Although Apple is making final preparations to release the Apple Watch, work is also going on behind the scenes on the iPhone 7. This forthcoming smartphone will be a critical handset for Apple, as Samsung will be releasing their galaxy S6 in the next few weeks, with the intention of toppling the iPhone as the market-leading smartphone.
Additionally, the iPhone 6 was a critically well received device, and hugely successful commercially. However, there was an overriding feeling about the smartphone that it was not as revolutionary as many had hoped. It would be perhaps a tad on the harsh side to describe it as a minor upgrade from the previous iPhone iteration, but it certainly could not be considered a reboot of the iPhone concept.
Significant changes are more likely this time round, but first of all the analyst and Apple-following community are wondering when Apple will release the iPhone 7. The previous conduct and schedules of Apple would suggest that it could be in October 2015, but there are serious suggestions now emanating from sources close to Apple that we could see a very different product launch this time out.
iPhone 7 release date
It is now being tentatively reported that Apple will release an iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in 2015, which will be a similar upgrade to the previous iPhone 5s. Apple is clearly planning a massive step forward over the iPhone 6 in the near future, but the iPhone 6s would effectively be a stopgap while the consumer electronics giant develops this concept internally.
This would obviously mean that the iPhone 7 would launch significantly later than the October release date which had been pencilled in by many analysts. Instead, this would become a likely release date for the iPhone 6s, with the iPhone 7 following somewhere between March and June 2016.
iPhone 7 Japan Display deal
Aside from the murmurings about the release schedule for the iPhone 7, another report has suggested that Apple is about to make changes to the way the smartphone is produced. Recent reports have pointed to Japan Display, a possible supplier to Apple, increasing its total capacity by 20 percent. This could mean that Apple will adopt LCD LTPS for a future iPhone 7 device, which would go against market speculation about adopting OLED panels.
iPhone 7 – Force Touch
There are also many other rumored features of the iPhone 7 which could come to fruition. One of the most prominent is the idea that the smartphone will embrace the Force Touch system which is to debut in the Apple Watch smartwatch. This technology enables Apple devices to recognise how hard a tap on the device is, which particularly has gaming-related functionality.
iPhone 7 – Quad HD / 4K resolution
Another aspect of the iPhone 7 which is widely predicted is that Apple will significantly increase the display resolution of the device. The iPhone series has fallen behind Samsung’s Galaxy range in this respect, and rumours are rife that Apple will produce a quad HD iPhone 7. However, with the potential release of the iPhone 7 now being delayed until 2016, it is even a possible that we could see a 4K iPhone 7, at least in the phablet version of the device.
iPhone 7 – Sapphire Glass
Sapphire is the second hardest material in the world to scratch after diamond, and it seems unlikely that we will ever see a mass-market iPhone manufactured from diamond! So the next best option for Apple is to produce an iPhone which is protected by Sapphire Glass, and this is expected to come to fruition with the iPhone 7.
This was continually linked with the iPhone 6, particularly as Apple had purchased industrial quantities of the material. Although the analyst community wasn’t wrong about this assertion, the fact that Sapphire Glass features prominently in the Apple Watch would suggest that it will appear in the iPhone range sooner rather than later.
iPhone 7 – waterproofing
Another predicted aspect of the iPhone 7 is waterproofing. This could have health-related functionality which would make the device an ideal companion for the Apple Watch, but it would also just make using the iPhone 7 in the rain more convenient.
iPhone 7 – wireless charging
With the Galaxy S6 embracing wireless charging, it seems almost a racing certainty that this will feature in the iPhone series. This would be particularly welcome, as Apple has not exactly armed its flagship mobile with excessive degrees of battery life. Apple will also be looking to significantly improve the size of the battery included in the iPhone when it releases the iPhone 7, and a double-whammy with wireless charging would deliver a far more user-friendly device.
iPhone 7 – Home button joystick
Apple has already had a patent approved for a unique element of future iPhone devices, which will see the Home button doubling as a joystick. According to the text of the patent application, Apple has already designed a feature which enables a joystick to spring out of the Home button. Obviously this would primarily have gaming applications, but it is also possible to envisage the device being utilised in order to navigate through other applications.
iPhone 7 – 4-inch model
The rumor that won’t go away about the iPhone 7 is that Apple will produce a 4-inch model of the smartphone. This is a particularly prominent suggestion, as the late CEO and founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, previously expressed his predilection for smartphones featuring smaller display screens.
Jobs in fact stated that the ideal size for a smartphone screen is 3.5-inches. Whether it would be practical for Apple to release a smartphone this small in an era of ever larger devices with impressive resolutions is certainly debatable. But the notion of a smaller, more affordable iPhone 7 model does make sense, particularly in an economic context in which Apple is starting to make serious gains in the key East Asian marketplace.