As Apple prepares itself for the release of the iPhone 8, new reports this week suggest some intriguing features may be included in the smartphone. Tech Stuff suggests that the next Apple flagship may have the ability to float in water, while new shock absorbers will also be included.

design of the iphone 8
FunkyFocus / Pixabay

New patent

The reports have emanated from a patent filed by the Californian corporation on April 4, with the intention of ensuring that the next generation iPhone is less susceptible to cracked screens and water damage.

Designs indicate that the iPhone 8 may include ‘bumpers’ which pop out from the corner of the handset. These will both cushion the impact should the device be dropped, as well as providing a buoyancy aid; effectively ensuring that the device will never sink in water.

This technology to be included in the iPhone 8 will be based on sensors that detect when the device is falling through the air. According to the text of the patent, the technology can be considered fairly similar to the accelerometer which already appeared in numerous smartphones.

According to information included in the application, the technology may have some rather impressive capabilities, with real-world data being used when deciding whether to implement this new aspect of the iPhone 8.

“The length of time in free fall may be used to calculate the height and velocity of movement, and thus to make a determination whether the device has been dropped or merely set down. Devices may sometimes be exposed to elements such as water and may even be dropped into water environments such as a lake, ocean, or even a bathtub or sink within the home,” the patent reads.

When the software included in the iPhone deciphers that the phone has been dropped rather than merely placed on a surface, the corners will automatically spring out in order to cushion the fall, as well as enabling flotation of the device.

Two models

Meanwhile, a new leak this week also suggested that Apple is currently working on two versions of the iPhone 8. This suggestion comes from sources close to the Apple supply chain, with an employee at Foxconn apparently providing the information. It has been anticipated that the 10th anniversary of the iPhone range may see Apple deliver something out of the ordinary, and seemingly two completely different versions of the iPhone 8 are being considered.

Touch ID

Meanwhile, the Foxconn employee also provided several other major changes to the smartphone that are expected to emerge when the iPhone 8 is released. The first of these is that Touch ID will be embedded beneath the display of the device. This has been anticipated for some time, and suggest that the Cupertino-based manufacturer will do away with the Home button as has been widely predicted.

Bezels slimmed down

The Foxconn employee also believes that the bezels included in the iPhone 8 will be seriously slimmed down in comparison to previous devices, as is becoming popular in the industry. The design of the Galaxy S8 has has already reflected this trend, and it is thus suggested that the bezels around the entire edge of the iPhone 8 will measure nearly 4mm.

Build

It is also suggested by the leak that the iPhone 8 will feature 2.5D contoured glass on the front and back of the device surrounded by a metal frame. While a largely glass design has been predicted for the smartphone, this is the first time that more specific details have been provided, and it seems that Apple has something rather special in mind for this flagship.

Size and display

The Foxconn employee also suggested that the iPhone 8 will be exactly the same size as the iPhone 7, featuring precisely the same dimensions. However, as Apple will change the design of the iPhone in order to ensure that the bezels are significantly slimmer, this still means that a larger display can be included.

This means that the leak suggests that a 5.8-inch OLED display will be part of the iPhone 8 makeup, although there is no word on the different models of the iPhone 8 or what resolution screen will be included. It has been suggested in the media that a 5.8-inch iPhone will be accompanied by 5.5-inch and 4.7-inch iPhone 7S models, but this was not confirmed by the Foxconn employee.

Camera

The radical design of the iPhone 8 will be further exacerbated by the inclusion of an invisible front-facing camera, which will be hidden underneath the display. It is clear that Apple has a radical reboot of the iPhone concept in mind with the iPhone 8, and the idea of a camera lens that no one can see is certainly a departure from previous smartphone releases. Effectively, according to the leaked information, the design of the iPhone 8 will be absolutely dominated by the display, with Apple delivering a large screen and extremely compact design.

Power button

Finally, the source close to Apple suggested that the iPhone 8 will feature a large power button with two points of contact. The reasons for this are unknown as of yet, but it sounds as if this will be another flexible aspect of this handset.

Apple Insider has recently reported that the the prospect of three iPhone models in 2017 now appears to be a likelihood rather than a possibility. With Apple clearly considering a revolutionary design for the iPhone 8, and likely to incorporate several new aspects of technology into the premium smartphone, it could be that the major iPhone 8 model retails at a high price point.

This would mean that Apple would also want a more mass-market device to accompany the possibly rather expensive iPhone 8 with a 5.8-inch screen. So Apple consumers are likely to be spoiled for choice before the end of the year, while at least one version of the iPhone 8 sounds as if it will be a massive step forward from previous generations.