It’s finally happened. New pictures leaks by the @onleaks Twitter account have given us our first idea of what the iPhone 7 will look like. The pictures don’t actually show the phone itself, but they show its case – and that gives a major clue about the design and features the iPhone 7 will have. The design follows the iPhone 6s for the most part, with a flat back and curved edges. But there’s one major exception: There appears to be no space for a headphone jack!
The case holds other clues like a enlarged camera slot, but this doesn’t tell us much about the camera itself, so there’s still every chance it could be flush, or still protruding.
How likely is it? It’s hard to say. While it might seem odd to get excited about a phone case, accessories tend to give the first clues about upcoming smartphones – and they’re usually accurate. However, the iPhone 7 is still more than six months away, and that means the design could change before release.
Apple iPhone 7: Introduction
Apple is releasing the iPhone 7 in September, and it comes at a crucial time for the Californian company. When it’s launched – probably next to the Apple Watch 2 – the iPhone 7 will sit above the cheaper, smaller iPhone SE. The iPhone 7 will face tough competition from the modular LG G5 and existing iPhones, but its biggest competition will surely come from the recently unveiled Samsung S7.
Samsung’s latest flagship adds several small improvements to make it a good deal better than the S6. So how does Apple beat it? With three a three pronged attack. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be more refined, and come with at least one new killer feature – but this time around, rumours suggest Apple is going to release a third, image-focused iPhone.
Apple could release THREE versions of the iPhone 7
A rumour claimed Apple would be using a dual-camera setup for the iPhone 7 Plus, but new predictions suggest that the dual-camera array will appear on an additional third iPhone 7 model. It’s possible the new iPhone will be the same size as a Plus, but include the new dual-camera setup. It may be called something like the iPhone 7 Pro and will be pushed as a super-charged phablet/camera replacement.
How likely is it? More likely than it sounds. Having a third iPhone model seems unthinkable, but so did having a larger Plus version of Apple’s handset two years ago – and we know how well that turned out. What’s more, the iPad Pro showed us that the “Pro” suffix is no longer confined to laptops, so why wouldn’t Apple use it on a benchmark-slaying flagship?
Apple new handset will have a ceramic back
Recent rumours have suggested that the next iPhone 7 will have no antenna lines and a flush camera, but there could be another new feature on the rear of the device. According to a report by Business Korea, Apple could be using ceramic materials on the iPhone 7 – most notably on the back of the device.
How likely is it? It’s a mixed bag. While the source for the rumour seems to be nothing more than speculation, it does raise an interesting possibility. Handsets such as the OnePlus X have shown that ceramic materials offer a premium feel – the sort of feel you’d associate with Apple products. If Apple wants to do something new and make the iPhone 7 even more stylish than its predecessor, giving it a ceramic finish would be a good place to start.
Apple will ditch the protruding camera and rear antenna lines
According to a report by Mac Rumors, the next iPhone will look similar to the iPhone 6s, but with two major exceptions. The website’s source says the new iPhone’s rear camera should be flush to the rest of its body – fixing a major gripe of the iPhone 6’s design.
Additionally, the new iPhone should see a removal of the plastic bands on the rear of the handset. Designed to allow wireless signals to pass through more easily and therefore improve reception, the iPhone 6’s rear antenna bands drew criticism from many Apple fans who viewed them as ugly, and un-Apple-like – and it appears Jony Ive agreed.
How likely is it? Very likely. The iPhone 6 is easily the most svelte, refined handset that Apple has ever released, and its protruding camera and large antenna bands ruined the look somewhat. We were surprised when Apple included them on the iPhone 6, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see them disappear on the iPhone 7.
iPhone 7 rumours: Apple’s chip manufacturers preparing for release date
A new report by DigiTimes suggests that chip manufacturers are already gearing up to increase production in Q2 and Q3 of this year. The report refers to chipmakers including Cirrus Logic and Analog Devices, two companies known for doing the audio in iPhones. Interestingly, the report goes on to say TMSC fulfilling demand for most of the iPhone 7’s A10 processors.
