The horror of smashing your iPhone screen and dropping it in water could become a thing of the past after reports claimed Apple was planning to build a “bumper” for the UK’s most popular smartphone.

Reports in America claimed the Silicon Valley giant was awarded a patent for shock absorbers that would fit in the four corners of an iPhone case and would protect it from being dropped on hard surfaces or in water. 

Tiny technology in the bumpers would be able to detect when the phone was in free fall and activate the bumpers to shoot out to absorb the impact. They would also give the phone buoyancy, meaning iPhones of the future could float on water. 

iPhones first landed in owners’ pockets in 2007 and have since become Britain’s most popular smartphone accounting for 51% of those sold. A whopping 212m were sold worldwide last year.

The intricate - and costly - process of inserting the bumpers into cases could leave this idea on the Apple shelf but if it gets the green light the system could make iPhones one of the most work-friendly smartphones around, protecting it from bumps in workplaces from offices to manufacturing plants to building sites.

Chris Sheard, sales manager at Randstad Technologies, said the design would benefit workers in all industries. “Every iPhone user has experienced that horrible ‘will it, won’t it’ feeling after dropping their phone - not to mention the hefty bill afterwards - so this invention would come as a relief to most. 

"For workers, the designs sound like they would go a long way to protecting iPhones, which, like all smartphones today, play an important role in their job. Technology has moved so fast that mobiles are now extensions of our workplaces so damaging one can impact communications, tasks and deadlines.

"That important call you needed to make, email you had to read or app you wanted to use - everything can grind to a halt if your phone gets damaged."