With Apple still working internally on its next generation iPhone 7, a new artist’s concept envisages an interesting design for the flagship smartphone. There is still some debate regarding whether Apple may introduce a small iPhone model this year, after persistent rumors that the corporation was considering introducing a 4-inch version of the phenomenally popular handset. But if gossip related to this has cooled somewhat, this new concept image at least indicates how Apple may choose to bring one-handed operation back for the iPhone series in the foreseeable future.

iPhone 7 Concept
Image Source: StudioMonroe, DeviantArt

iPhone 7 concept on DeviantArt

This concept, which has been posted on DeviantArt by StudioMonroe, suggests that Apple may produce a smartphone capable of one-handed operation without reducing the iPhone display size. There is also a strong element of Apple Watch inspiration in terms of the shape of the display.

It is notable that the concept device features an edge-to-edge screen flanked by metal, which instantly brings comparisons with the aforementioned Apple smartwatch, even though the layout is slightly different. And the concept in question also suggests that Apple could have some nifty tricks up its sleeve in order to ensure that the display screen of the device remains at the optimum size.

As has been suggested by numerous sources previously, the concept in question suggests that Apple could eliminate the Touch ID Home button from the device completely. This would enable the consumer electronics giant to reduce the size of the overall iPhone unit, while still maintaining the same screen size and Home button functionality within the device.

Instead of maintaining a Home button via the traditional Touch ID avenue, the fingerprint scanner feature would instead be embedded within the display. The notion behind this concept emanates from an Apple patent application, which indicates that the corporation has already developed this technology behind the scenes. With the Home button effectively jettisoned, Force Touch would then mimic the functionality of this traditional element of the iPhone.

Front-facing camera to be ditched?

Aside from these noted aspects of the physical design of this concept device, it is also notable that a front-facing camera is conspicuous by its absence. Whether this will turn out to be realistic in the age of the selfie is highly debatable, particularly as reports have suggested that Apple will be looking to increase the quality of both its rear-facing and front-facing snappers in the next generation iPhone range.

Additionally, the mute and volume controls are also not evident in the concept images. This would suggest that there could be some sort of touch or voice-operated way of adjusting these obviously important aspects of the mobile. The standby button on the left of the device is the only visible element protruding from the metal frame of the handset in the concept images, suggesting that Apple could consider a less cluttered device when the iPhone 7 is eventually unveiled and released.

Although this is just a concept image, it does give some insight into potential Apple thinking on the next iPhone cab off the rank. It seems increasingly clear that Force Touch will play a major role in the iPhone series from hereon in, with recent report suggesting that the next iPhone release in 2015 will feature Force Touch in all models in the series. Whether this could include a smaller 4-inch model as has been suggested previously remains to be seen, but this is surely a new product niche that Apple will consider seriously in the foreseeable future.

Other features

Apple will also be attempting to ensure that this next-generation iPhone is significantly more durable than its predecessors. The iPhone 6 was dogged to a certain extent by negative reporting related to the by now infamous ‘Bendgate’ scandal. In order to alleviate this in the iPhone 7, it has been suggested that Apple will utilize a particularly revolutionary form of aluminum. Meanwhile, in an attempt to produce a screen which is less prone to scratching, sapphire glass may finally be included in the iPhone range this time round.

Another major area of improvement for the iPhone series will be related to its camera. Apple has always produced iPhone handsets which deliver adequate photographic capabilities, but the megapixel rating of the camera units has rather lagged behind the competition. It is strongly suggested that Apple will significantly improve this in the next generation of the iPhone, and possibly that we could even see a dual-lens or unique periscope design appear in the iPhone range in the near future.

With Apple predictably taciturn on the subject of the iPhone, we are no closer to knowing whether we will see an iPhone 7 in 2015 or an updated 6s device. But the latest concept images provide us with an insight into the possible thinking process behind the scenes at Apple.