The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were the first Apple smartphones to feature dual speakers for stereo sound. Rather than include a dedicated “second” speaker, Apple configured the earpiece (or receiver) speaker to serve double duty as another loudspeaker.
The decision makes sense on paper but as I highlighted in my review last October, the quality of the second earpiece speaker as a loudspeaker left a lot to be desired.
If a recent research note from JPMorgan proves accurate, Apple apparently got the memo and will remedy the shortcoming with the iPhone 8.
As MacRumors points out, the analysts’ note indicates that the new iPhone will feature an “enhanced” receive that’ll afford “further improvements” to both audio quality and waterproofing. Specifics weren’t mentioned although with any luck, Apple will integrate a speaker that at least matches the quality and output of the primary loudspeaker on the bottom of the handset.
The latter bit is in line with earlier rumors suggesting the iPhone will carry an IP68 rating.
The research note further claims that Apple may ship the iPhone 8 with a complementary set of wireless AirPods, replacing the wired EarPods with Lightning connector that come bundled with current generation iPhones. This seems highly unlikely considering the AirPods sell for $159 separately although such a move could help justify the rumored higher price tag of the premium iPhone 8.