Apple is taking a big gamble with the iPhone 7. The headline change will be the controversial removal of the headphone jack (a move I predicted 19 months ago), but it doesn’t stop there. MacRumors has uncovered two more significant changes Apple will make to the iPhone 7 and the good news is they are likely to be very popular…
Design Change #1
This first concerns the camera and is something Apple has been itching to do for years: kill off the ugly bulge seen on the back of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. According to MacRumors, the iPhone 7 will feature the first truly flush rear camera since the iPhone 5S in 2013.
What enables this is the development of a slimmer module and it represents a win for both the design team (Jonathan Ive famously hated it and had it airbrushed out of advertising shots) and the consumer. What’s the big deal? Several everyday usability wins: the iPhone 7 will not wobble when used on a table top, the camera ring will no longer be a continual point of impact when putting the phone down, and it will simplify case designs.
The only downside is MacRumors suggests the move means Apple will not be implementing its much hyped dual camera technology, though that could still feature on a third luxury iPhone 7 model. Furthermore, with Samsung expected to fit a flush or near-flush camera on the Galaxy S7 when it launches later this month, the move will show Apple isn’t falling behind in the design stakes.
Design Change #2
Also smartening things up is MacRumors’ declaration that the iPhone 7 will do away with the unseamly antenna bands on the rear the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. This will result in a cleaner look, though I’d wish for some sort of subtle anti-slip texture.
MacRumors doesn’t say how Apple will pull this off, but if it relates to the ‘smart aluminium’ technology the company has been working on it could be more about disguising them than complete removal. On the downside, the antenna bands apparently will still need to be kept on the edges of the iPhone 7 so it won’t be a 100% uniform look.
While debate continues to rage about just how far Apple will take the iPhone 7 design (it is a redesign year after all and some extreme theories exist), MacRumors does say it will retain the overall aluminium look and feel introduced with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S.
Interestingly the site also downplays previous talk that the iPhone 7 will be dramatically thinner than previous models. Given that thinness is supposed to be a major motivator behind the removal of the headphone jack, this would be encouraging news for those desperately hoping Apple improves battery life (at least on the smaller 4.7-inch model).
For now we can dream…