Apple recently sent the world in chaos, when it ditched the traditional 3.5mm audio jack in favor of its own, newly introduced bluetooth-powered earphones aptly called "earpods." Now, the iPhone 8, or the 10th Anniversary Edition of the best-selling smartphone, is rumored to introduce another massive change.
Bye, Bye Home Button
A report from BGR said that Apple have just been awarded a patent that describes a way of placing a button with fingerprinting scanning capabilities under the screen. This means that the iconic home button will soon be gone with its functions buried into the phone's display. The plausibility of this function may be too far from reality, but with how Apple developed the 3D touch on the iPhone 6S, this is not hard to believe.
Came Like a Lightning, Gone Like a Lightning
Forbes came across a patent rewarded to Apple that discusses an opening that are sized as such that they cannot be easily visible to the human eye.
The patent mentions "an optical connector that provides and/or receives optical signals through openings or perforations formed at an external surface of the electronic device. These openings can serve as the interface of the optical connector through which the electronic device can engage in one-way or two-way communication with corresponding optical connectors of other electronic devices."
This can mean that future iPhones will not need cable and ports in order to transfer data from and to. Additionally, with Apple probably adapting the wireless charging technology, the 30-pin lightning port would be of no use. Now that the audio jack is gone, the only other big opening an iPhone have on its body is the lightning port. It would not be much of a surprise if the Apple designers decide to remove it.
A Caveat to Everything
It is important to remember though that patents, even though existing legally, may not always make it to actual use. These patents however though shows the direction that Apple has envisioned in the upcoming iPhones. There is a high chance that Apple will finally release the futuristic looking iPhone renders that keep popping up on the internet.