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iPhone 8 rumors: better audio, more waterproof, free AirPods?

Another week, another handful of iPhone 8 rumors to sink our teeth into. This time a research document shared by analysts from JPMorgan suggests several expected improvements for Apple’s flagship device this fall. Three interesting tidbits in particular…

Better audio

First is an enhancement to the stereo speakers on the device. Since the iPhone 7, the main call receiver (the wide meshed grille next to the front-facing camera) has doubled as a proper speaker, providing extra volume and stereo sound when paired with the iPhone’s main speaker grilles at the base. Further improvements to the top speaker could improve the sound quality and volume output, which would be particularly impressive if the iPhone 8 removes the bezels from the top and bottom as expected. That would mean the receiver grille would have to be embedded under the display.

More waterproof

A simple one, this, and something which could be seen as playing catch-up to Samsung’s flagship Galaxy smartphone. Last year’s iPhone 7 was designed to IP67 waterproofing standards – no mean feat – but the Galaxy 8 boasts an industry-leading waterproof rating of IP68. You know, one more. An IP68 rating would mean the device can withstand slightly more liquid,  for longer, and it’s expected to be an important part of the iPhone 8 design.

Free AirPods?

The last comment as part of the research note is a little less expected, noting that Apple may decide to include a free pair of wireless AirPods with every iPhone 8. The company has included wired EarPods with iPhones for years now, but AirPods are considerably pricier ($159/£159) and so their inclusion seems a bit less likely. That said, it could be a smart ploy by Apple to encourage more users to plump for the super-premium iPhone 8 model as opposed to the slightly lower-end models expected to launch alongside it this Fall. It would definitely help to justify the expected $1000+ price tag of the iPhone 8.

Remember, Apple never makes official announcements about its devices until the big reveal in September, so take these analysts’ research with a pinch of salt. We should find out much more concrete information after WWDC in June.