumors. “Tuesday’s report corroborates previous claims from KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo that Apple will release three devices this year: Two ‘S’ cycle iPhones with LCD displays to succeed the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, as well as a special ’10th Anniversary Edition’ iPhone 8.”

Hardwick reports, “According to WSJ’s anonymous sources, Apple will drop the traditional home button on the iPhone 8 in favor of a distinct touch-enabled area on the chin of the handset, also corroborating Ming-Chi Kuo’s claims of a ‘function area’ below the new iPhone’s main display.”

“Additionally, in a new claim likely to cause much debate, the paper reports that Apple will replace the Lightning connector with a USB-C port,” Hardwick reports. “Indeed, all of the next iPhones are said to feature a ‘USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices instead of the company’s original Lightning connector.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: With Macs going USB-C, such a change makes perfect sense, but think of this as Apple keeping Lightning on the iPhone itself (and compatibility with a growing number of Lightning headphones) and simply changing the iPhone’s included Lightning to USB Cable and USB Power Adapter from the antiquated USB-A connector to USB-C.

Ming-Chi Kuo: 5.8-inch iPhone 8 to offer 5.15-inch usable screen space with new ‘function area’ – February 16, 2017
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple’s next-gen 5.5-inch OLED ‘iPhone 8’ to be similar in physical size to 4.7-inch iPhone 7, with significant battery increase – February 13, 2017
Analyst foresees Apple’s 10th anniversary ‘iPhone X’ to feature 5.8-inch OLED ‘fixed flex’ wraparound display – January 18, 2017
Why so few ‘iPhone 8’ units will have OLED displays – December 22, 2016
Apple supplier Japan Display wins $640 million from government-backed fund to boost OLED tech as Apple eyes new iPhone display – December 21, 2016
Apple’s next-gen flagship OLED iPhone is codenamed ‘Ferrari’ – December 20, 2016
Apple says OLED finally ready for iPhones, but most suppliers still aren’t – November 17, 2016
Apple supplier Japan Display seeks $703 million bailout from Japanese government – November 11, 2016
Sharp President confirms Apple iPhone transition to OLED displays – October 31, 2016
Apple supplier Sharp names Foxconn exec as CEO to spearhead revival – May 12, 2016
Apple supplier Sharp preps AMOLED displays after Foxconn acquisition – April 6, 2016
Did Apple help Foxconn buy Sharp? – March 31, 2016
Japan Display, an Apple iPhone supplier, seeks financial help from Japanese government – August 9, 2016
Japan Display CEO hints at strong Apple orders ahead of new iPhone launch – September 3, 2015
Japan Display and Apple to build new $1.4 billion plant for iPhone Retina displays – March 6, 2015
Japan Display’s reliance on iPhone orders rises – June 24, 2014


    1. Why continue supporting both Lightning and USB-C? Apple could lead the way to a simpler future with one connector to support all its devices. Lightning offers no real advantages over USB-C, and several disadvantages, including price and durability.

  1. I hope the screen is NOT curved, curved screens are not all that functional and do not really enhance the look of any device, it didn’t do anything for TV’s, why should it be en enhancement for phones

    1. My officemate and I were discussing curved phone displays this morning. Neither of us could come up with a solid benefit for a curved phone display. The Samsung Edge curves the side edges to make a notification area visible when the phone is face down, but that seems gimmicky to us. Who routinely lays their phone face down on a desk or table? No one I know or have observed… So what is the potential benefit?? VR/AR? A whole new family of phone cases? A small degree of display protection when it is dropped?

      I suppose that a curved phone might fit better in a back pocket, conforming better to the posterior anatomy. But it would be worse for a front pocket or a belt-mounted case.

      We don’t get it. If a future iPhone actually includes a curved display, then Apple is going to have to explain the rationale.

  2. Since the 30-pin connector was replaced, I get the sensation (anecdotally) that there are nowhere near as many baked-on Lightning accessories that are particularly expensive – they either have interchangeable interfaces or they use Bluetooth etc.

    If the bulk of most users’ Lightning accessories are restricted to dongles and charging cables, I’d say Apple should bite the bullet and put in USB-C. Anything else and they might as well just remove the data/charging port altogether and bring in wireless charging.

