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iPhone 8 and beyond: The future of smartphones

David Price | June 24, 2016
Future smartphone developments, from graphene and lithium-air batteries to holograms, OLED and motion charging

iPhone 8 - Bezel

Liquid Expulsion from an Orifice

And while we're on the subject of waterproofing...

A patent published on 12 November 2015 suggests a peculiar but rather appealing solution to the waterlogging issue: a mechanism that lets an iPhone dry itself by pumping liquid out through its speaker grills.

iPhone 7 release date rumour: Water expelling patent

Patent application 20150326959, wonderfully, is called LIQUID EXPULSION FROM AN ORIFICE.

"The embodiments described herein are directed to an acoustic module that is configured to remove all or a portion of a liquid that has accumulated within a cavity of the acoustic modules," the patent's summary reads.

The concept is centred around modules within the speaker cavities that can be made hydrophobic to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the charge applied to them: when liquid is detected, charges would be applied across the various modules in such a way that the liquid would be moved across the modules and ultimately expelled from the cavity.

iPhone 8 and beyond: Screen developments

The screen is an iPhone's centrepiece and crowning glory: the medium via which you interact with your phone and your phone tells you about the world. iPhones don't historically tend to have the best screen resolution (despite the claims made on behalf of its proprietary Retina screen rating), but they are solidly sharp and highly responsive - and occasionally Apple evens adds new features, such as 3D Touch andNight Shift.

Here's where we see the iPhone screen heading in the next few years.

OLED screen

A company named Applied Materials, which already works with Apple, has dropped strong hints about ramping display demand from the company heading towards 2017, and this has been taken as evidence for the iPhone 8 incorporating an OLED screen.

"Last week Applied Materials reported an almost fourfold leap in orders for equipment to make displays, an early sign producers are retooling their manufacturing to meet Apple's demand for a new kind of organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screen," reports Bloomberg.

"This is going to be sustainable growth," said Applied Materials CEO Gary Dickerson, mysteriously. "We all know who the leader is in terms of mobile products."

The OLED iPhone rumour has been knocking around for a while; in December 2015 it was predicted that OLED would come to the iPhone line in 2018 as a result of a partnership between Apple and Japan Display.

Note that, according to the current trajectory, 2017's new Apple smartphones would actually be the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus, not the iPhone 8 - although many of us have been saying for years that Apple should ditch those ultra-modest 'S' updates.


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