Apple is building hardware for next year's iPhone model at its offices in Herzliya, Israel, and referring to it internally as the "iPhone 8," according to an employee there who spoke anonymously to Business Insider. The employee works on soldering components for Apple and gave vague references to how "different" the 2017 iPhone will be from the iPhone 7, which falls in line with rumors about the iPhone 8's radical redesign, without providing detailed information to add to the previous reports.
Still, the naming scheme of next year's iPhone is one of the device's most talked-about aspects. Normally, the smartphone would carry the "iPhone 7s" moniker given that it will be following this year's iPhone 7, but given the major changes Apple plans to introduce to the iPhone in 2017, it seems unlikely the device will receive an "S" name. Because of this, there's a good chance Apple may decide to skip directly to the next full number, naming the 2017 iPhone the iPhone 8.
The Apple employee speaking with Business Insider keeps this idea alive, mentioning what's coming "next" from Apple and discussing the iPhone 8 "unprompted" in the conversation. The same source, "who only spoke in broken English," added that the 2017 version of the iPhone will have a better camera than the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7, which is expected at this point in Apple's yearly upgrade cycle.
Speaking to Business Insider outside Apple's Herzliya office at Maskit Street 12, the Apple employee said staff in Israel are working on what's coming "next" in Apple's product line, giving a specific mention to "iPhone 8."
The worker used the term "iPhone 8" unprompted in our conversation. That was interesting because the next logical name for the iPhone to be released in 2017 should be "iPhone 7s." iPhone 8 isn't due until 2018.
The radically redesigned iPhone 8 is said to include an all-glass body, edge-to-edge display with the camera and Touch ID integrated into it, no traditional Home Button, and potentially wireless charging. The device's launch will also fall on the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone's debut, back in 2007, leading to even more speculation that Apple will land on a specialized branding instead of a simple "S" naming scheme.
But because it's so early in the rumor cycle -- and because Apple's R&D offices in Herzliya have nothing to do with marketing and branding of the iPhone -- it's best to take today's report with the usual grain of salt. Tim Cook visited the Herzliya offices when they opened last year with rumored focus on storage space, processors, and communications chips being worked on by around 800 employees.