With Apple beavering away behind the scenes on the iPhone 7, there are rumours afoot that it might surprise us with the release schedule for the smartphone. With the iPhone 6 having been released in the latter period of 2014, it was generally believed that Apple would bring out the next generation iPhone 7 roughly twelve months after this. A relatively straightforward launch was expected, in which Apple updated both the iPhone 6 an iPhone 6 Plus with new smartphone and phablet versions of the iconic flagship device.

iPhone 6S In 2015; iPhone 7 Delayed Until 2016 [REPORT]

iPhone 7 set for 2016 launch

But recent reports have suggested that Apple will in fact hold more than one iPhone 7 launch in the coming months, with one of these launches actually scheduled for 2016. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the first next-generation iPhone to be released will be dubbed the iPhone 6s, and this will be available later this year. This particular model of the smartphone will include the Force Touch feature that detects pressure placed on the device by the user, and this will ensure that new functionality can be included in this next-generation handset.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal that is not to be the only iPhone release in the coming months. The brand spanking new iPhone 7 will come out in 2016, according to the prognosis of the financial publication. Whether this will necessitate an earlier release date than previous iPhone models remains to be seen, although it could be that Apple intends to work for a solid twelve months on producing a revolutionary version of the iPhone which will represent the iPhone 7 handset.

It had been suggested previously that Apple may be planning to release a third version of the iPhone at some point during 2015. Reports surrounding the Apple Watch often focused on the notion that Apple would also release a companion iPhone device, aimed at providing an affordable option to sit alongside its first ever smartwatch. It was expected that this mooted iPhone 6s would be smaller in size than Apple’s current smartphones, with a four-inch display commonly touted.

iPhone 6s specs

However, the Wall Street Journal reports suggest that the iPhone 6s will not feature a 4-inch screen display, and will instead retain their current 4.7 and 5.5-inch panels associated with the iPhone 6. As the name of the device would suggest, it is unlikely that there will be significant hardware improvements or evolution in the iPhone 6s, and Apple will instead focus on updating the feature set of the phone, possibly upgrading spec somewhat.

Considering the technological developments which have occurred since the release of the iPhone 6, which is of course ongoing, Apple could produce an even slicker version of the iPhone 6 when it releases the iPhone 6s. This would then presumably satiate punters ahead of a truly revolutionary release when the iPhone 7 hits the stores in 2016.

Among the expected features for this new iPhone 6s are a brand new A9 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and an improved iOS 9 operating system with software features such as Car Play, Apple Watch, HealthKit, and Apple Pay. In addition, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor is expected to be significantly improved, particularly in line with the aforementioned Force Touch ability.

There are two possible schools of thought on this particular rumour, assuming for the sake of argument that it turns out to be accurate. Firstly, it could be stated that this is a risky strategy for Apple. The iPhone 6 was in fact criticized for being rather conservative. Throughout the build up to the release of the last generation Apple smartphone, numerous truly groundbreaking features were suggested, yet few of these really came to fruition when the device was released.

Of course, this has in no way been reflected in the commercial position of either Apple or the iPhone series. The iPhone 6 was hugely successful in sales terms, and the iPhone 6 Plus phablet has instantly found a place in the mobile market. And Apple has gone from strength to strength financially over the last 12 months, with a rapidly improving share price…

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… reflecting the fact that the company has notched the achievement of becoming the world’s first $700 billion corporation in market capitalization terms. One can add to this the achievements of making the highest single-quarter profit of any company in recorded business history during Q4 of 2014, and the fact that Gartner has recently reported that Apple has overtaken Samsung as the world’s largest seller of mobile devices in volume. So it is crystal clear that Apple is in an extremely strong economic position at the moment, and this led many analysts to believe that it would take some more risks in its immediate future.

Apple schedule ethos

But perhaps it is the strength of the corporation which could make the purported release schedule of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 make sense. Apple has no particular need to take risks at this point in time, and it is already certain of the success of the iPhone series. The corporation probably feels that it doesn’t need to take chances, and the strategies suggested by the Wall Street Journal would correlate with the previous ethos of the company.

Apple has always ensured that devices are perfected and absolutely ready for market before they are released. With the Apple Watch already debuting in 2015, Apple might well believe that this is quite enough ambition for one year, and that a new iPhone 7 concept would be better suited to a 2016 release. Apple also has a television set in the pipeline, and if this is to get a 2016 release date as well, as has been predicted in some quarters, then the corporation will have plenty on his plate over the next 18 months.

Whether these rumours turn out to be correct remains to be seen, and other publications absolutely suggest otherwise. But the Wall Street Journal is obviously a credible source, and thus Apple fans expecting a groundbreaking iPhone may have to wait a little longer than expected.