AR is the next big thing?
The rumor: Apple is going all-in on augmented reality, as the company ramps up developments that could be introduced in the forthcoming iPhone camera. Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is looking at AR as its “next big thing.” Although AR hardware like glasses could be a few years off, an iPhone equipped with these capabilities may be coming sooner than we think. According to Bloomberg, hundreds of Apple engineers are now dedicated to developing AR, including members of the iPhone camera team.
What could AR on the iPhone look like? Bloomberg reports that iPhone users may be able to change the depth of a photo in post-editing or rotate the subject of the photo in 180-degrees. Furthermore, the iPhone camera could be able to overlay visual effects similar to Snapchat selfie filters.
Plausible? No one can deny Apple seems very interested in becoming a major player in popularizing augmented reality. Tim Cook has said so himself several times. However, it is not conclusive how Apple might integrate this emerging technology into the iPhone, or by creating new products for that matter.
It makes sense that Apple would use the iPhone as a vehicle to introduce AR. Snapchat and Pokémon Go have given us successful implementations of mobile AR, so something similar could be expected. But although Bloomberg is a reliable source, we also know that Apple is testing several iPhone models, so not all these features are guaranteed to come to fruition. Even Bloomberg makes it clear that Apple could decide to shelve the technology if it’s not ready.
More expensive 3D Touch sensor?
The rumor: The 3D Touch module on the forthcoming iPhone 8 with OLED display will cost $15 to manufacture, at least if you believe Digitimes, a 60 percent increase in cost. Previously, the 3D Touch sensor on the iPhone 7 cost closer to $9 to manufacture. This implies that Apple will have to mark up the price of the iPhone 8 in order to keep its typically high margins. The more-expensive 3D Touch module consists of a thin film touch sensor that will be overlaid onto the new AMOLED display. However, the report also mentions that TPK Holdings, the AMOLED display supplier, won’t supply the displays until the fourth quarter, corroborating earlier rumors that the iPhone 8 will be launched later than September.
Plausible? Digitimes is not the most reliable sources when it comes to new iPhones, but even if the details are a little shaky, the implication that the iPhone 8 will be more expensive is spot-on. Besides the new 3D Touch module, the iPhone 8’s rumored OLED display, virtual Home button, and 3D camera all point to a higher price tag. Could it cost over $1,000? Certainly the 256GB model might—especially considering the fact that the iPhone 7 Plus with 256GB went on sale for $979.
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