With 2016 nearly half over, we are still awaiting the biggest smartphone release of the year, with the iPhone 7 due to be unveiled in September. The Apple flagship is the highlight of any consumer electronics year, and the new numeral included in the iPhone 7 indicates that this will be a next generation device. Traditionally, Apple reboots the iPhone every 24 months, with the years in-between designated for the S range of upgraded smartphones.
However, things may be slightly different in 2016 and 2017 if recent media reports are to be believed. The esteemed analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, suggests that the iPhone 7 may be a more modest improvement than previous releases from Apple. Kuo instead indicates that the major revolution in the Apple smartphone series may be reserved for 2017.
So what can we expect from the iPhone 7 in 2016, and what will the iPhone 7S / iPhone 8 follow-up in 2017 be like? Here is a rundown of all the specs, rumours, features and information already circulating on these major smartphones.
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iPhone 7, iPhone 7S, iPhone 7 Plus – Size
The dimensions of the iPhone 6S are 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 in), and the smartphone weighs in at 143g. The iPhone 6S Plus weighs 192g, and its measurements are 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 in). Reports suggest that we should expect something fairly similar from the iPhone 7 when it is released later this year, but Apple has a tendency to slim down its smartphones with each new generation.
So the likelihood is that both the iPhone 7 models will be somewhat thinner than the existing iPhone 6S, and that this process could develop further still by the time that the iPhone 7S / iPhone 8 is released. This could also lead to a very slight weight reduction, although any variation here is likely to be extremely minimal and barely perceptible.
Numerous new design features have been linked with forthcoming iPhone models, with such suggestions as curved displays, edge-to-edge screens, sapphire glass utilization and new color schemes all prominent. It seems unlikely that any of these will be implemented by the time that the iPhone 7 is released in September, but Apple could consider more experimentation for next year’s iPhone 7S / iPhone 8. The idea of a curved iPhone 7S / iPhone 8 would probably be particularly attractive to consumers.
Fans of the Apple smartphone range will be hoping that the consumer electronics giant improves the resolution of the iPhone display in the forthcoming generation. The screen included in the iPhone is certainly inferior to many rivals of the Apple flagship series, and there is thus pressure on Apple to improve the resolution of the device in the iPhone 7. This could see the iPhone 7 deliver the first full HD display that Apple has included in a smartphone, with the iPhone 7 Plus being bumped up to quad HD.
However, the smart money is possibly on Apple freezing the resolution in this generation, and instead increasing it in 2017 with the iPhone 7S / iPhone 8. This impression is based on the fact that analysts close to Apple believe that the iPhone 7 will be a relatively modest improvement over the existing smartphone, and screen resolution is never something Apple has prioritized.
The iPhone 6S featured an Apple A9 dual-core 1.84 GHz Twister processor, and this will be improved on significantly in the forthcoming iPhone 7, with Apple further building on this process in the iPhone 7S / iPhone 8 generation. Possibly there could be a switch to quad-core at some point, which would effectively mean that the iPhone is on a par with the Galaxy S7, which features two bundles of quad-core processors. This evolution is possibly more likely to happen in the iPhone 7S / iPhone 8 generation than later this year.
Apple will seemingly introduce a dual-camera setup in the iPhone 7 generation, but it is generally thought that the iPhone 7 Plus will benefit from this, while the iPhone 7 will retain its existing camera specification. Previously, the iPhone range has been linked with some incredible camera technology including a professional standard DSLR unit, and a unique periscope design. Such massive innovations could emerge in a revolutionary iPhone 7S / iPhone 8 in 2017.
The iPhone range has been criticized for the rather mediocre battery life that it delivers, and Apple is sure to attempt to rectify this in the next two iPhone releases. Early reports suggest that there will be small increases in the battery included in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. MacRumors suggests that the iPhone 7 Plus may feature a feature a 3,200mAh battery, which would be a significant improvement over the existing iPhone 6S Plus. Apple will then probably inch up the battery specifications of the iPhone range further still when the iPhone 7S / iPhone 8 appears next year.
Reports have already suggested that Apple is contemplating doubling the storage included in the iPhone range when the iPhone 7 generation is released later this year. This would mean that the premium version of the iPhone 7 features 256GB of native storage. There has been no indication as of yet that the iPhone 7 Plus will receive more storage than the smartphone version, so we can reasonably expect the most expensive version of both models to feature this 256GB quantity.
Whether Apple would then consider increasing the storage further still for the iPhone 7S / iPhone 8 generation is debatable, But there would be more incentive for the corporation to do so if this version of the smartphone included an increased screen resolution.
Considering that Apple will improve several of the specifications in the iPhone 7 range, it is certain that the California-based corporation will also bump up the native memory of the device. Both the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are armed with 2GB of RAM, so it is likely that the iPhone 7 will increase this by 50 percent to 3GB. A further increased to 4GB is likely in the iPhone 7S / iPhone 8 generation.
The iPhone itself and has been linked with a wide variety of new features, as Apple attempts to get consumers excited about its flagship smartphone once more. Wireless charging could debut in the iPhone 7, while both devices are expected to be significantly waterproof and dustproof, as Apple emphasizes the health-tracking functionality of its product range. Apple will also remove the headphones jack in favour of wireless technology.
The iPhone 7S / iPhone 8 is expected to include AMOLED for the first time, and possibly could eliminate the Home Button in favour of 3D Touch functionality. Apple has also had all manner of patents approved, and some of these could see the light of day in 2017.
All of the indications from close to Apple are that the iPhone 7 will follow the release schedule of 2015, and this will this mean that the smartphone will emerge in September. Of course, there is absolutely no information from Apple on this, let alone the iPhone 7S / iPhone 8, and thus there is no particular reason to believe that the iPhone 7S / iPhone 8 will launch during any other month than September.
It is rather unlikely that Apple will increase the price of the iPhone 7 this year, either for the on-contract or off-contract versions of the smartphone. It would seem to be a commercial necessity for Apple to freeze the price, considering that it has itself predicted that the iPhone range will sell less units during 2016 that the previous calendar year for the first time since the smartphone was introduced in 2007.
If the iPhone 7S / iPhone 8 is as revolutionary and ambitious as some analysts have suggested, it will surely be necessary for Apple to increase the price of the device for production reasons. Nonetheless, analysts still suggest that the iPhone 7S / iPhone 8 could contribute to a 10 percent increase in iPhone sales in 2017.