Last month I visited Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino and I had the chance to sit down for lunch with a few enginners in the campus. (coolest day of my life!) I started talking about what I feel the next iPhone would look like, and as expected they made no comments on the matter. (Of course). But afterwards I kept thinking what the future holds for the small computers we carry in our pockets.
I currently have an iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black which I’ve had since 2 weeks after it was announced. (Eternally thankful for Craigslist) It has a few scratches (OK! a lot of scratches) but I don’t mind them. I think it adds personality to it. Although everyone disagrees on this one with me. This is my first plus sized phone. So far I’ve had the black 6, white 6, blue 5c, and white 4s which was my first iPhone. It was very surprising to me how quickly I got used to the larger size of the 7 Plus. Before buying the phone I headed to the Apple Store to check the matter black and the jet black before buying one of them online. Even though the jet black one in the store had a lot of scratches, the glossy surface offered an amazing comfortable grip. The matter black 7 plus feels like a slippery fish in your hand trying to find its way to the water. I mean concrete.
Anyway… After getting used to the size of the 7 Plus, I very quickly realized that the screen size on the plus is very ideal for everyday use, at least for me. The phone itself however is a bit too big. I started thinking about the phone if it didn’t have the huge forehead and chin. It’s common knowledge by this point that Apple is ditching the iconinc circular button in the front for a digital one. (the one on the 7 is already a fake button that only feels like one because of the haptic engine). So if the button can be digital, and Apple’s been patenting ways to get the Touch ID behind the screen, that goes digital as well, there’s nothing left that’s stopping Apple from making a phone that has the highest screen to surface ratio in the market.
Touch ID. One majour problem I have with my dear 7 Plus is Touch ID. Not the technology itself, but the place it sits all the way at the bottom. I have to do finger gymnatics if I need to unlock the phone with one hand, or I think ahead and take the phone out of my pocket with my thumb resting on the fake button, pressing it rapidly hoping that by the time I’m holding it properly it had been unlocked. (I’ll let you figure out the correct grammar for that sentence). If only the Touch ID could be a few centimeters. (and inch or two) higher. If Apple is moving the Touch ID behind the display, there’s no reason for them to not move it somewhere more ergonomic.
The assumptions are flowing! Time to start designing this bad boy!
Update: I’ve seen so many concepts with rounded edge displays. That’s never going to happen! It makes absolutely no sense to have a rounded edged display on a mobile device. Maybe a roundness of a few pixels can be justified, but simply taking the iPhone 7 designs and making the front glass all display is just LAZY!!!
First step, the display! I already knew that the 7 Plus had the perfect screen size. So I started with that. No physical buttons in the front! All good. but how would the body look like. I know that the reason Apple goes with the fillet smooth edges around the iPhone is to provide an uninterrupted surface which feels ncie to hold and it looks good.
Bonus information: the Jet Black finish is supposed to feel just like the screen does. The idea was to just have a black glass rectangle all around with no interruption when designing the iPhone 7.
So I did the math and it looked like I’m going to have a 3mm bezel all around the display. but since it’s curved it would feel much smaller than that. As for the rest of the hardware buttons, the volume up/down and mute buttons have been tested over the years and I doubt they’d be going away anytime soon. The mute button might face its doom sooner than the volume buttons though. In the perfect future there would be no physical buttons and just one thing and light edge to edge display that we carry. butt till then, these buttons are here to stay. and so is the lock button.
So the Touch ID moves a bit higher for better ergonomic. The lock screen says press to unlock. There is no physical home button. let’s talk ports!
THERE ARE NO PORTS! Wireless charging! wubba lubba dub dub!!!
With no ports, the bottom part of the device started to feel a bit empty. Half of the circular hole at the bottom of the iPhone 7 already do nothing. So there’s one thing left! speakers and microphone. Making the slit not dead centered was a tough decision. on one hand making it sentered may look slightly better. OK centered looks a lot better. BUT! do you know what symmetry is missing from the current iPhone 7? The “Stereo” speakers that they claim are in these places:
Does that look symmetrical to you? No? ok good. So since Apple has been providing a not so ideal stereo steup for a while and it’s been bugging me so much, I’ve taken the liberty of positioning the iPhone 8 speakers slightly towards the front to provide better sound delivery. Sure it’s not centered but I really hate the current setup. That’s just for my personal satisfaction. You are free to disagree with me.
Next: Camera(s). There have been rumors of Apple making the cameras in a vertical setup. The explanation I’ve read everywhere doesn’t make much sense, but I think there’s another very good reason for this. If Apple is moving into the VR/AR market, and they’ll release a VR setup similar to Daydream, it would make sense to have the cameras be in a horizontal setup when the device is being worn on your face. because that’s how your eyes are setup as well.
Two cameras, two flashes, and a microphone. Here’s a video I made:
Oh Also, it’s ceramic. Not Jet White. For sanity’s sake, Jet is a stone that’s black. It’d be like calling it White Oil, or dark white. It deosn’t make sense. Stop it. Apple already has a shiny white material called Ceramic! If they make a white iPhone it’ll be CERAMIC…
OK I’m done.