Although we have yet to see the dawn of 2015, there is no doubt what the big smartphone release of the year will be. Apple greatly strengthened its predominant position in the marketplace in 2014, and a new iPhone is certain during the next calendar year. Although some publications have suggested that it could be named the iPhone 6s, the branding of an entirely new iPhone generation seems more likely, and therefore the branding of iPhone 7 would seem more natural.

The question of how Apple will make the iPhone 7 stand apart from the previous generation of phones is an intriguing one, but here are ten things that we could see in the next generation iPhone.

iPhone 7 Improvements Over iPhone 6

iPhone 7 Plus

The first question Apple will have to deal with is whether or not it continues with the phablet-sized iPhone Plus variant. This does seem unlikely given the fact that it was pretty well received critically and has been more than acceptably commercially. Phablets are not particularly in vogue at the moment, and the standard iPhone 6 sold better, but given that the iPhone 6 Plus had a powerful portfolio of features, it seems likely that this product line will be continued with the iPhone 7 Plus.

Battery life

The number one feature that Apple should be looking to improve is the battery life of its device. This can be achieved through fitting a larger battery, or through software improvements, but at this point in time the iPhone series still suffers from pretty weak battery life.

Bezels and design

Rumours are already abound that Apple will pretty much eliminate bezels for the iPhone 7, in order to accommodate a larger screen. Aside from this, with Apple having significantly changed the design of the iPhone with the current generation of the handset it seems unlikely that massive changes to the design will be made with the iPhone 7.

Full HD display

Apple will very much be responding to the Galaxy S6 from Samsung in this department, given that it will hit the market roughly six months before the iPhone 7, and could feature a QHD display. There will therefore be pressure on Apple to produce a smart phone with a full HD display at least, and this is an anticipated feature of the iPhone 7.

Quad HD display

Conversely, the iPhone 7 Plus could be the first iPhone device to feature a QHD display. This would help Apple keep up with its rivals in the marketplace, and would also seem to be a necessity to mark the device out as different from the smaller smartphone, and also to retain an acceptable pixel density in this phablet.

3D display

At this point in time, surprising people with mobile devices is pretty difficult; we have all become accustomed to certain features, and the next piece of technology which blows consumers away hasn’t come to the fore as of yet.

But one possible innovation that Apple could consider for the iPhone 7 is including 3-D capabilities in the device’s display. To what extent this is feasible and cost-effective is debatable, but the near future will surely see 3-D become more prominent as technology develops. The cinema industry has been hoping for glasses-free 3-D for some time, and to see this technology included in a major mobile device would be a boon for those involved in cinema that wish for this technology to become cemented as an essential part of the technology culture.

Front and rear camera improvements

There have already been reports that Apple will significantly improve both the front and rear-facing cameras in the iPhone 7. To deal with the main rear camera firstly, some analysts have suggested that Apple will pull out all of the stops with the iPhone 7 and release a handset with a 21-megapixel rating. That seems a little high given that the iPhone 6 only had an 8-megapixel lens, but we should see camera improvements at least.

Additionally, reports have surfaced over the last couple of days which suggest that Apple will also greatly upgrade the front-facing camera in the iPhone 7. Apparently the corporation is keen on ensuring that the iPhone 7 has the camera of choice for those wanting to capture ‘selfies’.

Sapphire Glass

One minor quibble with the iPhone at 6 is that it is prone to damage and scratching in particular. It was rumored for some time that more durable Sapphire Glass would replace Gorilla Glass in the iPhone 6, but this particular murmuring never came to fruition. We already know that Apple has made an industrial-sized order of Sapphire Glass, and it is possible that the iPhone 7 will be the first device to benefit from this policy.

Wireless charging

Another new innovation which Apple could consider for the iPhone 7 is wireless charging. Many fans of the iPhone series are craving this at the moment, particularly given the rather poor battery life which has been discussed previously.

The technology is now available on the marketplace for Apple to achieve this, and the main question will be whether it is feasible from a manufacturing and logistical point-of-view, and also whether or not the feature could be implemented in time for it to go into production.

4-inch model

The final issue related to the iPhone 7 is a particularly intriguing one. Will Apple consider releasing a third version of the iPhone 7 to stand alongside the standard smartphone and phablet versions? As discussed in a previous article, there is a precedent for such a decision, as the former founder and CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, suggested at one time that the ideal screen size for a smartphone should be 3.5-inches.

This would seem to be a little too small for the contemporary marketplace, but a smaller 4-inch model of the iPhone 7 does seem possible, and some analysts are already suggesting that this will definitely occur. This would also satisfy city desires for another product line for the consumer electronics giant, so this is one rumor that could prove to have some legs.