We've got so used to the way that Apple releases its flagship mobile phones that the potential announcement of the iPhone 8 – theoretically a year early – has proved a bit of a bombshell among tech fans.
If you've been keeping your ear to the ground for the latest rumours, then you'll already know that the iPhone 8 isn't far from being released to mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Like the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, we're expecting a release date of some time in the Autumn – probably October. And the design is likely to be a massive departure from what we've been used to with the last few iPhone releases.
As ever, Apple is keeping its cards close to its chest regarding the finer details of the release, and that includes the likely iPhone 8 price. So TechRadar has dusted off its crystal ball and brushed up on its history books to predict how much the iPhone 8 will cost on release.
iPhone 8 price: how much will deals cost?
Apple really threw a bone to consumers when it released the iPhone SE last year. Completely contrary to what we normally see from the tech giant, here was a new phone aimed at the lower end of the budget spectrum. A brand new iPhone you didn't have to pay the earth for.
Needless to say, we're expecting nothing like that kind of profligacy with the iPhone 8 – in fact, quite the opposite. There's little doubt that this will be the most expensive iPhone ever launched. If the design is as experimental as the rumour mill is suggesting, then people are going to buy this phone regardless of the cost.
We gather from iPhone 8 leaks that it will have a 5.8-inch bezel-free display, so hardware costs are likely to be more expensive than ever. Consider that last year's 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus cost £719 on release. We reckon you can add at least £100 to this, and probably some more on top to boot. So something in the region of at least £879 would be our educated guess.
When can I buy the iPhone 8?
Unlike most other manufacturers (take the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launch as a prime example), Apple doesn't prep the technology press weeks and weeks in advance of its product launches.
The usual release pattern for new iPhones is a September launch – it's been that way for the last five years. So we're definitely expecting at least the iPhone 7S and 7 Plus to hit the shelves next month.
Because the iPhone 8 is a bit of a wildcard, it's harder to say when we'll see it. We've heard rumours that it will be launched at the same time as the other pair of Apples. While less optimistic commentators are suggesting early November. Whenever it lands, we're hoping it's early enough to leave time for some belting Black Friday bargains.
Either way, ensure that you're kept in the loop by signing up for notifications from Carphone Warehouse. The retailer will email you as soon as stocks become available, so you can make sure you don't miss out.
TechRadar predicts the best iPhone 8 deal
Most people will inevitably be looking to pick up an iPhone 8 deal on contract, especially with that probable handset cost of almost £1,000. As with the standalone price, we'd expect even the cheapest contracts to be priced well higher than what the iPhone 7 Plus went for on arrival last year.
iPhone 8 | £199 upfront | 2GB data | Unlimited minutes and texts | £49pm
With any hope, we're being way to negative and the contract price for the iPhone 8 will be a lot less than this – but don't bank on it. You couldn't get the iPhone 7 Plus for any less than £45pm when it hit the shelves. At least one phone retailer will probably be able to get scrape together a tariff for less than £50 a month, but that will only drive up the handset cost. Total cost over 24 months is £1375
The cheapest tariffs for which you could pre-order the iPhone 7 Plus were around the £1,200 mark, so it follows that you would pay almost £200 more over the two years for the iPhone 8.
And of course, prices will only escalate further if you need more than 2GB of data a month. You're looking at over £50pm for 5GB and somewhere towards £60 for data plans exceeding 15GB. On this basis, they'll plunge way over the £1,500 mark for the total you'll pay. That's quite scary for a smartphone.
If you can afford to buy the phone upfront, and assuming it doesn't start creeping over the £900-mark, then you could look at teaming the iPhone 8 with one of our best SIM only deals. Shove the bargain 4GB data £9 per month Three SIM in the Apple phone for example, and you could end up saving a couple of hundred quid over the two years.