As Apple continues to prepare for the release of the iPhone 7, some early iPhone 8 identifiers have emerged. Fiksu has reported that it has spotted two new iPhone devices in its web traffic logs for the month of July. These are dubbed the iPhone 8,1 and iPhone 8,2, although Fiksu also reported that the hotly rumored iPhone 6c is conspicuous by its absence. This will only add further weight to the debate on this subject, with some Apple analysts still believing it to be possible for Apple to release this smaller iPhone device next month.

iPhone 8 Listings Tease Future Releases

iPhone 8 indicators

Just in case there is any confusion, it is important to emphasize that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus carried the iPhone 7,2 and iPhone 7,1 identifiers respectively. This was a departure from previous handsets in the series, with the iPhone 5c having been represented as the iPhone 5,3. So the likelihood is that these iPhone 8 indicators actually point to the release of the iPhone 7, and could solve the continuing discussion on the branding of this device.

Also included in the Fiksu data was information that points to these iPhone 8,1 and iPhone 8,2 devices utilizing a wide variety of popular applications. These include software related to travel, gaming and lifestyle, while hits related to the handset have largely emanated from the United States. Web surfers in Germany and Brazil have also taken an interest in these new forthcoming handsets, though.

While gossip makers will suggest that this could be an iPhone 8 in the pipeline, a far more likely explanation is that the two iPhone 8 devices simply refer to the next generation iPhone 7. But if the information is accurate, then it does strongly suggest that Apple will treat the next iPhone release as a brand new iPhone concept, and not opt for the iPhone 6s branding that has been strongly suggested in some quarters.

iPhone 8 Listings

iPhone 8 listings question iPhone 6c existence

The iPhone 8 information will also pretty much end the suggestion that the iPhone 6c will launch next month, and possibly call into question the actual existence of the device. It has been assumed by the Apple-following community for some time that Apple would release a smaller version of the iPhone at some point in the near future. A 4-inch smartphone had been particularly floated, but as this now it does not seem to be part of Apple’s existing plans there will be question marks about whether it will emerge at all.

This latest iPhone 8 listing information actually goes against some of the rumors that have been published in the media recently. Prominent leaker Evleaks recently suggested that Apple was intending to launch the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 6c concurrently next month, and other sources have also supported this conclusion. Separate reports have indicated that Apple hasn been developing a smaller battery for the iPhone 6c as well.

While the iPhone 8 data acquired by Fisku does not completely eliminate the possibility of Apple releasing an iPhone 6c device next month, it certainly looks extremely unlikely now. Apple is expected to unveil the next generation iPhone during a launch event on September 9. And the British carrier Vodafone has already inadvertently leaked the probable release date of the iPhone 7, in an e-mail which suggested that September 25 will be the date in question.

Apple share price slumps

There is no doubt that the next generation iPhone will be an extremely important device release for Apple. The share price of the corporation has taken a significant kicking in recent weeks, as investors become sceptical about the growth potential of the corporation, particularly in emerging marketplaces such as China. It was notable this week that China chose to devalue its currency by 2 percent; an indicator among many economic analyst that the economy of the world’s most populous nation is significantly slowing.

Recent data has indicated that China has now become the largest market for Apple in the world. According to recent figures published in April, Apple is now shifting more iPhone units in China than even the United States. Considering that the Chinese marketplace is still relatively embryonic for the consumer electronics giant, this process is only expected to increase in the foreseeable future.

It was thought that the iPhone 6c, or however Apple chooses to brand this smaller version of the smartphone, would play a serious role in apple’s forthcoming strategy in China and the rest of the East Asian marketplace. The iPhone 6c is likely to be a more affordable version of the smartphone, aimed at a growing middle-class in nations such as China.

iPhone 7 specs

Meanwhile, Apple continues to prepare for the release of the iPhone 7 behind closed doors, with analysts still speculating about what could be included in its specifications. Apple is particularly expected to upgrade the screen resolution of the iPhone 7 when it is released, with full HD resolution expected for the smartphone-sized version of the handset, and quad HD for the iPhone 7 Plus phablet.

Additionally, there have been a lot of rumors about the camera improvements that Apple will include in the iPhone 7. It seems certain that the hardware of the device will be significantly upgraded over the iPhone 6, with many analysts pointing to a 12-megapixel snapper. Other suggestions, such as a professional standard DSLR lens and a unique periscope design, now look considerably less likely.

Apple is also expected to include its Force Touch technology in the iPhone 7, and this will play a major role in its device range going forward. There have even been suggestions in some quarters that the iPhone 7 will be entirely powered by Force Touch, after the technology that enables functions to be accessed by different severities of pressing debuted successfully in the Apple Watch earlier this year.

We don’t have too much longer to wait to find out the makeup of the iPhone 7, but it looks as if we will not see a 4-inch version of the smartphone.