iPhone 8 release date, specs rumors: Upcoming smartphone to sport USB-C connector and curved OLED display?

An iPhone 7 is displayed in a store in London, Britain October 4, 2016. | Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

Apple has long been rumored to have game-changing plans for its next iPhone. New reports about the upcoming device have surfaced, and the iPhone 8 might have a USB-C connector and curved OLED screen.

The iPhone 8 is expected to feature an improved hardware, but it could also have a huge shake-up when it comes to appearance and overall design. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is following the trend of curved OLED screens for its next device. In addition, the publication's anonymous sources claim that the tech giant is dropping its Lightning port and replacing it with a USB-C type connector.

While the change is good news for tech-savvy consumers, it could spell bad news for fans' wallets. OLED display screens currently cost a lot more than LCD products, which could mean that the iPhone 8 will be priced significantly more than the previous models. It is believed that the iPhone 8 will be the first Apple smartphone to cost over $1,000 due to the expensive OLED screens.

Only a few companies can supply the said screens, and Apple will reportedly be purchasing them from Samsung. To date, the most expensive edition of Apple's smartphone line is the iPhone 7 Plus, which is on sale for $949.

Aside from ditching the Lightning port, multiple reports say that the iPhone 8 will no longer have a physical home button. This conincides with the rumor from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claims that one of this year's new iPhones will include a "function area" instead of a home button. He also stressed that only one of the new devices will have this technology, though.

It was previously rumored that Apple will be launching three new iPhones later this year. Additionally, the company will be unveiling updates to 2016's smartphones and one new premium device.

Apple has yet to officially announce the launch of iPhone 8. While some of the reports come from reputable resources, fans are advised to take them with a grain of salt.