Apple’s next-gen smartphone, likely to be called iPhone 7, is still about a year away. But the faraway release date hasn’t deterred the rumor mill from anticipating the features and specs of the device. In September, noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed the 2016 iPhone would be as thin as the newest iPod Touch. Kuo believes the phone will have a thickness between 6mm and 6.5mm.
Apple’s new patent hints at a thinner design
Now Pocket Lint reports that the iPhone 7 may not be thick enough to accept a conventional headphone plug. Last month, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted Apple patent for a “D-shaped connector” that could replace the existing headphone plug with a slimmer, shorter design. It offers all the functionality of a modern 3.5mm connector with a thinner profile, making it suitable for extremely slim devices.
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A smartphone can only be as thin as its thickest component. Since Lightning headphones are already available in the market, it makes sense for Apple to ditch the headphone jack altogether just as it did away with numerous ports for the new MacBook. Experts fear a slimmer design could make the iPhone 7 prone to bending. But Unbox Therapy found in its tests that the Series 7000 aluminum in iPhone 6S is almost twice as rigid as the material used in iPhone 6. In September, Japanese website Mac Otakara reported that the iPhone 7 could move away from aluminum to an entirely new casing material to make it sturdier.
iPhone 7 to be waterproof and dustproof
Though liquidmetal has also been rumored, the next-gen iPhone could incorporate a non-metal frame with dustproof and waterproof features. Other rumors suggest that the iPhone 7 would feature a “completely flat” LCD panel. Taiwanese website Economic Daily News has also pointed to a 3D display, citing sources within Apple supply chain partner TPK, which had been working on a naked-eye 3D display.
Latest reports suggest that Apple has partnered with Samsung for OLED screen to be used in iPhone 7. The Cupertino company already uses Samsung-made OLED displays in Apple Watch, so this move makes sense. The next-gen iPhone will run a hexa-core A10 processor supplied by Intel, Samsung and TSMC.