iPhone 8 Leak Reveals Surprising Design, New Name

Just when you thought the iPhone 8 was going to boast a truly revolutionary design, along comes a leak that potentially throws cold water on those ambitions. It might not even be called the iPhone 8 at all.

A new report citing a source "with intimate knowledge of Apple's manufacturing facility," claims Apple's tenth anniversary flagship won't live up to previous iPhone 8 rumors. Updated 3/31 with new report on 3D sensing components.

The iPhone 8 could sport a fingerprint reader on the back. Credit: iDrop News

(Image credit: The iPhone 8 could sport a fingerprint reader on the back. Credit: iDrop News)

The information comes from iDrop News, which says that it spoke privately to a Foxconn employee. The biggest surprise is that the report claims that the iPhone 8 will sport a fingerprint sensor on the back, similar to the Galaxy S8.

This treatment flies in the face of previous reports that say that the iPhone 8 will integrate the Touch ID sensor into the front of the display. Samsung reportedly tried to do something similar with the S8 but apparently ditched those efforts when it found that the available solutions didn't work well enough.

MORE: If the iPhone 8 Looks Like This, the Galaxy S8 Is in Trouble

Second, the iDrop News says that the iPhone 8 will not have a glass back and will instead be metal. The reason for this move is apparently to ensure better durability. The S8 and LG G6 both have backs made of Gorilla Glass.

A leaked image from the site shows that the next iPhone will have a front that's almost all screen and a dual camera setup on the back, but the orientation will be flipped so that they're vertical. Up front, the iPhone 8 mockup has dual cameras as well, which does line up with previous reports about the device offering a 3D camera that could be used for facial recognition and also augmented reality features.

A new report says that Himax Technologies will be supplying 3D sensing components for the iPhone 8. By creating a sense of depth, the device would be able to deliver augmented reality experiences.

The sensors could enable all sorts of applications, writes Morgan Stanley's Charlie Chan, including facial recognition, gesture sensing 3D modeling and photo shooting enhancements. Apparently, 3D modeling has the greatest potential, as it can be used for AR and VR apps like gaming and virtual social networks.

iDrop News isn't the first to report this, but the site says that the iPhone 8 will actually be called the iPhone Edition instead. There is a precedent here, as Apple sells a higher-end Apple Watch Edition that costs $1,249, which is hundreds more than the standard Apple Watch Series 2.

Previous rumors have suggested that the iPhone 8 could cost $1,000 or more, so this name change is certainly feasible. The handset would likely sit above refreshed iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus models in the lineup. The name sounds a little pretentious to us, but we won't know for sure until Apple announces the new phone, likely in September.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 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, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. 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.