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iPhone 8 specs, features, design and release date update: Apple patent hints at all-screen iPhone 8

Expectations are high from Apple's iPhone 8 which will arrive on the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and Apple is widely believed to be planning something big for its next flagship smartphone. Many rumors are floating about iPhone 8 specs, features, design as well as release date.

Now a new patent suggests that the device's design may be an even more radical departure from previous models than what even the most imaginative analysts have predicted.

The patent, first spotted by Apple blog AppleInsider, suggests the company could be working on a device with an edge-to-edge screen that allows speakers and cameras to hide behind the iPhone display.

Apple's "Electronic devices having displays with openings" patent describes how a "full face" screen could place hardware below a glass cover in an inactive part of the display.

Also recent patent applications by Apple include a foldable iPhone concept that uses carbon nanotubes to allow the smartphone to fold completely in half.

It is an idea that Apple has been exploring since 2014, with patents including a Flexible Electronic Device from 2015 that made use of flexible printed circuits, flexible batteries and flexible displays.

Apple does not comment on rumors and is known to be highly secretive about upcoming products. Filing for such patents not only serves to boost interest in the device months before it actually launches, but also keeps Apple ahead of its rivals. Not to forget that it also serves as fodder for any potential lawsuits in the future, which history shows Apple is no stranger to.

Several other smartphone manufacturers are looking into foldable concepts, including Apple's arch rival Samsung. The South Korean electronics manufacturer has filed dozens of patents relating to the technology, though none have yet made it into any of Samsung's smartphones.

We will inform you as more details become available about iPhone 8 release date, specs, features and design.