Images of Apple's iPhone 8 has leaked yet again, this time burrowed deep within the HomePod smart speaker's firmware.
Attempting to predict what the iPhone 8 could look like and, in turn, what "new" things it could feature, has become sort of a tall order lately with so many voices joining the rumor choir: some say it'll have a bezel-less OLED display, some say Apple will get rid of the Touch ID scanner, and some say it'll cost an upward of $1,000.
All speculations at least suggest a similar thing — an iPhone radically designed from the ground up.
According to developer Steve Troughton-Smith, who, along with many other developers, have been combing the HomePod code for tidbits, the iPhone 8 will feature a new "face unlock" functionality. What's more, the higher-end iPhone model — as opposed to the rumored iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus — will sport a bezel-less screen that wraps around the speaker and front camera at the top, slightly similar to Andy Rubin's Essential phone.
Apple presumably released the HomePod code by accident last weekend, and developers got hold of it not long after. They found the iPhone codebase embedded inside HomePod for some reason. They've been hacking away through it ever since, finding pretty telling pieces of information.
iPhone 8: Infrared Face Unlock
The code contains information related to the infrared face unlocking method for the next iPhone, for instance, which apparently can recognize faces even in the dark. Previous reports have indeed suggested that Apple plans to equip the next iPhone with an infrared camera for 3D face scanning, but whether all iPhone models would feature it remains a question.
iPhone 8: What It Looks Like
Beyond that feature, the developers also saw what's purportedly the shape of the next iPhone:
Images showing a similar shape have appeared before but the provenance of those remained dubious. This time, however, the image sits right inside the HomePod code, in other words — directly from Apple, which significantly raises the likelihood of its accuracy.
In a sense, that plain schematic shows an iPhone with a screen that's almost bezel-less, extending around the space where the speakers, camera, and other sensors ought to be located. These features seem exciting but not new. The Galaxy S8 features iris scanning, and the Essential phone, again, has a similarly shaped screen.
For what it's worth, the leak seems to solve a glaring problem associated with the notion of Apple removing Touch ID: an infrared face scanning method to make up for the loss. It remains largely uncertain what phone Apple plans to announce this fall, but the picture gets clearer and more vivid each day.