holding iphone
Will the iPhone 8 feature a glass design? The last time Apple featured glass was on the iPhone 4 back in 2010. Reuters

With the iPhone 7 only just arriving in users' hands, rumours have already begun to swirl about Apple's 2017 flagship, with many expecting an all-new glass look and impressive processing power. We take a look at what else the new handset could be in line to flaunt.

Traditionally, Apple releases an S model a year after the release of an iPhone. However, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone it is rumoured the company is planning to jump straight to the iPhone 8.

IBTimes UK takes a look at the design and specs analysts are expecting to see from the 2017 iPhone.

Design and Build

Apple is said to have reserved some of its best technology developed for the mobile platform in the last few years for the 2017 model, which it has hinted will be a game changer. Popular Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities says the company deliberately did not introduce ground breaking changes in the iPhone 7 range as it will do so in the 2017 iPhone.

For the design, Kuo expects that this iPhone will feature either glass or ceramic backs with metal frames, as phones with all-glass chassis aren't currently feasible "given technological bottlenecks." He says one of the key reasons Apple wants to move to glass is that producing the glossy finish that's currently used in the popular jet-black variants of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is difficult to manufacture.

Another change that could feature on the 2017 iPhone design is the removal of top bezel of the phone, which houses the ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, the front speaker, and the front-facing camera. The assumption for this design alteration came from an Apple patent that suggests the company is looking to move the front-facing sensors including the speakers underneath the display.

Since the iPhone 7 range is already waterproof it is expected the future iPhones will also posses the same technology.

Screen and Display

For the iPhone in 2017, it's likely Apple will stick to its sizing of 4.7in and a larger 5.5in offering, however it's expected to sport an edge-to-edge display.

Reports in January had stated that Apple struck a deal with Samsung Display for a new flexible OLED for the iPhone 7. However, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus did not showcase a flexible display as reported. Could it be that Apple is eyeing this flexible display akin to the Galaxy Edge's curved display for an iPhone in 2017?

Other rumours have however pointed towards the company using AMOLED screens for the 2017 model of the iPhone. A recent rumour had hinted that Apple supply chain partner TPK is working on a project to produce a glasses-free 3D display - but even this one is a bit wild to believe.

While the exact specs for display are still at contention one feature largely expected to be missing from the next iPhone is the physical home button. Just recently Apple asked iPhone 7 and 7 Plus users to not panic if their home buttons were not working as they had an on screen home button back up. This indicates the company already has the technology but is saving it to introduce it at a later stage.

It is expected that the TouchID fingerprint scanner will also be housed within the screen.

Processor and storage

Apple and chip manufacturer TSMC signed an agreement to work together on a 10-nanometer "A11" processor design, expected to go into production later in 2017. This processor will be made exclusively for the next iPhone.

There is no solid report on what the RAM capacity of the next iPhone would be but given that iPhone 7Plus has a 3GB RAM, the next model could sport either a 4GB or 5GB RAM.

For internal storage, the company already has made a significant step by abolishing the 16GB model altogether and is likely to stick to the same strategy for the iPhone in 2017 as well.

Release date and pricing

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were released in September, which has become Apple's common launch month for its phones every year, so expect to see rumours heating up towards this date. The current iPhone 7 costs £599 in UK for the base model however it is far too early to tell if prices will remain the same or increase.