Links from close to the Apple supply chain suggest that there will be a major redesign when the iPhone 7 is released. This will not be a huge surprise to Apple aficionados, as the consumer electronics giant typically makes major changes to the iPhone range in every new numerical release. With the iPhone 6s having been released earlier this year, this means that the iPhone concept will be rebooted when the iPhone 7 hits the stores in 2016.

These latest iPhone rumors have surfaced on the Chinese social media site Weibo, with the East Asian nation playing an increasingly important role in Apple’s commercial activities. There has already been speculation that there will be a significant redesign when the iPhone 7 is released, but the latest murmurings on the subject suggest that it could be even more drastic than was predicted.

Chinese Reports Point To Major iPhone 7 Changes

iPhone 7 – Lightning port eliminated

The first suggestion from these Chinese rumors is that the iPhone 7 will abandon the Lightning port that has been included in the device for many years. In its place would be USB Type-C; a new standard that Apple has already committed itself to significantly by including it in the MacBook laptop series. ValueWalk has already reported on the fact that Android phones are widely expected to shift to this connection method over the next 12 months. So should Apple make this decision, it would play a significant role in the standardization of smartphone charging methods.

This can also be seen as a surprising suggestion to a certain extent, as it would undoubtedly cause problems for owners of existing devices with Lightning ports and attendant accessories. This technology was only introduced back in 2012, and it was generally assumed that it would last for some years before being replaced. Not many analysts would have anticipated a four-year-old lifecycle for the Lightning port, but considering that this is a repetition of previous suggestions that Apple could embrace this new USB technology, perhaps the end is indeed nigh for the Lightning dock connector.

Wireless charging

The second aspect suggested by the report is that Apple will include wireless charging in the iPhone 7. This has also been linked with the device for quite some time, but these suggestions have now been further solidified. It is worth noting that Apple generally does not include technology in the iPhone range until the corporation believes that it has been absolutely perfected, so this will undoubtedly influence its decision over wireless charging. If Apple does decide to incorporate wireless charging into the iPhone range, it will probably be focused on ensuring that similar charge speeds to wired charging are possible.

3D Touch evolution

Arguably the major innovation in the iPhone 6s was the introduction of 3D Touch, a concept that was really debuted in the Apple Watch earlier in 2015. Force Touch from the smartwatch was replaced with 3D Touch, which was an advancement on the system that was included in the Apple Watch. And the latest rumors suggest that the iPhone 7 will develop this concept still further.

Apple is reportedly experimenting with a combination of multi-touch and 3D Touch, and thus features such as ‘pinch to zoom’ could be combined with the innovative technology introduced in the iPhone 6s. Undoubtedly this will be a practical challenge for the consumer electronics giant, but if any tech company has the ability to implement this successfully it is undoubtedly Apple. Whether the company would take the risk of regenerating this technology after such a short period of time, though, is debatable and dubious.

Dual camera

Camera technology is becoming increasingly important for smartphones, and Apple has already been linked with several new systems for the forthcoming iPhone 7. A professional standard DSLR snapper has been notably linked with the iPhone range, along with a unique periscope design. Also strongly associated with the iPhone 7 is the concept of a dual-camera setup, and the latest rumors seem to back up the possibility that this latter technology could be included.

Indeed, this particular form of camera technology was strongly linked with the iPhone 6s before Apple reportedly decided against it. This is another example of the market-leading consumer electronics manufacturer deciding to develop technology diligently before including it in consumer products. Apple has tended to take a cautious approach in this respect, But the California-based company may now introduce the dual-camera technology in the next generation flagship smartphone.

Having two cameras in the iPhone 7 would offer one particularly valuable feature. Apple would be able to deliver optical zoom as opposed to the digital zoom that is included in his camera range at present. Digital zoom has been criticized by the reviewers and consumers alike, and it is believed that Apple could be about to introduce this killer feature in order to ensure that the corporation gains an advantage over Samsung.

Whether its Korean rival will move to develop its own optical zoom setup remains to be seen.

Fingerprint recognition

Finally, it has also been suggested as a part of these latest rumors that Apple could include fingerprint recognition in the iPhone 7. This has been repeatedly linked with the iPhone range for many years, and would enable Apple to eliminate the Home button that has been associated with the iconic smartphone for so long. While it will be a big deal for Apple to ditch the Home button, this would enable it to significantly reduce the size of the iPhone bezels, ensuring that the device was more portable and pocketable.

It would also enable the corporation to create space on the front of the device, while enabling the unlock option to be accessible on the surface of the smartphone. It is already known that Apple is actively working on this solution, and there is no doubt that the company would love to unveil this with the iPhone 7.

Each of these suggestions should be treated with caution. Just because Apple is working on something does not mean that it will ultimately decide to include it in the iPhone 7. But rumors from China have been extremely illustrative of real-world results in the past, and we should certainly pay close heed to these latest whispers.