We know, it can get confusing in iPhone rumor land. The Apple grapevine can be a maze of conflicting reports, incredible theories, fan-fueled fantasies and far-fetched concepts. Despite this rapid flow of speculation, both credible and wild, fans, as usual, can't seem to get enough of it. For the multitudes of Apple faithful who are waiting for the next big thing - speculating about the next iPhone is fun and it's actually an integral part of the gadget's consumer lifecycle.
The common belief is that we will see three separate iPhone models in 2017 - two "s" models of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and a third premium version that might rock all the rumored groundbreaking technologies.
Earlier this month, fans who are eagerly anticipating the premium iPhone 8 model may have been quite disappointed about the report claiming that this high-end model, rumored to be called the "iPhone Edition," is having production issues and may not arrive until December.
The delay is said to be caused by the premium iPhone's 3D facial recognition camera system. Reports state that the "iPhone Edition" is still in its testing phase and will not even go into mass production until September, the month when the iPhone 7s models are pegged for release.
However, a new research note from a group of Barclay analysts suggests that the premium "iPhone Edition," "iPhone X" or "iPhone 8" will actually launch in September after all.
As reported by MacRumors, Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O'Malley, and Jerry Zhang predict that this year's high-end iPhone model will still be on track to be made available in September but in limited quantities.
According to the research note:
"Suppliers generally had good things to say about the upcoming iPhone 8 launch (for our purposes iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone Pro) as new features drive a more complicated manufacturing process and higher ASPs. We now believe that all three devices will feature wireless charging and will all be launched in the normal September timeframe, although the majority of iPhone Pro volumes may not be available until Q4."
This means that even though the premium "iPhone Edition" will be launched and made available side-by-side with the iPhone 7s models, the window of actually getting one on release day is pretty slim.
We're talking "sold-out-seconds-after-the-pre-orders-start" numbers akin to how the iPhone 7 Plus Jet Black models were sold out instantly after going on sale online and it took months before they shipped again.
This also suggests that Apple may rush a few of the "iPhone Edition" units just to fulfill the September release date but mass production will still be delayed, and this is still in line with the December availability rumor.
Either way, this still sounds like bad news for fans who can't wait to get their hands on the premium "iPhone Edition."
Will the iPhone 8 have an A11 chip?
In another iPhone 8 rumor, sources report that the premium iPhone 8 will get the same A11 chip as the iPhone 7s and the iPhone 7s Plus.
This means that the premium iPhone 8 won't get any processing upgrades compared to the 7 "s" models. This might be a disappointment to fans who are anticipating that the "iPhone Edition," with all its bells, whistles and whiz-bang features, will have more computing horsepower than the other models.
According to DigiTimes, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will begin mass production of Apple's A11 chip in April. The company will then prepare for a production capacity of 50 million chips before July. The 10nm A11 chips are expected to power the upcoming iPhone series slated for launch in September 2017.
Keep in mind that there's no concrete evidence yet that the high-end "iPhone 8" won't have a different and more powerful chip so don't count out this possibility yet.
What do you think? Will the premium iPhone be released at the same time as the iPhone 7s and are you hoping that it will have a more powerful chip? Drop us a comment!