The iPhone 8 might not be ready before its release date, a new report claims.
Some central features in the new Apple handset still look like they will need more improvement at launch, according to Fast Company. As such, Apple might ship the hardware required to make them work, but not enable them until it can send a fix through a software update later on.
The new iPhone is expected to be the maost radical redesign ever, and bring with it new features including a screen that stretches all the way over the front of the screen.
But two of the most trailed features in advance of the official reveal – the ability to unlock the phone with your face, and wireless charging – might not actually be available when people get hold of the phone.
Instead, those features will be shipped with the phone and then left unused until the software required for them can be fixed, according to the report.
It wouldn t be the first time that Apple would release a new feature in that way. When the iPhone 7 Plus came out, it included two camera lenses in part so that it could sense depth and enable a portrait mode. But the software to power it wasn t ready at the time of launch, and it was enabled in the first major OS update after the phone was released.
Both of the features could be ready by the time the phone is released. But the company is preparing for them not being, the report claimed.
There is a "sense of panic in the air" as the company works to complete the phone, a source at Apple told the news website. The company is working quickly to fix final software delays that could end up pushing back deliveries and production of the phone, it claimed.
Leaks about what Apple has planned for the new phone have been far more rare that in recent years, and more vague when they do emerge.
But that may be because Apple has been more secretive rather than the fact that decisions haven t yet been made. Boss Tim Cook has promised to double down on secrecy toprevent leaks of upcoming products, and that approach appears to have worked with recent launches.
The phone is expected to be revealed at a press event in autumn. Apple s iPhone launches were once more sporadic, but it has fallen into a pattern of launching the new phones early in September and there would likely be concern if it broke with that pattern.
Some have suggested however that it could reveal both the iPhone 7s and the iPhone 8 at its autumn press event, but not make the iPhone 8 available until sometime after the launch.