The iPhone 8 is drawing closer. Apple’s heavily-rumored, upcoming smartphone, expected to launch this September, is expected to make some dramatic changes to a line that has stuck with largely the same design for the past three iterations. The new phone, set to bring a new design, is also expected to pack several high-end features, and a new parts leak suggests one rumored feature is almost sure to make an appearance.
Reddit user kamikasky posted two images to the Apple subreddit on Monday. The pictures show a new front panel design, one with a thin bezel that protrudes slightly into the screen space to allow for camera and speaker cutouts.
“I have a friend in the industry who just sent me these,” the user said in the image captions. “He said the Chinese manufacturers got these last week.”
The redesigned front panel suggests Apple is indeed gearing up to bring organic light-emitting diode screens to the iPhone 8. Commonly known as OLED, these displays allow for pixel-by-pixel dimming, enabling on-screen blacks that emit no light whatsoever while also allowing for screen shapes other than the standard square designs normally found on smartphones.
The ability to display truly black screen colors means the operating system could use the top of the display to show status icons, switching off the rest of the bar to make the battery indicator and signal strength “blend in,” and make it seem part of the bezel itself.
But perhaps a clearer sign that the iPhone 8 will receive an OLED screen is that this design would not be possible using the screens found in previous iPhones. OLED enables exotic shapes and designs, something Samsung has put to use in the S8 Edge and the new Essential Phone also uses to create a similar cutaway.
The poster also claims that the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, two other devices rumored to launch at a lower price point than the iPhone 8 at the same event, will feature wireless charging alongside the more expensive model. The technology is said to require a glass back to allow electrical signals to pass through, meaning the current aluminum composition found on the iPhone 7 is not suitable for future devices.
Apple is expected to launch the three devices sometime during the fall. The company has issued a notice that employees should not take time off around this period, fueling speculation of a major announcement that requires all hands on deck.