Apple is reportedly testing more than 10 different iPhone prototypes

By Shawn Knight ยท 14 replies
Nov 28, 2016
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  1. Apple is reportedly testing nearly a dozen prototype iPhones as it continues to narrow down the field of potential devices ahead of next year’s pivotal launch.

    Sources reportedly familiar with the matter tell The Wall Street Journal that Apple is testing more than 10 different iPhone variations. At least one of the devices features an OLED display although it may not make the cut.

    In addition to being thinner and lighter than traditional LCD technology, OLED screens don’t require a backlight component. They also allow for flexible designs like the rolled edges on Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge. One shortcoming of OLED technology at this point in time is the fact that they are much more expensive to produce compared to LCDs.

    People familiar with Apple’s plans believe the company will likely rely on Samsung as their primary supplier of OLED components but want LG Display, Japan Display and Sharp to boost their OLED production to have displays ready for 2018.

    With iPhone sales cooling and innovation across the smartphone industry reduced to a crawl, there’s a lot of pressure on Apple to deliver a device worthy of being the 10th anniversary iPhone. Early rumors suggest that in addition to an edge-to-edge, high-resolution OLED display with Touch ID built into the screen, the next-gen iPhone will feature a glass enclosure and wireless charging, among other changes.

    Images courtesy flockmann, Reddit

    Permalink to story.

  2. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,070   +427

    OLED screens are a pretty "old" tech these days so it makes sense Apple might implement it five years after everyone else had it.

    Only adding wireless charging and more glass to the phone isn't going to make this a home run.
    Odium likes this.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,318   +1,404

    I wonder if any of those prototypes include the headphone jack.
    Odium likes this.
  4. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,070   +427

    I doubt they are planning on bringing back a useful headphone jack unless market data suggests they have to in order to meet sales goals.
  5. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,318   +1,404

    iPhone sales were down and that was in spite of the Galaxy Note battery issues. I think we're getting to the point that there isn't anything you can add to a phone to make it more functional. Mobile SOC's are at the point were they can playback 4kvideo (and even record and encode it). Increased hardware specs aren't really a buying point unless you have a lowend phone and if you have a highend phone from ~3 years ago you can still do things just fine. I remember using the first iPhone and the browsing experience was atrocious compared to what it is today.

    Most people I know only upgrade they're phones when they're lost or broken, not because their current phone isn't up to the task.
    p51d007 likes this.
  6. Hexic

    Hexic TS Maniac Posts: 333   +164

    In retrospect, I believe (mostly) that Apple actually has a decent chance here to become truly relevant again. Think of all of the features that Samsung, LG, HTC, and virtually every other Android manufacturer have had for years that Apple still can't wrap it's head around: Wireless charging, quick charging, actual volume control (notification/call/media volumes separately), SD cards, hand gesture implementation, the basic friggin' ability to disconnect from a WiFi network without shutting the whole damn service off (sorry, I currently have a company provided iPhone, and the WiFi reason alone is laughable.. fanboys just can't understand the need for a simple "disconnect button". Once again, it must be just too complicated), app integration and flexibility, etc. etc. etc.

    Apple could literally improve upon one of these items every release, and still have an audience that will view it as foundational, somehow. I honestly think they're in a decent boat to make even more money. Throw in some basic features of an Android phone, and maybe (if they're lucky) throw in something new - they'll have customers for decades.

    I've used both Apple and Google OS phones for quite awhile now.. and I continue to shake my head at the true lack of basic functionality of the iPhone.
  7. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    I love reading the hateful comments from anti-Apple haters who lost fingers when their Galaxy Note 7's went nova...

    Apple doesn't simply throw "new" stuff into their phones - just cause the next guy has it.

    That's Samsung's bag.

    Samsung one ups everyone on tech specs.

    Apple "TESTS" their products for extended periods of time and practices tighter quality control - and is very conscious of memory, power and CPU management.

    I dare someone to show me an Android phone that records 4K video for 3 hours without overheating. I have recorded 5 hours straight on iPhone in 4K using my Mophie 8X powerbank for on the go power. The phone gets "warm" but never deactivates or reboots.

    Meanwhile, certain manufacturers need 8GB of RAM and huge batteries just to get the average amount of battery life since they went ahead and put a plasma TV screen on their phone and found out the hard way just how much energy and memory are needed to run tech like that when the entire package isn't coherent.

