As Apple prepares to release the next generation iPhone 7, it is not surprising that the grinding of the rumor mill is intensifying. There have been a raft of interesting reports on this market-leading smartphone in the last few days, indicating a wide variety of possible aspects of this forthcoming handset.

The first interesting snippet of news is that a leaked photograph has recently given a strong impression of what the iPhone 7 may look like when it is released. It should not be hugely surprising that it strongly resembles the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S, as it is widely expected that Apple will not release a revolutionary mobile this year.

iPhone 7 Images, Dual-Camera, Big Upgrades, Other Latest Rumors

iPhone 7 – New images emerge

However, images of the iPhone 7 Plus suggest that the phablet will benefit from a dual-camera setup this year, which had been widely rumored in the analyst community previously. Apple seems to be making a real attempt to distinguish the phablet and smartphone in the iPhone 7 generation, and it seems that the photographic capabilities of the two devices will be central to this process.

The leaked images, which have emanated from China, support the idea that Apple will wait until 2017 before launching an entirely refreshed iPhone device. It has even been reported that the consumer electronics giant will imminently switch from a two-year product cycle to a three-year process, owing to what it perceives to be a stagnating market for smartphones. It is certainly true that the functionality of smartphones is now resulting in diminishing returns, and Apple has already predicted that it will shift less iPhones in 2016 than during the last calendar year.

Big upgrades

Another recent report indicates that Apple will upgrade both the resolution and battery of the iPhone 7, to create the most technically impressive mobile that the Californian-based company has ever produced. An increase in the screen resolution of the iPhone series would be particularly welcome, as even the most avid Apple aficionado would have to concede that the market-leader has fallen a little behind the pack in this department.

Additionally, it is suggested that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will both benefit from 256GB of internal storage when they are released. Apple Insider indicates that both upcoming smartphones will be armed with this rather large amount of storage in order to accommodate the new resolution, which will be bumped up to full HD for the iPhone 7 smartphone, with the iPhone 7 Plus phablet benefiting from quad HD resolution.

Apple Insider also believes that the consumer electronics giant will eliminate the 16GB version of the iPhone completely, with the base model of both devices starting at 32GB. This would make sense considering the mooted upgraded resolution, which will obviously place a premium on the amount of storage in the device for video. Samsung has also been expected to upgrade the storage in the Galaxy Note 7 to 256GB, so this would also make sense from a rivalry point of view as well.

iPhone 7 features

So what else can Apple fans expect from the iPhone 7 when it is released later this year? Well, there have been all sorts of suggestions regarding how the Californian corporation will update the operation of the iPhone 7 to make it more impressive and user-friendly. But the latest reports indicate that the iPhone 7 could conceivably feature a touch-sensitive Home button, with Apple having patented this technology previously.

There have been frequent reports that Apple will look to phase out the Home button completely, and eventually produce an iPhone mobile which is completely reliant on the 3D Touch system introduced last year. This may indeed be a plan of the corporation in the longer term, but it increasingly seems that Apple intends to revolutionize and update its Home button in such a way as to rejuvenate the iPhone 7.

Apple is also expected to ensure that the iPhone 7 is both significantly waterproof and dustproof, as the corporation emphasizes the health-tracking related functionality of its devices in 2016. The iPhone 7 is expected to launch alongside the Apple Watch 2, with reports on the second-generation smartphone largely suggesting that it will include a raft of health-tracking features which were unfortunately eliminated from the first Apple Watch smartwatch last year.

Gloomy prognosis

Despite the attempts of Apple to upgrade the iPhone 7 and provide an exciting consumer product for fans of the corporation, the prognosis for the next generation smartphone is actually rather negative. The consumer electronics giant has already indicated its belief that it will shift less iPhone units in 2016 than 2015, and this could pose a massive long-term problem for the world’s largest consumer electronics manufacturer.

Apple is still hugely reliant on the iPhone 7 for revenue generation, and it is unsurprising then that the city’s verdict on its sales predictions have been rather scaling. Both Apple stock and projections regarding Apple revenue have been rather negative recently, with the lack of iPhone sales the catalyst for this climate.

It seems that with the iPhone 7, Apple will be playing the long game, rather than worrying about its short-term prospects, as the company seems certain to take a conservative approach with the design and manufacturing of this product. This is not exactly Apple admitting defeat, but rather the company regrouping ahead of a major iPhone 8 release next year.

So those considering upgrading to the iPhone 7 in 2016, or indeed purchasing an Apple smartphone for the first time, should expect upgrades to the core constituents of the smartphone, such as memory, processors, battery and screen resolution. It seems certain that Apple will not significantly redesign the appearance of the iPhone 7, and that some of the more revolutionary features linked with the smartphone will not emerge in 2016.

One benefit of this is the Apple is likely to freeze the price tag of the iPhone 7, so it should at least be an affordable improvement on previous iPhone releases.