Caseme sites were given access to an as-yet-unreleased version of the iOS operation system. The code refers to an iPhone X in addition to two new iPhone 8 handsets. It also details facial recognition tech that acts both as an ID system and maps users' expressions onto emojis.
However, the BBC has independently confirmed that an source provided the publications with links to iOS 11's gold master (GM) code that downloaded the software from Apple's own computer servers.
Several developers are still scouring the leak for new features, but discoveries so far include:
- a reference to iPhone X, which acts as fresh evidence that Apple intends to unveil a high-end model alongside more modest updates to its handset line
- images of a new Apple Watch and AirPod headphones
- a set-up process for Face ID - an alternative to the Touch ID system fingerprint system - that says it can be used to unlock handsets and make online purchases from Apple, among other uses
- the introduction of Animoji - animated emoji characters that mirror a user's captured facial expressions
One company watcher said that the scale of the leak meant Tuesday's launch had lost some of its power to surprise.
Much to Apple’s chagrin, this is going to be one of the phone’s most discussed new features. Samsung took flack for pricing the Galaxy Note 8 at just under $1,000, and the rumors are true, that’s nothing compared to what Cupertino’s got cooking. Various reports have priced the premium model around $1,000 to $1,200. Of course, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will almost certainly slot in at cheaper price points, and Apple’s never been known for its cost savings. But this would be in line with the recent trend toward skyrocketing pricing points as companies look to distinguish themselves with flagship features.
Throw all this information on top of the other iPhone 8 specs avalanche and Apple must wish it had announced the launch sooner.