Although the iPhone 6 can still be considered a relatively new device, there are already rumors emerging about what could be included in the next cab off the iPhone rank, the iPhone 7. This massive smartphone release won’t hit the stores for around ten months yet, but Apple will already be working internally on what will be included in this extremely important mobile device.

There is an outside possibility that Apple might consider releasing this device earlier in the year than the iPhone 6, and even conceivably name it the iPhone 6s, in line with its previous iPhone 5s release. However, with the iPhone 6 achieving extremely positive sales figures, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock rocketing through the psychologically important $100 barrier, and the Apple Watch due to be released early in 2015, an unveiling of the iPhone 7 around about the same time that the iPhone 6 was released would seem to be the most likely scenario.

But what can we expect from this massive Apple handset when it is released? Here is a rundown on some of the expected specifications for the iPhone 7.

iPhone 7 - Release Date, Rumors, Leaks And Concepts

Apple iPhone 7

Release date

It’s early days regarding a possible release date for the iPhone 7, of course, especially considering that the iPhone 6 will in all probability sell extremely well over the Christmas period. This would lead me to believe that the iPhone 7 is likely to be held back until a similar time of year as the release of the iPhone 6. This would mean an approximate September / October release for the device.

Design

This can to some degree be considered dependent on the name of the device. Should Apple decided to name this smartphone the iPhone 7, then the onus will be on them to present a significantly updated design. However, if the iPhone 6s monicker is preferred then we may see merely cosmetic changes to the makeup of the handset. Alternately, it seems likely to me that Apple will significantly redesign the iPhone 7 based on previous devices, and that it will be seen as a genuine sequel to the iPhone 6 not a mere upgrade.

Display

Apple has possibly fallen a little behind Samsung in this department, with the SuperAMOLED technology included in the Korean manufacturer’s devices giving it the edge over the esteemed iPhone series. With this in mind, Apple could look to beef up the screen capabilities of the iPhone 7. The iPhone 6 had a pretty nifty full HD screen, but its successor could provide Apple fans with the first quad HD iPhone display. This would mean a resolution of around 2,500 horizontal pixels, and an improved ppi rating over the iPhone 6.

In terms of size, although Apple produced two models of the iPhone 6, given the fact that the phablet market has been shown to slow down slightly in recent months, it may very well choose to retain the 4.7-inch screen size which the smaller iPhone 6 model was based on. However, the iPhone 6 Plus has been pretty successful, and Apple is almost certain to produce a phablet-sized variant of the iPhone 7 as well. The odds are that this will feature an even larger display than the 5.5-inch screen which was included in the iPhone 6 phablet.

Sapphire Glass

The introduction of Sapphire Glass into the design of the iPhone 6 was very strongly rumored, yet never came to fruition. The fact that leaks indicated that Apple has purchased a significant amount of this material would suggest that future devices will have the material incorporated into their designs. Perhaps the iPhone 7 will be the first smartphone to be constructive primarily from Sapphire Glass; this would certainly seem to be a distinct possibility.

Liquid metal

Another unique design element which could be included in the iPhone 7 is liquid metal. Apple already has an exclusive arrangement in place for a metal alloy which has the brand name of Liquidmetal. Over several years there have been a raft of rumors and murmurings which suggest that Apple products will incorporate this special alloy in the near future.

Apple plainly hasn’t patented this device for no good reason, but it remains extremely expensive to produce in large quantities. If it were included in the iPhone 7, then this would mean that the smartphone could come with a wraparound display, a Sapphire Glass-based visage, and a liquid metal chassis. However, at this point in time, this certainly looks like an extremely ambitious portfolio for the physical design which would surely drive construction cost of the device much too high to be practical.

Camera

Analysts are already mooting the fact that the iPhone 7 will feature the largest camera quality jump in the entire history of the range. It is even expected that the camera in the iPhone 7 will be seriously comparable to the quality of digital single-lens reflex cameras, which would be a massive boon for Apple fans. According to John Gruber, a blogger and podcaster with apparent sources located within Apple, the iPhone 7 could feature a 21-megapixel lens. This would be a vast leap over the iPhone 6, and is certain to make fans of the device sit up and take notice.

The camera in the iPhone 6 has generally been praised, particularly for its optical image stabilization functionality and its ability to capture high-definition video. Both of these features could also be improved in the snapper included in the iPhone 7, and already the indications are that this will be the best Apple smartphone ever released for the keen photographer.

Concepts

Just in case you can’t wait eleven months for the iPhone 7 to be released, concept images are already available. Designer Martin Hajek has already mocked up his notion of what the smartphone could look like. However accurate Hajek’s designs may be, the early indications are that the iPhone 7 will be yet another revolutionary device released by Apple.