iPhone 8 Said to Have Enhanced Earpiece With Further Improvements to Stereo Sound and Waterproofing

Apple's so-called "iPhone 8" with an OLED display and wireless charging will also feature an "enhanced receiver" with "further improvements" to stereo sound and waterproofing, according to new research shared this week by JPMorgan analysts tracking the company's supply chain in the Asia-Pacific region.


For those unfamiliar, the receiver is the slim, meshed earpiece cutout above the screen that you hold against your ear during a phone call. Since the iPhone 7, it has doubled as a full-out speaker. With two speakers, Apple says the iPhone 7 delivers two times the audio output of an iPhone 6s with increased dynamic range.

JPMorgan didn't specify what acoustical improvements will be made to the iPhone 8's receiver, but it's reasonable to assume it could have higher peak volume at the very least. The earpiece will also be more waterproof, in line with a previous rumor claiming the iPhone 8 will have even better IP68-rated water resistance.

The research note also made the rather outlandish prediction that AirPods may come as a free accessory with the iPhone 8.

Apple including AirPods with the iPhone 8 isn't something we've heard before, so treat the rumor with a healthy dose of skepticism. But, if the rumor proves to be accurate, AirPods would presumably replace Apple's wired EarPods with Lightning connector that it includes in the box with current iPhone models.

AirPods cost $159 in the United States, considerably more than EarPods, which retail for $29 when purchased separately, and cost Apple barely anything to make, according to estimates by market research firm IHS Markit. It's unclear how much it costs Apple to manufacture a pair of AirPods.

Multiple reports suggest the iPhone 8 will be expensive, with the base model costing at least as much as a maxed out iPhone 7 Plus. Given that many iPhone 8 configurations will likely exceed $1,000 in the United States, perhaps Apple will still be able to achieve a reasonable enough profit margin to include AirPods in the box.

Other iPhone 8 features expected by JPMorgan have all been rumored previously, including a stainless steel and glass design, faster processor, larger battery, wireless charging, and 3D sensing module for facial recognition. JPMorgan estimates the device will be $75 to $80 more expensive to manufacture.

This research note comes from a group of JPMorgan analysts in the Asia-Pacific region, including Gokul Hariharan. Not listed is Rod Hall, who covers Apple for JPMorgan in the United States. Hall is the analyst who believes there's a highly likely chance Apple will preview the iPhone 8 at WWDC in June.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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42 months ago

Now thats true innovation ;)

Better get used to it since there is very little radical innovation that will take place in the smartphone product category.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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42 months ago

If it really turns out to be the grail phone we've all been waiting for with wireless charging, waterproof, a solid glad bezeless slab and a terabyte of storage, well yeah that's great... but will I really pay $1500 for the privilege?

Maybe not.

If Apple does charge more than $1000 for the coming iPhone, will Wall Street still expect those tens of millions of iPhone purchasers to upgrade to a newer iPhone the following year? And if they don't, will analysts still claim it's due to Apple being unable to innovate? Why doesn't the same logic apply to toasters and microwave ovens? Use them a year and then upgrade to new ones. I honestly don't know when this requirement to upgrade products on a yearly basis started. When I was growing up 50 some odd years ago, I'm sure products tended to last a lot longer (many years) and we were quite happy to have a product last a long time. Why has that attitude changed so much? One would think with so much talk about dwindling resources consumers would be a lot smarter than to simply stop using perfectly working products just to buy slightly newer ones. I really don't understand this type of behavior.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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42 months ago

I have said previously that they are considering including AirPods.

It is the flagship iPhone, the most forward thinking and with its higher price, they are able to include them

As for the sound rumors, I haven't heard them before but it wouldn't be surprising.

I think you're wrong now and every time in the past. It'll come in time, but one year after the release of AirPods, which are considerably more expensive than EarPods and constantly out of stock, just doesn't make sense for apple.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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42 months ago
Now thats true innovation ;)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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42 months ago
It'd only make sense to package AirPods with an iPhone if sales were bad and no one was paying $160 for them.
All our guesses is that this isn't the case so why would Apple do this?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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42 months ago

I have said previously that they are considering including AirPods.

with Air Pods going gang busters (6 weeks wait ) why would they include them and increase the price of the phone ?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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