As you can see below, the candid shot is of what appears to be a crystal-clear hardshell housing designed for the 10th anniversary iPhone. If indeed that is that case (no pun intended), it would support previous rumors suggesting that Apple will introduce an innovative new form of front-mounted, glass-embedded Touch ID this year, which the iPhone-maker has supposedly been “working on” for several months now.
— KK Sneak Leaks (@kksneakleaks) April 28, 2017
The most recent of these rumors suggested that Apple was testing various prototypes of an iPhone 8 — which could also be called iPhone Edition — boasting an edge-to-edge display, with super-thin 4mm bezels on every side, and Touch ID embedded underneath the display glass. Likewise, a recently leaked schematic shows that the iPhone 8 will more than likely ship with wireless charging capabilities, boasting a back chassis with no visible opening for a Touch ID module.
On the other hand, different schematics that also leaked recently appear to show the rear chassis of Apple’s iPhone 8 boasting a rather large, round cut-out that could presumably be a space for the Touch ID sensor to be repositioned to the rear of the device — a la Samsung’s gorgeous new Galaxy S8/S8+ plus duo. Adding fuel to the fire of a rear-mounted Touch ID reality are other recent rumors, too, which have suggested that Apple has encountered manufacturing issues with the glass-embedded Touch ID solution — and as a result, either the company will opt for a rear-mounted sensor similar to high-end Android devices, or the iPhone 8 could instead be delayed by several months while the company works to bring yield rates of under-the-glass Touch ID modules up to speed.
If indeed this photo is authentic, though, it would also lend credence to other rumors — namely in regards to a vertically-positioned dual-lens camera system on the back of device, which, though conceptually quirky and unconventional, would actually come to benefit users in the end by providing a richer photo-capturing experience when the device is used in landscape mode.
Still, there’s a chance that this case is not, in fact, the real deal. And At least until further notice, we highly recommend taking it with a heaping grain of salt. While it’s much more likely that Apple will merely delay the iPhone 8 until October or November, while possibly announcing it alongside the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus handsets this September, we can really only be sure of one thing at this point: Apple is definitely not likely to follow in the footsteps of Samsung or LG, with their rear-mounted fingerprint readers — but rather, will invest the time, capital, and whatever it takes to deliver a truly unique and innovative device to expectant users.