    Thank goodness Android phones aren't able to run iOS.
  8. Hexic

    Hexic TS Maniac Posts: 333   +164

    The last few years I have traveled quite a bit. I used my Galaxy S6 Active to frequently record in 4K for extended periods of time. The prior gen to Apple's 4K capable phones. In Arizona. Didn't blow up, didn't reset, nothing. If Apple was to quality as Samsung isn't, Apple would control the smart phone market. That 'quality' and 'tested' argument holds no water.
    Odium likes this.
  9. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +651

    The author hit one of the nails on the head..."innovation across the smartphone industry reduced to a crawl"
    the other nail, in my opinion, is the INSANE price of "flagship" phones. Upwards of $1,000.00! For a PHONE!
    And, if you believe the manufacturing "costs" associated with a phone, in the 200-250 range that is one heck of a markup. Yeah yeah, marketing bla bla bla, but that still doesn't justify the price, other than there are those willing to pay it.
    Correctly stated that people are only buying a new phone, if there phone is lost/stolen/broken is quite true. Who the heck wants to shell out that much money on A PHONE. Pretty much any phone, with an SD800 chip, good software can pretty much handle 99% of what the GENERAL public do. Talk, text, web, video, mp3's, photos.
    Unless you are one of these pixel peeper/benchmark tweakers, the last couple generations of phones, work for everyday use. Until the public gets fed up with the insane prices, given the true innovation (or lack thereof) the current business model of offering minor tweaks to new devices will continue.
  10. scotttobler

    scotttobler TS Rookie

    Iphone use to be great, innovative , reliable, cutting edge in design and tech , today well its still reliable but all those other guys left the building.

    I bought my first iphone 4s it was a dream come true , metal sides with a diamond like cut 'glass back and front with no plastic which meant no plastic to twist crack or bend , touch screen that was flawless never sticking or freezing when I swiped from left to right and apps that opened the seconded I touched them, ios was better and more simpler than my home pc, and don't get me started on siri she was mind blowing at the time a phone that felt like a rolex,had the horse power and thrill of a ferrari , and tough as a tank this phone was built better than any product my family had bought in 30 yrs.

    Well the 6 & 6plus came to light and yes is was faster , reliable , great lcd new design but similar apple dna well at least I could say it was new and then the 6s came out it was little better , a little faster and 3d touch its high tech with a peek-a-boo like function at its finest , and siri had grown a little since my first phone , and finally now we have the 7 same look new colors , just a bit faster , just a bit more pixels brighter and a new dual camera ,speakers too with some what better photos but hay iphone 7 is still more reliable than the competition.

    So were is a iphone today simple put a well built but reliable product that looks similar to competitors and faster I might add, not trend setting whether it may be design or new tech features but a product that is strong and sturdy that we can all ways count on to regurgitate old tech that is sold and marketed in a new and exciting, snobbish kind of way.

    I think the ceo should go out and buy a toyota because it's well built and reliable and put a ferrari engine in it, keep the design of course the same for 3 mind numbing generations and throw in a tinney new feature let's say like a loud horn that 33% more efficient and of course a engine is just a little bit fast each year but mr. ceo must pay massive ferrari prices every year and just then I will pull up in a brand new lamborghini right next to mr. ceo and turn my head over to him and say " what would you rather drive home tonight".

    Don't know about you but I'm not going to pay $769.00 for a iphone 7 plus and shure as hell won't pay $300,000 for a toyata.

    P.S. apple figure it out or you will be the next sony...........................
  11. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Yeah it's fun to live with your head in the clouds but the only problem is when reality sets in you'll have to come down sooner or later... and gravity is a real biatch.
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    The cheapest, simplest to produce prototype they can heavily overcharge for will be the one that makes it into production. They only have to cater to the millions of iSheep in existence and they'll happily accept and overpay for any Apple gadget that's thrown in their faces. Why change a winning formula?
  13. commanderasus

    commanderasus TS Booster Posts: 195   +72

    All your so called smartphones will be totally useless after a EMP strike. The look on the people's faces when they can't text will be priceless and I will use my 10 year old camera to capture them.
  14. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 181   +42

    That means they are really uncertain of what the next iphone should look like. too many choices to pick one from is headache
  15. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    I'm not sure what the future has in store for Apple, but I'm sure, whatever it is, I will want it - and since it's only gonna be about $1000 for the 256GB (like my 7 Plus) I already know I'll just buy it.

    they never let me down.

    I love the product and I will stick with it.

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