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iPhone 8 Screen Will Be Behind Galaxy S8 Curve (Report)

Flat or curved? That's one of the big questions surrounding the iPhone 8's design. After all, an OLED screen would allow Apple to do what Samsung has done with its Galaxy line.

The Galaxy S7 Edge has a curved screen that lets you access shortcuts with a quick swipe in from the side, but a new report says the iPhone 8 won't have similar ambitions, giving the upcoming Galaxy S8 a possible advantage.

A bezel-less iPhone 8 concept. Credit: Phone Arena

(Image credit: A bezel-less iPhone 8 concept. Credit: Phone Arena)

According to Nikkei Asian Review (via 9to5 Mac), the "curve will be gentler than screens in Galaxy S7 Edge handsets" and "it will not offer significant new functions."

Nikkei also says that Apple's 10th-anniversary iPhone will have a viewable area of 5.2 inches, which doesn't line up with other iPhone 8 rumors that claim it will sport a much larger 5.8-inch panel.

Ironically, Nikkei claims that Samsung will be the sole provider of the OLED screens for the iPhone 8.

What's curious about this report is that we've heard that the iPhone 8 will sport a function area towards the bottom of its edge-to-edge screen, similar to the MacBook Pro with Touchbar.

That report from Apple Insider, citing KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, said that the function area would replace the iPhone's Touch ID button and that it would give the device a set of "always-on, static system controls into iOS."

Meanwhile, Samsung looks to be pushing even further with its software and hardware innovation. You'll apparently be able to customize the Galaxy S8's software buttons towards the bottom of the screen, and a recent report suggests that the new virtual home button will be pressure-sensitive. In this case, Samsung seems to be taking a page from Apple's 3D Touch technology.

If it turns out that the iPhone 8's gently curved iPhone 8 screen is just for aesthetics, that would be a bummer, but we somehow doubt that Apple won't find a way to make the most of the additional real estate. It just might not be directly related to the curve.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.