The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus have both just gone on sale, but what on earth would we do without rumors about the next iPhone model? We’ve heard plenty of supposed leaks about the iPhone 7, and while some, like the “AirPods” rumor, are rather interesting, they seem pretty unlikely.
Standard upgrades for the iPhone 7
Citi analyst Jim Suva put together a list of his expectations for the iPhone 7, and there’s really nothing too exciting on the list. Apple has been lagging behind some Android phone maker in adding certain upgrades, although that hasn’t stopped people from grabbing up the latest models. Still, the iPhone maker does do the typical round of standard upgrades each year.
It’s pretty much a given that we can expect a faster processor and better resolution. Suva expects the iPhone 7 to have an A10 chip based on sub-14 nanometer architecture and “enhanced” 16 nanometer node processers. Apple continues to lag behind Samsung, as the Galaxy S6 has the Exynos 7 Octa processor with four cores running at 1.5GHz and four at 2.1GHz. By comparison, the iPhone 6 has the A8 dual-core chip.
A big leap in display technology?
Apple also lags behind in display resolution, as Samsung, LG and HTC offer QHD displays with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. Suva wants to see the iPhone 7 have a better resolution and possibly add two big changes. He said his “understanding” is that Apple is investigating the feasibility of adding fingerprint verification to the display, which would be a key enhancement, and improve the display’s internal architecture.
The Citi analyst also looks for the iPhone 7 to have a “sturdier” and possibly “more scratch resistant” glass cover. It’s likely that next year’s iPhone will have either Gorilla 4 or Phire glass from Corning, and he doesn’t think Apple is looking to use sapphire glass any longer in the wake of the snafu with GTAT. Suva thinks Gorilla 4 is the most likely candidate, but he doesn’t rule out Corning’s rumored next-gen glass, which is code-named Phire.
iPhone 7 may have dual cameras
Apple is also expected to increase the megapixels on the camera for the iPhone 7 range, although this is another area where the company has lagged behind competitors. The Galaxy S6 has a 16-megapixel camera that offers 4K recording. The iPhone 6S also offers 4K recording, but it has a 12-megapixel camera.
Suva also believes the iPhone 7 could sport dual cameras. This is a rumor we’ve been hearing about the iPhone for at least the last cycle or two, so it isn’t new. It’s simply making another appearance for the next iPhone cycle. The analyst noted that Apple recently acquired Israel-based LinX Computational Imaging, which makes smartphone and tablet camera modules. He thinks Apple could do amazing things using the company’s camera technology, even going beyond taking pictures or video by incorporating GPS with some of the functionality
The analyst also suggests that Apple might design the iPhone 7 without the camera sticking out the back, although he notes that this isn’t as important because most people keep a case on their iPhones anyway.
Better battery a must for the iPhone 7
He also wants to see Apple catch up to competitors in the battery department, as the iPhone 6S battery doesn’t even last a full day for heavy users. Samsung is quite far ahead with a 2550 mAh battery, and Apple actually shrunk the size of the battery for the iPhone 6S this year to 1715 mAh—a move that has received criticism from pretty much every reviewer.
Other improvements the analyst wants to see are fast charging and wireless charging, which are available in many other competitors’ phones, an eye reader, more memory, and waterproofing. He would also like the iPhone 7 to sport a headphone jack on the top of the phone rather than the bottom, which is quite annoying for people who like to listen to music with headphones.