iPhone 7As Apple fields early excellent sales news from the iPhone 6s, attention is already turning to next year’s iPhone 7. This will be a particularly major release for Apple, and the fact that it features an entirely new number indicates that this will be a revolutionary iPhone generation, unlike the existing iPhone 6s. The branding of the current generation iPhone as the iPhone 6s indicates that it is an upgrade from the iPhone 6, whereas when the iPhone 7 lands in 2016, it will be a significant departure from previous iPhone models.
With this in mind, Apple is expected to arm the iPhone 7 with several new features and innovations. And news that has just come to light suggests that the future iPhone will include wireless charging upon its raft of capabilities. This certainly wouldn’t be a huge surprise, as Apple’s major rival Samsung has already embraced the technology in his Galaxy series.
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Apple iPhone 7 patent application
A patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Thursday, entitled “Inductive Power Transfer Using Acoustic or Haptic Devices,” gives indication of an Apple invention featuring a metal coil intended to deliver wireless charging. It is also interesting to note that this particular technology would be able to produce soundwaves for broadcast through an iPhone speaker, or to capture via a microphone.
But unquestionably the key aspect of this technology is its ability to switch to a second state, in which the coil can be used to wirelessly charge devices. This would certainly count as a major innovation, as it would be expected for Apple to develop separate hardware in order to support these two forms of technology. But apparently the consumer electronics giant has developed this dual-purpose system with the intention of delivering wireless charging.
It is too early to say with certainty whether this will come to fruition in the iPhone 7, but it would certainly make sense for Apple considering its existence in the Galaxy series. Certainly one of the criticisms that Apple has had to field in recent years is that it often implements features in the iPhone series that have been a part of the Galaxy range for sometime previously. Even if wireless charging does emerge in the iPhone 7, it is doubtless that many Android fans will simply point out that this is nothing new for Samsung smartphones. Sony and LG have also included it in mobile products in recent months.
Taptic Engine key in purported system
According to the details of the patent, Apple will utilize its Taptic Engine for wireless charging. This suggests that the feature could be used in a number of other Apple products, with the Apple Watch the most likely recipient. This would make obvious sense for a smartwatch that was criticized in some quarters for having an insufficient battery life. Being able to charge the Apple watch wirelessly would obviously make the device considerably more convenient, as Apple looks to enhance the status of the smartwatch in 2016.
Wireless charging will be just one major new component of the iPhone 7. The device is likely to undergo a major redesign, as Apple looks to distinguish the smartphone release from previous iterations of the series. And although it is extremely early days to speculate what Apple might have in mind for this reimagining of the iPhone range, we have already seen concept images emerge.
Recently, designer Hasan Kaymak has published a video on YouTube with a concept iPhone 7 running iOS 10. Kaymak suggested that a 64-bit hexa-core processor and an integrated SIM card could be central to the makeup of the iPhone 7, and also indicates a design innovation that has been mooted for sometime. Kaymak envisages that the Home button could be eliminated completely, in favor of more sophisticated Touch ID and 3D Touch functionality.
Certainly it can be expected that Apple will significantly upgrade the processor in the iPhone 7 from previous releases. Citi analyst Jim Suva expects the Apple handset to feature an A10 chip based on sub-14 nanometer architecture, with enhanced 16 nanometer node processors.
Another area where Apple will be under pressure to update the iPhone series is screen resolution. In truth, the iPhone 6s was due an upgrade in this department, yet Apple decided to retain full HD resolution for the largest version of the handset. The next generation iPhone should surely embrace Quad HD, or possibly even 4K technology.
By the time that the iPhone 7 hits the market, 4K technology should have become mainstream. Additionally, we have already seen the first 4K smartphone released by Sony, so Apple may choose to push the boat out and produce its first 4K compatible smartphone with the iPhone 7. What is more likely, though, is that Apple will gradually increase the iPhone 7 resolution to quad HD next time out.
Rumors have also suggested that Apple is currently working on the possibility of adding fingerprint verification to the screen of the iPhone 7. This would be a serious accoutrement to the feature set of the smartphone, and would enable the manufacturer to improve the internal architecture of the display.
Finally, camera technology could be a big deal by the time that the iPhone 7 is released. Apple has been linked with several spectacular upgrades for the smartphone, and analysts are predicting that this could be a major area of improvement when the iPhone 7 is released.
The iPhone 7 has already been linked with a professional standard DSLR snapper, along with a unique periscope design. Additionally, analysts have recently suggested that the iPhone 7 may feature dual-cameras, while the megapixel rating of the snapper may also be elevated.
This all adds up to a revolutionary new iPhone 7 when it is released in 2016. It almost makes the twelve months that we will have to wait worthwhile!