iPhone 7 Rumors: Better Drop Protection with 4-Inch Screen

December 10, 2014 Updated: December 14, 2014

The iPhone 7 or iPhone 6S–or whatever next year’s Apple smartphone is called–might be a bit more durable than previous models.

Apple Insider reported that Apple has got a patent for active fall protection that shifts the iPhone in midair. Whether the design will be implemented in its next-generation smartphone is yet to be seen.

This month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially gave Apple U.S. Patent No. 8,903,519.

It reads: “An electronic device including a processor, a sensor in communication with the processor and a protective mechanism. The protective mechanism is in communication with the processor and is configured to selectively alter a center of mass of the electronic device. Additionally, the electronic device also includes an enclosure configured to at least partially enclose the processor and the sensor.”

According to Apple Insider, the newly patented mechanism will safeguard computer hardware from accidental drops. The system will rely on sensors to monitor for device activity and positioning.

Over the past week or so, there’s been more and more rumors and speculation indicating that Apple’s next phone will be called the “iPhone 6S” and not iPhone 7. According to a BGR report, Apple will look to make a smaller, 4-inch model for the second half of 2015.

Another report from GottabeMobile indicated that there would be a “iPhone 6C” model, which would have the 4-inch screen. It says:

According to Chinese website Feng.com, the Cupertino-based company may be bringing back the one thing that made the iPhone great to use: one-handed functionality. The 4-inch screen made it really easy for users with smaller hands to reach every corner of the display, but the larger 4.7-inch iPhone 6 got rid of that convenience.

But the report stipulates:

Of course, we’re taking this rumor with big grain of salt, and we’d be moderately surprised if Apple did indeed re-release a 4-inch iPhone, but we’ve been surprised by Apple before, so we’re not saying that the idea is completely far-fetched.

 Meanwhile, a designer has created renditions of what he imagines the iPhone 7 to look like.

Martin Hajek, who has created designs for previous iPhone models, created a smaller and wider model to represent his vision of the iPhone 7.

He also moved the speaker to the top of the handset.

Hajek said, “Based on an idea from tech editor Steven Tweedie from Business insider I visualised what an iPhone 6 would look like with the display pushed to the edges.”