Apple will release the next generation iPhone 7 later this year, and while there will be a lot of focus on the smartphone version of the range, the iPhone 7 Plus also deserves its fair share of attention. The decision of Apple to produce a phablet alongside the traditional smartphone of the iPhone series has proved to be largely successful, and the iPhone 7 Plus promises to be the most sophisticated and impressive mobile device that Apple has ever released.

iPhone 7 Plus Specs, Release Date, Price, Features [RUMORS]

iPhone 7 Plus design leaks

As with any major Apple product release, leaks and rumors are already circulating regarding the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. And the latest information about the phablet involves an image of a proposed iPhone 7 Plus device. Japanese site Macotakara leaked the picture in question, with the source of the information being a well-connected individual at Catcher Technology.

The image in question suggests that the iPhone 7 Plus will benefit from a dual-camera, while a Smart Connector will also be included as well. This second innovation would seemingly allow a keyboard to be attached to the iPhone 7 Plus, as is already the case with the iPad Pro range. This could be a response to recent suggestions that Samsung will produce a smartphone / laptop hybrid when the Galaxy Note 6 is released.

Although the legitimacy of such images can always be called into question, the photograph does suggest that the iPhone 7 Plus may benefit from a somewhat sparse design. Aside from the two camera setup, it is also noticeable that there are no antenna lines on the rear of the device, which would appear to confirm another of the most prominent rumors related to this handset.

Phablet casing

Another leak related to the iPhone 7 Plus was released earlier this month, with the notorious @onleaks providing eager apple fans with an idea of what the next iPhone will look like when it is released. As has been common over the years, the images in question do not picture the actual iPhone 7 Plus is self, but rather casing that gives an impression of how the smartphone will appear.

The pictures indicate that the iPhone 7 will be somewhat similar to the iPhone 6S, with a flat back and curved edges prominent. But the images also confirmed another design aspect that has been frequently rumored in the last few months, which is that there is no visible headphone jack in the photographs provided.

It has long since been suggested that Apple will indeed eliminate the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 Plus when it is released, and that this will be a standard feature of the range as a whole. It is believed that Apple will instead instigate some form of wireless technology, as it attempts to place more of an emphasis on its acquisition of the Beats branding and technology.

Elsewhere, there is an enlarged camera slot, which admittedly doesn’t tell us too much about the camera itself, but does suggest that a dual-camera unit could be possible. Whether this would result in the camera continuing to protrude, as was a somewhat criticized design aspect of the iPhone 6S, remains to be seen.

Camera and antenna

However, Mac Rumors certainly believes that the next iPhone 7 Plus will indeed eliminate the unsightly camera protrusions of the iPhone 6S. The publication also reports that the iPhone 7 Plus will see the plastic bands on the rear of the handset removed completely, as Apple has developed technology to enable wireless signals to pass through successfully without resorting to this rather ugly aspect of the handset.

Three versions coming

Meanwhile, it is still being strongly suggested that the iPhone 7 Plus will launch alongside two other separate versions of the iPhone 7. The standard iPhone 7 smartphone will, of course, remain part of the Apple portfolio, but it is also believed that the consumer electronics giant will produce an iPhone 7 Pro as well.

Thus, at the moment there is still speculation regarding whether the dual-camera setup and some of the more premium aspects of the iPhone 7 will only appear in the iPhone 7 Pro, or whether they will be resident in the iPhone 7 Plus as well.

Other spec upgrades

It is widely anticipated that the iPhone 7 Plus will benefit from the first quad HD resolution display that Apple has ever included in a phablet. This would enable the corporation to compete directly with the Galaxy Note range, although there have been reports that Samsung will upgrade this mobile to 4K resolution in 2016.

Rumors have also indicated that Apple is considering releasing a curved screen version of the iPhone 7 Plus. An edge-to-edge display could also be considered in the phablet, which would result in a slimmed down iPhone 7 Plus, rather than a larger screen.

Apple is also expected to significantly improve the battery life in the iPhone 7 Plus, as this was criticized in the last generation of the phablet. There are also likely to be memory upgrades for every smartphone in the iPhone 7 series, and the phablet versions of the iPhone 7 have been particularly linked with a premium 256GB storage model.

Finally, Apple could decide to introduce new technology in the iPhone 7 Plus as well, with wireless charging been particularly linked with the handset. This is already a feature of the Samsung Galaxy range, and there has been pressure on Apple to introduce it to the iPhone series for sometime.

Release date and price

There is no particular reason to suppose that Apple will divert significantly from the release date of the iPhone 6S, so we should probably expect the iPhone 7 Plus to be released in September this year. At one time it was suggested that the brouhaha between Apple and the federal government over access to the Apple operating system could delay the iPhone 7, but this now seems to have been resolved somewhat amicably. Apple is also expected to freeze the price of the on-contract iPhone 7 at least, after the iPhone 6S received a price hike last year.

So expect the iPhone 7 Plus to hit the stores in September, with a raft of exciting new features and upgraded specification.