Apple iPhone 8: Carrying the “Wireless” Baton

July 25, 2017 Apple iPhone 8 @TheRoyaleIndia 939 0 0

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Never has a single company divided opinions so fiercely. One end of the consumer spectrum swears by Apple, defending each feature with an almost feral intensity. Another section finds every aspect of the “Apple Experience” irritating and illogical. Despite such extreme responses, the brand iPhone has steadily grown, and become one of the most recognizable and sought-after commodities on the planet. Right from the launch of the first iPhone in 2007, each iteration of the iPhone has been met with almost identical levels of enthusiasm and customer satisfaction. With its effortlessly classy looks and intuitive interface, the first iPhone was miles ahead of all its competitors. Even its comparatively high price and restrictive user interface were unable to dampen customer spirits, and the hitherto unheard phenomenon of queues outside a mobile store was witnessed for the first time.

A Battle of Eminence

Nearing its tenth anniversary, the iPhone brand has only grown from strength to strength. It has been able to consistently push the envelope with each new launch, with a focus on specifics and superior quality enabling Apple to dictate terms to their customers without changing the positive brand perception. Apple still enjoys a significant share of “top-of-mind awareness” in the premium smartphone sector, despite several new companies suddenly mushrooming around them. The sheer pleasure of using an iPhone, coupled with the admiring glances it guarantees users has kept users thronging to iStores for almost a decade now. And this Apple juggernaut shows no signs of letting up.

The almost unbreakable bond that the iPhone has forged with its intended customer base is evident in the reception towards the most recent iPhone, the iPhone 7. It gently teased the idea of an entirely wireless smartphone, with its choice of wireless headphones and earphones aimed at reducing the clutter generally associated with earphones and other phone accessories. Several analysts were tentative about how a user would react to this seemingly brave move. But if the sales digits are any indication, the public hasn’t just accepted this change. They have embraced it with open arms! The iPhone 7 saw four times more pre-release booking than the next most popular iPhone! Given below is a list of a few of the new features that made the iPhone 7 such a huge success.

  • New quad-core system-on chip

  • Improved system and graphic performance

  • Water resistance with the phone capable of spending up to 30 minutes at 1m depth

  • New stereo speakers

  • Upgraded 12-megapixel primary camera and 7-megapixel front camera with high-quality image capture and processing technology

Apple’s reputation for making subtle design changes and adding sleek features that enhance the user experience was enhanced with the release of this model. But even with all the hype surrounding this model, there were a few voices from inside Apple, including Tim Cook himself, who made it clear that the best was yet to come. iPhone 7 was just meant to whet appetites and get the public drooling. The real showstopper was and always intended to be the main course the Apple iPhone 8.

Staying Ahead in This High Stakes Race

If the iPhone 7 was successful at nudging user sensibilities in the direction of Apple Inc’s own, the iPhone 8 is going to be revolutionary. If rumor mills are to be believed, Apple wants to well and truly make a statement with this new launch. The news that Apple is testing 10 different prototypes has taken expectations and hype to unimaginable levels. And considering this is an iPhone, that’s saying something! The amount of thought and effort being put into the design and marketing of this phone is indicative of how badly Apple needs this to succeed. Apple has always managed to stay ahead of the chasing pack through sheer ingenuity and phenomenal marketing skills, but it has never been an easy task.

The past few years have seen the number of companies offering sleek and fast products at prices which are a fraction of that of the iPhones increase exponentially. Companies such as OPPO, Vivo and Mi have burst onto the scene with powerful and fast machines which are sold at several price points below the iPhone. The Redmi Note has recorded huge sales since its release, and its incisive and well-thought-out marketing campaign has helped generate a buzz similar to Apple’s accompanying each of its releases. One Plus has revolutionized photography and performance, with its aggressive pricing further attracting users. Industry stalwarts such as Samsung and Motorola have returned with offerings of their own, with Samsung especially doing its utmost to compete in the premium segment as well. The release of the Samsung S8, several months before the launch of the iPhone 8 has swayed several Apple purists. Its ridiculous good looks coupled with a much-improved camera and Samsungs’ very own innovation, “Infinity Display” has seen them make a very strong return after the Note 7 debacle. The S8 has helped Samsung rebuild its damaged reputation, and reiterate how reliable and user friendly its products are.

