With the wait nearly over for the release of the Apple Watch, the attention of Apple fans will imminently turn to the iPhone 7. The release of the flagship Apple smartphone is always a highlight of any tech year, but the latest handset from the world’s leading consumer electronics manufacturer remains something of a mystery. Indeed, it has not really been confirmed whether or not we will actually see the iPhone 7 during 2015, so the first issue to address is what Apple might have in stall for the Apple iPhone lineup.

iPhone 7: What To Expect From Apple

iPhone 7 release date

It has been strongly suggested recently that Apple might delay the iPhone 7 until 2016. However, if this is the case, it would not mean that there would be no iPhone release during 2015. Instead, we would see an upgraded version of the commercially rampant iPhone 6, which would focus on ramping up some of its features rather than delivering a revolutionary package.

Apple has traditionally been extremely reticent to reveal any details about its mobile devices before it decides that it is absolutely necessary, so it is not known for certain what to expect from the consumer electronics giant with regard to the iPhone 7. it appears based on murmurings emanating from sources close to the company, though, that we will see a next generation iPhone 7 being delayed until 2016 while Apple resolves numerous issues. This would pave the way for an iPhone 6s release later this year.

Models

This immediately begs the question of precisely what models Apple will release during 2015 and 2016. One of the persistent rumors about the forthcoming Apple schedule for the iPhone is that it will encompass a much smaller version of the handset. This is apparently being planned and carried out in accordance with the wishes of the late CEO and founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. During Jobs’ lifetime, he expressed a preference for smartphones with smaller screens, with the visionary supremo of Apple having expressed a particular predilection for 3.5-inch displays.

It is thought that the more compact version of the new iPhone may be slightly larger than this, but analysts have continually linked Apple with producing a 4-inch version of the iPhone. Whether this would debut with the iPhone 6 upgrade, or be delayed until the iPhone 7 remains to be seen. But it would seem to be logical for Apple to debut this device as soon as possible, particularly if the iPhone 6s range is to be very much focused on a spec upgrade.

Introducing a small iPhone during the calendar year would make sense for Apple, and provide it with a new product niche and a natural companion for the imminent Apple Watch. So we could see a smaller iPhone 6c, A larger iPhone 6s, and then the phablet-sized iPhone 6s Plus. We would then expect to see each of these three product niches repeated when the iPhone 7 launches in 2016.

Design

Apple has led the way in smartphone design for some years now. And considering the massive reputation it has built up by focusing on this element of handsets, it is not surprising that some of its competitors have realized that this is a significant aspect of the smartphone genre. So the likes of Samsung and LG have closed the gaps to Apple in recent years.

 

The iPhone is still a premium smartphone in the design department, but last time out it was dogged by the ‘bendgate’ scandal which reflected poorly on Apple’s flagship device. With this in mind, Apple will clearly want to up its game for the next generation iPhone series, and thus there are already suggestions that both the iPhone 6s / iPhone 7 might feature the lightweight and strong Series 7000 Aluminium Alloy. Again, this would be a logical move for Apple, as this material is already used in the manufacturing of the Apple Watch Sport.

Another likely aspect of the iPhone 7 is a curved screen version. This could debut with the iPhone 6s series later this year, but perhaps it is more likely that Apple will hold it back for the iPhone 7 while it perfects this design. Apple has already applied for patents for this technology which was popularized by Samsung, and it seems certain that it will feature in an Apple handset at some stage. But Apple is rarely rushed into including features in its devices until it is absolutely ready to do so, and a 2016 deadline for curved screen technology appears more likely.

Display

And another area where Apple needs to give the iPhone series some serious attention is with regard to its display. The iPhone still retains a street cachet which no other manufacturer can call upon, but some elements of the iPhone are not as cutting edge as as they once were. The screen of the iPhone is a classic example of this, as Apple has fallen behind the Samsung Galaxy series, with a smartphone-sized iPhone yet to even boast a full HD display, while the general buzz in the consumer electronics industry increasingly revolves around 4K resolution.

So there will be massive pressure on Apple to significantly increased the screen resolution of the iPhone series, beginning this year with the iPhone 6s range, and possibly expanding it further still by the time that the iPhone 7 is released. It is perhaps asking too much for Apple to produce a 4K resolution iPhone during 2015, and this would not be in line with the incremental specification increases which are common for the series. But it is not inconceivable that we could see such a device at least in the iPhone 7 phablet model by 2016.

In the meantime, Apple will likely upgrade the iPhone 6s to full HD, and we may see a quad HD iPhone 6s Plus.

Camera

One of the most exciting aspects of the forthcoming iPhone for fans of the range has been the rumors related to cameras. Speculation has intensified that Apple will arm future iPhones with professional quality cameras, with both a dual-lens DSLR standard snapper and a unique periscope design linked with the iPhone 7.

Again, it seems more likely that either of these possibilities will be delayed until 2016, with the iPhone 6s far more likely to represent a spec upgrade as opposed to embodying any revolutionary features. But we should see a megapixel upgrade in the iPhone 6s, and it will be exciting for Apple followers to see such outstanding and unique technology being linked with the iPhone series.

Another rumor has suggested that Sony will manufacture lenses for the iPhone 7, with a 21MP stacked CMOS sensor mooted as being a possibility for the smartphone.

Battery

Apple is also expected to significantly upgrade the battery in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7, as its devices have been frequently criticized for being rather weak in terms of battery life. Few specific details have leaked out regarding this, but considering the lukewarm response to the battery life of the Apple Watch, it seems inevitable Apple will be giving this very serious consideration.

Other features

By the time that Apple releases the iPhone 7 in 2016, it is probable that wireless charging will be included, and this could indeed debut with the iPhone 6s in 2015. We will probably see a new processor also introduced this year, which is expected to be dubbed the A9.

Although this has been open to debate, Samsung is nonetheless expected to produce this processor, and it is already predicted to be 15 percent smaller, 20 percent more powerful and 35 percent more power efficient than the existing A8 processor. Intel has also been linked with the manufacture of iPhone 7 chips, and the smartphone could also embrace voice unlocking technology.

Finally, Force Touch from the Apple Watch and Apple SIM, which first appeared in the iPad Air 2, are also expected to be included. All in all, there is a lot for Apple fans to look forward to when the iPhone 7 is eventually released.