Normally we wouldn't dedicate an article to something as trivial as a smartphone screen protector, but this one is worth covering. Not because it is super-tough or anything. It's because the accessory is said to be made for one of the next iPhone models. The accent here is on "said to be" since we have no way of confirming the claim's authenticity. On the other hand, the protector's design does line up with what iPhone rumors have been pointing at, which makes it worth investigating.
So here's what we think we know about Apple's iPhone plans so far. The company is expected to announce a total of three new iPhone models this fall. Two of them, referred to as the iPhone 7s and the iPhone 7s Plus, wouldn't be all that different from the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, according to rumors. The so-called iPhone 8, however, is speculated to be a higher-end model built to commemorate the iPhone's 10-year anniversary. As far as we're told, the screen protector we have our hands on is made for the anniversary edition iPhone 8.
Rumors about this iPhone 8 claim that the phone will have a screen covering pretty much its whole front, save for a small area at the top where the earpiece and the camera would reside. In other words, the area of the screen protector that is clear represents the expected size and shape of the iPhone 8's display. It is about 2.5 inches (6.35cm) wide and 5.4 inches tall (13.6cm), with a diagonal of about 5.7 inches (14.55cm). This gives us an aspect ratio of 2.15 to 1.
Judging by the size of the protector, the iPhone 8 could end up being very slightly larger than the current, 4.7-inch iPhone 7. It could also be smaller than the Galaxy S8 and the LG G6. Next to it, the iPhone 7 Plus would look gigantic despite having a smaller screen diagonal size.
The iPhone 8 screen protector we have compared in size to the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, LG G6, and the Galaxy S8
You may have noticed that there is no cutout for a home button at the bottom of this screen protector. This corroborates with rumors suggesting that the iPhone 8 will have a virtual button instead of a physical one, while the Touch ID fingerprint scanner might be replaced by next-generation face-recognition technology. The latter could also explain all the cutouts at the top. Clearly, the one in the middle is for the phone's earpiece. There should be one for the front-facing camera and another for the proximity sensor as well. The two openings that remain could be for hardware that allows Apple's face-recognition feature to work – additional sensors or sources of illumination, for instance.
The cutouts at the top could be for sensors allowing Apple's face-recognition feature to operate
And before we wrap up, we have to reiterate one thing: we cannot guarantee that the screen protector we were sent is designed around an actual iPhone. There's still the chance for it to have been made for "illustration purposes" based on leaks and rumors floating around. But again, it could very well end up being a legitimate iPhone 8 accessory. Until Apple makes the next iPhone's official announcement, here's a set of images depicting what an actual iPhone 8 might look like, courtesy of Martin Hajek.