With the Apple Watch on the horizon, Apple fans are already wondering when the iPhone 7 will hit the stores. The release of the Galaxy S6 has ensured that Samsung has garnered a great deal of attention in recent weeks, but there is no doubt that the iPhone 7 will be the most prominent mobile release of the year.

Apple smashes 2014

Apple can seemingly do no wrong at the moment. The 21st century has been pretty spectacular for the computing and consumer electronics giant, but the last fifteen months in particular have been almost unbelievably successful for the Cupertino-based company.

The latest morsel of excellent news for Apple was the survey released this week by Gartner which suggests that Apple is now outselling Samsung. Although it has been significantly more profitable than its major rival for sometime, the news that it is now also actually selling more mobile devices than that Korean Corporation will be extremely warmly received at Apple headquarters.

iPhone 7 Release Date And Waterproof Feature

This excellent news can be combined with the fact that Apple has recently delivered the highest single-quarter profit in business history, and also that the market value of Apple has ensured that the company has smashed the $700 billion market capitalization value; another first. Under the circumstances, it is hardly surprising that the Apple share price has increased by over 50 percent over the last twelve months.

So Apple is holding some strong cards with regard to the release of the iPhone 7, and Apple certainly has the opportunity to release it whenever he sees fit. One way in which the corporation has separated itself from its rivals is in its reluctance to cram too much spec or technology into products, and to ensure that all aspects of the product are as close to perfect as possible before it is released.

This has meant that some critics of the iPhone series have been underwhelmed by recent Apple releases, stating that the iPhone range has become too conservative. One example of this would be the Sapphire Glass finish which was expected to be included in the iPhone 6, which never ultimately featured as part of the device. The iPhone 6 is unquestionably a very solid all-round performer, but it is certainly not the technological revelation which previous iterations of the series have provided.

Thus, although Apple is in an extremely formidable position, there are already rumors which suggest that the corporation will attempt to produce an iPhone 7 which really puts the ‘wow factor’ back into the iPhone range. It is worth remembering that Apple supremo and CEO, the sadly late Steve Jobs, saw himself as an innovator, and expected the company that he built to reflect this ethos.

Therefore this more ambitious Apple iPhone 7 could impact upon the release date of the device. With Samsung due to release the Galaxy Note 5 around the same time that the Apple iPhone 7 hits the stores, this will also be factored into the equation when Apple decides the release date of its flagship handset. The Galaxy Note five will be particularly relevant, as Apple has experienced significant success with the iPhone 7 Plus, and after a relatively cautious launch of its first phablet in 2014, may be looking to ramp up the unit sales of this device during 2015 and 2016.

But the evidence suggests that Apple has no reason to be rushed into releasing the iPhone 7, and it could be another Q4 release date for the flagship mobile.

iPhone 6s mooted

Complicating the issue further still is the suggestion that Apple will release an iPhone companion device to the Apple Watch in due course. Apple has already stated that the Apple Watch will hit the market in April, so it is obviously likely that such an ‘iPhone 6s’ would also see an April release date.

With no concrete information on such a device currently in the public domain, for most corporations such a prospect would be extremely unlikely. But it is worth remembering that Apple does everything you possibly can to keep information under wraps, and thus it may actually be working quietly on the iPhone success behind the scenes. It would certainly be logical for Apple to release a more affordable version of the iPhone, considering that Jobs always expressed a preference for smaller-screen smartphones, and additionally due to the fact that some of the Apple Watch functionality requires an attendant iPhone.

Aside from the release date of the device, the rumor mill is already grinding rapidly with regard to the release of the iPhone 7. Any number of possible new features are already being linked with the handset, and these range from 3-D capabilities, through the inclusion of a new dual-lens, professional-standard camera, to improved gaming functionality via a joystick which springs out of the Home button.

But one aspect of the iPhone 7 which has been strongly rumored in recent weeks is the idea that the device will feature waterproof casing. Eagle-eyd Apple watchers have spotted a new patent application submitted by Apple this week for such technology, and this has already led to speculation that this could be included in the iPhone 7’s portfolio of features.

By using chemical vapor deposition (PACVD) technology, the method which Apple has developed will enable the company to develop water-sensitive components which will prevent water damage. According to information included in the application, a waterproof coating is actually applied to circuit boards within the Apple mobile device in question, as well as its electromagnetic interference (EMI) shield.

iPhone 7: Apple Watch tie-in

Again, this would seem to be an entirely logical move for corporation, as the Apple Watch is being marketed on its health-related qualities. Obviously, swimming is one of the most popular fitness-related activities in the world, and therefore to produce an iPhone which is waterproof could offer extremely useful functionality which would go hand-in-hand with the Apple Watch.

There will be many further twists and turns between now and the release of the iPhone 7, as Apple attempts to produce a device which really catches the imagination of consumers.