With the iPhone 7 expected to launch in the latter weeks of the third quarter of 2016, it is certain that Apple will already be hard at work on the handset. Indeed, it was reported just last week that Apple already has five prototypes of the forthcoming smartphone in its possession. And in the last 24 hours, a possible visual representation of the iPhone 7 has emerged, with leaks of an alleged factory worker examining an iPhone unit having been released on the Internet.
iPhone 7 prototype – Probable hoax
However, before readers get too excited, it is worth pointing out that this is almost certainly a hoax. In fact, the likelihood of it being a hoax is so high, that bookmakers would be extremely unlikely to take a bet on it!
The video features a supposed factory worker examining a new iPhone, purportedly the iPhone 7. At a certain point, the worker is then interrupted by what appears to be a superior member of staff. The video then ends abruptly. Certainly someone has gone into a significant amount of trouble to produce this short clip, with the video essentially resembling laboratory conditions.
But the chances of it being genuine – considering the fact that the leak depicted in the video would surely lead to massive legal and financial consequences – seem miniscule. In addition, it is rather hard to understand how the video ended up being leaked when the person has been caught with the information. Or possibly even how the person who caught the individual filming the iPhone 7 so rapidly understood what was occurring.
According to the individual that posted the clip online, the video was supposedly filmed at Foxconn. This is obviously a major part of the Apple supply chain, and thus anyone guilty of leaking information from this company would face serious consequences. The individual featured in the video wears protective clothing and gloves that are typically part of the daily outfit of assembly line workers, and on the face of it the leak at least appears remotely plausible.
Predicted features depicted
Nonetheless, based even on this extremely unlikely and unreliable source, it is still interesting to note that the prototype features no Home button, and a design that is bezel-less. These are two commonly suggested parameters for the forthcoming iPhone 7, with the Apple corporation expected to phase out the home button in favour of a 3D Touch-focused device. The video also depicts a front-facing camera in a central position, and overall the video is indicative of the idea that Apple will redesign the iPhone concept with the next-generation smartphone.
Despite the remote likelihood that this is a genuine video, it is worth noting that the iPhone 6 was in fact leaked over five months before it was officially unveiled. This was something of an embarrassment for both Apple and Foxconn at this time, as the source of this leak was indeed an insider at the notorious Apple supply chain company. It is perhaps this infamous incident that could have inspired this latest video, although we cannot entirely rule out the idea that it is genuine.
Back in March 2014, pictures of the infamous antenna lines and protruding camera of the iPhone 6 were snapped by someone purporting to work for Foxconn, and these images drew similar derision at the time. Of course, we know know now that they were entirely genuine, so one cannot entirely dismiss this video out of hand.
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Nonetheless, there are two important aspects to bear in mind with this particular smartphone. Firstly, even the early publishers of this video have suggested that it simply does not feel genuine. There is an inherent scepticism in the reaction to the clip, even though it is undoubtedly interesting and newsworthy. This becomes doubly so considering the previous March 2014 leak.
Secondly, it simply feels too early in the day for Apple to have pushed the iPhone 7 into production. The iPhone 6S was only launched little over two months ago, and the iPhone 7 is not expected until September 2016 at the earliest. Note that the previous successful leak was five months before the handset was ultimately unveiled, whereas this would be in the region of eight months ahead of such an unveiling.
Apple still planning
It simply seems unlikely that Apple has even finalized the plans for the iPhone 7, let alone would it have put the device into preparation and production with a major supplier such as Foxconn.
Nonetheless, the video provides a tantalizing glimpse that what the iPhone 7 could look like when it is revealed. With Apple expected to completely reboot the iPhone concept with the iPhone 7, and boost its iconic smartphone with outstanding specifications, this will be a consumer electronics device that continues to generate headlines.