Apple is reportedly considering changes to its next edition of the iPhone that are guaranteed to annoy users everywhere.
Just five years after its introduction, leaks suggest Apple will replace its Lightning port for the upcoming iPhone 8.
And according to experts, many of the rumoured changes could turn away even diehard Apple fans as the company “eats away at its own designs”.
The iPhone 8 is tipped to feature a USB-C port instead of its Lightning port, moving away from a proprietary Apple-designed connection for the first time, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Apple had already embraced USB-C in its updated line of MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops, all of which include widely-used USB-C ports exclusively.
However, a similar switch on its flagship iPhones are expected to frustrate long-time Apple consumers, who have already been forced to change adapters when the 30-pin connector was rendered useless at the launch of the iPhone 5 in 2012.
That major shift cost users at least $A30 per connector – and if rumours are true, consumers will be forced to fork out once more.
“In other words, people who have actually spent money in the past on Apple-only peripherals will have to now buy a new connector – again. It will annoy them,” RMIT University information technology lecturer John Lenarcic said.
“If they have a new connector, people have to buy it. Simple.”
The change raises questions over the future of Apple’s wireless AirPods and lightning-enabled earbuds.
Available for less than a year, AirPods require a connection to the Lightning port to charge, and if the rumours are true, iPhone 7 users could be paying for adapters to use the proclaimed “industry leading” $A229 earphones.
Apple ‘trying to mimic Samsung’
The leaked iPhone 8 details also fuel speculation that Apple’s new smartphone will include a curved OLED screen – bringing the company’s “visionary capacity” into question.
“The curved screen sounds like they are trying to mimic Samsung,” Mr Lenarcic said, calling the rumoured change an “act of desperation” from the tech giant as it moves away from its trademark “Apple ecology” to better compete with its biggest rival.
Concept art of what the iPhone 8 could look like below:
“Apple ecology dictated that to use Apple products you basically had to buy Apple components and Apple software, accessories etc. You couldn’t mix and match,” Mr Lenarcic explained.
And as a result, Apple’s ‘uniqueness’ could rub off for even the most ardent Apple fan.
“When people were buying things that were uniquely apple, they were part of a special club. Now the veneer of being unique may rub off and will annoy diehard Apple fans,” Mr Lenarcic said.
“Apple could be seen as trying to become like Samsung.”
What to expect from the iPhone 8
- A new next-generation processor – expected to be the A11 chip which will be both faster and more energy efficient, in addition to being smaller.
- Glass and stainless steel body – Apple is rumoured to be moving away from the aluminium body that it’s been using since 2012 and re-adopt the glass-backed body used for the iPhone 4s.
- Extended or edge-to-edge display – three versions are rumoured for the iPhone: A premium OLED model and two standard LCD devices, with sizes that may include 4.7, 5 (OLED), and 5.5 inches.
- Wireless charging – the company’s plan has been hinted to involve inductive charging, which uses a charging station and an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between the two objects.
- Virtual home button
- Enhanced water resistance – to continue working through brief submersion in water with an improved IP68 water resistance rating.
- Dual-lens camera-enabled AR capabilities – the front-facing camera could be used for facial or iris recognition.
- Support for the Apple Pencil
- An alternative to Touch ID such as a face or iris scanner or acoustic fingerprint sensor
- 3GB of RAM plus more storage, ranging from a 64GB base model and 256GB top tier model
- New colours
The iPhone 8 is likely to launch in September 2017.