Many fans of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products will be snapping up smartphones, tablets, computers and other product ranges produced by the consumer electronics giant over the Black Friday shopping weekend. But while the iPhone 6 will be flying off the shelves over the holiday period, Apple analysts are already assessing the makeup of the next flagship Apple smartphone, the iPhone 7.

iPhone 7

It is early days of course for the iPhone 7, given that its predecessor was only released a couple of months ago. But now the iPhone 6 has sold tens of millions of units, and very much established itself as a major player in the smartphone marketplace, the attention of its manufacturer and developer will already be turning to its sequel.

The iPhone 7 will unquestionably be a massive smartphone release when it occurs, and this next-generation iPhone is expected to hit the stores some time around September, 2015. But well ahead of this potential release schedule, Apple analysts and fans are already releasing concept images which outline how they believe the flagship Apple handset will look when it is finally unveiled.

iPhone 7 concept

The Russian designer Grisha Serov has imagined a new iPhone concept, and it is interestingly based around the concept of a steel case. The images produced by Serov are very intriguing, and they have already got Apple fans’ tongues wagging. Clearly, Serov believes that the next iPhone will be something of a retro device, taking its cue from the old school design of the much loved iPhone 3GS.

iPhone 7

Aside from the physical design, Serov also perceives that there will be some feature differences in this next generation iPhone. Perhaps not surprisingly, Serov predicts that the home button will be ditched completely, suggesting that TouchID functionality will be extended in this iPhone 7 model. This is very much in concurrence with what ValueWalk has suggested previously, and this does seem like a radical yet practical way that Apple could refresh and improve the iPhone range.

While the steel casing of the device instantly catches the attention, there are some other notable physical aspects to the concept images produced by Serov. Firstly, the iPhone 7 will have extremely slim bezels according to the Russian designer. This is very much in line with the idea of eliminating the Home button, as one of the primary reasons to do this is in order to enable Apple to include a larger screen size in the iPhone 7, while also maintaining the size and weight of the iPhone 6.

It is notable that the iPhone 6 Plus is lighter than either of its two main phablet competitors, the Google Nexus 6 and the Galaxy Note 4, which is a happy statistic that Apple will want to maintain for the next generation of iPhones.

iPhone 7

Single volume button

Serov also envisages a design in which the volume is controlled via one large button as opposed to the existing setup, and this button also serves as the mute switch for the device. Additionally, it is noticeable in the concept images that the iPhone 7 camera doesn’t protrude as much as in previous versions of the phone. In order to achieve all of these design modifications, Serov imagines that the device will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 6.

The design produced by Serov has been dubbed the iPhone Edition, and this concept device also comes with a shiny metal casing. It is clear from the size of the device that the Russian designer believes that Apple could release a third model of the iPhone 7 when it hits the market. The iPhone Edition produced by Serov has a screen which is merely 4.5-inches; smaller than the iPhone 6 display.

iPhone 7

An iPhone mini?

However, the fact that the screen size is only 0.2-inches smaller than the iPhone 6 suggest that the display size of the smartphone model could be increased significantly, while the iPhone Edition will be slotted in as a sort of equivalent of the iPod or iPad mini. This would mean three separate iPhone 7 devices will be released in 2015, a premium phablet device it the style of the iPhone 6 Plus, a smartphone with a larger screen than the iPhone 6, and this mini iPhone Edition concept device.

This would make perfect sense for Apple, as the company has already promised the city that it will look to release new product ranges in the near future. Although the iPhone 6 Plus effectively represents the first of these ranges, and the Apple Watch is on the horizon as well, the idea of a smaller, more compact and more affordable phone with the iPhone branding would probably appeal to investors and consumers alike.

iPhone 7

Meanwhile, as the first iPhone 7 concept images emerge, Apple’s market capitalization smashed through the $700 billion mark, proving that Apple’s stay at the top of consumer electronics is set to continue some time to come.