How's an iPhone 5S leak to start the new week with? This one reportedly comes courtesy of an anonymous factory worker who somehow managed to take a photo of a pre-production unit and then post it on a Chinese microblogging site. The image in question, now taken down along with the tipster's account, reveals not only the smartphone's design, but also its mysterious "killer feature" that we heard about
a few weeks ago.
Apparently, Apple has developed some new kind of technology that allows the iPhone to hover above flat surfaces
. The feature appears to have evolved from this "airbag" concept
that is thoroughly described in an Apple patent from 2010. As far as we can tell, the purpose of all this is to protect the iPhone's aluminum body from scratches by ensuring that it does not come in contact with the surface it is placed on. Additionally, it might be able to prevent physical damage in case the handset is dropped.
According to the tipster, this new feature will be called iFloat and will debut on the iPhone 5S. It won't be available on the cheaper iPhone model, however, presumably to keep its cost down. Sadly, he also mentions that third-party iPhone cases, or at least the ones available on the market today, will most likely not be compatible with iFloat. The lineup of iPhone cases that Apple will launch along the iPhone 5S, on the other hand, will play along well with the new feature.
The iPhone 5S is expected to be officially announced in June
of this year, followed by a cheaper iPhone model, the name of which hasn't yet leaked on the web.
As many of you figured out, this was an April Fools' joke. Most of the statements above were made up while the photo was actually taken in our studio.