Apple iPhone 8: Carrying the “Wireless” Baton

Google has made a very strong attempt to get one over its age-old rivals. The Pixel series has staked a claim to the “Best Smartphone Camera” tag, and several voices have risen in support. In a way, Apple has isolated itself with its success. The very fact that each competitor sets the iPhone as a benchmark to improve each feature is a huge compliment to Apple.

iPhone 8: The future is here… Almost!!

With such competition snapping at their heels, the ball is well and firmly in Apple’s court. There is huge pressure on them to perform, which is evident in the amount of research and time being put into the R&D process. But Apple has never disappointed before, and if initial rumors are to be believed, the next iPhone is going to redefine smartphones! Here is a list of the expected features:

  • 5.8″ OLED display

  • Faster A11 processor

  • Glass body

  • Edge-to-edge display

  • Facial Recognition, perhaps replacing Touch ID

  • No Home button

  • Wireless charging

  • Three models – One OLED, two standard

Apple is playing this one very close to the chest, and none of the new features have been confirmed officially. This has only further fueled anticipation and discussion among tech enthusiasts. The new glass body and edge-to-edge display are answers to the Samsung Galaxy S8, and will take the aesthetic appeal of the iPhone to an entirely new level.

Apple aims to push the boundaries of speed and performance with its new A11 processor, while its move from LCD to a flexible OLED is aimed at making the device slimmer and less power hungry. All being said, one of the most talked about new features is the wireless charging.

Heralding the Wireless Generation

Apple iPhone 8: Carrying the “Wireless” Baton

Ever since the launch of the Apple Watch in 2014, Apple purists have waited with baited breath for the release of an iPhone with this feature. The iWatch was charged through inductive charging. Charging speeds were similar to conventional chargers, and this feature combined futuristic bling with functionality. The concept of wireless charging appealed to everyone across the user spectrum, and they could not wait for this feature to be incorporated into the iPhone. The iPhone 7 came and went. The wait for the wireless charger continued.

This wait is finally over, if the ever-churning rumor mill is to be believed. Internet forums and discussion threads have been flooded with several so-called technical experts offering their opinions on what features the latest iPhone is likely to pack. The anticipation is gradually building as we approach September, when most Apple products are launched, and several byes of media space have been dedicated exclusively to the wireless charging debate.

Apple’s recent actions have only fanned the flames of this already roaring fire. Its decision to join the Wireless Power Consortium in February, which is in charge of developing the Qi Wireless Charging Standard is a huge indication of Apple’s future intentions. Rumors of migrating to a glass body also point to a desire to incorporate wireless charging.

Wireless Charging: Myth or Fact?

Even though no official forthcoming has been forthcoming from the company, several Apple enthusiasts have already taken it for granted that the latest iPhone will have wireless charging. These do not account for the numerous challenges such a major hardware change generates. These teething issues are exactly why integration of wireless charging has been on the backburner for such a long time.

Apple as a company has never been known to shy away from a challenge, but recent reports have shown exactly how difficult a journey putting together the i8 has been. Numerous parts have been replaced due to Apple’s stringent quality policies, and there have been several rumors of the possibility of a delay in the launch. Assuring that the hardware required for wireless charging merges seamlessly with the existing hardware could be one of the reasons, and Apple’s renowned technicians are racking their brains to troubleshoot and get the phone ready on time for the launch.

Apple is also rumored to be contemplating releasing three separate models of the i8, with the glass body available on only the most premium version. This points to wireless charging being an optional feature, with only the most expensive models boasting it on their spec sheet.

Several analysts have also painted two worst case scenarios:

  1. Delayed release: This is the worst-case scenario for Apple. If it is unable to find a way around all the technical and availability issues, Apple will decide against releasing a half-cooked product, whose misery would be further compounded by the fact that there aren’t enough pieces in circulation to meet demand. Current surveys estimate that only 4 million iPhones would be available for delivery by the time it is launched, which would create a gross supply deficit. Coupled with the intense battle for territory it now faces with its competitors, such a combination of technical and logistical issues could come to reflect very badly on the company.

  2. On-time release with subsequent incorporation of wireless charging: Another option for the company could be to go with the launch as planned, with a charging case or similar accessory being released later as an optional add-on. This would give Apple to perfect the finer details of the process and ensure a hassle free and satisfactory user experience.

Only Time Will Tell

The very fact that the addition of a feature on a phone can generate so much attention and discussion to how deep a connection Apple has forged with its customers. But all the social media fanfare and spirited exchange of opinion is like bashing a movie after watching its trailer. We can only wait for the official release, and save our breaths till then!

Categories: Tech