iPhone 8 Stories Yesterday

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Back when most people were on plans that saw them offered a new phone every two years, upgrading wasn’t really a decision. Paying typically $0-200, depending on your plan, saw you get the latest iPhone every other year. It would have been silly to turn it down because you’d pay the same monthly amount either way.

So the only decision most people made was whether to be on the main ‘tick’ cycle, with the new designs, or the ‘tock’ cycle that gave you the S model with the same design but new features.

But now that carriers split out phone costs from usage plans, upgrading your phone becomes a much more conscious decision. You could do it every year, paying more but always having the latest model. You could continue on a two-year cycle. Or you could save a decent chunk of money by sitting out a year.

That latter option might once have seemed unlikely for 9to5Mac readers, who typically like to stay up to date, but this year could potentially be very different …

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iPhone 8 Stories July 18

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While Apple’s orders for the A9 chip in the iPhone 6s/Plus were split between the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Samsung, we heard back in February that TSMC was to be the sole supplier of the A10 chip in the iPhone 7.  A new report from Korea claims that the same is true of the A11 chip destined for next year’s iPhone.

The report appears in the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, via Digitimes.

TSMC is already the exclusive manufacturer of Apple’s A10 chip which will power the upcoming iPhone series slated for launch in September 2016. The Taiwan-based foundry will continue to be the sole supplier of Apple’s next-generation A11 processor that will be built on a 10nm FinFET process, the report indicated, without citing its sources.

TSMC is believed to have a technological edge on its Korean rival, beating Samsung in the race to develop 10-nanometer processes …

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iPhone 8 Stories June 24

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iPhone concept from ConceptsiPhone
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With Apple expected to switch to OLED screens for future iPhones, it appears that it may not need to rely completely on the two major manufacturers for long. While Samsung and LG currently manufacture most of the world’s OLED screens between them, Nikkei reports that Sharp expects to be doing the same ‘before 2018’ …

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iPhone 8 Stories June 14

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Apple was today granted a patent for what it describes as a ‘consumer electronic product [which] includes at least a transparent housing and a flexible display.’ The accompanying drawings show a device which has a display which completely wraps around the device – covering front, rear and sides – with only tiny bezels at the top and bottom.

While Apple uses generic language throughout most of the patent text, it does use the example of a smartphone in places, and the main drawing clearly shows an iOS device with a phone icon present, indicating that the company has an iPhone in mind.

If you’re wondering about one oddity in the drawings, there’s a reason for that …

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iPhone 8 Stories May 31

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iPhone concept image by Yasser Farahi
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That Nikkei report claiming that Apple is moving to a three-year cycle on major iPhone refreshes would be huge news if true.

Apple currently has a very well-established ‘tick-tock’ cycle where we see a new form-factor every two years, and new features within the same casing on alternate years. That’s a very efficient approach: Apple generates new demand each year without having the pressure to design a whole new model each time.

Some will upgrade every single year; others will be more influenced by design, and buy in ‘tick’ years; others will be more concerned about features, and will buy in ‘tock’ years. The result is that every year, you have a bunch of customers eager to buy.

A switch to a three-year cycle would seem a dangerous one – so could it really be true, or is something else going on … ?

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iPhone concept image by Arthur Reis
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Japanese newspaper Nikkei is claiming that Apple is moving from a tick-tock cycle with a major iPhone refresh every two years to a three-year cycle.

Apple will likely take three years between full-model changes of its iPhone devices, a year longer than the current cycle. In a typical two-year term, fall 2016 was supposed to see a major upgrade. But the changes on the model to be launched this autumn will be minor, such as improved camera quality. 

The paper says that the change is driven by two factors …

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