    Lightning is a great port, it’s a shame that it predated USB-C by such a small amount of time (Apple was instrumental in designing the USB-C connector). In a few years, the only cables to be seen by consumers anywhere will be USB-C. If not this year, then maybe next year we’ll see a USB-C iPhone.

  3. Agreed MDN’s description makes more sense.
    Interestingly when I compare the shape of the lightning and usc-c ports they are identical. The shape of the connector is obviously different, with the lightning being a flat 2 sided pin and the usb-c being an oval shape. Male and female in design.
    This may bode when for adaptors that can convert from lightning to usb-c and vice versa that clip on and only slightly extend out the connector.
    Being the owner of a new MBP, I would prefer all connections to be usb-c to increase the ability of charging (even if slowly) without having to use the standard charger.

    1. Fortunately USB is specced to power up to 100W for charging. With Apple leading the way in bringing USB-C mainstream, we can expect more manufacturers to bring out purpose-built chargers.

        1. “up to”. Laptops don’t run at 5V, and charging is controlled.

          If Apple did choose USB-C for its phones and tablets, it could consider going to higher voltages for increased battery performance.

  4. I don’t see this happening. USB-C is a poor mobile connector. It lacks two things that make the Lighting port a much bettor choice for the iPhone.
    1) Complexity. The USB-C connector would require the iPhone side of the connector to revert back to the way the old Apple 30-pin connector was. The female side requires a hollow with a protruding piece of PCB board. This internal male component is fragile and was a source of breakage on the 30-pin I personally dealt with quite a bit years ago as an Apple genius.
    2) The Lightning port was designed by Apple to easily be integrated into a mobile device and maintain water resistance. I’m fairly sure that while the USB-C connector may be able to be made water resistant, it was not designed with that in mind.
    With the added complexity, reduced ruggedness, and additional design requirements to be water resistant, I don’t believe this is where the iPhone will go regardless of there being a port on the MacBook.

    1. While no connector is perfect for all users, Apple has clearly signalled that USB-C is good enough for the Mac. If it is good enough for the Mac, then it is good enough for iOS gadgets.

      The USB-C socket is thicker than that for Lightning, true, but with that comes improved durability and capability. Other phone makers (Moto Z, LG G6) have proven that USB-C is not hindrance to making thin phones if that is Ive’s primary concern.

      USB 3.1 Type C offers 24 pins in its connection. Lightning offers 8. USB 2.0 Type A offers 4, and Apple’s old Dock connector offered 30. Even if additional channels aren’t used today, redundancy and additional power channels could be very useful in the future.

      The durability testing of Lightning isn’t as great as some would like to believe. YMMV, but USB-C seems to be more solid and the contacts are protected when the cable is not in the socket.

      Adopting USB-C could allow Apple to get out of the adapter business and concentrate on more important issues, like long overdue Mac hardware, software, and accessories.

      Finally, why would any user want proprietary connectors from any company, even if they worship Apple? The adoption of industry standards is good for everyone, it would literally eliminate tons of electronic waste every year.

      Apple’s Lightning, though in some ways better than the old Dock connector, was awkwardly implemented at a slow pace and at high adapter costs. If Apple cared about user experience, it would now quickly move to a uniform connector and stop playing its proprietary licensing games.

  5. IMO it’s very likely that there be a point in time when the overwhelming majority of electronics accessories will have USB-C ports, the current port design of the MacBook Pro will be seen as a brilliant decision, and iPhones will have USB-C as well.

    One single cable with USB-C on both ends will work with everything for every purpose and life will be very pleasurable.

    IMO there will also be a point between now and then when the iPhone switches from lightning to USB-C and the hate they receive will make the Mac Book pro reception look like a love fest.

  6. My current iPhone works very well, thank you.

    Last I checked it does not need a curved screen, a fragile glass case another port change or a built in back massager.

    I use it to make calls and run CarPlay when I am driving. Little else.
    I have an iPad and Desktop and Laptop Macs for everything else.

    How about a less expensive phone that is a little thicker and has better battery life?

    As to USB C, does that mean headphones over USB C?

    I do not ever see a scenario where I will be wasting $150 on throwaway wireless EarPods.

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