How likely is it? Very. We’re expecting the iPhone 7 to be released around September this year, so we’d expect production to ramp up during Q2 and Q3.
iPhone 7 to launch alongside Apple Watch 2
Apple Watch 2 rumours, news and release date: Apple’s next wearable is coming in September – alongside the iPhone 7
We’re now seven iPhones deep into Apple’s plan for smartphone domination, and that means we’ve got a pretty good idea of how the company’s release schedule works. By looking at previous release dates, it’s possible to estimate when we’ll see the iPhone 7, and current estimates place the iPhone 7 release date in September. After all, the iPhone 6 and 6s were also released around the September/ October mark of 2014 and 2015. However, new rumours suggest that the iPhone 7 isn’t the only thing Apple will unveil at the September 2016 event. According to new reports, Apple is also poised to release the second generation of the Apple Watch alongside the iPhone. For those waiting for an Apple Watch 2 and an iPhone 7, September or October will be an expensive month.
How likely is it? Very. We’re overdue an Apple Watch 2 announcement, and the iPhone 7 timeframe coincides with it perfectly.
Watch how the iPhone 7’s dual-camera setup could work
We’ve already seen various rumours about how the iPhone 7 will feature a dual-camera setup, and a new video by CNET UK shows how they could work. The iPhone 7 could feature technology from now-Apple-owned LinX, but the video shows a similar dual-camera system made by its rivals, Corephotonics. According to CNET UK, the dual-camera setup should make autofocusing easier and quicker.
iPhone 7 could have TWO cameras on the back
If new reports are correct, the iPhone 7 will feature a radically improved camera module. Yesterday, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI securities suggested that the next iPhone will use a dual-camera system with an optical zoom and 2-3x magnification. The multi-camera technology is reportedly from Linx, a company Apple bought just under a year ago. Interestingly, the analyst’s report goes on to say that the dual-camera configuration will only be featured on the iPhone 7 Plus, and that one of the cameras could feature a fish-eye lens.
How likely is it? This one is difficult. The source comes from one of the most respected analysts, and the idea of Apple bolstering the iPhone Plus’ camera seems pretty sensible. In recent generations, the iPhone’s camera has fallen somewhat behindAndroid rivals, and we’ve seen Apple give a slightly better camera to the Plus before. What’s harder to understand is the function of the lens: while 9to5Mac suggests dual lenses could be used for two different picture types, I think both lenses could work in combination, as with a Lytro camera. The iPhone 6s’ Live Photos feature shows Apple is keen to make photos interactive; allowing iPhone 7 owners to refocus on objects in their pictures would be an extension of that.
There are strong rumours that the next iPhone will be waterproof. After filing a patent for ports that eject water, Apple filed another for connections that self-heal – solving one of the main challenges of making a phone waterproof.
Titled “Electronic Device With Hidden Connector”, the patent shows a connector covered by a self-healing elastomer. Diagrams included in the patent show the elastomer allowing the penetration of a probe, and self-sealing once the probe is removed. The port is shielded from the elements at all times, but still allows quick and easy access for charging, headphones and anything else.
Apple is working on long-distance wireless charging
A few months ago, we heard that the iPhone 7 would ship with wireless charging, but that rumour now looks somewhat less likely. According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on wireless charging for its devices, but it’s far from conventional. The report suggests Apple is developing “cutting-edge” tech that allows iPhones and iPads to be charged without a cable or charging mat. The only catch? It won’t be here until 2017. This means that – unless Apple changes its release schedule considerably – we won’t see it on the iPhone 7. However, this timeframe does fit in perfectly with the projected release date of the iPhone 7s.
How likely is it? It’s hard to say. It was sensible to think the iPhone 7 will have conventional wireless charging, but rumours of this new technology are much harder to comment on. Either way, with a projected debut of 2017, we probably won’t be seeing it on the iPhone 7.
Information suggests that Apple wants to include superfast Li-Fi internet in the iPhone 7. Code found by a Twitter user in iOS 9.1 refers to the new technology, and this has since been confirmed by AppleInsider.
So what is Li-Fi? Li-Fi transmits information in a binary fashion using light. Unlike Wi-Fi – which uses radio waves – Li-Fi creates a network using the visible light spectrum. Data is communicated through bulbs with rapid, imperceptible blinking, and the result is Li-Fi internet. Get ready for 1GB/sec transfer speeds, 100 times faster than normal Wi-Fi.
So how likely is it? This one isn’t so clear. Apple tends to wait a while before introducing new technology to its products, and Li-Fi is still in its testing stages. This would suggest it’s unlikely to feature on the iPhone 7. However, Apple is known to include and refer to future products when writing code. For example, rumours of the iPad Pro were strengthened by code found in earlier versions of iOS.