The latest reports on the iPhone 7 suggest that it could be significantly waterproof when it is released next year. Apple Insider has indicated that the iPhone 7 could come complete with a water resistant feature that would enable iPhone users to utilize the smartphone in both rainy conditions and possibly even while swimming.

iPhone 7: Reports Point To Waterproof And Super Slim iPhone

Apple patent submitted

This information came to light in a patent application made to the US Patent and Trademark Office, with the practicality of this innovation suggesting that it would be possible for Apple to implement this technology as early as next year. Of course, Apple frequently applies for patents that never see the light of day, or at least haven’t been included in devices as of yet. But considering the volume of rumors which suggest that the consumer electronics giant would love to include waterproofing in the iPhone 7, it seems that this could be a feature next time round.

Additionally, it is notable that a waterproof iPhone 7 will fit in with Apple’s release schedule for 2016. This is because the California-based company is strongly expected to update the Apple Watch series next year, with an Apple Watch 2 release. Apple has done reasonably well with the smartwatch, and indeed already dominates the smartwatch market, but the feeling certainly persists that the Apple Watch has yet to establish itself as a truly mainstream device.

According to the patent which Apple filed, the iPhone 7 could protect electrical connections required for the smartphone via a “self-healing elastomer”. These sophisticated substances have the ability to heal themselves after being damaged. This would enable Apple to seal connections such as its headphone jack for the iPhone 7 in the protective substance, suggesting that it would be possible for the headphone plug to penetrate the jack and then reseal afterward to mitigate against any damage.

Whispers have been suggesting this innovation could be coming in the iPhone 7 for quite some time, with links from close to the Apple supply chain in Asia particularly prominent. This innovation could be a valuable asset to the iPhone 7 feature set, with Apple likely to place more of a health-tracking emphasis on its product range during 2016. Indeed, there were significant health-tracking functions that were left out of the original Apple Watch due to technical reasons, and these are expected to make an emergence in 2016.

Other news this week gives us a clue about the the design parameters that the iPhone 7 may feature this year. Firstly, supplier analysis related to the smartphone suggests that the iPhone 7 may be super thin, even by the standards of Apple devices.

iPhone 7 Chip supplier

Apple is reportedly discussing the possible chip supplier for the iPhone 7 with numerous companies, and it has been suggested by analysts this week that Apple may be about to make a major shift. Reports from the well-known Financial sector institution UBS suggest that Samsung may have lost the deal that it has with the market-leading corporation to provide the chips for the A10 processor.

This would be a massive blow for Samsung, and it could be said that it is something of a tactical move from Apple. Considering that the Cupertino-based corporation has no other obvious rivals in the consumer electronics marketplace, this would certainly hit Samsung where it hurts. Indeed, although UBS is positive about the progress that Samsung has made with dual-cameras and Samsung Pay, the increased revenue from these sources will not be enough to offset losses from the missed iPhone 7 supply chain according to the Swiss bank.

In the place of Samsung, Forbes suggests that the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC) may be providing some of its Fan-Out technology instead. This suggests that commercial competition may not be the sole motivation for this decision from Apple.

Fan-Out technology enables the SoC components to be crammed into a considerably more compact space, ensuring that the dimensions for circuit boards in the iPhone 7 can be kept as small as possible. This would potentially enable Apple to produce an iPhone 7 that is even thinner than previous devices.

Apple battles with iOS 9

Meanwhile, Apple has also been struggling with a major issue this week, as users continue to experience problems with the latest iOS 9.2 release. The change log included with this latest version of the operating system indicates that many of the flaws that have been common knowledge since it was launched, as Apple finally gets to grips with some of the problems of the operating system.

The acknowledgement of the problems in the iOS 9 system represents a pretty detailed and lengthy list of bugs. The release log includes the alarm bug that has caused many problems for users, updates related to iCloud that have failed, and widespread issues related to email attachments crashing the system. Apple describes each of these bugs rather euphemistically, but it has at least acknowledged some of the widespread problems encountered by iOS 9 users.

This latest iOS 9.2 release certainly appears to have papered over the cracks that many Apple users have experienced previously, but it does indicate that the market-leading consumer electronics manufacturer has some work to do ahead of the release of the iPhone 7. This will be an extremely important smartphone release for Apple, considering that any iPhone device featuring a brand new numeral represents a major reboot of the iPhone concept.

By the time of the iPhone 7, Apple will have dusted off an iOS 10 release. But the next generation operating system will have a lot to deal with. In particular, Apple is expected to improve the resolution of the display in its flagship smartphone when the iPhone 7 hits the market. Fans of the iconic smartphone and will doubtless hope for a less buggy release when iOS 10 is unveiled.

And it looks like this major smartphone release of 2016 will be significantly waterproof, dustproof, and feature an entirely new chipset, designed to ensure collectively that the iPhone 7 is the most convenient and flexible smartphone that Apple has ever produced.