2016 will be a big year for the smartphone marketplace, as Apple will be releasing its next-generation iPhone 7. Any iPhone release is a significant one, but an iteration of the iconic iPhone range which is afforded a new number is particularly important. This indicates that Apple will be making significant changes to the iPhone series with the next release, and thus speculation is already developing regarding what these new features and functions will be.

iPhone 7 Plus: What You Should Know About Apple's New Phablet

iPhone 7 Plus – New phablet contender

While the smartphone-sized version of the iPhone remains the biggest seller for Apple, the introduction of a phablet-sized variant has also been a successful move for the corporation. The iPhone 7 Plus will undoubtedly continue this trend, with Apple having been responsible for something of a regeneration of the phablet marketplace.

Samsung can be credited with having really popularized the phablet with its Galaxy series of devices, but Apple has certainly picked up the baton effectively, and the iPhone 7 Plus is likely to be hugely successful and popular. Consumers are generally demanding more from mobile devices, particularly with regard to screen capabilities, and the iPhone 7 Plus is important in this regard for Apple, as the consumer electronics giant packs it with superior specs to the smaller smartphone iPhone.

Thus, it will be interesting to see what Apple delivers with the iPhone 7 Plus next year, as the market-leading consumer electronics company looks to improve its flagship range once more. So here is a rundown of the latest rumors relating to the handset.

Design

Although Apple will be a significant distance from finalizing the design for the iPhone 7 Plus, there have still been significant leaks regarding this forthcoming phablet. Apple is certainly expected to redesign the iPhone 7 Plus to some extent next year, with the need to significantly distinguish it from both the iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone 6 Plus.

So suggestions that this device will feature an entirely new design certainly shouldn’t be viewed as surprising. Reports have already indicated that the iPhone 7 Plus will feature an aluminum alloy or entirely liquid metal chassis. Apple could also introduce sapphire glass into the iPhone 7 Plus, with this durable material having been linked with the iPhone range for several years. Apple has included sapphire glass in its Apple Watch smartwatch, and it is now possible that it could also integrate it into its market-leading smartphone.

A recent leaked video also suggested that Apple could completely eliminate bezels in the iPhone 7 range, but this must be viewed as slightly dubious owing to scepticism about the origin of the clip. Nonetheless, this is something Apple could consider in order to increase the size of the display in the iPhone 7 Plus, or even to retain the same screen size while reducing the overall size of the unit.

It has also been reported that the iPhone 7 Plus will feature a Touch ID system that will be placed on the display of the handset. A 3.5 millimeters audio jack has also been linked with the smartphone, while the iPhone 7 Plus is also likely to be significantly waterproof and dustproof. Apple is likely to increase the health-tracking focus of its devices next year, with the second iteration of the Apple Watch expected to deliver new features in this area.

No Home Button

Finally, it is widely expected that the new iPhone device will ditch the Home button that has been such a familiar feature of the Apple handset for many years. In its place will be a greater reliance on the 3D Touch system that was introduced last year, which will function in a way analogous to the existing Home button.

In addition, Apple fans will be given four color options to select from with the iPhone 7 Plus, namely Space Black, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold.

Display

In accordance with the widespread usage of 3D Touch, it is also suggested that the display in the new iPhone device will sport multi-touch support. This will make the device more flexible than last year’s iPhone 6S Plus.

There will also be pressure on Apple to improve the resolution of the display in the iPhone 7 Plus. It is possible that Samsung will release a Galaxy Note phablet with a 4K display in 2016, and this must surely result in Apple releasing a quad HD iPhone 7 Plus.

Display size is likely to be unaltered from last year’s release, but it is possible that if Apple opts for a bezel-less design that this could result in a slightly increased screen size.

Camera

There have been a tonne of rumors about the camera in the iPhone 7 Plus, and it is clear that the photographic capabilities of the device will be a significant issue for Apple to contend with. Although radical suggestions have surfaced, such as the inclusion of a DSLR snapper, the most likely prospect is that Apple will improve the megapixel rating of the iPhone 7 Plus camera to 12-megapixels. There will also be a 5-megapixel FaceTime camera included at the front for selfies.

Other specs

Apple needs to ensure that the iPhone 7 Plus is significantly more powerful than previous releases, and with this in mind it is suggested that the memory of the device will be significantly increased to 3 GB of RAM.

Additionally, Apple will arm the iPhone 7 Plus with a 16nm Apple A10 chipset. This is expected to be constructed by TSMC, but there have also been rumors that Apple could switch to another chip manufacturer, with Intel particularly mentioned. The processor in the iPhone 7 Plus is expected to be around the 1.5 GHz cyclone (ARM v8 based) range, and it is possible that Apple will deliver a quad-core processor for the first time in its smartphone series.

Apple may also increases the storage capacity of the premium version of the iPhone 7 Plus to 256 GB for the first time, while a mooted battery capacity for the device is 2,100 mAh.

Release Date

The iPhone 7 Plus will launch in early September, with a price tag likely to be around $1,000.