Excitement is building ahead of the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus smartphones from Apple.
The internet rumor mill has been in overdrive, speculating on everything from the future of the 3.5 mm headphone jack to the possible inclusion of a dual-lens camera module on the upcoming smartphone. Now the latest leak from Chinese microblogging site Weibo appears to have revealed some technical specs of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Handset design to remain largely unchanged
For a long time it has been rumored that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus would look largely the same as the existing iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6. This looks likely to be true, with Apple saving a major redesign for the 2017 iPhone 8.
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With many commentators lukewarm on the iPhone 7, the major excitement about the new smartphone has centered around the camera module. It has been all but confirmed that a 12MP sensor will be used, but speculation had it that a larger sensor could make an appearance on the standard iPhone 7, while the iPhone 7 Plus would get a dual-lens module.
This latest leak says that a 12MP unit will be used, with a 1/2.6? sensor, ƒ/1.9 aperture, and 1.3 µm pixels. By way of comparison the iPhone 6s has a 1/3? sensor and a ƒ/2.2 aperture. It remains to be seen what difference these changes will make on a practical level.
Dual-camera module coming to iPhone 7 Plus
Arguably more interesting is the rumored arrival of the dual=lens module on the iPhone 7 Plus. According to the leak the camera will have two 12 MP units, a 1/3″ sensor and a ƒ/1.9 aperture. There has been no word on what the pixel size will be at this stage.
It is thought that the inclusion of a dual-lens camera on the larger model could be an attempt to drive sales. By marking the iPhone 7 Plus out from the standard model, Apple may be hoping to close the sales gap between the two handsets.
The leak reveals new details about RAM alongside the camera modules. The iPhone 7 will reportedly have 2GB RAM, the same as the iPhone 6s, while the iPhone 7 Plus is set to get 3GB RAM. If the iPhone 7 Plus is to get more RAM it may suggest that the extra camera will be put to use in a way that needs more processing power.
Technical changes in the pipeline
Both phones are said to sport A10 and M10 chips from Apple, with larger batteries. The iPhone 7 is set to get a 1960mAh unit while the iPhone 7 Plus will have 2910mAh. The screen resolution is widely expected to remain the same as on the existing iPhone 6s.
The leak makes no mention of the introduction of optical image stabilization (OIS( on the iPhone 7, an idea which was mentioned in previous rumors. It looks as though the iPhone 7 Plus will continue to feature OIS.
Another persistent rumor relates to the idea that Apple might get rid of the 3.5 mm headphone jack. It has been speculated that Apple wants to make thinner handsets by getting rid of the audio port, and using Bluetooth or the Lightning connector to listen to music.
The proposed change has been met with opposition from Apple fans, who don’t want to have to invest in new accessories or use clumsy adapters. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has also spoken out against the move, claiming that Apple’s Bluetooth technology simply isn’t good enough to deliver high-quality sound.
Launch event coming soon
It is widely expected that Apple will announce the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus at an event on September 7. Pre-orders will reportedly open on September 9, before shipping on September 16 or September 23. Expect more details to emerge as we edge closer and closer to the big day.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be entering an interesting high-end smartphone market in which it faces some important rivals. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has received good reviews since its launch, and the smartphone will soon be joined by the LG V20, the first handset to run Android 7.0 out of the box.
Both LG and Samsung have their sights set on eating into Apple’s market share, and there is a worry that the iPhone 7 will not bring enough new features to encourage people to upgrade from the existing iPhone 6s. Despite the fact that the iPhone 7 is not even out yet, people are looking to the iPhone 8.
It is widely believed that Apple will introduce some groundbreaking new features in 2017, including the introduction of OLED displays. However this is all a long way off and many people are more concerned with how the company will perform after the release of the iPhone 7.