There is no doubt that the biggest smartphone release of 2016 will be the Apple iPhone 7. The consumer electronics giant tends to dominate any year in this niche, but when it releases a revolutionary new handset featuring a fresh number, this means that Apple is about to significantly shake up its most important device.
Figures have indicated that the iPhone is still responsible for around two-thirds of Apple’s overall income, and although the corporation is looking to diversify in the coming years, it still remains an incredibly important part of its overall portfolio. So this should be a revolutionary iPhone unit when it is released, but what can consumers expect from the iPhone 7?
The latest information on this handset suggests that Apple will have significantly redesigned the iPhone when the iPhone 7 is unveiled. Early reports have suggested that Apple will be looking to eliminate the unsightly bulge caused by the cameras included in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. Rumors indicate that the iPhone 7 will feature the most aesthetically pleasing camera setup since the iPhone 5S back in 2013.
Central to this process will be the development of a slimmer module, which will ensure that the iPhone 7 is a more stable device physically. There are conflicting reports on whether this innovation will spell the end for the dual-camera setup that has been linked with the iPhone 7, but the number of iPhone 7 models that Apple has in the pipeline could solve this difficulty.
In addition, Apple is also expected to remove the antenna bands that were something of an eyesore in both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. It is not clear how Apple intends to achieve this, but it is speculated that the smart aluminum technology that the company has been working on internally could be utilized in some capacity.
With this in mind, it is generally considered that Apple will retain the primarily aluminum look and feel that was introduced back with the iPhone 6 in 2014.
Records have also suggested recently that Apple is working hard in order to improve the battery life of the iPhone with the next release in the series. A larger 3,100mAh battery has been particularly mooted, and this should ensure that the stamina of this smartphone is significantly improved over previous offerings.
Another recent rumor is that Apple will improve the storage capacity in the iPhone 7, and launch a new 256GB version of the handset. This would make sense considering that storage is increasingly at a premium with modern smartphones, and it would also be something of a response to Samsung. Although we are still awaiting confirmation, it has been strongly suggested that the Korean rival of Apple will reinstate micro SD when it releases the Galaxy S7, so a 256GB unit would keep Apple up to the same standard.
In accordance with this suggestion, it is also possible, and perhaps likely, that Apple will finally retire the 16GB model of the iPhone when the iPhone 7 is unveiled.
It has also been widely suggested that the iPhone 7 will be significantly waterproof and dust-resistant when it is released. This would be in line with the suggestion that the Apple product range will be more focused on health-tracking in 2016, particularly following the emergence of the Apple Watch 2.
A patent request describing a rubber port cover capable of forming a watertight seal around an accessory input emerged back in December, and it is suggested that this technology could make its debut appearance in the iPhone 7. On the other hand, it is always worth pointing out that Apple has dozens of patents that it has never remotely implemented.
It is generally considered that the iPhone 7 will not feature the 4K resolution standard that is becoming a major part of the technology landscape. Indeed, considering that the market-leading manufacturer has yet to even release a full HD smartphone, it is probable that the iPhone 7 will not even offer quad HD resolution. What is more likely is that the iPhone 7 will be a full HD smartphone, while the iPhone 7 Plus will feature quad HD resolution for the first time.
Other suggestions have focused on the idea that Apple will deviate from LCD to the OLED technology that has proved to be so successful for Samsung. Apple is not expected to significantly increase the size of the display in either the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, but it is possible that a smaller overall unit will be achieved by slimming down the bezels included in the handset. With this in mind, an edge-to-edge display has been floated by some analysts.
There have been a wide range of completely contrasting rumors regarding the camera in the iPhone 7. The most interesting of these which has cropped up in recent weeks is the suggestion that Apple will arm the iPhone 7 with a dual-lens snapper. This would be intended in particular to improve the performance of their iPhone 7 in darker conditions, but whether it comes to fruition will be reliant on logistical issues.
In particular, it has been suggested that this technology would not be compliant with the idea of removing the bulge that has featured in previous iPhone units. This has led to the suggestion that Apple could produce a special model of the iPhone 7 which indeed features this unique camera technology.
Thus, it is anticipated in some quarters that Apple will release three models of the iPhone for the first time in the iPhone 7 generation. The smartphone and tablet variants that have been released in previous years will be retained, but a third version of the smartphone could be looked upon as a particularly high-spec handset.
Headphone jack eliminated
Another widely reported aspect of the iPhone 7 is that Apple will remove the headphone jack from the smartphone when it is released. It seems that the intention of this is to enable Apple to deliver a wireless headphone system, which could be sold separately to the main iPhone 7 units. Apple is to make music a more prominent focus of its product range in 2016, as it attempts to ensure that its major Beats acquisition pays off, and this decision appears to reflect this philosophy.
Reports also emerged earlier this month suggesting that Apple is attempting to implement wireless charging for the iPhone 7, but that the technology involved could scupper this plan. The aluminum that is essential to the design of the iPhone series has caused problems with wireless charging in the past, as the technology simply will not work with this metallic substance. But in July, Qualcomm revealed that its latest wireless breakthrough now does work through metal, so it’s now finally a possibility for Apple.
However, reports have suggested that Apple is exploring technology that would enable both iPhones and iPads to be powered from further away than the charging mat technology that is utilized by existing smartphones. Unfortunately, the technology required in order to implement this may not be available until 2017, and this means that Apple may not deliver wireless charging with the iPhone 7, instead waiting until it can perfect it.
Other new specs
On a more mundane level, Apple will also update the processor in the iPhone 7, releasing an A10 chipset, and the smartphone will naturally be armed with the latest iOS 10 operating system when it hits the stores.