As Apple fans eagerly await the release of the iPhone 7, it seems that the device will retain the plastic strips of the iPhone 6. The previous iteration of the iPhone series features translucent plastic on the rear of the handset, and the latest reports indicate that this will be retained when the iPhone 7 is released.

Apple To Ditch All-Metallic iPhone 7 Design [RUMOR]iPhone 7 to retain plastic strips

This might come as something of a surprise, considering that Apple’s main rival Samsung has attempted to move away from a plasticky feel in its recent mobile releases. Samsung was indeed criticized when the Galaxy S5 was released for producing a device that felt dated, and has since opted for a primarily metallic visage.

But the plastic strips involved in the iPhone design are a relatively minor aspect of the overall Apple smartphone, and thus it is not so controversial for Apple to continue with this design in the future. However, it had still been reported previously that Apple was in fact working on replacing these plastic tramlines, with the intention of producing an entirely metallic iPhone. The plastic is certainly not present for aesthetic reasons; they serve the purpose of allowing radio waves to penetrate the aluminum casing of the iPhone units.

Some observers of the Apple range have considered this plastic element of the design to be a little ugly, and this had motivated Apple to attempt to alter the construction of the iPhone 7. Apple has already filed a patent that indicates the company has developed a material constricted from a blend of metal oxides that serves the purpose of the plastic strips.

The patent states that the metal oxide looks and feels metallic, but still allows radio-frequency to pass through unimpeded. This would result in an iPhone 7 that could retain a premium all-metal appearance, without compromising the wireless quality which is obviously a key aspect of the smartphone.

iPhone 7 patent delayed

However, it appears that this technology will not be available in a requisite form in time to appear in the iPhone series. The iPhone 7 is expected to launch just next month, and it seems that Apple is still facing logistical and commercial difficulties with regard to including this technology in the iPhone series. So the dreams of an entirely metallic iPhone 7 are reportedly dead in the water, and this innovation will have to be delayed until 2016 at least.

Analysts are still bickering over whether or not the next generation iPhone will be named the iPhone 6s or iPhone 7, but some elements of this forthcoming smartphone have been pretty much decided. Apple always keeps extremely quiet on the subject of its device releases, but sources close to the Apple supply chain have confirmed significant amounts of information about this forthcoming flagship smartphone.

One of the most important aspects of the iPhone 7 that has been spoken about considerably in the Apple-following media is an improvement in the camera included in the device. There has been some debate over the extent to which Apple will improve the lens included in the iPhone 7, but little disagreement on whether or not this improvement will occur.

There have been numerous reports suggesting that Apple could be ready to do something truly revolutionary with the iPhone 7 in this department. Both a professional standard DSLR snapper and a unique periscope design have been linked with the smartphone. But with time ticking away until the iPhone 7 is released, it is more likely that there will be a more modest upgrade in the photograph taking capabilities of the smartphone.

Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has led analysts suggesting that Apple will mainly focus on upgrading the megapixel rating of the iPhone 7 when it is released. This could see the snapper in the iPhone 7 upgraded to 12-megapixels, which would represent a 50 percent improvement from the previous iteration in the series.

Although there are ikely to be few design changes when the iPhone 7 is released, one aspect of the smartphone that has been strongly rumored in recent weeks has been the inclusion of a new aluminum frame. Taiwan’s Economic Daily News has suggested that Apple is intending to utilize the “Series 7000” aluminum alloy that it developed for its recent Apple Watch. This would seem to be a logical move for the consumer electronics giant, and would add increased durability to an iPhone design that was criticized for its willingness to bend last time out.

The metal is “designed to be 60 percent stronger than most aluminum, and one-third the density of stainless steel, yet still retains a relatively light weight. This would provide the strength that Apple is looking for while helping to retain the look and feel of the existing iPhone when the iPhone 7 is released.

iPhone 7 Plus to go quad HD

It is generally believed as well that the iPhone 7 will be the first full HD smartphone that Apple has ever released. Apple is expected to upgrade the screen quality of the device to 1080p, and it is possible that the phablet-size version of the iPhone 7 could feature quad HD resolution. This would boost the pixels per inch from 326 to 401 for Apple’s larger device, with the corporation are likely to describe this new screen as a ‘Retina HD Display’, in line with its recent desktop releases.

Rumors about a 4-inch iPhone 6c or 7c have tended to die down somewhat in recent weeks, as it seems increasingly unlikely that Apple will delay this device until 2016. It had been the intention of the consumer electronics behemoth to produce a new 4-inch version and release this alongside the base unit in 2015, but technical issues have seemingly scuppered this possibility.

What is certain is that this will be an extremely important device release for Apple. The company has had to endure $50 million being wiped off its market capitalization in recent weeks, as the city becomes sceptical about the growth potential of Apple, particularly in the key Chinese marketplace. Apple certainly has the potential to grasp this market value back, and the first step in this process will be a successful iPhone 7 launch.